The first time he saw it he was four years old, struggling to pry his mother's clawing fingers from their vice-grip on his wrist. He'd screamed and begged while she roared threats into his tear-streaked face, and then his voice choked in his throat when he saw those glimmering eyes lazily observing him from a shadowed corner. A forked tongue flicked out, the color of freshly-spilled blood. Thousands of staring eyes the same color as his. A dark stirring in his belly that made his mother seem less like a horribly invincible monster and more like foolish prey that had wandered too close. The ghost (demon?) disappeared once he'd blinked the stinging tears from his eyes, cringing at the way his mother's nails dug into already-scarred skin. That feeling the thing had sparked, though, insistently remained, quiet but ever-present, preying on the emotions he'd been forcing himself to swallow down ever since his father died. And it only got worse from there.