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Avenging Angel

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The bells rang causing all the doors in the front of the school to blast open with screams of excitement for their freedom. School was over, it was the last day of high school for the seniors they were all filled with joy. No more homework, no more teachers, no more shitty school lunches, just a taste of freedom. The day was bright, there were cars parked everywhere trying to pick up their kids, a few adults already cursing each other out for a decent spot in the front. The kids scattered everywhere jumping up and down with exciting thrill. The girls were hugging each other and crying making it seem like they’ll never see each other again. The boys were giving each other pushes and shoves in their weird playful way as they ran to there own vehicles in the parking lot. This is what every high school senior has been waiting for there entire lives, no more school. But for her, it was different.

She was sitting in the classroom starring down motionlessly at her open book. Everyone had escaped fast from this prison, including the teacher. She was the only living thing left in the room. Hearing the loud chanting through the windows, she tilted her head a little to see everyone running wildly outside. She rolled her eyes in annoyance making her way back down to her book. Placing her hand on the top corner of the page forming a small crease to remember where her place is in the reading. Closing the book slowly with her hand resting on top of the cover, she took a long sigh as she closed her eyes for a second in thought.

So, this was it, the end of school, the only place for her to get away during long hours of the day, now taken from her. She knew she couldn’t stay for long, the school wouldn’t be open all day, especially since it’s the last day. What was she going to do next? Her eyes shot opened with a bit a panic and worry. She couldn’t spend months again alone in that dreadful house with her uncle, without any school to keep her occupied, that was her only ticket to catch a break. If she goes back to the house she’d be in a prison, with no escape, and no way out.

She had to stop thinking about this nightmarish situation, it was only causing her more stress then what she intended to feel. She threw open her bag placing all her belonging in it. Sliding off her seat lazily forcing herself to stand, she threw on her strap bag moving it over her shoulder blade. Leaving the room with heavy footsteps, making her way to the front entrance of the school. All the doors were opened wide letting in all the suns shining bright light. She stayed in the shade as she leaned against the hard metal door with her arms crossed, along with one leg crossed over the other. Observing everyone who remained, watching the seniors drive away in their own cars with friends at their side laughing and having a fun time. Wishing she had that life style, not the friend’s part though, she knew she could survive without having to deal with friends, but the car. She needed a car to get away from it all, anything would do, maybe even a Harley she thought. But her aggravating uncle would never let her buy a car, let alone have a car in the first place, he knew her intentions too well.

She’s ran away from that house so many times that she’s even lost count. It wasn’t a home, it was misery.

 

~ring ring~

 

The ringer on her phone startled her, making her lose all thought. It was her uncle, oh boy, she thought what mood of his waits for me today. Her thumb hovered over the decline button, but it probably wouldn’t be the best idea. Rolling her eyes irritatingly, she quickly pressed the green button to hear death.

“Casey, where are you?” Her uncle sounded annoyed by the tone of his voice.

“In the school’s library.” She lied, it was closed sadly, but he didn’t have to know.

“Why are you ther- wait isn’t it the last day of school?” His dumb questions made Casey stick her tongue out at the phone like a child.

“Because there’s AC here, and that’s something you don’t have.” She was desperate for this conversation to end already.

“Hey, you better watch your tone with me missy.” He said in a stern voice. Casey didn’t even bother saying anything yet trying to conserve her energy.

“You better be home soon, or I’ll come get you in my car, that’s something you don’t have.” He sounded harsh, but what else was new. She didn’t answer to his cheap rude remark for about a good five seconds. She felt like someone had just punched her hard in the gut.

“Ok. I’ll be, home soon.” saying the word home made her want to puke up today’s nasty lunch.

“Good.” He said it as simple as that, before the line went dead.

Casey still had the phone to her ear as she starred into nothing, she was hurt emotionally and physically inside and out of her body. Soon she woke up from her coma placing her phone back into her sweaters front pocket. Proceeding her way down sluggishly the small set of stairs in front of the school. Each footstep back to the house was like stepping on rusty nails. Taking her sweet time with every step, there was no rush for the destination she was headed to. Soon passing by the old park, where people loved to spend most of their hours during the day. But Casey preferred to be out at night in this area, sitting on a giant rock starring up at the moon as it’s ghostly light takes over the park’s crystal blue lake. But when could she ever really go out alone without being questioned or stopped? Casey took out her phone once more and checked the time.

“3:35. Just great, you’ll be there before you even know it Casey. Perfect.” She sarcastically said to herself starting to feel a painful throbbing on the side of her temple.

Casey took a moment to stop and sit on the bench near by. The heat was a killer, she was all in black, with a long sleeve sweater along with a couple of layers underneath. Any person with a brain would strip it off fast, but she wouldn’t feel secure. She had too much to hide underneath, if anyone saw her beaten soul they would pity her, it wouldn’t be the best feeling in the world. The roads weren’t as busy like they usually are on Fridays. Casey couldn’t wait for fall, with the smell of crisp apples and spiced pumpkins. Seeing the trees leaves change to the harm colors of red, yellow, and orange, along with a cool breeze. Discarding her thoughts Casey soon stood up having to continue her path.

She was half way there, but she continued her long journey placing her headset in her ears drowning out her thoughts to the sound of heavenly music.

 

 

Sadly, she made it to her block. It was now 4 o’clock, but the sun was still shining bright though the trees. Her neighborhood wasn’t the best, but it was tolerable. The houses were narrow, and close together, with metal fenced gates separating each property line. There wasn’t much room on the sides of each house, or much privacy, but she made do with whatever she could.

Almost making it to the house she looked up from staring at the pavement noticing a big moving truck near the front of her house and the old house next store. Seeing three big men hopping in and out of the back of the truck with giant boxes on the shoulders. Was someone moving in, no one has lived in that old dirty house for years now she thought to herself taking out her earpieces. She stopped in her tracks for a moment to put her music away in her bag, glancing up she saw that the men were almost done anyways. They took in the last item, soon heading back for their truck taking off fast, leaving only the thick black smoke trailing behind them.

Casey continue her walk to the front gate of the house unlatching it to make her way in then locking it again from behind. She turned slowly about to make her way to the front door, suddenly frozen in her tracks as the new next neighbor starred at her with the door slightly cracked opened. It was obviously a man, and he looked tall. She couldn’t make out his face at all though, it was a bit too far away to see any major detail, she’d have to get closer. But there was no way she wasn’t going to do that.

Casey thought of saying hello maybe to end this horrible awkwardness and feeling of being starred up and down at from afar. She never understood why people were always like this towards her, looking at her like she was a freak. On second thought, she might pass on the whole saying hello can I help you with something sir is there a reason why you keep staring me down. This man did not move from his spot, his hard glare towards her made him appear to be a crazy serial killer. For a second she pictured this man standing in the corner of her room ready to attack at any given moment, but she couldn’t see him completely which made it harder to have a complete image. This was so idiotic she thought to herself, she was just overthinking things as usual. Feeling a bit stupid standing there she quickly looked down trying to pretend she never spotted him. Casey retrieved her phone pretending to make a call to someone.

Then suddenly the door slammed shut fast startling her. It caused her body to shake a little out of place, she wasn’t expecting that at all.

“That was weird.” She whispered to herself causing one of her brows to curve up a little in confusion. Questions started to pile up overwhelming her brain.

Maybe he was shy, or just plain creepy. She didn’t want to judge a person she’s never met before, even though she did get a little glimpse of him, but not enough though. Turning around fully to head for the front door she inserted the key, taking in a deep breath before turning it completely she prayed everything goes smooth for her, for once. She entered, only to hear the soft click of the door fully closing behind her.

She was finally inside the house, taking a brisk look to her left. The bright light of the TV caught her eyes, the curtains weren’t fully open which made the room a bit dark. The hunting channel was on, playing at a normal volume. Noticing her uncle was in the recliner seat with a beer in his hand holding it with a loose grip. Thinking to herself, maybe he was asleep. She really hoped he was, so she wouldn’t have to be bothered by him too much for the rest of the day. Holding her bag with one hand tightly against her body trying not to make any noise. She carefully walked next to him with light footsteps just to make sure he was actually sleeping. She looked over carefully holding her breath desperately trying not to make a sound. Then a loud snore erupted from his mouth, making Casey jump back a little, he was asleep.

She was relieved, she turned around making her way up the stairs avoiding every creaky part on the wooden staircase as possible. Making her way to the top she turned the corner to the end of the hall where her door was. Turning the knob fast slipping her way inside checking behind her out of habit. He may be asleep, but she still had to lock the door every night.

Casey spun around leaning her back against her old rickety door, she stared at her room aimlessly. The color of her was violet, with a small desk against the wall to do her drawings, along with a nice sized bed and a dresser. The room was a decent size for someone her age of being seventeen, but she deserved better. She enjoyed having two nice big windows though, one to see the front yard, and the other one was on the side of the house. She was able to see more of the next store neighbor’s home completely. The houses were close together letting her see everything inside the house. But no one ever lived in the old house next door for years, until now.

Sliding her bag off her shoulders was a relief, placing it next to her bed. She crawled her way over the mattress lying flat as a starfish. Letting out a long painful sigh, then taking in a heavy breath as she closed her eyes. It was nice just to lay there and not do anything. The house was so quiet and peaceful, for now, she thought feeling a little worried.

 

 

Her eyes slowly opened from her little cat nap. Reaching for her phone on the wooden table next to the lamp to check the time. It was almost ten, making a short sigh knowing she definitely won’t be able to sleep tonight now. Suddenly her bladder started to hurt causing her a sharp pain, she had to use the bathroom. Damn, it was just down the hall, in order to get there she had to make it past her uncles’ room. Rolling off the bed walking sluggishly to her door and carefully unlocked it, she braced herself. Opening it with a slight crack trying to take a quick peek down hallway. Her uncle’s door was closed, he must of moved from the couch to the bed and pasted out again. The coast was clear.

“Thank goodness.” She whispered softly to herself at ease.

Opening her door a smidge wider she tip toed her way to the bathroom. She locked the door and headed for the toilet. What a feeling of relief, she thought she was going to explode. Finishing up her business she headed for the sink to wash up a bit, she might as well brush her teeth too while she was at it. Drying herself off with the towel she finally finished.

She looked in the mirror at her reflection, she wondered if she looked like her mother. She didn’t understand why this thought popped in her head, it mostly only seems to upset her making her feel numb. What a life she could’ve had if only her uncle had gotten the heart attack in the end and not her father, or even her mother. Life would have been too perfect, but nothing in this curl world is perfect. Why her, why did god choose this young woman to suffer, what did she do to deserves this madness, for what purpose? Remembering as a child late at night she would pray for an angel to come save her, but there never was an angel to ascent from heaven to take her to a better place. She believed that the best is yet to come. Instead she got the devil, Casey lost faith that day in god, her angel never came. It never answered her letters she left until her pillow as an infant, she wrote Dear God, but now all she could ever write was Dear Agony.

Casey looked away from her reflection in despair turning to the door, placing her hand on the knob, shutting the light off, and letting herself out into the hall. Her eyes shot up seeing her uncle come out of his room the same time as her. Shit.

“Hey Casey-Bear, why didn’t you wake me when you got home, we could’ve gotten something to eat.” He said in sweet-sounding voice as he rubbed his left eye. She knew right away something was off. He only acts in this certain manner when he wants something from her, and she didn’t want to know what.

“That’s ok, I’m not that hungry anyways.” She said putting on a little fake smile. She was starving, all she had was that shitty spaghetti and meatballs from the school’s cafeteria. You’d think they’d have something better to eat for the last day of school.

“Ah, so no more school you finally did it! Now you don’t have to work on boring papers anymore, and hey you can spend more time with me now.” His demeanor was starting to scare her a little, where was this going.

“Ye- yeah, um, I- I was actually thinking maybe- “before she could finish her sentence, her uncle took both his hands and rested them heavily on her shoulders. He towered over her starring deep in her eyes, this frighten her making a body shake a little out of place.

“You weren’t thinking about leaving me again Casey. Right?” He said in a lower tone eyeing her.

“No. I just- “she couldn’t finish her whispery sentence, she tilted her head down. John took his hand grabbing her jaw and lifting it up to meet eye contact again.

“No matter where you ever run off to again, believe me when I tell you this, I will hunt you down, and I will find you Casey.” His voice sounded evil and possessive. She tried her best to hold back her tears.

“Your mine.” He stated to her. Casey said nothing, just giving a simple slight nod. His thick brows were knitted together studying her intensely.

“Yes. I know.” She said in defeat.

“Ok.” He murmured letting go of her jaw. Finally, his repulsive hand was off her already. She took one small step back to have a little bit more space.

“Wanna sleep with me tonight Casey-Bear, like old times just like we use to?” His question made Casey want to scream for help.

“I, um, think it would better if I, slept in my own bed. I’m feeling a little sick and I wouldn’t want to give it to you.” She bit her tongue hoping he would just say ok and she could scramble back into her room.

He crossed his arms leering her down. He could’ve just pick her up and dragged her to his room, she weighed as much as nothing. Casey hoped that wasn’t going happen. John placed one of his giant hands on the side of her head feeling her silky soft hair. Casey didn’t move a muscle.

“Alright. Next time. I got work in the morning anyways, goodnight.” He said taking away his hand and just as that he went back into his room shutting the door behind him. She hurried to her room shutting it silently behind her locking it without a second thought. She got off easy.

Her cheeks became red as a chili pepper holding her hand over her mouth desperately trying to hold back her painful screams. Tears started to fall and swell up her face. Her knees fell to the floor making her head fall forward. She rocked back and forth moving her hands over her neck and hair. Was she really stuck here in this hell-hole for the rest of her life? She thought to herself madly wondering what was going to become of her the next day, or week, or even years. She had to come up with something, anything, but she didn’t have much money to go anywhere. Her uncle only gave her 10 bucks sometimes for school when he felt like it, she tried to save up as much as she could, it didn’t last long though. She didn’t have much left to run away again, she’d probably go hungry in the first couple of hours. It was hopeless she thought in anguish.

Casey frantically got up grabbing her phone and black sweater struggling to put it on as the tears still fell. She opened her front window as wide as possible and climbed her way out making it to the roof top.

This was where she went to just be alone with her thoughts and along with a little bit of freedom. Yes, it was dangerous, but it wasn’t as dangerous as what’s inside lurking the house. Pushing her butt to the top she finally sat leaning her back against the red bricked chimney. The roof top wasn’t too steep for her to go sliding off, it was just right. From there she would see everyone’s homes, backyards, and even the giant park she passed by walking home early she was able to see everything. It was nice to get away from her uncles’ foul stench of beer escaping from his mouth. Wiping away her tears she took deep breathes trying to calm down. She took out her phone it was now 11 o’clock, the crescent moon lingered over the houses shining its milky white bright light. What a beautiful night to be out in this cool breeze.

“I gotta get out of here. Gotta get out of Skid Row.” She said aloud, she knew it wasn’t anything like the real Skid Row but it sure as hell felt like it.

Tucking her knees together and holding them tightly in place. She made a short sigh looking up.

“Alright. I’m gonna give it one last shot with you.” She said shedding a single tear.

“Give me a sign. Don’t leave me to die here, find me a savior.” She whispered softly towards the night sky.

She continued to glared up at the clear skies soon connecting the stars, and escaping from reality.

He observed her features from afar as he gradually walked towards the window. Moving the curtain ever so slightly, he followed her gaze towards the night sky.

Chapter Text

~BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP~

“Shut up.” She grunted at the displeasing sound, facing down against her pillow. Casey forgot to shut off her alarm clock last night. Smacking the palm of her hand around on the table searching for the clock. It was now silent again, taking a quick glance at the time it was around 8 o’clock. It was now Saturday with another day of bright clear blue skies. She could hear water running from the shower in the bathroom down the hall. Her uncle was up. This is going to be a long day she thought.

Casey was getting dressed putting on once again her many layers of shirts. Topping it off with her ripped black jean jacket, and she placed her phone in her pocket. She then slid on her dark red burgundy Doc Martens. Her stomach started to rumble, she was hungry. Heading for the door she turned the knob and braced herself as she walked to the stair case. Holding onto the wooden railing slowly gliding her way down to the bottom of the staircase as swiftly as possible. She made her way to the old outdated kitchen starring it down feeling a little blue. Most families get to smell the morning goodness of bacon and eggs, along with the sweet aroma of freshly squeezed orange juice. What a treat she thought. She got nothing sadly, and there was nothing in this kitchen to make any type of decent meal. Taking quick paces to the fridge she opened it, there had to be something left. Just some old Chinese takeout, and a few ripped bananas. Mostly filled with beer bottles, and most of that was gone too. If anything, she leaned in forward grabbing one of the bananas from the back. Raising herself back up she closed the fridge, her shot up seeing her uncle emerge from around the corner. He looked at her in surprise.

“Oh, I didn’t know you were up.” He paused for a moment trying to fix his belt.

“Why are you up so early anyways?” He asked.

“My alarm clock woke me. I forgot to shut it off.” Casey said turning around to grab a napkin from the counter.

Her uncle continued to fix himself up and sat down on one of the chairs throwing on his work boots. Casey just stood there emotionlessly looking down at her food.

“Listen I was called in to work late, so I won’t be back until later on tonight.” He said as he walked with heavy footsteps towards the fridge.

Pushing Casey out the way with his big frame, she immediately backed up. He opened it fast taking one of the beers out from the side of the door. Instantly realizing it was empty, there was nothing left.

