You can read Part 1 of this story here.
Arnold would arrive every few months at the house and Grandma Smith would leave with him, wrapped up in her favourite shawl decorated by hand with glittering beads and silk ribbon. She looked like a giant insect, with her wiry black hair sticking up on her small head and she’d kiss me gently on the cheek and whisper a short chant before stroking her way out of the house.
“Where on earth do they go?” Mum asked one day after they had driven away in his black car. I had no idea what make it was but I always thought it looked like some sort of funeral car, fitting for his creepy skeletal like appearance. I’d always shrug and go back to whatever book I was reading that day. I got through at least three a week.
A few months had passed since the new family had moved in and I hadn’t seen much of them. They didn’t appear to leave the house often and the kids didn’t play outside. The only regular thing was that the Dad would leave for work and return home in the early evening but I assumed the children must be home schooled by their mother. Every now and then, I would notice a small figure standing looking out into the street behind the veil of the net curtain hanging in the window. I was watching the house more and more after spotting this, trying to catch a glimpse of the little girl again, to see if she was something evil like I had initially thought.
Daemons can possess children but they wear out their bodies faster than they would if they took over an adult. When a daemon possesses you it uses your energy to keep you locked away, so you can’t regain control. However, over time this starts to show as you begin to look sickly, lose weight and develop a fever. Over time, if the daemon still clings on, the skin can begin to blister and develop sores, your hair falls out and you basically start to decompose and die. I’ve never seen a daemon hold on for that long.
My friend Emily visited one day, I was watching from the window and saw her arrive on her pink bike. She dropped it unceremoniously onto the grass and began to walk towards the house, but then she froze.
She turned around slowly to face the house across the street, and I saw the tiny figure in the window. I watched as Emily took a step towards the other house, her hands hanging limply by her sides and I panicked, throwing open the window and screaming her name. She stopped, turning her head as if awakened from a trance, her eyebrows furrowed and mouth a small round O.
“Get in!” I shouted. She took one last look towards the house across the street and ran inside. She didn’t comment on what had just happened but she was quiet that afternoon, and even though we spent most of it gossiping about people at school and baking brownies she didn’t lick the spoon or eat any of the mixture. After that day I usually went round to hers and as I rode past the house across the street I’d glare into the front window, especially if it was raining.
One morning, while beginning the walk to school, the mother came out of the house and stopped short when she saw me walking by. She froze on the doorstep, a full bin bag in one hand and the other clutching her dressing gown tight to her waist, I noticed the tie wasn’t there.
“Good morning!” I called. She stared at me for a moment before nodding and rushing down the garden path towards the black bin. I carried on walking until she called after me,
“Excuse me!” I stopped and turned back, “You dropped something.” She said. She held out her hand with a scrap of folded up paper inside. I frowned, sure that it wasn’t mine but her eyes were wide open and begging me to take it so I reached out and grabbed it.
“Thank you.” I said. She nodded, quickly looking towards the house, gasping and rushing back inside. I turned to look too and there she was, the little blonde girl, staring out at us behind the net curtain.
I held my gaze, determined to prove to the potential daemon inside the house that I wasn’t scared but I was sure my heart was racing five times faster than usual and my hand clutching the scrap of paper was sweating.
I began the walk to school, waiting until I turned the corner to open up the piece of paper and scribbled upon it were the words I expected to read: Help us.