A kaleidoscope of colors turned endlessly in the darkness. Black to red, red to blue, blue to black, an endless cycle of distorted colors.
The screams started as distant but with each turn cycle, they neared. The colors morphed into faces, each one showing more agony then the last.
People I had never seen morphed from the colors with twisted features of pain and torture.
It was only when I saw Caleb’s face I sat straight up, panting, sweating, praying as I scanned the dark in my room. Empty.
It had been a few weeks since the initial meeting and every night was the same, hands held me in place, a pressure sat on my chest, and my dreams were filled with colors, faces,
and tortuous screams.
Rubbing the perspiration on my face, I closed my eyes and talked myself down. “It was just a dream. Only a dream.”
I looked to the mirror across the room to see the panic on my face. Pictures and bits of poetry wedged in the gap between the wood and mirror framed my distant form.
I blinked when I saw what looked like one of my poems hovering in mid air over the dresser. “No.” I whispered not sure I was actually seeing what my eyes claimed to be.
The paper gently began to drift down, landing on the floor in response to my word. I debated getting up to retrieve the anomaly knowing full well, I would.
Curiosity generally got the better of me in any situation. Shifting slowly from under my comforter, my feet planted on the floor.
I eyed the paper as I rose, stepping lightly as if it were a wild animal. I controlled my breathing and kept my heart rate under control. “It’s just a piece of paper.
” I told myself as I approached it.
Picking it up gently, it was a poem I wrote some time ago about finding my soulmate.
Juvenile at best but at fifteen, what else is there to write about? The pain began at the base of my spine again crawling upwards.
The hair on my body stood up as I faltered to find my bed and sit. “It’s beautiful.” A deep groan commented.
I struggled to catch my breath clenching my fists in reaction to the pain and his presence. “Make it stop.” Gritted teeth kept the words from fully forming.
The feeling slowly drained becoming more tolerable but not completely gone.
A few deep breaths relaxed my body a bit as I drew my head up to see him standing in front of the window, the moonlight being absorbed into the darkness surrounding him.
His eyes were the blue I remembered but this time, seemed to glow slightly. “You have a talent.” He continued as he moved to sit next to me.
I slid away from him and back into the corner of my bed pressed against the wall. “Caleb.” Was all I could muster through a whisper.
“Mmmmm. You remember me.” He hummed pleased at his own name.
“You’re not someone I can forget.” Anger began to rise when I thought about what he had done to Chris.
“He was already dead, sweetheart. I just relieved him of his earthly duties.” A glistening smile shot at me. “You have questions, I’m sure.” Caleb nodded as a hand motioned for me to ask.
“Why did you kill Chr-“ Before I could finish the sentence he interrupted me.
“We just went over this. He was already dead. I didn’t kill anyone. I simply removed an obstacle.” His tone a bit harsher in annoyance.
I adjusted in my corner, pulling my knees to my chest and covering the exposed skin with a blanket. I felt violated in just his presence.
My mind rattled with questions and demands as I sorted through them trying to make comprehensive words. I was fearful but only because whenever he was near, pain seemed to follow.
“What are you?” A curious voice asked through a shy undertone.
“I think you already know the answer to that.” His voice lowered becoming inhuman once more as he grinned overtly. “I am as old as time, one of the firsts on this earth actually.
I’ve been searching for you for an eternity, my dear.”
“Oh no. I just work for him. Well, more like partner with him as of late.”
It was the second time I heard him say he had ‘been searching for me for an eternity’. There was only one question I could ask in response to that.
“Why? Why me? I’m not in a cult or a Satanist, my dad’s a pastor. I’ve been baptized and dedicated. There are so many more willing out there, so many who would gladly welcome you.
” I rambled in justification that he had chosen wrong.
Caleb took a deep breath and nodded agreeing with my statement. He lifted his palms in openness and a ‘do you no harm’ fashion before turning and moving closer to my position.
I curled back slightly locking my gaze on his face. “You are right on both accounts however, you have this wonderful opportunity called free will.
You choose what you believe and who to let into your life. Your background and religion mean nothing if you choose to give yourself to me.” The audacity astounded me.
“As far as those willing, we see them as pawns. They are weak. The over ripened fruit falls from the tree first and it’s generally not something you want.
It’s the fruit at the top of the tree, the untouched pure fruit that we strive to get. It isn’t decaying or been eaten by pests, it’s perfect.”
“You didn’t answer why.” I sharply responded.
A half grin formed prudently as he folded his hands in his lap. “It’s like a soulmate.” A joke at my expense.
His eyes revealed the search for words he struggled with.
“For a perfect bond, the demon and the claim must be perfectly matched both physically and spiritually, otherwise it’s a weak bond and it can be easily broken. Not ideal.”
My mind tried to make sense of the bond he spoke of and the terminology he used, ‘the claim’. I wasn’t daft and knew what it meant, it just terrified me.
More questions flooded my brain but before any of them reached my lips, he began to speak again. “The bond is almost unbreakable with the perfect claim.
You see, I plant a seed and see how you react. The spike you feel when I’m around, that’s a key.
The way I react when you say my name, your dreams of me, the fight you have against me when I’m in control, it’s a multilayered process to test and see how compatible we are and right now,
darling, this is it.” Fear overwhelmed me. I was compatible with a demon, that shouldn’t be something I was ever close to being. “There is only one way left to seal the bond.”
My eyes widened at his statement. “No.” An immediate reaction to his inadvertent request. “No, absolutely not.” I rejected louder.
A devious smile pressed against his mouth.
His eyes narrowed as he continued to move closer, slowly crawling until hands were pressed on both sides of my hips as I leaned back trying to become part of the wall. “You smell delicious.
Sweet with fear.” Caleb crooned. “I promise I can be gentle, darling. You’ll find euphoria.” His face now inches away from mine.
He smelled like sulfur and rotting death. My hands curled in the blanket gripping it like it was going to save me. My breathing hastened once again until fear turned to anger. “No.
” I muttered once more before uncurling my hands and pressing them against his shoulders to create more of a space between us. “I have free will and the answer is no.
I don’t want your bond or whatever it is called, I don’t want to be claimed, I don’t want anything to do with that world.” My words more direct.
Caleb began crawling backwards grin spreading with each move. “I have time. I have all the time in the world. I can wait but I promise you, you will give in.
” His last words started the pain in my spine once more.
He stood at the foot of my bed as I tensed in pain and gasped for breath just enjoying the view. “I’m never far.
” The distance in his voice immediately dimmed the surge until I laid in the darkness, curled up knowing he would return.