I was floating in the dark, listening to the continuously grating sound of that horrible laughter. Any attempts to move proved ineffective and only made it harder to do so.
"Where are you going?" My blood ran cold as I recognized the voice, though I couldn't put a face to it.
Slowly my surroundings flooded in to focus. An elegant hall of hardwood lined with many paintings and photos. A smaller me stood a few feet away from a much taller man. The laughter faded away.
"Saba, where are you going?"
The smaller me started to cry, "I can't do it."
I watched as the man knelt down and looked in to my face, a look of caring in his eyes, "Life is never going to be easy, Saba. It's going to be hard, and sometimes the only thing you can do to get by is try as hard as you can to do what you need to do."
My fear subsided as little me ran to the taller man and wrapped her arms around him in a tight hug. Just as I thought that this scene wasn't so scary, I heard that low laughter again and the fear returned.
The man stood and reached his hand out to little me, "Anything for my little sister."
A smile found my face for a few moments before the laughter came again. The smaller me took his hand as we walked toward large, oaken doors.
The man put his hand on the door, "Now Saba, you go in there and make sure they're all dead."
He pushed the door open and screams flooded out. Screams of help and horror that filled my ears and saturated my mind with a deepening horror. The scene that seemed so pleasant before changed shape, instantly becoming something of a deeper evil. My breath caught in my chest, I tried to close my eyes and forget I was there. It was like a tootsie pop with a razor in the middle; sweet on the outside, but it just hides the horror beneath.
"Can we have ice cream after?", the smaller me smiled up to Patrick.
Through the door I could see deep red splatters on the floor and hear the clinking of chains.
The littler me stepped through and turned toward where the sounds were coming from.
"Saba! Please, God no!" They were begging for their life. Begging me to let them go, "Saba, your brother is crazy. Please honey, just let us go! You can't do this to us."
As Patrick slowly closed the door I watched as my smaller counterpart smiled sweetly, with all the caring of a child and said, "Daddy, life is never going to be easy . . ."
Her voice was cut off as the door shut completely. The laughter returned and this time I welcomed it, something known in a world of concrete horror. The laughter grew in intensity as I hung there in darkness, watching Patrick looking away from me at the closed door.
"That's not me."
"Yes, it is you." The laughter had spoken.
"No, I wouldn't do something like that." I was lying. I knew I was lying, I just didn't want it to be the truth.
"Not only did you kill your family, but you did more than that.", the laughter came again, "You killed a person every day for two years after."
In my head, I saw flashes of blood soaked bodies and glinting knives. In my head I heard their screams for help and mercy. The more I watched, the more I felt the innocence I'd witnessed before slowly fade away. I desperately clung to any piece of that innocence that I could.
"All for power."
I knew what he was meaning. I felt it in my bones now, maybe I'd always knew that my hands were unclean. A person isn't born a spirit persuader, they're grown. So many lives had been ended by me, so many people never got to live their lives because of my blade. All in the pursuit of power over spirits.
"It's too late for you.", Patrick had turned and was staring directly at me, "There's no way to clean your hands. You are a monster, and you'll always be a monster."
Every time he said monster I saw something odd flash beneath the illusion I knew to be his face. A darker and more evil face, something not human and older than the world. Patrick started walking closer and the scene behind him faded away.
"You killed so many.", Patrick's face blinked away for an instant and the horror of the face beneath made me catch my breath, "You are more of a monster than I am."
His face was inches from mine and he smiled, his mouth full of sharp pointy teeth with a smile that was all too wide. "Not only did you kill them . . ."
As I felt myself yanked backwards into the darkness, I knew what he was going to say; not only did I kill them . . .
But I loved it.