Speak of the Devil

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Temptation is the devil looking through the keyhole. Yielding is opening the door and inviting him in.

-Billy Sunday

Introduction

So I made a deal with the Devil, well the Devil’s son and now I wish I had listened. If I had listened I probably wouldn’t be lying here, in a thick pool of my own blood, gasping for breath. If I had listened my heart wouldn’t be beating a hundred miles per hour, thundering and throbbing from the unstoppable pain.

“Aidan…” I managed to croak but my voice was barely noticeable over the roar and rumble of the wreckage that lay about me. Searing flames lapped at my heels but I couldn’t move. Clouds of smoke threatened to envelope me but I couldn’t move. Why? Why didn’t I listen? If I did then my eyes wouldn’t be getting heavier and I wouldn’t be slipping….

Away.

***

One

I awoke to the sound of the usual Saturday night commotion, the TV blasting, loud bustling around the bathroom and clanging in the kitchen. I say I awoke but really I had been lying in bed for hours. My nightmares had already woken me up hours ago and the cool ghostly chill all over my body trailed where the sweat had previously been. I didn’t cry, didn’t scream I just shook terribly, my mind a mess. I think that’s the worst bit. Feeling like you’re dying inside but not being able to express it at all. I turned my head to glance at the clock. 7:30 pm. I never slept during the night, only the day. It wasn’t so much that I was afraid of the dark, just more wary. Bad things happened at night. I preferred to be awake, ready to face whatever monsters lurked behind shadows, than to remain ignorant and naïve. I threw the covers over and looked over to the far corner of the room. Shana’s bed. She’d been gone a while now, two years next month but there isn’t much I could do about that. I just had to get over it.

I got up and looked in the mirror. I wasn’t anything special just an average looking girl. A dark haired, freckled, plain looking girl stares back at me through empty, dull brown eyes. The only thing that made me stand out was the prominent scar that ran from the corner of my right eye to my mouth. I ran my fingers lightly over the thickened skin, wishing with every touch I made it fade a little more but without success. With no money to even support myself, rendering me dependent on Archie and the home, I most definitely didn’t have any money to get my scar fixed. It added ‘character’ as Archie would say. I didn’t need character; I just wanted to be normal.

As if on cue, my stomach rumbled just as the dinner bell rang in the kitchen. With a sigh I mentally counted to thirty whilst the expected rushing and thundering of feet was heard from the hallway outside my door. I wasn’t going to rush. I knew that if I did I’d only be disappointed as all the food would have already been taken; leaving nothing but the scraps Rufus usually took for himself. Food didn’t last long in a foster home, especially not in Forestwood. When you share a house with seven other people and a Yorkshire terrier who believes he’s a pitbull there is neither food nor space.  It didn’t bother me too much anymore, I was used to it. If eleven years in foster care taught you anything it was that you needed to take what hell throws at you and turn it into your advantage, and that’s where my supply of emergency food came in.

I sat cross-legged, a packet of cookies in my lap, chewing whilst absent mindedly staring outside my small bedroom window. I watched the birds that flew around the apple tree that sat a few yards away from the house with envy. If there was one thing I wanted most, it was freedom. To be liberated from my past, this house, everything that weighed me down. But to be free was nothing but a dream, a dream that would stay a dream. With a sigh I brushed the crumbs off my bed just as I heard a soft knock at my door. I grumbled a reply and Archie popped his head around the door. He was one of the carers of this place, only twenty three but with apparent experience with ‘troubled kids’. He was baby faced but his light blonde beard that framed his face hinted to his slight maturity. He was the complete opposite to me, tall, toned and normal. I’d give anything to be the latter. 

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