The morning sun is shining through my bedroom window and I find myself surprisingly well rested considering yesterday’s events and the late hour when I fell asleep.
I change out of my soggy clothes and make a face when I see the condition of my linens. I should’ve put on a nightshirt before going to bed. Now I have to change the linens. The bed is just too dirty otherwise. But first things first. Brian.
I put on a worn brown dress that I usually wear when I work in the garden, and head for the door. I almost run into it when I try to push it open on my way out. The door won’t even budge!
I let out a startled laugh and try again. No, it’s not my imagination. But how is this possible? There is no lock on this door, or even a hook for that matter. One thing is clear, though. There is no way I can open it on my own.
I try my window next and am somewhat relieved when I manage to push it open. Good thing this house only has one storey. I climb out without a problem and walk around the house toward the front door.
I almost expect it to be locked as well, but it’s not. As I move through the kitchen and into the hallway, I can’t help but notice a very large pile of furniture in front of my room. I can’t even see the door from behind it. Wow. No wonder I couldn’t open it from the other side.
“What the…?” I shake my head and move on. I’ll wonder about this later. But first I have to talk to Brian.
I thank my lucky stars when I enter his room and find him all alone. He is asleep, but I quickly rectify that. I shake him lightly and call his name. I’m relieved to see he doesn’t look flushed or feverish anymore.
But he does appear to be terrified of me when he wakes up. The moment he recognizes me he tries to back away from me. That doesn’t help him much, though, since the farther side of his bed is against a wall. I can see from his expression that screaming is his next course of action and I press my hand on his mouth before he has a chance to make any sound at all. He struggles against me, but I’m bigger and stronger. I hold him down easily.
“Brian, calm down. It’s just me. I only want to talk. I will remove my hand now, but if you scream I’ll tie you up and gag you and take you to somewhere more private for our little conversation. Do you understand?” It’s an empty threat, and I’m pretty sure Brian will see through it, but to my amazement he stops struggling and nods. I let him go and he actually sits still and remains quiet.
“So, Brian. Why are you so afraid of me?”
He swallows and when he speaks he’s so quiet I can barely hear him. “You didn’t come back to kill me? For what I did?” I can see he’s blinking back tears. For the fisrt time in years I want to comfort him. “I thought you came back from the dead.”
“Why would I want to kill you? I’m alright, as you can see. You did nothing.”
“But the monster…I thought it… I don’t know… and then it looked at me… and… and…” He struggles to keep calm, and again I feel sorry sor him. I know he probably wanted to have fun at my expense and didn’t even think that something bad might happen. He’s careless and can be quite mean, but he’s not evil.
“What monster?” Last night my father said something about monsters as well. I feel something awakening in me again, but force myself to ignore it.
“You were under water for so long I didn’t know what do to. I swear, I didn’t want to kill you. Please, Please, believe me!”
“I do, Brian. Now about that monster?” I try to comfort him by akwardly patting his back. Get away from here… I’m hearing it again, but the voice is much weaker than yesterday.
“It… Something pushed you out of the lake. With it’s nose, I think. It was so big. And then it looked at me and went under the water again with a huge splash. I got all wet and it scared me so bad I ran straight home.” His lower lip starts wobbling. “Your skin was so blue I thought you were dead.”
“Oh, Brian.” I hug him. “I’m alive, don’t you worry. But where are our parents?”
“Mum went to the neighbours’ place to trade our eggs for some fresh milk. And dad… I’m not sure because they were whispering, but I think they talked about fetching a priest for you.” Get away…Run! Quickly! The voice in my head grows louder, but when I look at Brian I’m convinced only I can hear it. Shit.
I hear a clatter of hooves through Brian’s open window and turn my head. I see my father riding in with an old priest in tow. He looks a lot like… The elf-man by the Dark Lake!
“Oh.” What do I do? My heart beats fast like a rabbit’s. For a second I panic. Then I have an idea. My parents’ room faces the garden in the back of the house, just like mine. And their room isn’t blocked.
I dash out to the hallway and straight into the room next to mine. Just as I get the window unlatched I hear the front door open and close. I try to be as quiet as possible while pushing open the windows. As I lower myself down on the ground I hear the priests voice filter through the closed door.
“The girl’s condition sounds very bad. I believe it would be wisest if you and your family left the house during the exorcism. For your own safety. She might hurt you if given the chance. I will deal with her myself.”
I shudder. That doesn’t bode well for me. I hitch up my skirts and run as fast as I can.