Estimated reading time — 3 minutes
“I guess it’s more like a numbness. Like when a leg or arm falls asleep. Whenever I move, there’s a disconnect. It feels like my limbs aren’t mine. Like I’m controlling a marionette version of myself, from somewhere far off.”
“What about when you try to touch something?”, he asked.
“If I try to touch anything…”
Her hand went up to his face. A thin trail of blue tailed behind it; an apparitional aura.
“… I feel nothing.”
He imagined her hand would have felt cold on his skin, but just like her, he didn’t feel anything.
He had so many questions he wanted to ask, but his mind couldn’t form a cohesive one.
“How are you, did you, I…”
She interrupted his rambling, “I understand you’re curious, but how I’m here doesn’t matter. I came to take you away from this place.”
He looked around his room. His bed sat in the corner, and his stuffed bear, Mr. Turner, was currently lying on the floor next to it. A shirt hung on the closet door handle. That was the entirety of the space. He never realized how empty it was, ‘till an opportunity arose to leave.
The walls were a plain color, and the floor was wood. Unlike the ghost’s touch, it was ice-cold on his bare feet.
Now, feeling like he was doing something wrong, he whispered, “Why?”
“Because, that man doesn’t know how to care of you on his own.”
“He’s my father. I mean, he’s our father. I can’t…”
“And because he hits you.”
“Every kid… gets punished by their fath-”
“No. Not how he does it. Don’t defend him.”
He felt tears try to escape from his eyes; To wet his face with the memory of horrible beatings his father had dealt him. He managed to hold them in, as the curiosity of his sister’s current proposition, and condition, overcame his desire to cry.
He cleared his throat to say, “Dad just misses you. He doesn’t know what to do, so he takes it out on me… I can’t ju-”
She put her hand on his face once more, as though she could actually hold his cheek in her palm.
“Do you trust me, kiddo?”, she said in a loving tone.
He had hated when she called him “kiddo”. It made him feel small. But to hear his older sister say it now, after so many months? He didn’t mind as much.
“Of course I do. You always took care of me.”
“And I plan to keep taking care of you. Come on. Grab Mr. Turner and lets go.”
He went to pick up his bear, then approached the window where she now floated. He waited a moment before realizing his sister couldn’t lift the window herself. He imagined she could probably just fly through it, but was being polite by waiting for him. Or maybe ghosts didn’t work the way he thought they did.
He tucked Mr. Turner under his arm, and lifted. She floated past him, out the opened window, and into the dark woods.
He climbed out as quickly as he could, making sure not to lose his stuffed friend while he did so.
As he started to close the window, he heard his sister tell him not to bother with it. He took the time to anyways. He didn’t want the night air cooling the house.
Regardless of his feelings for his father, he thought no one deserved to sleep in the cold.
The fairy picked her teeth. She hated how flesh stuck to them, but the taste was one she could never give up.
Squirrels could only keep someone satisfied for so long.
It motivated the creature to work on her projection skills. It took a lot of fungi and floral growths to cultivate a convincing effect, but she had pulled it off.
The perfect spell.
She couldn’t help but feel a little prideful. Making a shape with blue light was difficult, let alone the shape of a human.
Adults had better flesh, but children were easier to trick. Children who had suffered a loss? Even easier.
Yes, go down the dark hole, child. It’s safe. You can be safe.
The fairy laughed, then proceeded to wipe some blood from her lips.
She used her sickly, thin fingers to finish scrapping away the skin, and the blood that was drying on her needle-like dental work.
She stared at the stuffed bear that lied next to the boy. She murmured some words under her breath, and the toy burst into flames. This brought out another laugh.
Her long wings lifted her off the ground, as she mentally prepared a list of ingredients.
When she had lured the sister into the woods, she had no idea how fruitful it would be. A whole family, struck by tragedy. Sadly, only one adult.
Regardless, all this flesh…
The father would be weaker now. She would study him, like she had the boy. She was full now, so she could wait.
She was ready to prepare again.
Credit: Jordan Vanhoozer