“Son of a bitch.” He shouted slamming shut the fridge.

Casey just continued to stare down at the tilde floor silently. She was just waiting for him to leave the house already so she could have the whole day to herself. Her uncle took at long sign in annoyance reaching in his pocket for something.

“I need you to go out today, and get more beer, and whatever else.” He said taking out his wallet as he walked towards her.

Casey immediately looked up and backed away a little to have a little more space. Handing her a crisp one-hundred-dollar bill. Casey was about to reach out and grab it until John flicked it back before she could even take it.

“Then come straight back.” His tone and aggressive expression were serious as he eyed her.

“But..., I’m only 17 remember?” She asked rolling her eyes slightly up by his stupidity.

“And? Go to Tony’s place on the corner he’ll know it’s for me and bring your backpack.” He said handing her the money finally.

Finishing himself up grabbing his keys and phone he headed for the door.

“I’ll be back. Don’t get any ideas.” Were his last words as he exited the house.
She could hear the old pickup truck screech as it drove away. Casey looked down at the money in her hands.

“So, you have money for beer. Hmph.” She said talking to herself making a scrunched-up face. She felt disgusted by him.

At least she had the whole day to herself though, what a relief. Casey quickly jogged up the stairs into her room retrieving her backpack. Snatching up her keys, wallet, and book as she threw it into the backpack then tossed it over her shoulders. Rushing back down the stairs to the front door as ate her banana. Unbolted the heavy wooden door to exit. Closing the door from behind, the cool air woke her up completely.

 

 

Making her way to the front gate with both her hands loosely gripping the straps on her shoulders. She turned the corner closing the gate which made a loud clanking sound. Moving forward she abruptly heard a hammer pounding next store. She instantly peered up to see a man on the roof top repairing whatever seemed to be damaged. There was a giant latter leaning against the house, along with a black tool box placed beside it on a napkin or some type of white fabric. She observed this as she continued her walk facing forward once again.

He took a deep breath as he sat up straight, and removed his dark green cap. Placing his hand in his pocket and retrieved his yellow cloth. He turned his neck slightly and wiped it along with his head. Glancing at the girl walking down the street, noticing she was all in long sleeves. He thought nothing much of it, throwing his cap back on and continued his work.

Casey sat at the bus stop waiting for the right bus to come. No one else was around at the moment, which was good for her she thought at ease. Hearing the loud rumbling noise from down the street she stood up instantly as she glanced down the road. The bus was approaching as it slowly merged its way next to the curb. The doors opened wide, making her way in as she paid the fee. There were some people starring at her every movement and some who just didn’t care. The bus wasn’t the cleanest, but what did she expect when she must take this type of transportation. Casey took the seat closes to the door making her escape easier. She kept to herself for the time being.

“Your destination has arrived. Please stand clear of the bus.”

Casey could feel the bus come to a complete hard stop as it lowered itself slightly. The doors reopened as she made her way out fast, noticing more people coming aboard. She was now at the shopping center, there were all types of stores. Clothing stores, salons, bookstores, restaurants, diners, even a GameStop. Cars were parked everywhere, there was never a day when it was empty. Casey looked around deciding where to go first, she could get the beer later she thought. But for now, she just wanted to see what else was in store, maybe even something on sale. Without any more delay she strolled her way around the shopping area.

After a good solid three and a half hours of walking into all the different types stores, she didn’t get much. She bought a new pair of headphones, with a new sketch book, along with two shirts and a black dress. She didn’t why she bought the dress, she knew she could never wear it, especially with her uncle always lingering around the house drunk. It was more like an impose buy she guessed. She just liked the sheer long sleeves on it and its dark velvety black bottom part. It would probably just sit in her closet forever collecting dust mites, and moths. She stopped to sit on a bench and shoved all her items at the bottom of the backpack trying to make as much room as possible for when she had to collect the beer.

Casey’s stomach starred to growl, and her throat started to feel a little parched. She needed food. Just remembering she didn’t eat anything today really, besides that old banana from this morning. She stood up to find some type of fast food eatery place.

“Pizza.” She whispered to herself as she quickly walked towards its front door.

Opening the door to hear a small bell ring above her head as she entered. Feeling a little awkward as she walked to the cashier, she hasn’t done this in years, being able to order something that she wanted to get for once. Her uncle always picked what food he wanted to eat and never bothered to ask her what she wanted to eat for once. Plus, he didn’t know how to cook for the life of him.

“What can I get ya?” The man said bringing Casey back to the reality.

She got stumbled for a second after being put on the spot for what type of pizza to order. There were too many options to choose from, so she just went basic.

“I’ll take two slices to go.” Casey said to the man over the counter.

“Plain?” He asks grabbing the wooden peel. Casey forgot to say what type.

“Um, one plain, and one chicken, and a water. That’s it.” She said pointing to the specific slices she wanted.

Watching the man slide the two slices over the peel and then being tossed into the oven. Casey looked towards the window, the sun was starting to set, but it was still bright out though. She didn’t want to pick up the beer, even though it was just down the street from the shopping center.

“That’ll be cash, or credit ma’am?” He said making his way back towards the cash register.

“Oh yes, um, cash.” She said shaking her head just remembering she had to pay.

“5.50 please.” He said turning to look at her once again waiting patiently.

“Here.” She said handing him the exact amount. Leaving a three-dollar tip in the plastic jar.

“Thanks, hun.” He said giving her smile. He turned around to fetch the pizza from the oven.

It must’ve been nice to work and get payed. Some people might say otherwise towards that remark. Casey’s never had a job, or any type of experience what so ever. But if she had the chance to ever try it out, she would take that offer in a heartbeat. Just to get her foot through the door a little. College wasn’t much of an option right now considering she didn’t have the money to pay for it, and her uncle definitely wouldn’t loan her anything. She was basically stuck with nothing; her life would be a waste if she didn’t do anything with it. School was the only place to get away from him, but now that’s over and done with unfortunately. At least work would replace the hours she’d had lost for when being in school.

“Have a nice day.” The man spoke a loudly handing her the small pizza box along with the water bottle.

Casey simply nodded at him leaving a small smile as she looked downward feeling meek. She exited the eatery. Opening the box taking out the first plain slice and devoured it. The crunchy flowery bread along with the creamy deliciousness of the sauce and the heat from the melt cheese was divine. She savored ever piece of that one measly pizza.

Finishing everything up fast she started to drink her water to wash it down. She was almost at Tony’s beer and liquor store on the corner. Gross men lingered outside the store doing absolutely nothing with their lives. Casey didn’t look at them once as she made her way in the front entrance. The man at the front counter was on a step stool, busy stocking up the whiskey on top shelf. It was probably the old aged whiskeys, that cast way too much money. Casey went to the back of the store and grabbed the case of beer. She walked her way back to the front register carefully setting the beer down. The man still didn’t turn around. She rolled her eyes at the man, she couldn’t stand him, he was just another fat drinking buddy for her uncle. Or maybe he just used him for the discount on the beer.

“Hello Tony.” She said emotionlessly. The man turned around to see who it was, making his way off the step stool.

“I’m assuming these aren’t for you right?” He asked placing the pen next to his hand over his ear.

“Nope. It’s just for my uncle, he sent me here to pick it up.” Casey said it simply. Hoping she can just buy it without any problems. If she didn’t bring this beer back to the house, he’d most likely lose it and go crazy on her, and she didn’t want that to happen.

“Well I’m not supposed to sell this to anyone underage, but...” he paused for a moment to think and took a long sigh.

“If it’s for my bud then I guess I could do it. You’re not a snitch are ya?” He asked eyeing her.

“No. How much?” She said pulling out her wallet. The man was pressing the bottoms on the old outdated cash register.

“16.49 is your total.” He said looking back at her. She handed him a twenty. The man shoved it in and gave her the change. He looked her up and down like a perv. Casey tried to ignore this. She didn’t bother to look or acknowledge his gross action.

“You know we except tips here.” He said with a smirk on his face.

“Ha, ha. Very funny.” She said sarcastically to him grabbing the black bag with the beer inside. She made her way to the exit. Then something caught her eye on the wooden board on the wall. It was a help wanted sign for the old diner near the city, it wasn’t that far from her. There was a number and all the information on the paper. Casey looked to see if the man was watching her, he was back on his step stool again. Casey bit her lower lip debating whether or not she should take the flyer. Screw it she thought, she ripped it off the rusty thumbtack, folding it into fours shoving it into her jackets pocket. She didn’t even understand why she ripped it off in the first place, something in the back of her mind just told her to. Casey looked outside the window, all those men were still out there. Then she got an idea.

“Hey Tony, you got a bunch of men hanging out in front of your place again.” She spoke loudly pointing her thumb to the direction of the men.

“Those bastards!” He shouted climbing down the step-stool, reaching under the counter for his metal bat. Casey tried not to smirk at this.

“I tell those fuckers every day to not hang out in front of the liquor store!” He yelled loudly with his cigarette barely hung onto him lips. He was waving the bat around like a crazy Italian man as he walked to the door. Casey took the liberty of holding open the door nice and wide for him.

“Aye aye get out of here before I beat all your dumb ass!” He was running after them like a mad man. The men scattered fast seeing his weapon. Casey walked out easily with another case of beer she placed in the bag. He had no camera system, plus serves him right for selling a teenage girl alcohol. She didn’t want to come back for more beer in a long time. She walked back to the bus station with a small smirk on her face.

 

 

Soon making a few more extra stops at the tiny food markets buying fruits, chips, anything to munch on. She was finally finished for the day. Casey was holding at least five bags of groceries as she walked back to the bus stop. Someone like her shouldn’t have to do things like this and struggle her way back home. Taking a seat on bus she kept her belonging close to her body. Her destination was approaching fast just up the street. Moving her hand to glance out the window seeing her block. The bus came to a complete stop letting Casey leave through the exit.

Catching her balance as she almost toppled over from getting off. The bus drove off, she was back where she started. The day went fast, she just realized she never even checked the time. The sun was setting leaving the skies colors orange and yellow. There was no sense in checking the time now, she was almost at the house.
Her feet and back started to ache a little from all the weight, she walked the rest of the way. Making it to the front, her expression was bland looking towards the house she desperately didn’t want to enter again. Reaching her full hand out with the plastic bags dangling getting in the way causing her to fight trying to open the latch on the gate. She grunted narrowing her eyes in frustration, and exhaustion.

“Here.” A man spoke softly next to her ear unlatching the gate for her.

Casey looked up in surprise her body shook out of place as she then glanced back down. She backed up an inch feeling awkward that someone stopped to actually help her. She must have looked so stupid trying to open a stupid gate she thought. Her eyes were immediately drawn to his yellowish cloth wrapped around his hand as he slightly pushed it open for her.

“Oh, um, thank you.” The corner of her mouth smiled rather sweetly looking down feeling a bit timid.

The man’s face was tilting downward, his cap was covering most of his features. She couldn’t see any type of expression on his face. The man merely nodded his head. She made her way in and turned around to say thank you one last time. He wasn’t there, she turned her head to see the man walking down the street with both his hands behind his back. Casey just shrugged, she kicked the gate completely closed.

Casey made it into the house and raced to the kitchen plopping all the bags down on the counter. Shaking her hands and arms out from the heavy loads she was carrying. Throwing the beer cases in the fridge and placing the fruits and vegetables in the bottom drawer.

Unexpectedly she heard a loud rattling and clanking sound that came from upstairs. Was someone in the house she thought? It couldn’t have been her uncle, unless he got back early. Damn, she thought annoyed. She walked up the stairs to investigate. The bathroom door was opened with the light on. Casey could hear the turning of some type of tool and someone was hitting on the metal pipes. Turning the corner cautiously walking to the bathroom door as she sneaked a peek. Her uncles back was laying on the floor with tools in his hands. He seemed to be trying to fix the pipes under the sink. He looked over his fat stomach seeing who was at the door.

“Did you get it?” He asked continuing his work.

“Yes. I thought you were working late.” She asked hoping maybe he would leave again.

“I am. I’m on break, came back because I forgot to fix this old piece of shit sink. It was having problems this morning.” He said as he wrestled to sit up.

Casey just watched by the corner of the door placing her face slightly against it.

“I might call this place in town that fixes problems like this.” He said taking out his phone as he stood back up. John was looking up the number to make an appointment, placing it on his ear he headed out the bathroom traveling back down to the kitchen.

Casey headed to her room throwing her backpack on the bed. She sat next to it as she crossed her legs. Unzipping the bag to see if she still had everything. Taking out her wallet and keys setting them down on the table next to her. Unexpectedly seeing a large presence opening the door and started to enter her room. She forgot to close her door all the way, most importantly she forgot to lock it.

“I called, and they got someone to come over tomorrow around three.” He said taking a sip from his beer bottle. Casey simply nodded at what he said.

“And I’m gonna need you to stay and answer the door. “

“Why can’t you do it?” She asked feeling annoyed.

“Cuz I’m not gonna be here tomorrow. So, you watch the man and make sure he does it right. I’m going out with the guys.” He said fiddling with the door knob.

It irks Casey to think that she must deal with this now. He should be doing this shit she thought.

“What do I even say the man?” She asked shaking her head looking puzzled.

“Just show him to the bathroom and say the sink isn’t working right. See not that hard stupid.” He said sarcastically waving his arms out as he headed out the door.

Casey’s blood started to boil, wanting to throw something at his head for making her feel dumb. She watched him leave completely out the door, hearing his footsteps leave through the front door. Casey shot up on her two-feet slamming the door shut and locking it. Her head started to hurt, she just felt tired and weak. Returning to sit in her bed she grabbed the backpack shaking everything out and tossed it across the room. Checking out all the stuff she bought, Casey took the shirts and hung them up on the hangers. Taking the dress to the closet as well, she neatly settled it in a box on the floor of the closet. Casey rather hide it away then hang it up with everything else, god forbid her uncle ever spotted it. Reaching towards the top of the window to unlock it, pushing it up leaving it a crack open. She took off her own jacket, tossing it on the chair feeling a relief of coolness. Closing the creaky closet door, she jumps on top of her bed grabbing the new headphones she got from GameStop. Tearing open the box she pulled them out along with her phone and plugged it in. Sliding it over her hears she leaned back to completely to lay flat on the bed. Taking her small blanket resting it over her torso. Pressing play on her music list she started to calm down feeling queasy and tired.

She shut her eyes. The cool breeze felt calming. Casey eased up for the next long day.

Chapter Text

The old clock on her desk showed 3:26. The man was supposed to come at 3 o’clock, but these guys never come on time anyways. Why make an appointment if they never follow through on it, she thought? It’s like waiting in the doctor’s office just for a simple 15-minute checkup, but you wind up sitting there for two hours. Sitting at her desk against the wall resting her head on the palm on her hand. She had her sketchbook fully opened and laid out as she drew random faces of people she saw from yesterday’s trip. Her memory is all she had left; she has drawn her father’s face a few times before in her older sketchbooks trying to get the complete picture. It was difficult to remember someone who passed away just when she was so young.

 

Casey leaned back in her chair signing as she flicked her pencil over the book. It’s been such a long day sitting around the house doing absolutely nothing, but just waiting for this person to come and fix the stupid sink. At least her uncle was out and away from her for the whole day. She stood up pacing herself to the front window. Unlocking it as she pushed it all the way up to get some type of fresh air. Immediately hearing the birds and cars passing by. Casey crossed her arms as she leaned her body out forward on the window’s wooden ledge. Observing the neighborhood and the bright green trees rustling softly in the light breeze. She watched three little kids playing in the street on their little scooters and tiny bicycles. She could hear their laughter’s and shouts at one another all in good fun. A small smile appeared in the corner of her mouth as she watches the small children. They had no idea how good they had it she thought while slowly shaking her head.

 

~ Beep Beep ~

 

Casey instantly turned her head to the loud horn. The kids stopped and did the same. They ran back onto the sidewalk with all their gear, moving out of the way so the driver can pass through. It was a giant white van making his way near the front of her house. Along the side of the van was in big blue letters spelling “The Downtown Plumbers.” The van breaks screeched an ear-piercing sound that indicated they needed to be changed. The van was then put in park at the front. Casey already knew who it was, and they were finally here. She ducked her head back inside grabbing her jacket from her bed and throwing it on. She could already hear the vans back doors slamming shut. The plumber was emerging to the front porch with heavy footsteps.

 

~ Ding Dong ~

 

It only rang once she noticed. She descent down the stairs, grazing her hand lightly against the railing as she glided down. Reaching out to the lock on the door she unlatched it and turned the knob. Her eyes immediately shot up at the tall man with his big blue eyes making her lose all focus for a second.

 

“Hello. Someone called for a plumber?” His voice was deep. Hearing a bit of an accent escaping from his lips. It took Casey a moment to regain her consciousness.

 

“Oh, um, yeah. Come in.” She said shaking her head just remembering. Gesturing her arm out to invite him in. The man took his time making his way in, almost as if he was being cautious.

 

“Your..., late.” She said calmly. She promised herself she wasn’t going to say anything, but she couldn’t help herself.

 

“Yes. Um, sorry, busy day. Traffic.” He said turning around to face her as he grazed his hand over the small follicles of hair on the top of his head. He looked back down though quickly almost as if he was trying to avoid any more conversation, or maybe he just felt uncomfortable being in other people’s houses she thought. Observing the man’s clothing, he wore a navy-blue long sleeve shirt with the logo patched on the side of his chest. Along with just plain dark jeans and boots. A very heavy looking belt with tools and a walkie-talkie layer around his waist. Strange why would he have a walkie, it’s not like he’s a cop on patrol. In his hand held a giant toolbox. He waited for her to say something.

