“It was dark outside.” Sasha repeated, as though we hadn’t heard her the other twenty times.
“Got it, Sasha. What else? What did you see?” Sasha turned to frown at Robert.
“It was dark outside.” She said yet again, and Robert picked up the vase on the table and promptly hurled it against the wall, where it crashed into a million tiny pieces that I would, undoubtedly, have to pick up later. But right now, there was Sasha, and what Sasha may or may not have seen as, apparently, it was dark outside.
“Sasha, sweetheart. What did you see?” Instead of repeating that same sentence, Sasha simply turned her face away again, and stared at the blank wall in front of her.
We had tried to sit her in front of the window, but she had very nearly panicked. So she was frightened, all right, and either driven mad by what she may or may not have seen, or else playing a joke. She did that often. No one was sure why. She had been a good kid, only speaking when spoken to and all that, but when teenage set it, Sasha turned mean and began playing jokes on people that nobody found funny except herself. Only now, there was the blood on the soles of her shoes, and the sound of something trying to scratch it’s way through the front door. If it was a practical joke, it was more elaborate than Sasha usually had the patience for. And then there was that smell, that something-died-under-the-house-and-is-ro
Robert was now trying to shake the story out of her, but to no avail. She only looked up at him with closed eyes and lips.
“Dammit try something, Maggie!” I pushed him aside and knelt in front of our little sister.
“Sweetheart, you went outside tonight, right?” Sasha nodded mutely.
“All right. That’s something.”
“We already knew that, Maggie.” Robert practically spat at me, and I forgave him silently because he was just scared. Whenever Robert got scared, he acted mean, as most boys do. And he was only seventeen, he could hardly be expected to handle a strange situation like this well. If only Mom and Dad were here, they’d know how to make Sasha all right.
“What happened when you went outside tonight, Sasha?” I asked calmly, and Sasha replied equally as calmly;
“It was dark outside.” and I heard Robert kick something. I thought it was the wall, although later I found out it was the coffee table in the sitting room. But I digress, that really isn’t of any matter whatsoever.
“All right, Sasha. What happened when it was dark outside?” and Sasha’s face went suddenly very, very pale, and she would say no more, not even to repeat that one sentence.
Robert called me into the front hall. “Maggie, we have a problem here.”
“We have quite a few, Bobby. Have you noticed that God awful smell?” Robert ignored me, staring at the front door with squinty eyes. Whenever he was particularly terrified, his eyes squinted up like an angry pit-bull’s.
The front door was cracked about half-way up from the floor. It was splintering. Whatever was scratching at it intended to get inside, no matter how long it took. I checked the mantle and the clock informed me that two hours had passed since Sasha had come inside. Pretty soon, it was clear, the door would give way, and whatever was out there would be in here, and Sasha still would not tell us what she had seen. And I knew that our front door was twise as thick as my arm, at least, and that it was something horrifyingly strong to be able to claw through that much wood this quickly.
“Well.” I told Robert, “We’ve got to get rid of Sasha.”
“What?!” Robert almost roared at me. It was the last thing he was expecting, I suppose, but I didn’t mean we ought to hand her over to whatever evil was at our door.
“I mean that that thing is obviously intent on getting to Sasha. It wasn’t there before she went outside tonight. It started right after she came in, didn’t it? So it wants Sasha. We get rid of Sasha, say, you take her out for a ride or something to that effect, and it goes away.”
“What happens to us, then? The thing follows us out and we get murdered, right? What kind of a plan is that?” Obviously I hadn’t thought it out all the way to the end, but I hadn’t really had a chance, had I?
“Where’s your plan then, Bobby? What ideas have you got?” There was a loud cracking sound from the front door, and Robert turned dead white.
“We’ve got to get her to talk, that’s all.” And so we trooped back into the dining room, where Sasha was sitting as she had been before, eyes focused on the empty wall.
“Sasha, love, there is something going to get inside very soon. You have to tell us what happened outside tonight. What did you see?” Sasha turned to Robert, and opened her lips, and from between them came the most God awful hiss accompanied by the worst smell I’ve ever been subjected to, and Sasha closed her mouth again, but kept looking at Robert and he seemed hypnotized, and I realized that there was not a space of her eyes that was not solid white; there were no pupils in them, and how I had not noticed before I will never know.
“Robert.” I whispered, almost choking on my own fear now, but my brother never heard me, for at that moment, the front door gave way to what was clawing at it, and into the room scrambled my sister’s soul.
I knew it was her soul at first sight, because it was a black, scrawny thing, with long claws and sharp pointy teeth, and it seemed that it’s eyes were an eternity of blue, which had been Sasha’s eye-color. And as they say that eyes are the window to the soul, it would make sense that one’s soul’s eye-color might be one’s own eye-color, and as Sasha wasn’t the nicest of people, it stood to reason that her soul would have claws and sharp teeth.
All of this flashed through my mind in an instant, of course, and the soul seemed to climb right through my brother and leap upon Sasha.
“Lost my body. Get it back. Lost my body. Get it back.” the soul was chanting with my sister’s voice as Robert and I watched, transfixed with horror. Sasha began screaming, but not for long. The soul reached into her mouth and ripped out her tongue.
“Lost my body. Get it back.” it chanted through a mouthful flesh and blood. The way of a lost soul to retrieve it’s body, it seemed, was to devour it. Robert and I watched as the soul tore our sister’s body apart and consumed it, blood, bones and all.
It began to make sense, in some horrifying way. Sasha had left the house whole, had sometime during her evening lost her soul (or body depending on which side you were looking at it from), and when she returned home, her soul had persued her. The blood on the bottoms of her shoes was still unacounted for, although I assumed it had something to do with how my youngest sister had managed to lose her soul. And the smell, of course, that made sense too. Without anything to fill the empty void inside, Sasha’s body had simply begun to rot. I read somewhere that if you take the insides of a pumpkin out, the pumpkin shell will rot sooner than if you had left the insides in. I can’t say for sure that that is true, but I imagine something like that was happening within Sasha. And the soul came just in time, it seemed. Judging by the reek issuing from Sasha’s mouth, she was half a moment away from total decay, and now that the soul was back, when the soul had devoured it’s shell, Sasha began to regrow around it. First her tongue, as that was the first thing the soul devoured, then her eyes, and so forth and so on, until it was Sasha herself who sat before us. She blinked up at Robert and myself, lay her head down upon the table, and said, “I believe I shall take a nap. I’m very tired, but not a bit hungry!” and with a chilling giggle, Sasha closed her eyes and fell asleep.
It was at least another three hours before Mom and Dad returned, and Mom ran at us with questions and a worried voice. Robert and I stood in the same places, watching our resouled sister sleeping soundly on the dining room table, and I don’t believe either of us really heard a word our mother was saying, until she asked finally, “What the hell happened tonight?” and Robert turned to her and answered, “It was dark outside.” and began to scream.