Chapter Five [END]

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I now knew what the creature wanted.

Emily.

I wouldn't let it have her. I wouldn't let the pattern repeat. No one's wife would die again. It would end tonight. I'd kill the creature.

I'd been practicing breaking out of the paralysis all week. Eventually I was able to move my fingers, then my hand, and then my whole arm. Tonight, it would finally be close enough to kill, hovering right above Emily.

It would be weird to kill it now though. It had finally taken Emily's form, every miniscule feature exactly the same as the real life version. From the mole on her cheek, to the little chip in her teeth she'd got on her twenty-fourth birthday.

I'd researched more about what it could be, thinking about those strange women I'd encountered the day I was cleaning the yard. I knew it had to be some kind of demon. There was a reason why it kept killing. It wasn't just for fun. All I could find out was some demons could only stay alive by the blood of humans. Maybe this creature got off on the blood from beautiful women. It made sense. For the past couple decades, it was always a woman who died.

Snap.

I flinched and looked around the room. Shadows danced on the wall, taunting me. Maybe there was more than one creature in this house. I'd take them out one at a time.

Emily was still completely oblivious to all that was happening. I could tell my actions were disturbing her, but I couldn't tell her the reason. I couldn't take the chance of her sending her away if she thought I was crazy. Then she really would die. I had to stay here to protect her.

I drummed my keys along the computer keyboard, sipping my coffee. I felt jittery. Maybe from excitement. Or nerves. Or no sleep.

A laugh escaped my lips. Then I couldn't stop laughing.

Especially when the others started laughing with me.

A smile stayed on my face all the way into bed that night. Emily had turned in unusually early, so she was already fast asleep when I climbed into the bed. I leaned over her and kissed her forehead. She wouldn't have to worry anymore. Tonight I'd protect her.

I settled in, moving the knife from the drawer to the top of the table for easy access. My heart beat erratically in my chest. This would all be over soon. I would finally be able to rest easy. Only a little more now...

I must have fallen asleep. I jolted awake, frozen in place on my bed. Had the creature already came? I looked to my side, relaxing when I saw Emily's sleeping form, her back turned to me.

She was still okay. I could still do my job.

I tried moving my fingers. They wiggled. I was good to go.

As soon as the warbling started, I tensed, ready to spring to action. This time, however, it was accompanied by an achingly high-pitched reverberation. I grimaced, wanting to cover my ears, but not wanting to give up my guise of being stuck in the paralysis. The noise rose and rose, hitting an insane falsetto. I thought my eyes would start bleeding.

Eventually it grew to be too much and I had to cover my ears, groaning as the noise pounded into my head, so loud I was unable to think. It must have known what was going to happen tonight. It was acting defensively.

It wanted a fight.

When it appeared, my heart skipped a beat at how much it looked like Emily. She came to my side and for a second, I hesitated, seeing a glimpse of worry in her eyes.

It's trying to fool you! I snapped at myself.

Her mouth opened and out came the warbling white noise, it finally revealing its sharp fangs. It wasn't Emily. This thing wasn't human. I had to kill it now or it would kill Emily.

I lunged for the knife, grasping it tightly in my hand. I shouted as I turned back, stabbing the monster right in the heart. The high-pitched whine grew louder and I stabbed it again, and again, blood spattering the sheets around me, stinging my eye, filling my mouth with copper.

I pulled the knife back for one last strike, pushing it through the throat of the creature. Immediately the high-pitched noise cut off, replaced with the gurgling of blood.

My breath came loud and fast as I heaved, watching the creature fall lifeless to the floor. I shook from the exhilaration. Finally, finally this nightmare was over. It had gone down so easily for such a dreadful thing. Once again I found myself laughing. It put up such a front and yet it was taken down by a simple butcher's knife. How hadn't any man before me taken it down?

Now I could finally tell Emily of the horror that had went down. She would believe me, especially with a perfect imager of herself lying dead on the floor. It would be enough to shock her into belief.

I rolled over, reaching to shake her shoulders, barely noticing my hand was coated in a rich red. "Em? Hey, wake up."

She stirred a little and I smiled. One of my favorite things in the world was watching her wake up.

"Don't freak out," I said calmly as she turned over, opening her eyes.

Her gaze passed over my bloody hand then my torso. I expected her to start screaming.

What I didn't expect was for her to smile.

An impossibly long, inhuman smile.

I screamed.

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