 

“The problem is the sink; it isn’t working right. It’s., I’m assuming, broken.” She said struggling to explain something she had no idea about as she shrugged her shoulders.

 

Gesturing her hands in a confusing circular motion trying to come up with the correct words. Casey didn’t know what else to say she didn’t know exactly what was wrong with it. Plus, if anyone broke it, the culprit would most definitely be her uncle.

 

“I honestly don’t even know why it stopped working in the first place. I’m pretty sure my uncle broke it.” Casey said.

 

The man narrowed his brows together at her as he listened, taking in a deep breath. Casey thought he looked annoyed for a second trying to process her wording.

 

“Ok. Lead the way.” He said simply.

 

Casey said nothing else at this point and headed towards the staircase. He stepped aside letting her pass as he followed her from behind. Each step he took was heavy and made the old wood creek loudly, making it sound like an old haunted house. Reaching to the top she took a quick glance behind her to see if he was following. She flicked the bathroom light switch on.

 

Casey stopped and turned around in front of the opened door. The man also stopped dead in his tracks as soon as she did. He looked in the bathroom and his body started to cringe a little out of place.

 

“Is.., there something wrong?” Casey asked as she slightly squinted her eyes and tilted her head to the side.

 

“Your bathroom, it’s...” he paused starring at it in discuss. Casey waited for him to finish his odd sentence. She knew the bathroom wasn’t the best, and it was old. But the house was built in the 1950s, so what would you expect it to look like? The Queen of England’s powder room, I think not. Casey mental laughed at her own stupid little joke.

 

“Yeah?” She said silently leaning against the wall across from the bathroom.

 

“Dirty.” He said in a serious tone.

 

His brows were still knitted together tightly. Casey rolled her eyes at his remark. She wasn’t paying him to tell her how dirty the bathroom is, and it wasn’t even that messy. He put his toolbox on the tiled floor. Taking out a pair of white gloves. He blew into the first one making it easier for his hand to slide in. Casey just watched out of curiosity, she’s never seen any plumber put on white gloves before, just to fix a broken pipe.

 

“You getting ready for surgery doctor?” She asked with a small smirk.

 

He said nothing. Not even a look or a giggle, or even a little snort, nothing. This man is like the terminator she thought, he’s on a top mission, to fix the sink. So serious. He got on one knee and started his work.

 

“OK. So, I’ll be in the next room.” She said trying to get some type of acknowledgement. He still didn’t pay any attention.

 

“Right here.” She said pointing her thumb down the hall. At this point she didn’t even bother trying to get his attention. Her arm dropped dead on her thigh.

 

“Call if you need anything.” She said with a tiresome voice as she walked to the end of the hall to her room.

 

“Thank you.” The man said softly. Casey looked back but kept walking to her room. She left the door open though. Taking a seat at her desk continuing her drawings.

 

 

Two Hours Later

 

Casey was on the floor leaning her back against the bed. She held her knees tightly together with her book resting on top of her legs. Wondering when the man was going to finish already. It was getting late now; she wasn’t sure when her uncle would exactly come home. He didn’t really say, but at least she had the house to herself. Casey closed her book, keeping it in her hands as she stood up. It’s been a long time now maybe I should go ask what’s happening she thought. It was so quiet, you would think no one else is here except for her. Strolling out of her room she headed towards the bathroom. The door was closed, that’s odd. Using her one finger knuckle to knock on the door. The door opened immediately.

 

“Yes?” He asked calmly.

 

“I.. uh.. just wanted to know how everything is going. I mean it’s almost been two hours.” Casey wondered how much longer it would take. Waiting for his response, he opened the door wider coming out more as his eyes kept making their way down to her hands.

 

“Your book. Is that Silence Of The Lambs?” He asked with a serious, and yet curious tone.

 

Casey’s eyes widen for a moment, then shot down at the book in her hands. She flipped it around to show the front cover.

 

“Oh, yeah. It’s one of my favorites. I mean everything about it- it’s just great.” Casey said slightly grinning and shaking her head a bit feeling dumb for liking such a book.

 

“Mine too.” He said taking off his glasses and cleaning them. Casey was a bit shocked to hear that, most people she met in her life had no idea or even heard of the story Silence Of The Lambs. Most people always thought she was a complete weirdo in high school, all because she kept to herself most days. She was different from the rest.

 

“A story of beauty, lust, religious sacrifices, slaughtering of the pure and innocent, all done by one intelligent man. Manipulative and yet charming to the people he encounters. Being conflicted and brutal, but in the end an alluring piece of art.” The man said putting his glasses back on.

 

Casey felt stumped for a second trying to come up with something to say. He obviously thought a lot more about this book and went even deeper than she ever would.

 

“Have you ever seen the movie?” She asked.

 

“No.” He said simply.

 

“Oh, well it’s really good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who hasn’t.” She said. There was silence for a moment in the air. The man started to scratch his scalp and move a little out of place.

 

“You, uh…, your shirt you got something on it.” He said pointing his finger then quickly dropping it to his thigh. He looked up trying to avoid any type of eye contact as he took a deep breath. Shoving his hand in his side pocket, with the other hand rubbing his eyes underneath his glasses.

 

“Oh, yeah, its fine though no worries.” She said casually brushing it off.

 

For a moment the man took another heavy breath. Exhaling, his face became a bit serious, snapping him back into his original focus mode. His whole demeanor changed instantly.

 

“My work is done.” He said heading into the bathroom gathering his tools frantically together tossing them back in all messy. He grabbed his rags shoving them in his back pockets. Casey just watched feeling a little awkward and turned off by the man’s odds behavior. She didn’t understand why this man’s mood just switch to off mode. Seeing him lock his metal case on the bathroom counter then finally picking it up.

 

“Your bill will be delivered to you, or your spouse during the following week.” He said brushing pass her out the bathroom door.

 

Casey backed up a bit trying not to get knocked over.

 

“Oh, well actually it’s just me and my uncle here.” She said correcting him feeling uncomfortable.

 

He ignored her and sped fast down the staircase.

 

“Yes, yes I know I’m leaving!” He whispered harshly through his teeth to himself.

 

Casey heard something from him but couldn’t make out what, as she turned the corner from the top of the stairs.

 

“Hey wait! Here!” She shouted as she started to jog down the staircase to meet up with him.

 

His hand was on the knob of the door with his yellow cloth laying over and around it. He slowly turned his head only to see her with his peripheral vision. Casey reached into her pocket trying to pull something out. He turned a little more to face her with his brows knitted together wondering what she was trying to do. Then noticing her take out some money from her what seems to be an endless pocket.

 

“No. Thank you.” He said shaking his free hand back-and-forth refusing to except it.

 

“No really, here I insist.” Casey extended her arm further out to him. She reached into her pocket once more. Then suddenly her help wanted paper felled out of her pocket, instantly dropping on the floor. The man quickly bent down to retrieve it for her as she was doing the same.

 

“Oh, I’m sorry.” He said softly almost knocking into her small frame. There eyes made contact for a moment. Her eyes were dark, filled with black beauty. His eyes were light, with a intense strong feeling. It quickly disconnected as they both looked down.

 

“That’s ok.” She said shrugging her shoulders nonchalantly. He looked at the paper for a moment with the big red words popping out. Then hands it back to her. They both stood back up.

 

“I’ve been there once.” He said.

 

Casey’s face looked confused for a moment wondering what he was talking about. Then it registered in her brain. She opened the flyer a little more to get the full picture.

“Oh, how is it there?” She asked.

 

“Food wise?” He asked with one brow raised from his glasses.

 

“Uh, yeah, sure why not.” She said.

 

“Greasy-” He paused for a moment thinking deeply about this.

 

“Oily.” Dennis shrugged, lost and out of words.

 

Casey smiled a bit seeing he looked stumbled. Seeing he had big words to say for Silence Of The Lambs but not for simple food at a dinner. She mentally laughed at that thought.

 

“Well I might, maybe, want to consider finding a job.” She felt slow in her word.

 

“Someone like you shouldn’t have to work.” He said softly. Casey didn’t say anything. Was that considered a good or a bad thing he just said she thought. His head looked back down, slowly leading up to the door.

 

“Have a nice day miss.” He said turning and opening the door.

 

“Casey. My name is Casey.” She said taking two small steps forward. He stopped in his tracks for a second with his body being halfway out the door.

 

“I never got yours.” She said curiously. The man’s head slightly turned, only seeing the tip of this dark glass.

 

“Dennis.” He said taking a moment to let it sink in. He continued to exit and shut the door behind him.

 

What an odd man she thought, but hey, who was she to judge anyone. She headed back up the stairs to her room. Walking past the bathroom she stopped in her path and backed up to the front of the door. Sticking her head in the bathroom catching the scent of a hint of bleach.

 

Did he clean the bathroom?

Chapter Text

Finally finishing a long day of work, dropping off the van at the warehouse locking everything up for the night. Slamming the gates shut leaving only the loud sounds of clanking metal behind. Putting the keys on the boss’s desks, he finally escaped the building. Walking to his car parked down the street. He unlocked the trunk and threw his bags of tools and other belongings in the back, tying everything tightly together in place. Slamming his trunk making his way into his car getting ready to take off. He started to drive making his way back home. He thought it was funny, in an ironic way having his last drop off being to fix someone’s pipe, was that young girl. She lived right next story to him, what in the odds of that happening, he thought to himself. He didn’t want to go and think too much about it though, Dennis has an act for thinking many things.

Coming up his street he parked in his small driveway. It was only good for a decent sized car. Thankfully his car was small enough and could fit in tight places. Putting the car in park he opened the door to exit out and headed for his trunk.

Off in the distance he could hear an engine working really hard. Looking up for a moment to see an old rusty white pickup truck speeding down the street coming his way. He was drawn back to what he was doing, grabbing his leather strap on bag he placed it over his shoulders. The truck pulled in the driveway next to him, that must be the guardian he thought. Hearing the loud country music blast throughout the car, soon it shut off completely. He could hear the door squeak open and then slam shut.

Dennis closed his trunk as well not even bothering to look over once. Walking up onto his creaky porch removing the screen door and inserting the key inside. He was finally in the house, walking upstairs to his room to go change and take a shower. Laying his leather bag on the bed he opened it taking out his binder and a few labeled folders. Opening the folders was images he held in his hands, neatly placing them close together all over the bed. Each picture was in black and white, with absolutely no color on any of them. They consisted of writing on the back of each one with important information.

“Did you have any trouble?” someone came into the light.

“No.” He said in a daemonic tone.

“Just think, with this we will show the world who we truly are.”

“Will he come? “He asked feeling a bit uncertain.

“Do not lose faith Dennis. He will protect us, when we give him the impure to feast upon.” They both stared down at the photographs.

“Look at them, they have never suffered a day in their lives, they do not know the meaning of pain.”

Dennis said nothing, but stared at the images, studying each one deeply.

“Have you decided?”

“No.” He said knowing he had to pick at least two by now.

“But I do think, I know who to choose.” He said narrowing his brows together tightly.

“You must be sure Dennis. But I have my faith in you of course.”

Dennis picked up two photos from the bed in each hand. He examined them both carefully taking in every detail. His thoughts started to wonder again, thinking of the unthinkable. He had to snap out of it, he was doing this for a reason.

“These two.” He said placing them back down.

“Claire and Marcia. These two have never suffered a day in their lives, and soon. They will.” His tone was low.

“Excellent work Dennis. What would we do without you?”

“Thank you, Patricia.” He said with a deep voice.

They both continued to stare at the photos of all the young girls spread out all over the bed.

 

 

She heard the car door lock from her window. He was home. She rolled her eyes at the thought of having to face him once again. Casey continued to draw and lean against her bed on the floor. The front door opened and closed quickly. His footsteps were loud and heavy. Hearing the refrigerator door open with the glass bottles against the door clunking an ear-piercing sound. He opened a beer and took a huge gulp. Grabbing the brown paper bag, he threw on the kitchen counter he made his way upstairs. Casey could hear his steps emerging down the end of the hall towards her room. She took a deep breath as she closed her eyes and braced herself.

“Knock, knock, Casey-bear.” He said hitting the door with the tip of his beer bottle. He pushed the door wide open. She continued her drawing.

“I uhh- got you somethin to eat. Thought you might be, you know, hungry.” He said walking in casually. He placed it on her small table next to her bed. Casey looked up slightly to see what he was placing down. In giant words spelled “McDonalds” across the small brown bag.

“Thanks.” She said simply trying to keep things short as possible. He walked back slowly but started to lean on one knee next to her. Casey started to cringe and feel very uncomfortable. She didn’t want to look at him, she tried to keep her focus on her book. Her uncle took the book from her lap and looked at it curiously flipping through the pages.

“Too bad this ain’t worth somethin. Make some money.” He said chuckling in a deep amusing tone.

“It’s just to pass the time.” She said quietly. He nodded his head as he flipped through a few more of the pages taking quick pauses. Soon stopping completely on one of them. Casey’s eyes widen a bit at the drawing he stopped at.

“Little brother.” He said in somewhat of a blue tone. The drawing looked just like him with each light and dark shading being absolutely perfect to his proportion.

“I- I miss him.” She said softly for a moment.

“Hm, I do too Casey-bear.” He said taking a sip from his beer.

“But I’ll always be here to take care of you. You know, that right?” He said looking at her. Casey’s face turned pale once again feeling completely sick to her stomach.

“I will be here until the very end.”

“Yes.” She said nodding her head slowly, hating the sound of that happening.

“Ok. I’ll be downstairs my shows on.” He said tossing her book back on her lap making her body jump a bit out of place. He placed a kiss on the top of her head making her shake and on edge. He left her room completely, and headed for the TV downstairs. Casey got up quickly and shut the door and locked it feeling a bit nervous and uneasy. He was so weird she thought, the man is like Jekyll and Hyde, one day he’s crazy and one day he’s fine. At one point she thought he was actually happy to see his little brother. But happy in what way though, leaving her behind with him and only him, thanking his little brother for this gift. The thought made her sick, she needed to figure out how to get out of here one day.

Casey was already starting to feel stressed out, she sat on her bed hunched over. Her eyes directing to the brown paper bag filled with who knows what. She took the greasy bag and opened it looking inside. Placing her hand in the bag she retrieved a quarter-pounder burger wrapped in its yellowish plastic. Opening it completely her eyes immediately lead to the giant bite that was taken out of it. The expression on Casey’s face was completely blank and dead to the world. She threw the burger back in its bag and rolled her eyes.

“I’m not that hungry.” She said quietly but still feeling a bit aggravated.

She threw the bag on the table and rolled her body onto her bed. Laying on her side she took her phone out of her pocket making it feel a bit uncomfortable. She put her phone next to her head. Casey closed her mournful eyes and waited for the next day to come.

 

 

1:50 AM

 

*Bzzzz, Bzzzz, Bzzzz*

 

Casey gasped as her eyes shot open feeling startled. It was nighttime and completely dark outside. Spotting the time on her desk reading 1:50 AM. Casey rolled her eyes at this and flipped her phone over seeing unknown messages going off on her phone. Thankful it was on vibrate mode so her uncle couldn’t hear it from the next room over. Who would be texting her at this time, most importantly why is anyone texting her at all? She never gave anyone her phone number, or recall giving it willingly. She unlocked her phone and opened her messages reading:

Unknown: “Hey what’s up?”

Casey just starred at it debating whether or not to even text back at this. Soon noticing the three small dots popping up.

Unknown: “Casey I know your there, don’t ghost me.”

Casey’s eyebrows knitted together in confusion and felt like she was in high school again. She hated doing this, asking questions instead of the person just saying who they are in the first place.

Casey: “Who’s this?”

She waited for the response.

Unknown: “OMG hellO it’s Claire remember you gave me your number!”

Casey: “When was this?”

Unknown: “In Physics we had a dumb ass project remember.”

Casey definitely remembered now. Casey thought to herself, if her memory was correct she definitely remembered doing most of the work for that dumb ass project. Casey preferred working alone most of the time and not with people who would mooch off you for answers and a better grade. She remembered deleting her number the day the project was over.

Casey: “Ok. Well, why are you texting me this late?”

Unknown: “I’m OUT with friends. Anyways I’m having a birthday party this Saturday at the Smith Haven Mall sooooooooooo yeah.... your invited.”

Casey rolled her eyes at reading this. Why is she even inviting me she thought, we aren’t even friends, or for that matter even acquaintances? Casey would never think this way but, what’s her game? What’s she getting out of this anyways? Let me guess she feels bad for me because I don’t have any friends or that I would purposely want to go to detention during after school hours. Too many thoughts coming up at once made Casey want to go back to sleep.

Unknown: “Hellooooo??”

Casey: “Maybe, I mean I have to ask my uncle first.”

Unknown: “A 18-year-old girl has to ask her UNCLE if she can go out to a birthday party?! Seriously.”

Casey: “17 actually. And sadly yes.”

Unknown: “Whatever. You have my number sooo yeah..... byeee.”

Casey turned off her phone not even worth bothering texting back someone so annoyingly stupid. But on the other hand, I guess it was flattering to be invited to something for once she thought. It would just be a onetime thing, and then never again would she have to be bother with her and her friends again. It was something to do for sure, but she was still wondering why she was inviting her in the first place. Wondering who put her up to this. It could go one of two ways, she could actually be nice and invite her out of the kindness of her heart or doing this because she pities Casey and sees her as a weirdo who just belongs being alone in the corner. Casey made a small fart noise come out of her mouth at the thought as she positioned herself to get more comfortable. She squeezed her pillow in her arms tightly together.

