by Joshua Patrick McKnight
The Angel faced artist!
People have been warned for centuries of the things that were not to be touched.
They were warned of the words that were forbidden to say and the images they were forbidden to draw. All of these forbidden atrocities were related to none other than Satanism.
They were forbidden to touch the ancient books of Satanic Worship, forbidden to change the summoning curses, and forbidden to draw the transmutation summoning circles. Though these forbidden arts were a tradition long forgotten, there were those who still found interest in the art form.
In this particular case, the subject in question which had taken such interest in the dark arts, was none other than a child.
Ali, a young girl who should have never known of such evils, had been fascinated with the subject ever since first discovering it. Her discovery was an accident, it happened by accident. Woken by a nightmare one night, she had fled her dark bedroom in search of her parents to find some comfort. Her search had taken her down the stairs, though scared of the dark she hugged her stuffed animal against her chest to give her confidence.
Ali could hear her parents voice from the hallway, leading her to the living room. She could see the back of her parents’ heads, snuggled together as they watched a movie play. Though she was about to call out to her parents, about to run into the safety of their arms, she paused.
The images on the television were taking her attention, raising to stand on the tip toes of her bare feet to get a better view. Ali didn’t really know what she was looking at, she knew it was probably meant to be fear inducing, yet she couldn’t bring herself to be afraid. Lips parting curiously as she focused on the sights before her, there were strange people in cloaks drawing on the floor.
Ali’s parents never let her draw on the floor or on the walls, that just wasn’t fair. They were drawing unusual star shapes in chalk, over the humming of the background music she could hear them murmuring unusual chants.
As they placed unlit candles on each of the points of the star, their chanting only grew louder. She watched, starstruck as the candles burst aflame one by one. The lines of chalk on the ground glowing a bright amber, and as they pet in the middle of the pentagram, the screen was taken over by darkness.
“Alright, time for bed I’m exhausted”, Ali heard her father groan.
She jumped, not wanting to be caught awake and snooping, turning on her head she quietly ran back up the stairs, itching to know what came next. Jumping into the bed, she dived under the covers and pulled it over her head, curling up into the ball to make sure that she wouldn’t be seen awake.
Heart pumping in her chest as she heard the echoing footsteps of her parents climbing the stairs, she heard them by her door, peeking in to check if she was alright, before the door pulled closed with a click.
The young girl let herself relax with a quiet sigh, biting her lip and slowly pushing her plush pink blanket down, turning to stare over at her bedroom door. She wanted to see how it ended, after they drew that weird circle and all the pretty patterns that went along with it, what would come next?
Ali wasn’t allowed to play with dangerous things.
That was why she waited until her parents were gone for the day, waiting until her aunts and uncles would watch over her instead. They were more lenient than her parents, they let her play with the things she wanted to play with, let her be alone when she didn’t want anyone else around, young Ali saw no other time than now.
Sitting in her room, her Uncle Jamie just recently left her in peace, she stared down at the hardwood floor of her bedroom, lips parting curiously. She thought back to the images she had seen on the television screen the night before, could she recreate it in the same way?
Ali had always been gifted at drawing, if the thousands of crayon scribbled pictures taped to the fridge were anything to go by. Pushing her many dolls out of the way, she perked up excitedly and rushed to grab her box of chalk from underneath her bed.
Dragging the box to the centre of her room with a grunt of effort, the young girl dropped down to her knees, patting the hem of her pink skirt to fit more comfortably.
Turning to the side, she popped open the box of chalk and hummed quietly to herself, picking up the large stick of white. Although she couldn’t make out the words that they had been chanting on the movie screen, she could remember the tune that they had been chanting. The song had been stuck in her head all night and all day.
Mel had even asked what the song was from, all she could do was turn to the woman and smile brightly.
“It’s a secret!” she had said.
Now sitting on her bedroom floor, alone and without anyone to catch her breaking the rules, she grabbed a crayon and began to draw. The large circle that would hold the transmutation was wobbly, but she was six years old there was no helping that factor.
A bright, excited smile on her face, she continued to scribble on the floor. Ali didn’t know that the drawings in the movies were fake of course, but what she also didn’t know, that with her childish hand writing, what she drew was closer to the truth, more than anyone might have expected.
Grabbing the fake candles that she had gathered from the Halloween decorations scattered around the house, she set them on the points of the crudely drawn star, the switches to the LED candles turned off just like how it had been in the movie.
Her head tilted to the side curiously as she stared down at the display in front of her, the high pitched, haunting tune still flowing out of her mouth as she tipped from side to side, waiting for what happened in the move to happen right before her eyes.
Ali wasn’t sure just had long she had waited, sitting there with her eyes glued on the display in front of her.
