Kayla opened her eyes. The clock on her nightstand read 1:11 a.m. Something had woken her up. She was freezing. How could that be? It was in the middle of July. The only light in the room came from her clock and the little blue indicator light on her satellite receiver, but even in this semi darkness she could see her breath in front of her face. Something was wrong.
A noise came from the living room. Something broke. Kayla turned her head and looked at the door that was suddenly wide open. She could have sworn she had closed it when she went to bed. Her three year old was standing in the door way.
“Andrew? What’s wrong? Did you have a bad dream, honey?”
He wasn’t looking at her, his head turned to see what was happening in the living room. Another sound, something else broke. A dish maybe?
“Andrew, come here, baby.”
She looked at her boy, still not facing her. His blond hair ruffled from tossing and turning in his sleep. His little Mickey Mouse pajamas hiked up on his back. Kayla was sure he had a bad dream. But why did he keep looking towards the living room? Why not just come to his Momma and cuddle up with her?
“Andrew, honey, it’s okay. Momma is here,” she said, moving towards the edge of the bed.
She was shaking it was so cold in her room. Her breath clearly visible. Andrew’s wasn’t. An uneasy feeling came over her. The same uneasy feeling that had woke her up in the first place.
“Andrew?” she asked, fear in her voice.
The boy turned his head, but what stared back at her was not the face of her son. Kayla looked straight into a ghastly grimace with horribly contorted features, slightly resembling Andrew’s. Black, dead eyes glaring at her. It grinned.
A scream caught in her throat as she jumped out of bed and ran down the hall to her son’s room. She pushed the door open and rushed to his bed. He was asleep. Peaceful and calm in a deep sleep. She let out a sigh of relief and sank to her knees, pulling Andrew into her arms. Her breath was not visible anymore. The chill was gone.
As she carried him to her room, hugging and kissing him, overjoyed that he was okay, she wondered if she had just imagined that boy in her room, whatever he was.
No. She was sure she had been wide awake and she knew what she had seen. Still shook up she cuddled up next to her sleeping son, watching over him. She wasn’t going back to sleep that night.
The next morning Kayla checked the living room. She was exhausted, dark circles underneath her eyes, when she walked down the hall, carefully inspection every corner. There she saw it. Broken glass lay on the floor, right next to the couch.
A picture must have fallen down from the wall. And maybe it was the shattering of the glass that had woke her up. Had she really imagined everything that happened last night? Kayla cleaned up the mess and tried not to think about it anymore.
She picked up the picture, the last one taken before her husband had left for his deployment. Gently Kayla rubbed her finger across his face. She missed him. She wished he was home. Maybe her mind was just playing tricks on her.
Before long Kayla had forgotten all about the incident and life went on as usual. She took Andrew to her niece’s birthday party. Kayla welcomed the distraction as the time without her husband seemed to grow longer and longer.
After all the other guests had left Leigh-Ann put on a pot of coffee and the two sisters finally got a chance to sit down and chat with each other like they used to.
“So,” Leigh-Ann said, “what’s been going on with you? I hardly get to see you anymore.”
“Oh, you know, just trying to stay busy is all.”
“Yeah, but something’s up.”
“What do you mean?” Kayla looked at her sister, not sure what she was talking about.
“Did something happen at your house? What are you not telling me?” Leigh-Ann had always known when Kayla was in trouble.
“Oh yeah, now that you mention it,” Kayla suddenly remembered the other night again, “I might have had a bad dream. Not sure.”
“A bad dream?” Kayla could tell by the look on Leigh-Ann’s face that she didn’t believe her little sister had had a bad dream.
“Well, I didn’t think it was a dream at first but now I’m not so sure anymore. I just don’t have any other explanation for it.” Kayla described the events that had taken place at her house a few nights ago. Her sister’s brows drawn together the way she does when she worries about something.
“What’s going on girls?” their mother asked as she walked into the kitchen and poured herself a cup of coffee.
“Tell her, Kayla. I have to go smoke,” her sister looked pale when she passed her on her way to the back porch where she usually smoked.
“I had a dream, I think. And Leigh is blowing it out of proportions.”
“I said ‘Tell her’ Kayla!” Leigh-Ann hollered from outside.
