I’m not quite sure what woke me. I don’t recall hearing anything unusual, but it’s certainly not normal for me to wake in the middle of the night like this.
I stop and listen, my eyes fixed on the ceiling. The sounds all seem normal. The shadows all seem normal… except….
I roll out of bed to see a single, menacing eye staring at me through my window. I try to scream, but a voice that is not my own comes out instead and says, “The pact is sealed.”
Pact? What pact? And who said that? I want to ask the eye who it is, who spoke for me, what’s going on, but I can’t move.
“Excellent, Kiyyah. You have done well.” The giant red eye bobs with its speech, so I can only assume it’s attached to a head of some sort, though from the glowing veins, the black sclera, and the scaly lids I’m not certain what kind of head it belongs to, or if I even want to know.
My body bends at the waist, bowing deep, and it’s then that I notice blood dripping to the floor from my clenched fists. Dark red rivulets ooze down my hot pink sweatpants, staining the leopard print slippers on my feet.
“Is there anything else you require of me, my master?” It’s my mouth moving again, but the words still aren’t mine.
“Just one final thing,” the eye says, and the corners of its lids crinkle a little. Is it… smiling?
I’m not prepared for the entity that was inhabiting me to be wrenched out. I’m not prepared for any of this, but the slow, agonizing ripping sensation is something I can’t much describe, let alone prepare for. Bloody hands aside, my body remains intact, but the scream that wouldn’t come finally finds my lips and fills the room.
A shriveled old woman falls from my body, almost like she’d been living inside and gotten evicted. Foam bubbles from her mouth as she writhes in agony, her screams joining my own for a scant few seconds before she falls still.
My second act back in control of my body, once I’ve screamed my throat raw, is to heave up the remainder of my dinner. The dead old lady doesn’t smell any more appealing than she looks, and I can’t take the stench.
The giant eye blinks a slow, eerie blink before it speaks again. “Hmm. It appears Kiyyah didn’t check your constitution as thoroughly as she should have.” A low rumble sounds, and it takes me a second to realize that the eye is laughing. “Shall I bring her back and punish her properly?”
I wipe the back of my bloody hand across my mouth to clean off the vomit. “N-no…I think she learned her lesson.”
“And what about you, child? What lesson have you learned this night?”
I look at my hands, still bleeding from deep, jagged cuts, and at Kiyyah’s still form. I’m still not sure what’s going on, I’m not even sure this is real, but I somehow know that whatever I’ve gotten into, there’s no getting out. I clear my throat, straighten my back, and look my new master in the eye.
“I live to serve, Master.”