It must have been hours when she was snapped out of her staring trance with her Auntie Trisha called out from downstrairs.
“Ali! Dinner’s ready!”
She perked up with a bright grin at the thought of filling her empty stomach, she hurriedly rushed to her feet and scampered off towards the door.
“Comiiiing!” she called back.
As she turned the corner, rushing down the hall to head down stairs, the little girl was too absorbed in her thoughts of food that she missed the way the battery powered candles flickered behind her.
Ali had forgotten all about the display she had set up in her bedroom by the time dinner was over. Sitting down on the couch between her family members, her favourite stuffed animal sitting on her lap, staring at the television screen watching her favourite cartoon.
Nothing seemed different, situations like these happened on the time after all, she would sit down with her family and simply spend time with one another. Things were going as they always were– until they weren’t.
The lights in the living room flickered, it wouldn’t usually cause any alarm, but the flickering didn’t seem to stop. Ali bit her lip, brows furrowing as she hesitantly glanced up at the lights hanging over head.
Daniel’s brows furrowed in confusion as he stared up at the ceiling, that was unusual, the lights have never done something like that before. He rose to his feet slowly and hummed curiously, despite how many seconds passed of him staring up at the lights and expecting it to stop, though it didn’t, they continued to flicker.
“Adrian, come with me to check out the fuse box” he mumbled quietly, his brows furrowed in confusion.
The male sighed, he really didn’t want to go into the creepy basement, but he had no choice but to go down to make sure that the fuse box wasn’t acting up. Adrian lifted from his seat and nudged his brother so they could get a move on and get it over with.
Ali huddled back against the couch, her knees pulled up against her chest and her brows furrowing in confusion, a hint of fear in her gaze. What scared her more than the flickering lights, was the television. The voices of her favourite cartoon characters on screen were changing, distorting – growing deeper, speech slowing.
It didn’t even sound like them any more, she had watched this specific episode so many times it made Katie groan in frustration to hear they were going to watch it again, she knew this wasn’t how it was supposed to go, she knew it word for word, she knew they definitely never called her name before.
Eyes filled with frightened tears, the girl whimpered under her breath. Biting her lip, she clutched her stuffed animal tighter to her chest. The characters on screen had turned to face her, her heart pounding in her ears so loud she almost didn’t hear the way they spoke to her.
“Ali?” she could hear Katie’s worried voice in her ear, though she could barely register the sound of her voice. From the sounds of it, Katie didn’t hear what it was that the T.V was saying. Ali didn’t understand why this was happening, it had never happened before. The young girl whimpered, staring at the television screen, although she was terrified, something within her didn’t seem to let her pull her eyes away.
The main character grew closer to the screen, a screen that looked as though it were melting. The ink that coloured his cutely drawn face was dripping from the lines, the corners of his brightly smiling face were drooping at the corners. It was as though he was melting before her very eyes.
Eyes wide, her cute face tight with fear, she squeaked in horror, her fingers trembling until they turned numb. It was creeping closer to the screen, it’s hands reaching out towards the screen, and as she feared it might slip out of the screen, she couldn’t bring herself to watch any longer.
Scream tearing out of her throat, she hopped to her feet, squeezing her eyes closed to hide her face against the stuffed animal in her arms. Ali didn’t even take note of the sound of her aunt calling out from after her, darting up the stair case fearfully. She sprinted all the way up the stairs, she wasn’t allowed to do that but she couldn’t help herself.
Sprinting into her room and slamming the door shut behind her to press back against it. It was only when she calmed down that she noted what was wrong, the lights in her bedroom had all been switched off. The only light that illuminated her darkened bedroom, were the candles still placed in a circle on the tops of the stars.
“W-what?” she whispered in confusion.
She remembered clearly, none of them had been lit when she left the room. Ali was sure of that. She could remember her disappointment when none of them lit up like in the movie. The circle of LED lights was lit, even more terrifying than that, they glowed brighter than they ever had before.
In her fear, she dropped the stuffed animal to the floor, taking no notice of it even as it dropped to her feet. Biting her lip nervously, she slowly stepped towards the pentagram. Carefully lowering herself to her knees in front of the ritual on the floor.
She reached out towards one of the plastic candles, wincing at the heat that it was radiating. She bit her lip, brows furrowing in confusion as she reached down towards it and picked it up at the base where there was no heat.
Ali’s heart sank into her stomach, the fear that had once been prickling at her system was slowly returning. Her fingertips riddled with pin pricks as she threw the candle onto the ground.
The reason for her fear?
The switches at the bottom weren’t on.
This meant that it wasn’t part of her family that had turned them on, this wasn’t a malfunction, not all of them would be on if that were the case. Even someone as young as six knew that, biting her lip she hurriedly lifted herself to her feet and backed up towards the door slightly. No place felt safe.