“It was nothing. I woke up the other night because I heard something in the house. And when I looked at the door I thought I saw Andrew standing there. But when I called him and he turned around it wasn’t Andrew. I mean it looked like him but his face was turned into a horrible grimace. Scared me to death. I ran to his room. He was sound asleep. Nothing wrong with him. The next morning I saw a broken picture frame on the floor in the living room. I told you it was nothing,” Kayla finished and took another drink of her coffee.
“Was it cold when you woke up?” her mother had the same worried look she had seen on her sister’s face.
“Yes. How did you know?”
“Did you feel anything?”
“I was scared for Andrew, if that’s what you mean.”
“No,” Leigh-Ann said, taking her seat again, “more like a presence. Did you feel like somebody was there? Or like something meant you harm?”
Kayla had to think about that for a minute. She recalled having an uneasy feeling that night when she woke up and she also remembered that she thought it had been that same feeling that had woke her up in the first place. “Not like somebody was there, no. I just had a weird feeling when I woke up. What’s the big deal? I was probably half asleep and thought I saw something that wasn’t really there. Why are we even still talking about this?”
Her mother and sister exchanged a look with each other before their eyes settled on Kayla again.
“It was not a dream,” her mother began, “it was a demon and it’s playmate.”
“Come again?” Kayla almost choked on the drink of coffee she had in her mouth. She looked from her mother to her sister and back again. Their expressions were dead serious. “Oh my God, you have got to be kidding me! You don’t seriously believe that stuff, do you?”
“Yes, I do and you better believe in it, too, if you want to prevent it from happening again,” her mother’s tone of voice had changed while she talked. It was lower now, more intense and had urgency to it that Kayla had never noticed before.
“Let me tell you something that happened to me many years ago,” her mother continued, “it was in this house actually. You were both still little. I was asleep in my bed but I got a weird feeling that something was wrong. I woke up but I couldn’t move. I felt like something was sitting on me, it was heavy and all I could see was a dark mass. I knew without a doubt that it was evil. It started to choke me. I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t talk. I was terrified. I didn’t know what to do. I was trying to move my hand so I could reach your Daddy and wake him up but that darkness pressed down on me harder. I couldn’t even wiggle my little toe. All I kept thinking was ‘I’m gonna die. This is it, this is how I die.’ And then I thought ‘Lord Jesus, help me. Please help me.’ I kept thinking it over and over and finally I managed to say it.”
“Say what?” Kayla asked.
“Jesus. It was just a whisper at first, but I said it. And then I said it again, a little louder. And that evil darkness eased up on me enough for me to say it again, really loud this time. And just like that whatever it was vanished into thin air. That was the day I started to plead the Blood of Christ over our family. Every day.”
Kayla didn’t know what to say. Unlike her mother and sister she didn’t believe in any of that. Her parents had raised her in church but Kayla always thought it was a bunch of fabricated stories and lies, nothing that was real or made much sense to her. Her mother knew how she felt about religion so did she really think Kayla would believe her crazy story?
“I know you don’t believe her, sis, but the same thing happened to me a few years ago. Same house, same room, same thing. I was screaming for help in my head but it didn’t do any good. When I finally managed to say ‘Jesus’ I could breathe again. Scott woke up when I started screaming. He said I was blue in the face and that I was shaking from head to toe. I was scared to death.”
“If you were so scared then why do you still live here and sleep in that same room?” After Leigh-Ann got married her parents had moved to a smaller house, giving Leigh-Ann their old house to start her new family in. “Did you know about this story before you moved in here?”
“No. Momma never told me. And I didn’t want to talk about what happened to me either. I thought I was crazy. I finally did tell her about a year ago.”
“I was hoping you wouldn’t experience the same thing we did,” her mother said.
“Well, I didn’t. No evil darkness tried to choke me.”
“Not yet,” her sister mumbled under her breath.
“Okay, let’s just for one minute assume that I believe in that stuff. What did that thing, demon or whatever it was, want from me? And why did it look like Andrew?”
“I’m not sure,” her mother took her hand, “they mess with us. I think that you had two demons at your house. The one you saw, that looked like Andrew, was probably watching its playmate doing some kind of mischief in your living room. That’s what you heard. It probably made your picture fall off its hook.”
“What does a demon get from breaking my picture? And that still doesn’t explain why the other one looked like Andrew.”
“They know everything you ever said or did. Maybe they tried to scare you by looking like Andrew. Maybe they wanted a certain reaction from you. What picture was it?”
