From my bed I could see the trees swaying from the bitter cold air and the street lights illuminated the empty streets below, bathing them in that eerie yellow. Lying in bed at 1.30 in the morning, I thought I would have been tired by then, but of course I wasn't.
My brother and sisters along with my mother were already asleep on the other side of the house. The living room and long hallway separated us, which was fine with me. I enjoyed having undisturbed silence.
The street lights sent a slight glow into the room. Not enough to make everything in the room visible like the big wooden trunk across the room, but just enough to break up the darkness.
Trying to figure out a way to relax and get some sleep, I decided to plug my headphones into my stereo just to have some background noise to keep my mind from wandering too much. Just as I was starting to drift away Coolio’s Gangsters Paradise started playing. I don't know what it was, but the chorus in the background overpowered the actual words and it reminded me of the voices one would hear coming from a church choir. A flash went through my mind of being alone in an old church with tall pillars and seeing rows and rows of faceless bodies singing so powerfully that it made my chest tighten up and sent chills down my whole body. Just when I thought I couldn't take another minute of it a deep, booming voice called to me. It resonated so loudly that I froze, unable to carry out the scream that rose to my lips. My name. It called my name. After what seemed like a lifetime although in reality was only an instant, the icy grip released me and I shot up in bed launching the headphones across the room. What was that! Who was that! Everyone is asleep. There’s no one in this house who sounds like that! It came from the headphones, but that’s not possible. Then I felt it. Believing it was only the fear subsiding I wasn't aware of it right away. I was not alone. My heart pounded so hard it resonated in my ears. My eyes darted around the room. It was impossible. I don't see anyone. Yet it was there. The looming presence that engulfed the tiny room was right in front of me.
As my eyes wandered aimlessly around the room, I caught a glimpse of what could have been a silhouette or even a reflection of what appeared to be a person. But then I realized I didn't have a mirror in here. As I stared at the corner of the room next to the trunk, what I thought I saw was no longer there, but the feeling was.
The longer I sat there petrified the more the light disappeared from the room, the glow from the window was dwindling. I knew I had to get out of the room now, the longer I waited the more the terror was going to keep it’s hold on me. It was now pitch black to the point where I couldn't even see the gleam from the doorknob anymore, but I knew where it was. I had to force myself to run to the far side of the room and get out. But what if what I saw was standing there in front of it? What if the door won't even open? Well it was either take my chances with that or loose my mind wondering "what if". In a split second I was on my feet bolting for the door. I could feel the wind from my running, cooling my sweat soaked skin. I hit the door and turned the doorknob, it opened and I ran out of the room into the hallway wall.
When I felt I was far enough away from the door I looked back and then what I heard and saw made everything come into focus. The voice was back, but this time it was more fueled by hate and anger. It had a raspy gurgle to it and again it said my name. What does it want with me? Then the door slammed and the plaster above the door cracked and crumbled to the floor. The color drained from my face, my head started to swim. I was going to pass out. It took everything I had to hold on and not let the blackness come. I turned and started towards my mother’s room, holding onto the walls in order to keep my balance. I walked through the living room, which was lit by a small lamp, but as I passed it I expected the light to disappear just like in my room, but it didn't.
When I finally got to my mothers room the door was already open and I could hear the static coming from the television. I stood on the side of my mothers bed trying to wake her up, but I just couldn't make the words come out, I just stood there. My mother must have felt me looking at her. She rolled over and all the color drained from her face. She just lay there with her hands over her mouth like she had just seen death itself. She let out a blood-curdling scream, the kind that pierces your soul and jumped out of bed to hold me. That’s when I realized I had sweat through my shirt, because then I felt how cold it was when it pressed against me.
After I explained to my mother what had happened, she didn't know what to think at first. Then she said very calmly, "come with me and do everything I tell you". My mother is very superstitious and she knew what had to be done.
From the stories my mother has told me about the things she has seen and the stories that have been past down through the generations, it seems there has always been a struggle between good and evil in this family. She led me to her closet and pushed all her clothing aside. Inside there was a false back that she also moved aside to reveal the secret hiding place. What I saw chilled me to the core. There were candles lit casting a glow on the pictures and statues arranged around them. Saints, patron saints my mother has always prayed to for protection and health. They were all there staring back at me with eyes full of sadness as if they knew about the evil that plagued me on this night.
My head was still kind of cloudy, but my mother was focused and determined to expel the demonic forces that are now in our house. She handed me an old goblet that had writing I had never seen before. I thought it was written in Spanish, but my mother said it was a prayer that is written in a language that was spoken long ago. She then handed me two divining rods. She told me that she is not going to be able to do it for me because what ever that evil force is, it’s here for me and I'm the only one who can banish it.
She told me to fill the goblet with holy water and place the rods in a sort of cross over the top and place it in the center of the room. She said that the prayer on the goblet and the holy water that’s in it will repel what ever force that’s in there back to where it came from. Then I knew I had to go back in there.
As I walked towards the door my heart started to race again. What if the thing in there was waiting for me? I touched the doorknob and I had a flash of what occurred in there, bringing all the fear back. I opened the door and the air was stale, and the light from outside was gone. Every step I took I did with hesitation. I couldn't see anything, but I still felt as if I was being watched.
Several minutes had passed and I still was not in the center of the room. Why was it taking me so long? Then finally I reached it, and just as I did I heard a gurgle come from the dark corner of the room. There were no words this time, just a growl. The hair on the back of my neck stood on end, my hands trembled. With my hands shaking I slowly put the goblet down and placed the rods on top, just then I felt a hot breath on my neck. I didn't turn around. I couldn't! I stood up and backed out of the room hoping whatever was behind me, if there was something behind me, would let me leave.
I reached back and felt the door jam, then as fast I could without falling I turned and ran down the hallway. This time the door didn't close. My mother was in the living room, waiting with the small lamp on. Now we just have to wait. I asked my mother how long it would take. What she asked me in return puzzled me. She asked me "do you think you wanted it to come?" I didn't know what to say. I never gave her an answer. My mother went back to her room, but I stayed, listening, waiting.
I started to feel a cold breeze on my face, but when I looked towards the window it was closed. I got up and walked down the hallway and heard the growl again and as I got closer, it got louder. I walked into the room, but this time I had no fear. I walked up to the goblet and looked inside the glass, the holy water was undisturbed. Now the question that my mother had asked me before came back into my mind "do you think you wanted it to come"?. I picked up the goblet and held it up and looked inside. The water changed. It was no longer water. It was blood! Now I heard the growl, but this time it was different. It was coming from me!