Besides, what could go wrong at just a simple birthday party?

Chapter Text

Just ask him. It’s not a big deal. It’s just a stupid birthday party, your making too much of this now, this is ridiculous! Her mind was running a mile a minute. On one hand she didn’t want to go at all. But on the other something was calling her to go. What a strange feeling she thought. She leaned against the railing on the top of the staircase staring at the large TV screen. Her uncle sat in his recliner chair watching River Monsters. She waited for a commercial to come on so she could go ask. Casey dreaded going down to the living room, it was dark and the curtains were never pulled up not once. She made her way down and slowly eased her way over.

“What are you watching?” She asked already know what the show was.

“River Monsters, the bastard catches bigger fish than I ever did.” He said loudly taking a sip from his beer bottle.

Casey sat on the edge of the couch, she didn’t want to get too comfy in front of him that’s for sure.

“What are you doin down here anyways? Your always in your cave upstairs.” He said chuckling a bit at his own joke.

Casey held her jacket tightly together around her body.

“So..., I got this invite...., and-“

“Oh man! Did you see that?!” He shouted pointing his finger at the screen seeing the fisherman arm getting bitten by a shark.

Casey got startled from his obnoxious shouting over a stupid TV commercial.

“What an idiot.” He muttered to himself.

Casey just stared at him feeling annoyed as she tried to speak.

“To a birthday party and I think I might go-“

“No way.”

“What?” Casey squinted her eyes a bit and moved her head forward in confusion, at his quick response.

“I said. No.” He said again.

“But..., why? It’s just a birth-”

“Do you think I’m stupid?” He asked staring at her.

Casey stared back but said nothing in return still feeling confused.

“I can guarantee you that this “Party” is trouble. A turning 18 year old slut going out late at night, and hitting on everyone or anything she sees, and I will not allow you to go and be exposed to that type of behavior.” He said nonchalantly but in a passive aggressive tone.

“What are you talking about? It’s just a simple party with..., friends.”

“Who’s friends? Her friends you mean, cuz they ain’t yours. You don’t have any friends. And now all of the sudden you have an invitation to a fuck fest.”

Casey didn’t know how this conversation was going to end. Her uncle took a long sigh.

“Will there be boys there?” He asked sternly.

Casey wasn’t entirely sure on that, but she had to answer quick.

“Uh- I don’t think so.” She said looking down at her boots for a moment.

“You think, or do you know?” He continued to stare at the TV screen.

“What- NO! Uh- just forget it never mind!” Casey stormed up shaking her head feeling aggravated at this point and needed to get away.

“Now wait a minute, hold up.” He said struggling to get up from his seat.

Casey was halfway up the stairs but didn’t continue.

“You don’t get to be mad at me, I’m trying to protect you from people who just want to get into your pants.”

“This is psychotic! It’s just a stupid birthday party and it would just be this once! I never get to do anything with my life!” She yelled leaning over the railing.

“Your life?! Your life is here with me and to take care of me as I did for you all these years!” He shouted.

Her uncle just stared at her in a serious manner. This was not her dream to live here with him for the rest of her life. He’ll abuse her in many ways for the rest of her sad life. She never asked for anything from him and just this once was the biggest deal in history.

“I better not see you makin out with some boy now you hear me!” He said pointing a finger at her.

Casey said nothing but stared at him with dead hateful eyes.

“You never go out anyways, you’re so pale. Get a tan already maybe you could look better for me for once.” He said turning around going back to his seat as he crashed on it loudly.

Casey returned upstairs to her room and shut the door. For the first time in Casey Cooke’s life she actually got her way. This was a big shock for her.

But now she needed a gift.

 

 

September 12, 2:20pm

She was twenty minutes later but who was counting, it’s not like she would cry over it. She was on the bus on her way to the mall. With a present on her lap wrapped in gold wrapping paper with a plain white bow perched on top. It was in the attic crawlspace with all the old Christmas ornaments and decorations. Seeing that she didn’t have very much money for a new gift Casey just regifted the present she got from last years Christmas by her Uncles friends wife. Pretty weird right, someone she just met for the first time gave her a gift, but it was a nice gesture. It was a Macy’s box with perfume and two things of lotion inside. It was wrapped beautifully, but not her cup of tea. If Casey had to use any type of perfume it would be dark violet.

The bus came to a complete stop near the parking lot of the malls entrance. Most of the people were getting up from their seats and making their way to the exit. Casey held her gift tightly to her chest squeezing in-between all the clutters of people. She walked towards the entrance doors trying to search for the food court. This mall was indeed huge with crowds of people everywhere. That’s why Casey didn’t come here very much, it’s just too crowded and tight for her.

Finally coming across the cafeteria with many delectable choices of food. Casey needed to find a restaurant though, it was towards the end next to the malls other entrance. Reading the sign above saying “Gotham Bar & Grill” Casey walked inside.

Right away seeing everyone at the table sitting and walking around talking loudly to one another.

“Oh hello! Nice to see you Casey, come sit, my daughter is right over there.” The man said with a happy welcoming tone.

“Sorry I’m late, the bus was-“

“That’s ok hun, go join the rest of the group! I’ll be at the bar with the adults.” He said guiding her to the large table.

The man took off and Casey approached the large table. Everyone was laughing and talking and taking pictures of everyone together. Casey saw Claire at the end of the table and made her way around to approach her.

“Happy Birthday Claire.” Casey said putting a small smile on her.

All the girls around Claire looked up including her with shock.

“Oh hi, uh- I didn’t think you would show.” She said chuckling.

“Well why wouldn’t I, you invited me.” Casey said shrugging her shoulders feelings a bit unwelcome.

“Well we thought you wouldn’t come because you have strict parents.” One other girl said interjecting.

Casey just nodded her head not wanting to comment on that response.

“Well, I got you this so, here.” Casey said handing her the gift.

“Oh yeah! Guys let’s open presents!” Claire yelled out for everyone to hear.

Everyone shouted at once grabbing their gifts and cards throwing it towards Claire’s side of the table. The girls got up quickly surrounding the birthday girl pushing and shoving Casey out of the way like she wasn’t even there. The boys just sat in their seats close to her.

Casey still had the gift in her hands feeling a bit shut out from the group.

“Ok who’s first!?” Claire shouted with joy.

“Me! Me! Me! Me! Oh, pick me! Me! Me! Over here! Me!” Everyone shouted at the same time with their hands up towards the birthday girls’ directions begging to be picked.

Casey rolled her eyes and took a sigh as she sat at the end of the table. All the closer seats were taken, Casey placed her gift on the table in front of her.

“I pick Marcia!” Claire said pointing a finger at her.

She squealed with happy teen spirit as she handed her the birthday gift. Claire opened the gift without hesitation.

“OMG! You got me pink Beats!?” Claire hugged her friend with joy.

Beats Casey thought, aren’t those really expensive? That’s a crazy gift for someone, even for a friend. Meanwhile Casey buys her headphones at GameStop because it’s a little cheaper. She mentally laughed at that. It sucks not having money.

“Ok next!” She blurted out loud.

Everyone started yelling and talking again all at once.

“Sptt, hey why did you invite her?” One girl whispered to her while the rest were talking loudly.

“Who?” Claire whispered back leaning in towards her.

“The weird, helloooo, why did you invite her? She’s not even your friend.” The girl whispered with a girly attitude.

“Oh yeah why did you invite her!?” One guy yelled over Tammy’s head.

“Oh my god will you shut up David! She right there hello wake up!” The girl said silently through her teeth.

“Whatever.” David said pushing the back of her head with his finger. Tammy swatted him away with annoyance.

“It was a mercy invite Tams, my dad made me do it, she was in my contact list I forgot to delete it. My dad saw, what was I going to say.” Claire said.

“That’s she's insane, don’t you remember in high school. God I’m so glad we left.” Tammy said taking a sip from her glass.

“Oh, I remember and don’t remind me.” Claire said putting a hand up.

“Ew I wouldn’t even had both to be honest. Look at her, she's dressed like she’s going hiking on Mount Everest.” The girl laughed and Claire giggled as well.

“Omg ok, ok chill. Now where’s my present bitch!” Claire said joking.

After an hour and a half of opening presents Casey started to fall asleep on the present around her arms.

“Oh. My. God. You got me a dildo, you are such an ass David!” Claire whispered but loud enough for him to hear.

The boys started to laugh out loud at one another like a bunch of immature little boys.

“Boys. Am I right?” Claire said giggling with all the other girls.

“Well, I guessss that’s it. Well thank y-“

“Uhhh you got one more.” Tammy said pointing her finger at Casey’s directions smirking.

The other girls followed her finger and saw Casey eating some bread and butter. They laughed and whispered to each other.

“I think I saw her put bread in her pocket at one point.” One of the other girls said.

“OMG Nikki me too!” Tams said laughing.

“Would you guys just stop it already.” Marcia said.

“What we’re just having fun. It is a birthday party after all.” Tammy said rolling her eyes.

“Maybe we should throw more bread to get her attention.” Tammy said with a smug face.

“Here’s more bread for the red head!” David shouted throwing a basket of bread on Tammy’s plate.

“Oh my god not me David! You’re so stupid sometimes!” Tammy threw her head back in frustration.

“Fine, whatever. Don’t be mad cuz I forgot the butter.” David said throwing one of the breads in his mouth.

Claire and everyone else starting laughing.

“Ahem, back to what I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted by David here! One more gift down the road.” Tammy took another sip of her drink.

“Hey Casey!” Claire shouted down the table trying to get her attention.

Casey looked over seeing everyone was staring at her. What an uncomfortable feeling being stared down at when eating.

“Yeah?” She asked quietly.

“I never got to see what you got me.” Claire said smiling widely.

Casey took the golden gift and passed it down to the girl next to her and so fourth until it reached Claire. Claire observed it with wide eyes, without hesitation she tore apart the wrapping paper. Taking the white bow and smacked it on David’s forehead. Casey made a small laugh at that action. Everyone leaned in to see the gift.

“Why is there designs of Christmas Trees all over the box?” Tammy asked giving her a dirty look.

Casey struggled to say something, anything.

“Well- I-“

“Hey, it’s the breakfast club! Just kidding, what’s goin on guys having fun?!” Mr. Benoit chimed cheerfully checking in on everyone.

“Awesome bread Mr. B! So good!” David shouted shoving bread in his mouth with his friends laughing childishly behind him. David was taller than Mr. Benoit but he wasn’t smarter that’s for sure.

“Oh my god David enough with the stupid bread already!” Tammy whipped around nagging towards him. David mimicked her face when she yelled at him making everyone laugh.

Casey was glad everyone forgot about her present. She took a deep breath of relief.

Soon being 4:45 the party was coming towards an end. The group was taking photos of each other one last time screaming and hollering Happy Birthday with delight. Casey stared aimlessly into nothing still feeling motionless, empty, even after all this she still wasn’t entirely satisfied. She was still filled with sadness deep down inside. Everyone started to leave. Casey went towards the giant windows of the restaurant retrieving her phone from her jacket pocket. She called her Uncle to pick her up.

“So, did you have fun sweetie?” Mr. Benoit asked his daughter smiling.

“Ya it was cool. The best part was the presents.” She laughed.

“Are you ready to go girls?” The father asked.

“What about Casey she hasn’t left yet?” Marcia asked looking towards Casey’s direction.

“I’m sure she’ll be fine; we can go now.” Claire said eagerly already to leave.

“Hold on there, we are not going until she gets picked up.” He said sternly.

Casey got off the phone feeling more annoyed than ever. She started walking towards the group that still remained behind.

“The uh car broke down. I’m just gonna take the bus.” Casey wasn’t surprised that it would break down once again.

“No, you’re not taking the bus, I’ll drive you home.” He said.

Casey didn’t argue with that; it could save her some cash.

“Alrighty then, let’s go girls!” The father leads the way to the exit.

 

 

He watched like a hawk waiting for his prey to come out. He had his cap on, keeping a low profile, until he spots his target. He stood still on corn of the street with his hands in his pockets. This was it; all his hard work had finally paid off. He will be free of this guilt, the pain within will cease to exist. She promised him he would do good, that he can control his fatal demons. It was all just a matter of patients now.

Turning his head slowly seeing the targets come out into the street. The two were acquired, soon noticing another one tagging along with them. They started to walk towards the giant parking lot, and he did the same. Keeping up with their pace, trying to get a good look of the new third target. This was not part of the plan; everything could go wrong in a second if he made an error.

She seemed to be walking slower than the rest, Dennis took advantage. Quickly without being seen he dashed ahead reaching behind a huge Ram truck. Taking a small peak around the corner of it to get a better look at this girl. His eyes widen a bit and his brows knitted tightly together. He knew this one, he could have sworn he’d seen her somewhere before. That long brunette hair, that curvy figure, all those layers.

He stopped breathing; it was her.

It has almost been two months since he’d seen this girl, she treated him nice, unlike others. He remembered taking off his jacket when he got home and the ten-dollar bill he refused to take from her fell out of his pocket. Till this day he still doesn’t understand how she got it in there without him feeling anything.

But the plan, the impure, the savior that was going to come to protect them all. She’s not supposed to be here. This wasn’t supposed to happen. He started to get angry and frustrated with himself. What if he did take her too, she would already know who he is though, that would destroy everything he worked for in the end. It’s just a matter of seconds he had to make a decision now. This was his time.

There all impure he thought, there all the same, none of them have truly suffered a day in their pathetic lives. Dennis reminded himself why he is doing this, why this needs to happen. To show the world who we truly are, who we will become.

They made their way to the car. Dennis was breathing heavy as he started walking again. The car doors unlocked noticing the girl made her way to the front seat of the car. Watching the father put the accessories in the truck.

This is it. He was doing this for a reason. The words repeated over and over and over.

“Can I help ya?”

Dennis froze once the man spoke to him, instantly forgetting everything all at once. He felt like he was going to collapse as he looked in the rear mirror on the side of the car where she sat. Staring at her soft face.

“Sir?” The man spoke again.

Dennis eyes shot up at him.

“Are you ok?” He asked feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Dennis started to breath heavy and looked to his left. The man did the same at this point taking a long look behind himself wondering what the man was staring at.

“Do you need me to call 911 or somethin-“he stopped mid-sentence seeing the man had completely disappeared as he turns back around.

He grabbed the rest of the food and placed it in the cars truck. Still looking around for the odd man but nowhere to be seen in plain sight. That was a good thing the man thought as he entered into the car door and locked it immediately.

“Ok girls I think I had enough of this place!” The father said chuckling nervously.

Casey looked out the window silently as he drove away. Watching everything that passes by.

He sat in his car with his hands holding the steering wheel tightly. His head was down, he failed.

“I was doing this for a reason.”

Chapter Text

What a day, she thought opening the front door. The sun was setting, leaving the sky with bright shades of orange, yellow, and reds. She closed it from behind, walking onto the porch throwing on her dark jean jacket. Casey crossed her arms and leaned against the wooden railing, taking a deep breath of the crisp clean air. She admired the fall weather, the trees dangled colorful leaves, making the block look even nicer than before. Light breezes came upon her face, moving her long dark brunette hair gracefully in the wind. Casey saw the mailbox flag was up, she got up from her spot to go retrieve the mail.

The door opened with a slight crack. The man made his way out sprinting down the short set of stairs turning the corner to his garage in the back. Unlocking it, he pushed up the giant garage door causing it to make a squeaky loud rattling sound. Casey shot her head up at this and turned. It was him, she hadn’t seen him in the longest time. At least a couple of weeks now, he disappeared, she wondered what had happened to him. Maybe it was family stuff, or maybe someone could have passed away, she thought. She hardly knew the man at all, but she still for some reason seemed interested in this odd, yet quiet man.

She pushed up the mailbox door shutting it closed. She only got two envelopes, and a hunting magazine. Making her way back to the porch she placed the mail on the small table next to the chair. Taking one of the tiny dead flower pots and placing it onto the letters making sure it wouldn’t try to get blown away. Suddenly hearing loud screeching noises that came from behind, almost startling her. She turned and saw the man pulling the metal trash cans out near the side street. She watched him do his thing, trying not to make it obvious. She made her way back to her seat on the wooden railing. She was small enough for her body to sit without falling over and making herself look foolish. She lifted one knee up, and letting the other leg dangle freely on the other side.

The man was removing the tops on the two trash cans, keeping them as far away from his body as he held them outward. He walked back down the driveway lowering his head watching where he stepped.

“Hey.” She said softly, but loud enough for him to hear.

His head shot up along with his eyes, making his body jolt in place. It took a moment for his brain to register when he saw her.

“Hey.” He said quickly, feeling a bit stumped, and unprepared.

It got silence for a moment.

“I haven’t seen you around.” She said.

He didn’t expect her to notice that he wasn’t around these past few weeks. Now remembering he was almost going to kidnap her by mistake. That plan had been shot, destroyed, tampered with in the end. He couldn’t bring himself to for fill his full purpose. He had to shut the horde out, he couldn’t bare explaining his pitiful wrong doings. Asking himself everyday why he couldn’t bring himself to do it. He felt irritated, and perplex be his actions. Dennis had to say something his mind was running a mile a minute.