“The one we took right before Marc left. The last family picture we have,” Kayla said, her voice breaking. She always got upset when she thought about her husband being gone. It made her sad and mad at the same time. She knew it wasn’t her husband’s fault but sometimes she felt like he had abandoned her.
“Well, there you go,” her sister said. “They know how upset you get about Marc being gone. Maybe they thought by breaking that picture you would see it as a sign about your marriage. Maybe start a fight with Marc.”
“I wouldn’t do that over a broken picture! That had nothing to do with him at all. He isn’t even here.”
“Exactly!” Leigh-Ann shot her a look.
“Well,” her mother said, “I’m glad that you and Andrew are alright. I wish you would come to church and tell the pastor about it. He could tell you what to do.”
“No thanks,” Kayla answered, angry that her mother had to use every chance she saw to try and make Kayla go back to church again. “It’s getting late. We should really get going. Andrew!”
They said their good-byes and as Kayla walked out the door she heard her mother say “Jesus saves”. She just couldn’t help herself.
On the way home Kayla thought about everything her mother and sister had said. Whatever happened to her was definitely not the same that had happened to them. But now she was not so sure about it being a bad dream anymore. Could they maybe be right? “Oh wow, about time I got out of there before I get as crazy as them two.”
Still, try as she might she couldn’t ignore it. They had planted their seed, knowing that it would bug her now. She decided to do some research online once she got home.
The search results were overwhelming. Countless people were telling their own version of a demon encounter, some were possessed, some just had a visitor and some simply had witnessed strange things happening.
“You are all a bunch of lunatics,” Kayla mumbled as she clicked on the next search result. The webpage showed a picture of Michael, the Archangel. Underneath him was a picture of a medallion that had a Latin phrase on it, “Vade Retro Satana”, Step Back Satan.
“Wow, really? I should have never told Momma and Leigh about this. Now they are gonna drive me crazy with all their demon talk,” Kayla said to herself. She turned the computer off and went to bed.
When she opened her eyes it was 1:11 a.m. She shivered. Oh no! Not again, she thought. Before she could gather her thoughts she heard glass shattering in the living room. Lots of it. She jumped out of bed and ran down the hall.
There, in the middle of her living room stood two shadowy creatures. The shorter one looked just like Andrew again, except for that horrible face. The other one resembled her husband but also wore an ugly grimace instead of her husband’s beautiful and kind face. Together they took her pictures off the wall and started smashing them. One after another.
“Stop it! What do you want from me? Get out of my house!” she yelled.
The two creatures stopped what they were doing and turned their heads towards her. The same dead, black eyes stared at her, just like last time. When they opened their mouths they made a sound unlike anything she had ever heard before. It hurt her ears. She pressed her hands to the sides of her head, covering her ears as best as she could but it didn’t help. The pain got worse. She dropped to her knees, still staring at the demons in her living room.
One of them, the one that looked like her husband, picked up a shard of broken glass and threw it at her. She couldn’t move. The sharp glass cut her on her right shoulder. She wanted to scream but no sound came out of her mouth. She tried again but this time she couldn’t even pull in a breath.
She was scared. She felt helpless and afraid, just like her mom and sister must have felt when it happened to them.
The short demon picked up a piece of glass and walked to Andrew’s door. Kayla was screaming inside of her head, sick with fear and panic. Hot tears were running down her face. That demon was going after her little boy. And she was still unable to move.
Her mother’s last words to her came back into her mind, Jesus saves. That’s it! Jesus! Kayla screamed as loud as she could but still made no sound. Jesus! Still nothing. Helpless she watched as the demon opened her son’s door. Bile rose in her throat. She had to do something.
“Jesus!” this time she managed a hoarse whisper. The demon froze in its tracks. “Jesus!” she said again and watched as both demons grabbed their chests as if in pain. “Vade Retro Satana! In the name of Jesus, get out of my house!” she screamed on the top of her lungs, her eyes pressed shut.
When she opened them again the demons were gone. Right at that moment her cell phone rang.
“Hello?” she answered her voice not quite steady yet.
“Kayla, are you two okay?” her mother asked, clearly worried.
“I think we are now. But just to make sure, go get Leigh and bring some olive oil. I need you to anoint my doors and windows. On Sunday I’m coming to church with you.”