For the first time in her life she could identify the feeling of being watched, every corner of her room felt like it had been occupied with eyes, eyes that didn’t move from her figure.
She whimpered, glancing between corner to corner of her bedroom. She had never been scared of her room before, never known nothing to be scared of.
Ali hadn’t seen the end of the clip, she didn’t know what happened after the lighting of the candles, she had no idea that this would be the outcome.
In her path backwards towards the door, the young girl didn’t notice the stuffed animal she had dropped behind her lying in her path. Yelping as her feet slipped on the furry fabric of her stuffed toy, falling back onto her butt and staring into the darkness of her room with fear in her eyes.
The glowing of the plastic candles only seemed to burn brighter, bright enough that she was almost inclined to look away.
Ali was too scared too though, too scared to tear her eyes away from the circle she had drawn on the ground.
It burnt brighter, brighter, brighter until finally.
The plastic burst, she squeaked in shock, squeezing her eyes closed and turning her head away at the bright glow that followed. The spark illuminated the room into a blinding light, though within a second, darkness reigned.
She didn’t want to look up, she didn’t want to see into the darkness even though the feeling of being watched continued. Even though she knew that there might be something coming, there might be something staring at her right that very moment, she couldn’t bring herself to look.
The young girl whimpered, huddling up against the bedroom door, the sound of the floorboards of her bedroom creaking quietly.
There were no other sounds in the room, other than the sounds of her gentle sniffling, she heard nothing else.
The breathing that she though was her own…
It was too deep, too raspy to be the sound of her own breath. She was a little girl, even if she had been running never would she pant that loudly.
Ali’s muscles only tensed harder, biting down on her lower lip and huddling up against the door closer, squeezing her eyes shut to make sure that she wouldn’t open her eyes despite how curious she may be.
“Don’t look, don’t look, don’t look” she whispered to herself shakily.
The young girl’s voice was thick with tears, a whimper tearing through her throat. She almost felt claustrophobic in that large room of hers, whatever it was that was in the room with her was growing closer by the second.
She could hear the sounds of what she almost thought were chains dragging along her hardwood floor.
Scraping. Jingling. Approaching.
Her small heart pounded in her chest, never before had she been so afraid, not for anything. And yet as the sound of the odd creature sowly approaching, she feared her heart might even freeze in her chest.
That voice wasn’t her own.
She knew her own voice well, from the family videos, from the recordings of herself singing that she liked to make.
This voice was tainted.
Though she was too young to know no evil, she knew that this was the embodiment of it. She jumped, sobbing into her crossed arms as she buried her face into the back of her forearms to protect herself from the thoughts.
“It’s not real” she whimpered shakily.
“That’s not very nice”
Once again the voice took her off guard, how could she believe that this voice wasn’t real?
It was distorted almost, much like the tv had been, the tone dipping and brightening. Deepening and lightening in a way that was humanly impossible.
“You summoned me here, little angel” the voice purred in her ear.
She squeaked, huddling herself up against the wall.
She didn’t, she didn’t mean to do it at least. That wasn’t her intention, she never wanted to bring this thing into her life, into her home.
“Never fear, my sweet, you won’t be leaving anyone behind”
Despite her fear, her curiosity got the better of her. Not enough for her to dare to look, but enough for her to quiet down to focus on what the strange being had to say.
“I’ve already killed your family~”
It wasn’t real. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t real. It wasn’t real.
“There will be no one left behind to miss you, you will have no reason to be afraid of leaving, darling girl”
That couldn’t be true.
Her family had all been perfectly fine when she came upstairs, she had heard no sounds, nothing that would imply anything that he had been saying was true.
“Your uncles came down into the basement to see me~”
Her blood ran cold within her veins at the words.
How could he possibly know that?
How is any of this even possible?
“Your sweet aunt was so worried about you when you ran away, she came to see you but I couldn’t let her interrupt our time together”
Ali didn’t even notice the tears that trickled down her face, too overtaken by fear to realize that she had been crying. She whimpered quietly, tensing as she felt a gently hand on her arm, trying to call out for her attention.
The little girl, albeit hesitantly, raised her head only in the slightest.
Held out towards her, palm up and waiting was a hand.
Skin tinted grey and fingertips a frost bitten black, it was an ugly hand, but one that entranced her.
“Come with me, see your family again my little summoner”
Why would she hesitate?
Why would she consider any other option?
The fear that welled inside her being dissipated as she reached out towards him, settling her tiny, delicate hand in his cold – cold palm.
And as his fingers curled around her hand, keeping the little girl within her grip, the contract had been signed.
And all she knew was darkness.
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