“Well, I’ve been out of town.” He said continuing his walk again to the garage.

Casey's eyes followed him until she couldn’t seem him, she didn’t feel turning her head a million times. The giant garage door slammed shut. She could hear the rumbling of his keys fiddling in his hands. Casey tucked her one knee closer to her chest wrapping her arms lazily around it. He walked back removing his white gloves.

“What’s with you and gloves?” She asked curiously, remembering when he put the same type on when he was fixing her bathroom pipes.

“Dirty.” He answered quickly without looking at her direction.

Casey felt curious about this man. He was always so quiet every time she’d seen him around. Well he wasn’t around much actually. She didn’t dare ask where he went over the past few weeks, that was none of her concern.

“How are the pipes holding up?” He asked.

“Pretty good. Thanks again.” She answered fast, shocked that he actually asked her something.

She kept her eyes on him though, trying to cover half her face with her hair.

Dennis headed back up his porch to the door. Casey looked up slightly noticing he was going to head back inside. She felt the need to say something, anything.

“Do you, like it?” She asked hesitating for a moment.

Dennis stopped in his tracks with his fingertips grazing over the silver door knob.

“Like what?” He asked in a confused tone.

Dennis turned to face her fully with his brows knitted tightly together. He let go of the door knob placing his head in his front pockets.

“Here I mean. This town, this place.” She said shrugging her shoulders slightly upward.

“It’s alright. I suppose.”

“Do you?” He asked, wondering why she asked such an unusual question.

“Honestly. No, not in the slightest.” She said, with her head resting on her hand.

“Why?” He asked.

“Just.., too many unpleasant memories. Plus, it’s boring. Seeing the same people everyday.”

Dennis thought about it too, he did suppose it was quite small, and maybe as she so called it boring but he didn’t do much anyways besides cleaning and working everyday. She sees the same people everyday, did that include him he thought he knew he wasn’t around much during the day. But seeing her made him feel anxious, and quite nervous, which lead him to think. That’s something Dennis tried to avoid.

“Well I’m sure one day you’ll move out, and take control of your life.” He said slightly looking down at his shoes.

Casey put the bottom of her jaw on the top of her knees.

“Ya, that’ll be the day.” She muttered to herself.

It was silent again, she struggled to come up with a decent conversation. But she never was good at doing that, she mostly spent her long days in absolute isolation, which probably wasn’t the healthiest. But soon remembering the fun questions her father used to ask her on the spot when she was feeling down.

“Hey! Name your all time favorite food. Go!” She said throwing her body around to fully face him.

Dennis’s head shot up with surprise. All time favorite food he thought, he wasn’t much of a big heavy eater. This was throwing him off completely, no one ever asked him this before. He felt so unprepared for a simple question.

“Uh- well, I wouldn’t mind a nice broiled chicken soup.” He said instantly regretting it.

Caseys mouth dropped slightly at his bizarre answer. Out of all the food and all the delicious options in the world that's what he chose.

“Oh come on, that can’t be your favorite food. Please tell me your joking.” Casey said trying not to laugh at him.

Dennis didn’t know what to say he felt stumped. What was his favorite food?

“Come on, what’s something that you’ve always wanted to eat then?” She asked.

Remembering as a young kid he wanted to try certain things but growing up with a demented mother didn’t help. Dennis never had time to think about himself. He had too many responsibilities with his horde to even think about himself for once. He had to stay strong to keep them near the light to survive.

“If I had to choose. I’d say just plain vanilla ice cream. With that white stuff they put on top making it look fluffy.”

“You mean whipped cream?” She asked nearly letting out a snort.

“Yes, that.” He said stepping a bit closer to his railing.

“Interesting take.” She said smirking adjusting herself on the ledge.

“What about you?”

“Well lets see. Probably a big bowl of fries will do, with a side of waffles.” She said simply.

Casey remembered the good days of when her father would let her get whatever her heart desired. No matter what it was he couldn’t say no to his precious daughter.

“Ok, all time favorite music?” She asked knowing he had to like some type of genre. That was at least decent to listen to without blowing your brains out.

“Why are you asking me these questions?” He didn’t understand why she needed to know these things.

“Why not, I just wanted to get to know you a little better.” She said shrugging her shoulders up and straightening her back leaning a bit forward.

Dennis noticed this and turned his head. He didn’t want to look at her anymore. His body started to feel a bit tense. The air was getting thicker by the minute.

“I should go, it’s getting late. I have things to do.” He said rubbing his head leading down to his neck. He headed to the front door slowly once again.

“Well, goodnight.” Her eyes dropped to the ground in disappointment. Maybe it was something she had said, people usually found her to be weird, she tried not to be for the first time. It didn’t seem to work though. Casey swung her legs back over to the porch’s side.

Casey stayed outside for a few more hours or so, dreading to come back inside. Her uncle still wasn’t home and it was almost ten. It was completely dark out now, there was no more of that lovely sunset to shine on her face. At least he wasn’t home yet she thought, and that was good, but it also scared her too at the same time. Never knowing what to expect from him.

Dennis was finishing up the three loads of laundry laid out on his bed, folding them all perfectly. Putting each pile of clothing in different rooms throughout the house. Reaching to one of the rooms at the end of the hallway, he opened the door almost tripping over a toy. He groaned in annoyance at the sight of all the crayons scattered all over the place, along with stuffed animals thrown everywhere. Picking up the small trains and other items tossing them all into a giant chest next to the yellow sheeted bed. Laying the clothing out neatly and left immediately, closing the door from behind. He walked back on the opposite side of the house reaching to his room again. He took the rest of the clothing making his way to his dresser.

A cool breeze came into the house. The window was open, he completely forgot, it wasn’t like him to forget most things. Maybe he was just tired, it has been a busy day. Dennis push aside the sheer thin white curtains reaching for the top to pull down on the window. He looked down for a moment, his head snapping twice seeing the girl was still sitting outside. Did she not want to go inside? It was pretty chilly outside tonight. He wondered if she was waiting for someone to come home. Should he go back out there? Ask her if she was alright? He thought, unsure of what to do. He decided to keep his window open, just in case. He went into his bathroom and closed the door.

Casey knew she couldn’t stay out here much longer anyways. She didn’t want to catch a cold. Her head whipped up at the sight of bright head-lights coming down the street fast. Speak of the devil. He pulled up into the driveway rapidly causing the truck to bounce every which way. She got up from her spot, seeing the car was still running and hadn’t been shut off yet. The car door was kicked wide open, with loud beer cans spilling all over onto the ground. Still holding another in his hand, trying to get his enormous body out of the car. Casey rolled her eyes at the sight, he must be really hammered this time if he can’t even get his fat ass out the car door. The head-lights still shined bright with the engine running. Casey walked over to the truck looking behind the door. His body slipped out of the car like a limp noodle, with his arms out wide trying to steady himself up.

“Hey shouldn’t you be in bed by now?” He tripped forward as Casey stepped aside letting him collapse.

She hopped up into the truck easily removing the keys out, and shutting down the car completely. She put the keys in her pocket as she rolled the windows up manually.

“Hey- you can’t.., drive.” He said getting up on his knees.

“Actually it’s you who shouldn’t be driving.” She said hopping down from the car seat.

Casey slammed the door shut.

“Whaaat I was.., not driving.” He said taking a sip from his beer can again.

Casey dragged him up the porch and inside. Trying to keep him steady with his arm over her shoulder blade. Going up the stairs with his fat ass was a bitch she thought. Most girls get to go out at night and have fun, instead she’s dragging a drunk man to his room like he’s a young hungover teenager.

She pushed his door open and made their way inside. Casey pushed him on his bed.

“Ahhh my word!” He yelped sinking into the bed.

Casey took the beer from his hand and placed it on the table next to her.

“You sure are pretty.” He said with his drunk sluggish tone.

Casey gave him a dirty look with her eyes opened wide showing disgust, and fear. She turned and was about to head for the door. Suddenly her wrist was being pulled back sharply.

“I gave you a compliment.” He said with seriousness.

She didn’t say a word.

“Get in bed.” He demanded.

“Let go.” She whispered through her teeth.

He only squeezed tighter around her small fragile wrist.

“I said let go!” She shouted, kicking his arm with her heavy boots.

“AHHhh!” He roared.

She was free running fast out of the room slamming his door, and dashing to her room. She shut her door quickly locking it.

“Casey! You come back here!” He screamed.

Casey put her hands on her head, she was running out of options at this point.

Dennis opened his bathroom door he could have sworn he heard loud shouts and screams nearby. He headed for the window but saw nothing, noticing the girl wasn’t even outside on her porch anymore. His one brow went up in suspicion. But in the end, he didn’t see anything, or hear anything now. How strange he thought, he was even thinking of going back down, but there was no point now. He tucked his body back inside, and slowly closed his window, dropping the blinds.

Caseys head was spinning rapidly along with her body looking for some type of answer. One day she was going to get sick, there will be a day where she won’t be able to handle this monstrosity.

“Casey! Open up! You disappeared my order!” He shouted.

Loud vicious sounds came from her door. Her breathing became heavy. She looked around quickly with her hair sticking to her face with sweat and nervousness. The window she thought opening it, I can fit and be able to esca-

“HEY! Get back here!” He screamed knocking down her door.

Her eyes widen at the sight, she was half way out. Suddenly her ankle was yanked harshly almost pulling her back in.

“No!” She said breathing through her teeth.

Trying to use all her might to flee from his sturdy grip.

“You know what happens when you disobey me girl!” He shouted, retrieving his sharp bladed knife.

Reaching for her lower stomach, he nicked her on the side. Casey yelp in pain, feeling the powerful rage consume her within. With her free foot she square kicked him right in the face. Immediately letting go of her and stumbled backwards holding his nose and mouth. Soon realizing Casey was still pulling herself back, she flew back rolling off the roof completely, and landed on the grass. She groaned still feeling the sharp pain from her side. Casey didn’t have time to check it though, she had to run she knew he’d come back out here and hunt her down. Desperately trying to pick herself back up, with her hand holding her wound. She had risen up, almost toppling over again catching herself on the gate. Hearing the loud thundering coming from above the dark skies. Casey swung the gate open rapidly and ran.

Ok that wasn’t his imagination this time he did hear something. He sped down the staircase without hesitation this time. He swung open the door walking fully out onto his porch, the rain started to make its way down fast suddenly. It was completely dark and gloomy out, only seeing dim-light coming from down on the corner of the street. Dennis immediately snapped his head to the opening of the door where Casey lived. Maybe that was her, he thought. He walked to his railing hoping to see her, than stopped fast seeing a grown man come out instead. He back up into his door again, almost trying not to be seen. Dennis was thankful he didn’t keep his front house light on today. He watched from the corner like a snake. The giant man came out with what seems to be a can of some sort in his hand, and he appeared to have a bloody nose. Dennis wasn’t entirely sure, but he couldn’t see very well from the distance. Another thunderstorm came down harshly, was Casey ok he thought? He knew he heard screams and shouts of some sort for sure this time. What happening, he thought.

Casey was under the bus stop. She was completely drenched with water, her hair lingered over her face as she looked down. The bloody had ceased, and it wasn’t deep enough to get stitches thank goodness, she thought. Why did this have to happen, out of all the people in the world, why was she going through all this dysfunction. She felt sick, tired, hungry, maybe she was dying she thought. At this point she’d except her fate, then maybe she’d be with the true person who actually loved her. All the good people she’d ever known were taken away, even in general, whether it’s cancer, disease, or mental illnesses. Murders happen everyday taking away the innocent without reason, letting the mad man still live even behind metal bars. Drunk drivers ruining and taking the lives of the pure, while we suffer to pick up the severed pieces of what’s left behind.

Casey put her head on her face. Tears started to come down gently like a river. She needed help, but where could she really go. Suddenly she heard a slight drop hit the ground. It almost sounded like paper dropping on its corner. She looked down next to her, it was a white folded up piece of paper. Moving her arms out realizing it had fallen out of her pocket. The heavy droplets of rain start to consume the paper. Casey bent over to pick it up before it got too soaked to even read. She opened it gently trying her best not to tear it apart. Remembering it instantly, she read the top in big black letters ‘HELP WANTED’, by the old Philly Diner near the zoo.

Her eyes shot up, with her head lifted high. She knew what she had to do at this point. She stood up fast, feeling frazzled searching for her phone. Reading the time saying, 10:46. She still had time. There were no more buses at this time, but you only live once, she thought. Casey ran into the rain without any equivocation. Soon spotting a bike on someone yawn, she grabbed it quickly and plopped herself on.

“Sorry, gonna have to borrow this.” She muttered, as she took off peddling.

Moving much faster, she past the town and headed to the next one over. She rode without any doubt in her mind. She didn’t live far from the city, as she crossed over the bridge. Bright lights still shined through out the city of Philly. Many cars on the streets, with lots of people walking up and down the sidewalks. She was almost near the Philadelphia Zoo, just passing by turning the next corner. There were less people now near this part of the city, she still heard the echoes of the city’s cars honking loudly, and the police sirens going off rapidly.

Casey eyes expanded at the sight on the corner. The old Philly Diner, it’s lights still glowed on the inside with life. The rain was still coming down but easing up little by little. Casey cautiously crosses the slick black street to the corner. She hopped off the bike quickly, directly in front of her showed in thick black letters reading ‘CLOSED’.

Casey sighed in annoyance at this, still put her hand on the window to see inside the back kitchen window. Maybe there was someone still back there cleaning up, after all the lights were still on, she thought. Casey raised her fist and knocked on the glass door, hoping someone would come from the back. She waited, feeling a bit anxious when the rain started up once again.

“Come on.” She muttered.

But she wasn’t going to take this, she wasn’t going to come here all the way for nothing. Casey knocked again, but with more force this time. Suddenly, she saw the kitchen door abruptly get shoved open. It was a tall man with dirty blonde hair up to his jaw, and seeing a dirty apron tied tightly around his thin waist. He walked heavily to the front door, with a cigarette barely hanging onto the edge of his lip. Casey backed up a bit unsure of what to suspect from his intense and annoyed body language. He unlocked the door opening it enough for half his body to stick out slightly. Using his free hand to take out his cigarette, and whipping the hair out of his face.

“What kid? Can’t you see it's rainin cats and dogs out here?” He said, in a southern accent.

Casey breathed heavy.

“I want the job.”

Chapter Text

“You crazy, or somethin?” The man said leaning his body against the cracked open door.

It was still raining heavily.

“Uh, no. Do you think maybe I could come in quickly?” She said shivering a bit.

The man eyed her carefully deciding whether or not to let her enter. She didn’t seem all that bad, but still who goes out on a rainy day in the middle of the night and starts banging on his door like a crazy person. The man took a raspy sigh.

“Fine. But don’t be gettin mud all over my floors.” He said opening the door wider.

She was thankful for being let in finally, she grabbed her bike and wheeled it in the diner by hand. The man's eyes shot open with confusion written all over his face.

“You rode a bike here?” He asked, shutting the door again.

Casey put the bike against the wall.

“There wasn’t anymore buses.” She said turning around pushing her hair back.

“Well damn, you could’ve taken the subway.” He said chuckling waiting behind the counter.

That was true, she thought. She should’ve taken the subway, that would have made more sense.

The man took out a pitcher, and a plastic cup and started pouring some water into it. He whipped his hair back again, and took a nice long spill. Making a satisfying ah sound when he finished.

“You want some water?” He said smiling with a smirk face looking her up and down.

“Ha, ha.” She said sarcastically, knowing she was completely drenched.

Casey perched herself on the red stool.

“Now, what can I do you for sweet cheeks?” He said with a sneer, as he leaned forward on his elbows.

“Well, like I said before, I want the job. Right here.” She said retrieving the paper, and tossing it on the counter.

The man got back up standing tall once again.

“Sweet baby jesus.” He muttered picking up the soaked paper.

“What’d ya do to it, eat it?” He said with a disgusted funny look on his face.

The man had a peculiar way of talking, she thought. This man said whatever was on his mine without any regrets.

“What experience have you?” He asked crossing his arms.

Casey mouth opened slightly but shut closed again.She never had a job before, so she technically never had any experience in the field.

“Can you cook?” He asked.

“No.” She said, shaking her head.

“Can you wait tables?”

“Um, I don’t-“

“Can you clean a toilet?” He said, interrupting her with a sly look on his face.

“No! But I certainly know a guy who would.” She said smirking back.

The man leaned his one elbow on the side towards her direction. Almost like he was laying down on the counter sideways. He picked up the paper again slapping it a couple of times with the other hand dramatically.

“Well, I ain’t seeing much here for you doll face.” He said grinning like a know it all.

“You know, I don’t even know your name sir.” She said sitting up straighter with more confidence.

“Oh, silly me. Where are my manners. The names, Sawyer.” He said proudly as he stood tall.

“Is that your first, or last name.” She asked curiously.

“Hey now, that’s strictly confidential information there.” He said, putting his hands and arms half way up like he was at gunpoint.

“Where are you from Mr. Sawyer?” She asked, leaning forward on her elbows.

“I’m sorry, am I on trial here, or somethin? I thought I was the one askin the questions here.” He said backing up against the wall.

“Hey you asked me if I clean toilets, I think I have the stage.” She said like a spitfire.

The man snickered at this, and let her continue her questions.

“I’m from Jasper Alabama.” He said turning his face the other way.

“Let me guess it’s the accent ain’t it, you like it? I’ve been workin on it.” He said grinning and giving her a boyish wink.

