Chapter 23: Abby

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There were two explosions downstairs. As much as I wanted to escape this hell hole, I couldn't. I was trapped until someone came to rescue me. So that's what I waited for.

Mr. Harmon stared at me. I kept my eyes open as long as I could. He smiled.

"What do you want from me?" I asked. My eyes were watering now, and I couldn't keep them open much longer. I blinked. My eyelids went over the needles so smoothly, and I felt the pain as I slowly lifted my eyelids up. Blood started to drip down my face. "What's the whole point of this?"

His shadow body formed into his normal body. "So my artwork can live," he said, reaching for a book on the bookshelf. "Ever heard of a book called The Book?"

I kept silent.

He opened the book, turning the pages. "Imagine," he started, "a book that unlocks the dark mysterious of the world. That unlocks so much power."

It wasn't making any sense to me. "That doesn't make any sense to me!" I yelled mostly from the pain I endured with my eyes.

He chuckled. "People like me don't have to make sense."

By people like him, he clearly meant psychos.

"Emily, sometimes power comes with a price. Sometimes, we can't pay that price, so we make sacrifices," he continued.

I groaned from the pain of blinking. The pain just got worse and worse.

"When I found this book, I didn't imagine I'd have to sacrifice my father and mother then child eventually. Bless them. My father's heart and soul went to the book exchange for power. Great power. I could talk to the dead. I took it a step farther. I sacrificed my mother and was able to shape shift. It wasn't really about the art, Emily. I wanted you guys to join me in my incredible world. Violet wouldn't stay, so we needed someone else, and you seemed to like the perfect choice."

"You left your daughter in your parent's house. You didn't want anyone to join you," I said.

"She chose not to," he said.

"Seems like a lot of people chose not to," I said.

"Try to understand that I'm doing what's best for everyone. Don't you realize that we don't have to live to live? Get me?" he asked.

"The paintings? Hide and Seek? What's the point?" I asked.

"Cause I can't  sacrifice a soul and get power unless they say they'll sacrifice it. If that doesn't work, then we play the game with those I have in my grip," He smiled.

"Sicko!" I said.

"And the hide and seek wasn't my idea. I had a little help with that." He pointed to the curtain, and the little girl from my dreams revealed her face, only this time, she looked very familiar to me.

She started to grow to my size, and her features began to change. She looked at the ground at first then slowly formed on her face. She gazed ever so happily at me. There's no way the girl with the slashes and gashes on her body was Abby. It couldn't be.

Abby nodded her head. "Why aren't you bragging about how good you are at hide and seek now?" she asked with a sinister smile.

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