Caseys brow lifted up at his attention feeling flattered but also a bit creeped out.

“I’m only teasing ya.” He said with a low chuckle.

He made his way around the counter to the booth next to the giant window.

Casey turned and follow. She sat on the opposite side facing him.

“So, do I have the job?” She said shrugging her shoulders feeling unsure.

The man leaned back up against the booth crossing his arms.

“I don’t know. I don’t see why I should hire someone with zero experience.” He said emphasizing the word zero.

“So train me then.” She said.

“I ain’t got time for that, I’m in the back cookin, you think I can run back and forth like a jack rabbit.” He said seriously.

“Let me wait tables then, and take people’s orders, it can’t be that difficult.” She exclaimed.

“And what happens if you mess up there order? What if you were takin an order from an old man and he can’t hear today's specials.” He said amusing himself.

“Then I’ll speak up!” She shouted, proving she ain’t as stupid as he portrayed her.

“I rest my case.” He said smiling as he lit a smoke.

Casey looked up on the walk near the bathroom, reading a sign saying ‘NO SMOKING’.

“Does that apply to everyone, but you?” She asked pointing to the sigh.

The man didn’t even bother turning his head.

“Well I reckon my daddy ain’t around to tell me what to do.” He said, taking another puff.

Casey got a better look at his face now seeing him more clearly. He wasn’t all bad, she thought. He was actually quick attractive, almost like one of those pretty boys she’d seen in high school. With his straight dirty blonde hair, and a short scruffy goatee beard. Along with his big emerald eyes with a dark black outline around them trapping the colors tightly within the severe. He was definitely older than her, but he still looked young and built. Maybe if he stopped smoking he’d look and maybe even feel a little better, she thought.

“So we got a deal?” She asked bring her hand out waiting for his hand.

He looked at it and then looked back at her with no expression.

“Imma need your number though.” He said.

Casey took her hand back half-way feeling unsure.

“For work purposes ya pervert, so in case I need you.” He said rolling his eyes.

“Oh, yeah, of course.” She said extending her hand again towards him.

He took her small soft hand firmly in his rough one shaking it up and down.

“And I’ll call you for my girl problems too.” He said smirking.

Casey laughed softly at that, but hoped he didn’t call her for that type of reason.

“So when do I meet the boss?” She asked curiously.

“What makes you think you ain’t speakin to him now?” He said removing his cigarette from his lips.

“Oh, well I mean, you just don’t strike me as one that’s all.” She said honest.

“What’d ya think? That I’m the garage boy?” He laughed loudly.

“Well, yes actually.” She said slightly grinning.

“Hey now, you better watch it. I just hired you, I’d hate to terminate ya.”

“I’m only teasing.” She said winking.

“Ha ha I see you learn fast doll face.” He said chuckling.

 

 

It was now 5:55 in the morning. She was out all night, riding throughout the city getting to know the streets a little better. Now that she has a job she thought, she might as well learn a couple of new short cuts. This was definitely a new feeling for her. Casey felt in charge for the first time. But she knew it would come to an end sooner or later. She still had to go back, she’d be homeless if she didn’t return. She’s been doing this for years now, running. It gives you that thrill of a feeling of being free and open in the world, but drops down fast knowing this isn’t reality.

Casey road back to the house, she wasn’t that far now. Just up the block would she have to face more dysfunction. She had a new scar to add to the collection of sorrow written all over her body. Her many layers stuck hard to her frame, who knows if she could even get her last shirt off she thought, considering she was bleeding from the wound. Just up the street was her house, she crossed over making it to the other side.

Casey noticed her uncles truck wasn’t there. She rode the bike up the driveway and bounced off the uncomfortable seat. She just through the bike on the side of the house, causing it to hit the trash cans and falling hard onto the ground very loudly.

Suddenly the door next story opened quickly. Popping out was Dennis looking concerned but also anger in a way. She had trouble reading his unusual facial expressions towards her. He walked down his porch and came to the short fence dividing the two property lines. He stopped immediately seeing her, and her appearance.

“Your shirt. It’s all dirty, everything is dirty.” He said in a serious tone.

“Yes I know, had a long night out. A night on the town.” She said casually.

“Well, maybe you should clean it, with some bleach.” He said.

Casey just stood there and listened.

“I have some inside if you need any, at anytime. Maybe now you’d-“

“Dennis, I’m fine I just going to shower this all off.” She said pulling and swiping the dirty off her jacket.

“You don’t look fine. Did something happen?” He asked curiously.

Casey's eyes widen a bit but stopped herself as her heart pounded out of her chest.

“What do you mean?” She asked already knowing what he meant.

“I heard shouting. Late, last night. Coming from right here.” He said putting his hands behind his back.

“Oh, that, it was probably my Uncle. He usually watches the game and kinda goes a bit overboard.” She said chuckling trying to lighten the mood.

Dennis just stared at her, he knew when a child was lying, he should know.

“I just-“ He paused for a moment looking at her.

She may have looked dirty and inflicted, but he still saw those dark black eyes making his inside strive for something greater. He’d always admired her, she was different from the rest, he knew that the first time he’d ever laid eyes on her. But he knew better, he had to be good, after all Patricia said that he can control his inner beast.

“I’m here, if you ever need anything.” He said with niceness.

Casey stayed quiet for a moment, no one has ever said or offered something like that to her. Casey’s body eased up a bit at this, she felt somewhat a little better.

“Thank you.” She said softly closing her eyes and opening them again slowly like a cat.

Dennis just nodded his head slightly, backing up stilling feeling uncomfortable seeing her filthy clothing drape over her body. Dennis rubbed the back of his neck unsure of what to do next.

“Your shirt. Don’t forget.” He said seriously.

“Ok, I’ll see you later Dennis.” She said walking up the porch.

Dennis did the same feeling awkward. Casey headed inside and shut the door as she made a small smile. Dennis just continued to look over even though she wasn’t there anymore. He took a sigh as he entered his home.

 

 

*Buzz Buzz*

Her phone went off as it vibrated the whole bed. She picked it up fast seeing who it was.

Sawyer: ‘Don’t forget work starts Monday at 10:00. And try to look purty, not like last time just gettin out the Mississippi River!’

Great advice she thought sarcastically. She didn’t write back already knowing what she had to do tomorrow morning. She sat crisscrossed on her bed leaning against the wall. Inspecting her door before it still worked opening and closing it, but sadly the lock was broken. It frustrated Casey knowing her only protection was wrecked. Casey improvised by putting her chair under the door knob, wedging it under there tightly. So he wouldn’t be able to come in that easily.

Casey wore her big black sweater, keeping her extra harm underneath. Seeing that her uncle wouldn’t pay much to get heat, she stocked up on her old blankets and thick sweaters. But in the end she still wanted some cool air too. She opened up her front window, and walked around to the other side opening the other window. She looked down sticking her head out remembering the bike she took was still on the side of the house. She was so fired up and just didn’t care at that point she didn’t even realize she’d forgotten to give it back before she came home.

Hearing the cracking from the house next store the window opened as well. Casey's head shot up at the sound seeing strong hands lift up the giant window. The houses weren’t far apart, everything was very close together, but not close either to leap over onto the other side.

“Hey, didn’t I just see you?” She said teasing.

Dennis turned his head back, then faced her again in a confused stiff motion.

“Oh um..., I’ll leave you alone.” He said pulling his body back in.

“No, no! I didn’t mean it like that. I was just playing.” She said, reaching her hand out feeling bad.

She had to remember who she was talking to. It wasn’t like talking to Sawyer the easy sly talker, saying whatever came to his mind with no consideration. Dennis was the complete opposite type of man. Guessing the only thing they might have in common was they were both well built, and tough, she thought.

“You want me to stay?” He said knitting his brows together.

“I mean, yeah sure. If your comfortable hanging out a window.” She said crossing her arms together like a pillow for head on the ledge.

Dennis tried doing the same as her but failed. He tried to look casual maybe on one arm and his other hand holding his head up. His body didn’t want to work with him, knowing he’d never really hung out as she called it, of a window. He just felt really uncomfortable at this point.

Casey watched him struggle trying to position himself, she was guessing from his awkward body movements. The face that he made you would think that he was on his unbearable period, she thought. She hid her mouth behind her big sleeve covering her grin as she still rested her head.

“So you still never answered my question.” She said aloud.

Dennis looked up towards her and then dropped back to the ground. He remembered the question, having something to do with music.

“I don’t really listen to music, maybe the radio here, and there.” He said, being fixated on his curtains trying to straighten and clean them.

Never in Casey’s life has she ever heard or even met someone for that matter who doesn’t listen to music. That’s just weird, she thought, everyone listens to some type of genre of music.

“Wow.” She muttered to herself in complete and utter shock.

“Ok, well, moving on.” She said.

“Well what about you, what do you like?” He asked.

“I don’t know, I like alternative rock, metal, country, all in that order.” She said moving the hair out of her face.

Dennis shrugged at her answer not having much to say considering he’d never listen to that type of stuff anyways.

“Who’s bicycle is that?” He asked out of nowhere.

It caught Casey off guard for a moment remembering it was there. She should have just thrown it in the backyard.

“It’s mine.” She said casually.

“No it’s not.” He said quickly, still cleaning his drapes as he sat on the edge of the window.

Casey stayed quiet for a moment.

“Yeah it-“

“Who’s is it?” He asked, interrupting her.

“Ok look I just borrowed it because I needed to go somewhere.” She said, sitting up straight, leaning over the edge.

Dennis looked at her for a moment then went back to what he was doing.

“Aren’t you going to asked where I went?” Casey asked feeling confused.

“No.” He said straightforwardly.

Casey just took a sigh letting her one arm handle over the edge. She wished she knew how to talk to him a little better.

“I know I’m not much of a conversation.” He said softly.

Casey looked up at his words.

“Never have been.”

“Yeah, me either.” She said feeling down.

It got silent fast. Casey felt sad for a moment knowing she was never good at conversations either. Especially being isolated and cast out for all those years.

“But, I don’t mind talking to you.” He said looking at her directly.

Casey heart skipped a heart, feeling a zap of electricity rush through her. She actually felt happy for a moment, now knowing someone actually didn’t mind her company. She didn’t have much to offer, so she gave him a little smile.

“Would you ever want to do something?” She asked, even questioning herself.

“Do what?” He asked, as his eyes shot open.

“I mean, we could go for a walk sometime.” She said, even thinking to herself where would they go anyways.

“Um, a walk? I- I- uh-“

“It’s ok if your busy, maybe in the near future.” She said trying to lighten up his stiff tension.

He eased up a bit at that last part. A walk, he thought, going on a walk with a young lady like that would get him into trouble. Still feeling conflicted, and having difficulty controlling his thoughts and strength deep down. He had it good right now for the first time in years, he knew that, but he didn’t want to destroy everything he’d worked so hard for to get the horde here. Plus, he did almost kidnap her along with those two girls. It wouldn’t have ended well at all for anybody. Dennis knew Patricia was still disappointed in his decision that very day. She could have shut him out of the light at any given moment, but she knew better than to get rid of him so fast. If there savior wasn’t coming, then he’d have to take its place, for now.

He looked over again recovering from his deep thoughts only to see Casey yawning.

“You should get some rest Casey.” He said, almost ordering her.

“Yeah, your probably right.” She said, rubbing her eyes.

“I’ll see you tomorrow.” She said reassuringly.

Casey smiled a bit but looked downward shyly.

“Goodnight Dennis.” She said as she closed the window, along with the thin drapes.

Dennis got up as well, seeing she already closed it, he was closing his as well. Stopping half way as he looked at her now closed darken window. He inhaled a deep breath of cool air, as soft eyes appeared showing a weak spot.

“Goodnight, Casey.” He whispered gently.

 

 

*BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP*

She slammed her hand on the alarm clock with a groan escaping from her mouth. Moving the strands of hair out of her face to see the time.

*9:45*

Casey paused for a moment as her brain began to register.

“Holy shit!” She yelped, as fear ran throughout her body.

Jumping up fast struggling to remove her pajamas. Work started in fifteen minutes and she wasn’t even at the bus station yet. Grabbing her bra as she tried getting it on, along with throwing on a pair of jeans and layers topping it off with a long black sleeve. Reading again seeing *9:47*.

“Damn it.” She said mumbling.

Tossing on her jacket and grabbing her strap over bag. Double checking she had all her belongings inside. Removing the chair barricading the door and rushed out immediately heading for the front door.

“Where are you off to in such a hurry?” The uncle said walking around the kitchen corner.

“Not now.” She said aloud opening and shutting the front door quickly.

Casey jogged to the bus stop just making it in time as she jumped aboard.

Patricia watched standing near the front window as the young girl ran from next store down the street. As she sipped her tea carefully with one eyebrow raised suspiciously.

*10:05*

She read getting off the bus.

“Come on.” She said whining.

Casey started running again to the corner finally where the diner had appeared.

Seeing her running from outside behind the glass, and entering the diner.

“And here she is ladies and gents on her first day! And late!” Sawyer shouted pensive aggressively with a smirk.

It was loud inside, pots and pans clanging together, along with lots of people talking loudly to one another. Everyone was getting breakfast and brunch. The place looked so different with more people in it, it seemed even more cramped then all the people outside on the streets.

Casey walked around the counter trying to stay out of the other waiters way.

“Did you get your beauty sleep?” He said joshing her.

“Sorry, bus was running late.” She said removing her jacket putting it on the wall.

“Hmm, yeah sure it was.” He said sarcastically rolling his eyes, as he headed back into the kitchen.

Casey put her hair up in a cute bun. Sawyer came back out shoving the door open as he walked towards her.

“Here put this on.” He said handing her a cherry red t-shirt.

Casey took it as she unfolded it.

“Just put it over your long sleeve, this ain’t beauty school.” He said handing her a name tag too.

Casey put on the T-shirt fast and attached the name tag placing it on the side of her chest.

“Now, this is going to be your best friend.” He said handing her a pen and a small paper pad to write down the orders.

“Ok now, you take an order. Write it down. Stick it up here by the kitchen window. We cook the food, then ring the bell when its good for munchin. Got it, any questions?” He said speaking quickly.

“Yeah I-“

“Ok we’re good to go! Now, time is money.” He said clapping his hands loudly once cutting her off.

He got up making his way around to the kitchen again.

“Oh yeah, and here’s the apron for your stuff.” He said throwing it through the kitchen window.

Casey tied it tightly around her tiny waist.

“Oh ya and about that old man-“

“I got it.” She said giving him a look as she cut him off.

Sawyer smirked at her, whipping his hair out of the way.

“Oh my lord! Don’t put that meat there ya stupid!“ He shouted trailing off as he faced the other works towards the back of the kitchen.

Casey laughed a bit hearing him yell like a crazy person. Well, here she was, and it was time to get to work.

 

 

It had been at least three hours now. She’d gotten the hang of taking orders and delivering them to the correct person. Casey was thankful for not messing up any of the orders. The tips she had received were ok, she thought, just getting a few dollars here and there by the end of her hard work.

Casey headed to the next table as she took out her pen and paper out again.

“Hi, may I take your order.” Casey said looking down at her pad turning over to a fresh page.

“You have got to be kidding.” The voice said with a girlish attitude.

Casey head lifted up hearing the familiar voice. Speak of the devil, she thought mentally rolling her eyes. It was Tammy, Claire, Marcia, and two other guys. She hoped to never see these people again. But now she might be seeing more people from her past sadly.

“Hey guys, can I start you all off with drinks?” She said trying to avoid any conversation.

“I’ll take a Pepsi.” Claire said cheerfully.

“Sorry we don’t have Pepsi.”

“What a surprise.” Tammy muttered sarcastically.

David laughed like a child covering his face with the menu.

“Is Coke fine?” Casey asked trying to give another option.

She didn’t know all the drinks very well, but she didn’t remember seeing any Pepsi’s. It was hard to find a restaurant that even served Pepsi.

“We’ll just have water all around.” Marcia chimed in.

“But I wanted a Sprite.” David said removing the menu from his face.

“What’re ya five? Just order what you want stupid.” Tammy said crossing her arms.

“Ok then. Water all around, coke, sprite, is that all for drinks?” Casey asked starting to feel a bit annoyed by their stupidity.

“A-hem, I would like a Corona.” Tammy said snobbishly towards Casey.

“We don’t serve beer to underage customers.” Casey said simply.

“Seriously. Can’t you just sneak me one?!” She said sounding disgusted.

“Hmm, no sorry I can’t.” Casey said.

“Tammy just let it go. It’s too early to be drinking anyways.” Claire said pulling her head out to see Tammy better.

“Yeah, I think we’re fine with those drinks for now.” Marcia said smiling trying to ease the awkward tension.

“Ok great.” Casey said turning around fast heading to the bar.

“Ha, Ha, Tammy can’t drink!” David teased pointing at her.

“Oh my god will you just shut up already.” Giving him a death stare.

He continued to laugh with his other friend next to him.

“Look guys, can’t we just have a good time.” Claire whined.

Tammy just rolled her eyes as she looked over at Casey doing the drinks.

“Can’t drink can I.” She whispered with a devious snear.

Casey continued to fill the drinks up in their narrow plastic red cups. She walked to the refrigerator retrieving the soda cans.

“Hey, how’s it goin?” Sawyer said nonchalantly, leaning his body on the door casually.

“Never better.” Casey said still feeling slightly annoyed

“Hmmm, then why the long face doll?” He said crossing his arms lazily.

“It’s.., it’s nothing, really. I mean, it seems no matter how hard we try to get away, people always manage to find you.” She said softly as she shrugged her shoulders.

Sawyer thought about it for a moment. He didn’t want to ask her anything on that or get into her girl business.

“Have you ever been found by someone who you’d hope to never see again.” Casey asked morally.

“Nope, that’s why I moved here.” He said smiling at her as he went back into the kitchen.

Casey slightly grinned at his answer. She could picture him packing his bags and leaving from his trailer park. Placing all the water on the giant black plate, she carefully picked it up and made her way to the booth.

Tammy turned her head slightly, on the corner of her eye seeing Casey emerge.

Casey held the plate with both hands tightly trying to stay focused. Only a few more steps she thought.

Sawyer was moving the boxes of fresh hamburger meat to the side. He whipped this hair out of his face as eyes got drawn the Casey bring drinks to the table. He smiled at her thoughtfully seeing her struggle with carrying drinks. At least she was making an effort, he thought. Most girls who start out don’t care or even value there customers with respect as they should.

The red headed girl stuck her foot out, causing Casey too stumbled forward. Unable to control her body from falling and spilling half the drinks. The drinks landed on the guys, leaving big splash marks hitting the table hard getting some on the girls as well.

“What in the hell.” Sawyer muttered turning his head with a confused look on his face.

Casey froze with embarrassment as it washed over her completely.

“I- I-...”

“What the fuck man!” The guy shouted as he stood up.

The whole restaurant turned to see the commotion.

“What’s your deal!” Said David grabbing the thin napkins.

“I’m sure it was an accident!” Marcia said putting her hands out trying to calm them.

“Watch where your going you stupid bitch!” Tammy shouted over Marcia.

“I-I’m sor-“

“WOW now! Just wait a damn minute!” Sawyer shouted from behind the kitchen, as he slammed the door wide open shaking the wall.

Casey knew this was it, she was going to get fired. All this work for nothing, she thought. Casey braced herself.

“Um, HELLO! Excuse me, your waitress just spilled water all over us!” Tammy complained.

“Zip it red I saw what you did.” Sawyer said with his brows knitted tightly together.

“What are you talking about!?” She yelped acting innocent.

“You can act dump with your jock friends here but you ain’t gonna fool me now.” He said pointing at finger at her.

“It was an accid-“

“And trippin somebody when there tryin to serve you. That’s the oldest trick in the book. For god sake I invented that!” Sawyer exclaimed in disbelief interrupting Casey.

“No way she tripped her! The freak is already unstable.” Said one of the guys.

“Well I don’t like what you're insinuating boy.” Sawyer said with a whispery dark southern tone as he leaned his body on the table closely facing them.

The group felt a bit of fear hearing the mans devilish tone.

“Not so tough now are ya?!” Sawyer said smirking in satisfaction.

“Now why don’t you do the right thing here. Apologize. Then leave.” He said tilting his head towards Casey.

The group got up from there seats looking down. The boys looked at Casey and said sorry as they headed for the door. Tammy went straight for the door without even bothering to apologize. Claire and Marcia hugged her apologizing for Tammy. Casey didn’t wrap her arms around the girls hugging her. Sawyer went to the front entrance opening it and leaning his body out.

“Ya’ll don’t come back now ya here!” He shouted giving them one of his famous devilish smirk as he tilted his head laughing a bit.

He headed back inside shutting the door to turn and face Casey. Suddenly stumped realizing she wasn’t in the room anymore. Everyone continued to starred at Sawyer.

“What'cha all lookin at shows overs folks.” He said bring his arms out, and then slapping them back down to his thighs.

His heavy footsteps lead back to his kitchen, just as everyone else went back to there food.

“Hey you see where doll face went?” He asked one of the cooks.

“Back there boss.” He said pointing his thumb to the back door outside.

Sawyer made his way to the back pushing the door open carefully. Poking half his body out to automatically see Casey sitting on the last step with head on her hands. He took a sigh, walking out the door fully and shutting it from behind. He put his hands in his pockets not knowing what to do next exactly.

“No crocodile tears now please.” He said jokingly as he laughed nervously.

Casey didn’t move once. Sawyer walked to the bottom of stairs as well and sat next to her. Her tiny frame looked so gentle, as his towered with strength.

“Uh, I- um...,” He felt perplexed on this sensitive matter.

He wasn’t one to help out someone who was sad. Remembering he was one of those teens at one point in his life. He wasn’t the nicest to the nerds as he recalled back in High School, if anything people actually wanted to be him. Getting the lady’s and showing off his Harley. Plus not having the best upbringing didn’t help with his naïve and selfish personality as a kid. Seeing now that he use to act that way to people just as they did to Casey made him feel like a giant shit head bastard child. Sawyer knew he was still immature in some ways, calling her doll face and all, but it was his personality he couldn’t change that. Its what made him that lovable dashing jokester.

“Ok look kid don’t let those assholes get to ya now. It ain’t worth it.” He exclaimed.

“I’m sorry it happened to ya.” He said padding her back trying to console her.

Casey slightly picked up her head, wiping her eyes with the end of her sleeves. It was soaked with tears.

“I thought you were going to fire me?” She asked nervously.

“Fire you!? And give that whole horrible old man pep talk again to some other dyngus!” He laughed aloud slapping his jean pants.

“Yeah.., I guess you're right.” She said sniffling lighting up a small smile.

“Ya there ya go, ya see now, I’m never wrong. Don’t be shreddin no tears on my watch!” He said chuckling.

“If anything your doin a damn good job!” He said with joy.

Casey smiled towards his thoughtful help, he wasn’t the best at it but he certainly did try.

“Thanks. I really appreciated it.” She said turning to face him.

“Oh stop ya makin me blush.” He joked.

They both smiled at one another.

“Come on, let’s get you cleaned up.” Sawyer opened the door for her.

 

 

“Who is she to you?”

“No one, I know not of her.”

She thought hard for a moment.

“I know you Dennis, don’t forget that.”

Dennis stayed silent for a moment facing towards the floor.

“Shes a pretty girl. Wouldn’t you say Dennis?”

Dennis didn’t want to answer such a question.

“She’s young.”

“I can see your making progress.” She said making two small hand claps.

“I’m trying to be good.”

Patricia worked with Dennis, shes known him for years now, protecting the Horde was the main focus of there very existence. She could have control over him if she desired to if he betrayed her ever again. One snap from her fingers is all it would take to shut him completely out of the precious light for good. But with her devious and relentless demeanor she had other plans in mind.

“What would you say if I told you I know a way to bring him back to us?” She asked pacing her body back and forth as she held her scarf tightly around her body.

Dennis knew Patrica well, well enough to say she believe in astonishing things. He wanted to believe too if he was real, but what if he wasn’t? Then what? Would we lose our faith, and all that we stand for? Dennis didn’t question her though, he knew better.

“If you believe he will come. Then I will follow.” He said standing tall.

“Good.” Patrica said nodding her head in satisfaction.

“But when?” He asked.

“Soon, but not yet. I must think for now, then we will discuss in further detail.” She said softly.

And just like that she left. Dennis folded the scarf neatly placing it in the drawer. He looked in the mirror with determined yet doughy eyes. He didn’t like being asked questions when it came to young girls. Dennis was like one big safe, he kept all his darkest secrets deep down inside, no one would even be able to open him. No one would ever be able to find the key.

He knew he shouldn’t be socializing with anyone outside the horde. He wasn’t very good at talking anyways. Dennis had to stop his thoughts, that part in the back of his head warned him to cease now before he does something he’ll regret. He didn’t know her very well, but he knew enough to say she was kind. His body still felt drawn to her. She was different from the rest, so he hoped. Admiring those dark mysterious eyes. Dennis began to clench his fists on the table. Her luxurious hair draping down her shoulders gracefully. His muscles began to grow thick. Envisioning her dancing under the moonlight as she turned her head seductively at him as she removed her clothi-

“NO!” He shouted loud enough for the whole town to hear.

Dennis slammed his fists hard on the table as he breathed heavy. The table rattled harshly against the wall. He looked away from his reflection feeling ashamed.

How could he think such thoughts on such a young girl, it was a sickness, something that he sadly had to cope with for the rest of his very existence.

 

 

“And where were you today?” He asked seeing Casey walk through the front door.

“Work.” She said holding out the flyer.

The uncle took it from her quickly with a look of disbelief and confusion. She didn’t work, he thought, she never did anything. He skimmed through the wrinkled damaged paper. He let out a big laugh.

“You?! Work here!?” He hollered pointing from her to the paper.

“Yes. What so funny about that?” She asked.

“Nothin I just didn’t believe you were the type. I found you more to be a stay at home cookin for the family type of girl.” He said chuckling.

Casey wanted to choke this man to death with her bare hands if she could. She headed towards the staircase making her way to her room.

“Bring me some food next time will ya!” He yelled loud enough for her to hear from downstairs.

Casey slammed her door shut moving the chair back in its place under the door knob. This day was pretty interesting, she thought. First she was late, second she spilled water on a bunch of brats, which was pretty satisfying. She met a nice yet crazy man who happened to be her boss. In the end it turned out ok she thought. Casey laid flat on her bed kicking off her boots.

She wondered how Dennis was doing today. She’d hoped to see him one last time before she went inside. Sadly he wasn’t outside on his porch, she wasn’t going to go to his front door just to say ‘hello’. Maybe she’d see him tomorrow, if she has the time hopefully.

Chapter Text

“I don’t understand! Why do I have to stay in my room all day again!?” Casey hollered.

“Because I said so and my word goes in this house! I got my boys comin over and I don’t ya botherin me every second of the day cuz you need something!” He shouted back at her.

Casey was at the top of the stairs shouting towards the living room. Her uncle laid in his chair as he half wheeled it around to face her.

“I’m not a child, if I need to go out I should be able to!” She said gripping the railing tightly.

“Plus you know I have a job, right?”

“A job that you really don’t need missy, why do you think I work? I do it for you- for us!” He shouted extending his arms out dramatically.

Casey made a huff sound and stomped off back to her room.

“And just so you know! You are a child!” He yelled loud enough for her to hear.

Suddenly hearing a slam from the door. Casey felt like ripping her own hair out of her head. But if she did that she would probably be bald in a week....., like Dennis, she thought. Laughing a bit at that random thought, why did he cross her mind so often. Always wondering how he was doing, besides each other day was a new story. Even if he didn’t have much to say in his stories. She still enjoyed listening to him anyways to pass the time.

She wanted to learn a little more about him, where he came from, his likes and his dislikes, maybe even his relationship status. She laughed mentally at herself, maybe he was married, or not, she didn’t know for sure. She’d never seen anyone else come out of that house, but him. Must be lonely, but Casey already knew that dreadful feeling.

“I’m going out now! Cuz I can!” The uncle shouted from downstairs shutting the door in a huff.

Casey rolled her eyes as walked towards her front window opening it wide. Seeing him in her view made her sick to her stomach. Backing away from the window and heading to the other one on the side. She opened that one as well but kept the purple drapes over it still letting her see out side through its very thin fabric. She felt lost, unsure of what to do at this point. She took a sigh sitting on the edge of her bed retrieving her phone from her pocket. No messages, what a surprise, she thought, why do I even bother.

Casey threw herself back up onto her feet heading to her desk pulling out her sketch book. She turned the pages looking for a fresh new white sheet just waiting to be bedazzled. Unfortunately as she turned through all the pages, Casey has seem to of run out of space in her sketch book. It was completely filled up to the max. What a surprise, perfect timing, she thought sarcastically. Shutting her book dramatically as she flicked her wrist. Standing up once again she looked at her closet for a moment.

She walked over to it opening it slowly. All of her clothes were smooshed together, not having enough room for anything of hers. She took a hold of a giant mound of shirts on racks placing them on the bed. She continued to do this for some time now putting things in order. Taking out old boxes from above folding some of the old shirts she does not wear and puts them inside. Continuing her clean up, Casey takes the last shirts out of the closet. Suddenly, she eyed something in the corner at the very end. It was black as knight and as sleek as a cat, along with soft velvet laying upon it.

Her memory hit her fast like a bullet, remembering she had bought this piece when she was out on the town. Casey had completely forgotten about this dress, having to hide from her uncle. She didn’t want him to see her in something so nice and form fitting to her frame. But on second thought, he wasn’t home, was he now.

Casey removed the dress from its hanger taking it over onto the other side of her bed. She laid it flat and unzipped its back. She removed her many layers feeling the cool air run over her fair skin. She felt weird not wearing all her materials that she usually does. She had also removed her jeans trying not to fall over.

She took a glance at the mirror, getting a good look at her body for the first time. Scars that tell a sad story all throughout her childhood. They don’t hurt anymore, but at the same time they still do from within. She looked away in disgusted, not having enough strength to look at her fragile body anymore.

She took the dress and slipped inside it. Sliding in easily she struggle to zip it back up, but eventually exceeded. She walked towards the long mirror against the wall. The dress slid past her knees as it draped back slightly grazing the floor. It had long sleeves consisting of black roses designed on it to be see-through on her arms. It connected half up her neck tightly keeping it in place. The rest was pure pitch black velvet.

Casey took a really good, and long look at it. What a stunning piece, she thought. Too bad she could never wear it out, it’s not like there was any special occasion she had to go to anyways.

“All you need is a necklace.” A voice said.

Casey didn’t move as she heard the voice already knowing who it was. Through the mirror she saw her father approach next to her with a pleasant smile. He looked the same as when she last saw him. Young. Healthy. Beautiful.

“You look exactly like your mother did when we first met. You grow up too fast hunny.” He said chuckling.

Casey did the same.

“I wish I could be with you guys.” Casey said looking down.

“All in good time, but for now my love..., live your life.” He said softly putting a silver heart locket around her neck as he stood behind her.

Casey wanted to cry but held back, for she was happy at this moment. She closed her eyes, and opened them slowly. Sadly he had vanished through the looking glass. Along with the heart shaped locket that was laid around her neck. She never got to see what laid asleep inside. Live your life he said, she played the words over and over in her head. She smiled knowing someone that she loved could let her go and let her live to her full potential.

Casey took a twirl in her dress seeing it sway gracefully as she moved. Soon doing it again and again as she smiled cheerfully. Haven’t remembering the last time she was ever this happy. She started to laugh as she gently danced and twirled like a princess as she loved to see it shine in the mirror. Almost out of breath at one point she stopped for a moment still smiling as she giggled with her hand over her mouth. She wished she had thank him before he left her side. But who knows maybe she might see him again.

 

 

Dennis was finishing up his reading on his couch in the living room, he stood up without a second thought, slowly pacing himself to his bedroom. It was a slow day, he felt tired and a bit run down from these past few weeks. The more he tried to convince himself that he’s fine, just seems to make it worse then before. He approaches to his slender bookshelf and carefully places it back into its original place with steady fingers pushing it in.

 

Suddenly in the corny of his eye he saw something move from across his window, he took a quick glance but was still side tracked his book being properly placed in correctly. Dennis needed everything to be in order, making sure everything was neat and clean. That’s something that made him feel better at least. One wrong thing out of place and there would be chaos. He did a slight nod in satisfaction and reached in his pocket to retrieve his yellow cloth. Feeling annoyed as he patted himself down looking for him piece of fabric. He couldn’t have lost it he thought, he was always so careful not trying to lose any of his most important belongings. Soon feeling something soft deep within his side pocket, he retrieved it out revealing the yellow cloth. He yanked it out too fast causing it to fall on floor next to his shoe.

“Now it’s dirty. Nothing can go smoothly.” He muttered to himself, letting out a long irritated sigh as he knelt down on one knee.

Finally grabbing the cloth tightly in his hand making sure it wouldn’t get away from him this time. Just as he was about to rise on his feet once more he stopped halfway when he noticed something that made his eyes widen and became filled with astonishment. He saw through his window shades that were slightly cracked opened. He gentle ascended himself up making his way to the shades. Placing his hand on the long plastic stick carefully turning it to get a better view through the shaded window, but most importantly trying to be stealthy about it. His eyes widen even more for what he saw clear as day now. Dennis starred intensely at her. She was in her room.

“Dancing?” Dennis murmured feeling discombobulated.

Casey was dancing in her room across from his bedroom window. He was now staring with a more serious look on his face as she sways passionately around her room in circles. Observing every little move she perceived to make. He doesn’t know what caused her to do this little number but he didn’t care at the moment. He held the yellow cloth tightly in his hand causing his knuckles to turn white.

What was he doing he thought to himself, a grown adult man staring at a 17 year old girl in her own bedroom just minding her business. He started to breath heavier now triggering his eyes to role back a little in his head. He thought of her dancing for him under a full moon, slowly taking off her clothing with such uncontrollable lust for his devilish desire towards her natural beauty. Wondering what she might feel like under his skin, wanting to touch every curve that travel her delicate body.

Then suddenly he wakes up from his dream to reality again with sad widen eyes. Filled with distress for what he had just imagined. This is what he feared everyday, loosing control. That one day when he might do something he’ll regret in the future causing his demons to consume him completely. He growled making a low sound in the back of his throat, then without another sane thought he viciously hit the wall making the curtains move out of place.

He stormed off and ran into the bathroom shoving the door open with his strong body, with both his hands on his head pacing back and forth in the tiny space. Without a second thought he removed his glasses fast placing them on the sink along with his yellow cloth. He quickly removed his buttoned up shirt tossing it to the ground, leaving him shirtless at this point. Not wanting to care how dirty it would get just laying on the bathroom floor.

Dennis jumped into the shower almost falling forward loosing his balance trying to step in, turning on the cold water all the way on blast making the shower head run fast over this body. He still had half of his outfit on him not even bothering to remove them, it was too late for that now. The water quickly absorbed into his black pants making it feel heavy on his legs. He tried calming himself down by draining out his vile thoughts he had towards Casey. Seeing her dance made him loose control for a split second, it drew him over the edge. Someone so innocent, so soft, so easy to talk to shouldn’t be reciprocating to someone as disgusting as him.

He closed his eyes to this thought, making him feel depressed. He was ashamed of who he was. Placing a hand on the wall and the other holding the shower curtain with a tight fist desperately trying to hold himself up as his head slowly descended letting the water wash away his sins. He gritted his teeth making a low moan sound in frustration, he shook his head back and forth causing the water to flick everywhere in bathroom.

“No...no, no! You were doing so good!” Dennis yelled at himself in vexation trying to hold back more of his screams.

He slowly fell to his knees on the shower floor. The water was freezing cold but Dennis prayed it would get colder, he didn’t feel a thing. All he could feel was his soul breaking down leaving him only the darkest part.

“You were doing so good.” Dennis said once again to himself in defeat.

He thought he was stronger than this, that he could over come this sinful obsessions. Lowering himself even farther until he laid completely on his side in the ice cold tub. He held up one knee with a hand making himself feel secure.
Dennis thinks back for a second to when he had to hide from his daemonic mother. Curled up in a ball holding himself tightly to feel secure desperately trying to hide, to get away from it all. All he ever heard was the wretched yelling and the horrendous shouts of his name being called by his mother, echoed throughout his head. He knew god was punishing him for his shameful ways.

“I..., was doing so good.” Dennis whispered one last time to himself before closing his eyes making them completely shut. Letting the water take over him. He saw only darkness in the end. Escaping from the world just for a bit, before having to face reality once more.

Chapter Text

Split Chapter 9

 

The door opened slowly, but there was no wind. He made his way inside, as he stood there in a depressing room high from the main ground. The room was dark with dim lights swaying from above on rusty chains. He remembered this place, even if he tried not to, memories never really do seem to fade. We try and hide from our pasts, closing ourselves off from the rest of the world. Wrapping ourselves in layers of pure white, keeping us safe from our demise. The broken window left shards of glass on the floor; toys laid waste everywhere. The air was dense from the smell of old wood. He didn’t want to come back, not this time. The small bed soon began to vanish into thin dust. He stared at it until it completely disappeared along with everything else. Soon leaving him into empty black space, without any stars to guide his way. He closed his eyes only to hear the soft whispers, soon becoming more intense, to the point where it was unbearable. He did not move, as he shot his eyes open.

He floated deep within open waters. Darkness laid below the depths, as light tried to shine through. He was stuck in limbo as his body ceased. He felt lost, weak, tired, as he began to slowly descend. Just as his eyes began to close, a light of pure white shined from above.

 

 

The massive room was dark, as a girl laid on the giant wooden table in the middle of the room. Chains tighten around her tiny wrists, that contacted a pipe on the table. She was left bare letting her body breathe in the frosty air. The walls were cracked with rusty old pipes hanging from above. The long-broken windows let in dim strips of light from the night sky.

Hunger filled him completely as he slowly approached her. She laid there helpless as she waited for his presence. His deep breathes echoed loudly throughout the room, his presence was cold, sinister, as he came closer. His hands folded behind his back, with his brows furrowed down on his face. The glasses on his face shines from the splitting light hitting his face. He wanted this, he needed to see her, the way he wanted to. This was every sick man’s fantasy coming to reality in his mind. A beautiful young girl, right before his very eyes.

Reaching the end of the table he stared at her with no emotion shown on his face. Soon making his way around the table casually. He took his time, but the eyes never left hers. He reached the other side staring her down. Her skin as white as snow, her hair as dark as the night sky, her face was young and innocent. Carefully putting his hands near her cheeks, wanting to feel her delicate skin, but couldn’t. Instead he reached for her chains and unlatched them, still keeping them connected to her wrists. Taking ahold of the chains he yanked her up and she then stood up quickly on the table. Dennis then released the chains, as he walked to the end of the table once more and pulled a wooden chair out from underneath. He picked it up off the floor moving a few paces away from her.

Dennis pulled his black jeans slightly up as he took a seat. He let his legs stay spread and crossed his arms tightly. It was silent, she stood there in the middle of the table waiting for him to say something. Dennis just took the sight in for a moment before saying anything. His face was stern, his body was beginning tense from the scene.

“Dance for me.” His tone was very low.

Her body was still for a moment, but Dennis felt impatient.

“I said, dance for me.” He said in a sinister voice.

She suddenly moved her leg back slowly behind the other. Keeping her toes pointed, she twirled her body like a ballerina creating a full 360, as her arms extended out leisurely. Letting her body take over completely, she accepted this fate. She moved slowly but majestically on the table. Her firm breasts bounced from each graceful move she did. Her hair flicked from side to side. Her naked body did the rest for her as she arched her back hugging herself, feeling her own curves. Almost forgetting it was all for his eyes.

He felt even more strain then before, in his mind, and body. His clothes felt tight as his attention laid on her refine movements. He felt something start to grow inside himself. He needed more, he needed to feel his rough skin against her smooth creamy body. He felt like he was being tortured from this bewitching sight.

She soon seductively got off the table placing her feet gently on the freezing floor. She stood up fully walking towards him. She now circled him in his chair, hearing the chains clank together around her wrists. Dennis didn’t move his body nor his head to follow her movements. She came in front of him as she swayed her hips back and forth slowly. She then moved closer to him. Dennis then sat up straighter as he looked up at her face.

Casey then put her hand out on his broad shoulders, pulling her leg up and over onto his massive thigh. She then sat on his lap carefully, lifting herself up to where her breasts were close to his face. Leaving her arms dangle loosely around this neck. He continued to stare at her perfect features. His bugle began to harden from the sight he was seeing. She pressed herself harder against him. He groaned at the feeling she was giving him. The sensation was unbearable at this point. He wanted to touch her, more than anything a man could ever want. His lust for her was getting harder to control. This girl, what was happening to him. Still deep down he wanted to take her and do as he pleased. His face softened a bit as he closed his eyes taking a defeated sigh.

Small hands cupped his face as her thumb rubbed his cheek. He opened his eyes once more to see a pleasant smile on her face looking down at him. He didn’t smile back though; he just took in the image.

Suddenly he went cold as his devious side began to irrupt. Dennis took her face into his forcefully with such pain. He squeezed her neck tightly as he pulled her into him. The kiss was deepening harshly as he slipped his tongue into her sweet mouth, savoring every inch of her. Unexpectedly he jolted up making the chair fall back, ending the kiss by pushing her off him. Making her stumble back falling to the floor. He towered over her; his eyes were now glowing like an animal when it sees its prey. Taking her chains firmly into his strong hand, dragging her over to the table. Casey struggled to get up, but then was hoisted up by him quickly, throwing her on the table.

She was almost trying to cover herself now as she felt nervous. He jumped aboard the table crawling over her defenseless body. Dennis had no control, all that was left was the devious desire he had for her. His face was close to her neck as his hot breath cruelled throughout her skin. The hunger grew within him, he couldn’t think of anything else, his mind was clouded by her sweet scent.

“Dennis.” She whispered in his ear.

Her voice made him throb in his pants. Putting himself lower to her region as he began to bite the side of her neck. Almost sucking out her entire soul. Soon releasing with a heavy groan.

“Dennis.., stop, please.” She said softly in a fearful voice.

“No.” His tone was low.

Her body started to tense, as he threw her over on her stomach. Her hair laid messy on her face. Dennis’s strong hand rubbed the side of her back with such overpowering force it began to hurt. He buried his face into her neck smelling her signature scent.

But something that sweet he didn’t deserve as the smell went away. Into thin air it vanished from his sight. He laid with nothing in the end. He was still in the same dark room with no escape.

Dennis’s eyes widen at this moment feeling anger and emptiness inside once again. He reached his hand out to her, seeing her body fade away from afar. The room never ended he was stuck, he always wound up right back where we started from the very beginning.

“No.., please! Don’t go.” His voice echoed into a small child.

He was a child again, seeing the day his father left him behind. The day he boarded the train and never returned. It was raining, he wasn’t in the building anymore, just a lost child. He extended his arm out even further to the man that he saw, as he did for her as well. He fell to his knees on the ground becoming a man once more. He couldn’t reach them, either one of them. The rain came down hard on his body as he looked up at the cloudy skies. Lost, week, unloved as he felt defeated by his hidden deep emotions. Suddenly hearing the train. It came for him with exhilarating speed he tried to cover his face from the blinding light, before it came crashing into him.

His eyes shot open. The water was still running on high in shower. His body still laid there in the tub from earlier. He didn’t move though; he was almost stunned and couldn’t remember what had happened to him. He was soaked from head to toe beginning to look like an old prune. What time was it, he thought to himself, how long have I’ve been out cold? He started to feel a sharp pain in his head, but soon he heard a familiar voice.

‘Look at you, look at what you’ve become Dennis.’

Dennis knew who it was now, he had been so out of it.

“Patricia I-“

“Now don’t you say another word. Get yourself up.” She said sternly.

Dennis did as told, he struggles to raise from the heavy overflowing water. Grabbing the ledge of the tub he hoisted himself up, turning to his slide slightly to shut off the water completely. Then holding onto the showers curtains for support to make himself stand up fully tall. He put his hand on his head for a moment in affliction.

“Dennis, what has happened to you? You have been out like a light for hours now. I don’t understand why-“

Patricia paused mid-sentence with a confused look on her face. Suddenly changing her entire facial expression to a look of pity.

“I thought you were doing better, you said you were being good.” Patricia said in a confused manner.

Dennis didn’t say anything.

“How are we supposed to bring our savior into the light if your so focused on doing your dirty deeds with young..., impure girls!” Patricia said feeling annoyed.

“That’s not fair.” He whispered.

“Dennis you-“

“No, I have been here, I have been protecting the Horde. That, is my job. That is the purpose of my very existence. And I have been doing everything in my power to stay good. You don’t have to remind me of my...., sickness.” He said trying to catch his breath as he leaned on the sink.

Patricia didn’t say anything, she took a moment to think.

“Dennis, all of this fuss could have been avoided. If you would’ve just kidnapped those two impure girls, this whole mess could’ve been avoided. You wouldn’t have to suffer. He would have come to protect us...., Kevin.”

Dennis thought back to that day of the attempted plan to kidnap the girls, but Casey got in the way. Making his body ceased and completely shut down at the sight of her. He couldn’t let this girl get in his way any longer.

“I don’t need him, I can take care of the Horde. I can do this, I need to do this. I was the first to come into his life.” He said taking a hold of this yellow handkerchief.

“I doubt my faith in believing if he...., is even real.”

Patricia was shocked and appalled by what he had just said to her.

“Do not doubt your faith Dennis, he will come, we just have to prepare. And of course, plan accordingly.” Patricia said choosing her words carefully raising her hand slightly to calm him.

“Dennis listen to me, your just one man with a sickness that cannot be tame on your own, you need assistance. Now you’ve always trusted me, and I have not failed you yet now have I?” She said heartwarmingly.

Dennis listened to her words as he processes them. No, she’s right, she’s never lied, or betrayed him. He had a job to do, to show the world that they exist.

“Would you leave him alone already?!” Another voice came chiming in the mix.

Patricia rolled her eyes in aggravation at the familiar irritating voice passing through her ears.

“Hello Barry. And how did you get the light?” Patricia’s demeanor became cold once again.

“Hedwig, it’s very easy to persuade a child when you promise them an extra-large Twix bar.” Barry said smiling, enjoying the annoyed looked upon Patricia’s face.

“You shouldn’t trick children.” Dennis said in a weak voice.

“Hey, I’m on your side pal!” Barry took a sigh.

Barry didn’t like Dennis very much, but it wasn’t as bad as his detest towards Patricia.

“Ok everyone calm down.” Barry said putting his hands up as he took a deep breath.

He couldn’t remember the last time he was out, and in the light. It had been so long he had almost forgotten what it’s like to be on the outside. To be in the real world for a change.

“Look Patricia, cut Dennis some slack alright. He’s been working harder than any of us. I mean, he’s even got an interview for that job at the zoo. It’s too much now.”

Patricia wasn’t very fond of Barry in the slightest, but she had to agree on seeing Dennis’s loyalty remain strong to the Horde.

“Alright Barry, fine. I see your point.” She said taking one of the towels off the rack and placing it over her shoulders to cover herself.

“Dennis can rest and regain his strength for the rest of the day.” Patricia continued.

“But we’ll have much to discuss when he’s well rested.”

Barry eyed her through the mirror.

“Ok fine, I’ll do the rest of the chores, and the housework.” Barry said nonchalantly.

“Just make sure the house is neat, and clean. Not a mess Barry.” He said harshly.

“Ok, ok I get it germaphobe! I’m pretty sure I know the drill by now.” Barry said with a sassy attitude.

Dennis didn’t bother responding, it only would have irritated him more. He slowly started to fade away from the light. Heading back to his chair in the dark room. He took a seat and rested, as a deep sigh escape from his lips one last time. The only two who remained was now Patricia and Barry. Barry was now able to talk to Patricia on a more serious matter now that they were alone for the first time in a long time.

“You have kept me away from the light for too long.” Barry said with hatred in his voice.

Patricia said nothing but her face said it all. If someone didn’t follow her beliefs or was on her side, she didn’t care. So many have been locked away, forgotten what the world even looked like anymore.

“Still telling crazy stories, aren’t you? You haven’t changed I see. He’s not real you know.” Barry said staring daggers into the steamy mirror.

“Your believing in something that isn’t even there. It’s something that should never be created. Making Dennis kidnap young girls and for what exactly? Do you even know what’s going to happen in the end? Just because we exist and that we have suffered, doesn’t mean we should do the same to the innocent.” Barry said with such determination.

“Oh Barry. I have absolutely no idea what you're referring to.” Patricia said with a killing kindness of a smile.

“Don’t play dumb with me sister.” Barry said rolling his eyes.

“Yes. Of course, we exist, but it’s a matter of saying we are here, to those who have not suffered the taste of blood rain upon their ingenuous lips.”

Barry was disgusted by her words.

“But as far as that goes, I have nothing left to say. And that is, to you of course.” Patricia shrugged her shoulders slightly with a smile.

Barry wasn’t stupid, he knew she was up to something and it was never anything good.

“There’ll be a day when you won’t be able to come back into the light.” Barry warned as he lifted a finger.

Patricia said nothing but smiled like the devil himself.

“Now if you don’t mind, I will need full access to the light now thank you.” Barry said in a calming voice.

“Just make sure you acquire everything we need, and don’t draw attention to yourself. I know how you can be around others.” Patricia said.

“Ah-hem!” Barry said through his teeth.

Patricia finally left from the light completely. Barry was relieved to be in control of the light for many long boring months he’d been in the dark with the others. He looked around at the clothing he was in from Dennis’s mini breakdown. Barry even wondered what triggered Dennis, pushing him over the edge. He knew Dennis was strongest out of all of them and it certainly wasn’t like him to collapse. Maybe he’d ask Dennis what exactly happened once he gets the chance, or even remembers. Barry made his way out of the bathroom and up the stairs. He went into Dennis’s bedroom and headed straight for the closest. Opening the door and shutting on the light switch as he looked up and down at the many boxes. Each box had a name written on it, he searched for his name but didn’t see anything yet. Suddenly a great joy came over his body.

“Gotcha sucka!” He said cheerfully to himself.

Opening the box quickly he felt relief wash over his whole being at the sight of his belongings. His designer drawings still laid in its original large black folder. He picked it up gently with care as he opened it observing his drawings. It had been so long since he’d seen any of these wonderful pieces he’d created. Placing it back into the side of the box he retrieved a fresh pair of his own clothes. Along with his comfy soft hat he’d always wear.

Suddenly it caught his eye, at the very bottom of the box laid his leather black Doc Martens.

“Well hello my beautiful Doc’s!” Barry hollered with a chuckle.

He went back to the bed as he changed into his own clothing. Barry felt much more relaxed and lighter now since his pants weren’t soaked with water anymore. Lastly, he slides of his heavy boots like butter. He cherishes them deeply as he looked in the mirror feeling better than ever.

Soon heading back downstairs to the kitchen to see a list of supplies. He took it in his hand reading it over.

Bleach
Windex
Hotdogs
Bread
Tea

The list was sort, he thought to himself.

“Where’s the real food?” He asked himself feeling annoyed.

Looking towards the fridge he opened it fast seeing there was absolutely nothing green, or even anything worth eating for that matter. Barry shut the fridge door slowly and dramatic with a disgusted look on his face. He began to open the rest of the drawers fast and slamming them closed. Soon coming across an envelope laying slightly under a pad of paper. Without a second thought, he grabbed it quickly and opened it. Only to see a thick stack of hundred-dollar bills lay sound asleep.

“Hello!” Barry shouted with joy.

There had to at least be five grand in this thick little stack, he thought to himself.

“Well, I’m going to need some type of cash on me anyways. If we’re ever going to survive in this house, we need food.” He muttered to himself.

“Seven hundred should be good.” He said smiling.

Barry took the car keys spinning them on his finger and headed to the front door.

“Now I have to buy Hedwig a Twix bar.”