Killing Osmond Moore
“You’re gonna die, Mister.”
Osmond Moore looked up from his novel and met eyes with the seemingly innocent child, a little girl of no more than 3 or 4. Her bright blue eyes gleamed wide, and her thin blonde hair was tucked under her little red baseball cap, the words ‘Who’s on First’ were embroidered on the front. She wore a baby pink sun dress and flowery flip flops on her feet. Their eyes stayed locked for a spell before Mr. Moore broke the trance.
“What?” he responded, blinking a few times and faltering the words.
“I said you are gonna die,” she responded. She never cracked a smile, never pointed, never gestured. She just stood there, arms swinging back and forth at her side, like two long pendulums. Her face was expressionless, and her eyes batted gracefully at his stunned appearance.
A woman, wearing jeans, a loose fitting floral top, sunglasses, her hair tied back into a pony tail and bare footed, ran up to the girl and lifted her up into her arms. The woman looked young, mid-20’s perhaps, and said, “Oh, there you are. Don’t run off like that, sweetheart.”
“Did you hear what I said?” the girl said delicately, yet with a slight hint of demand in her words. The woman looked at her plausible daughter, confused and worried for the man, whom she presumed the girl was bugging greatly.
The late-20’s woman put a single index finger to the child’s mouth with the intention of shushing her. “Hun, don’t bother the nice man,” she scolded her, shaking her head and knitting her eyebrows. The woman looked at Osmond and relaxed her face, pulling the corners of her mouth into a welcoming beam. “I’m so sorry, Sir. She, uh,” The woman bounced the child in her arms and looked at her with a playful expression. “She’s a little too outgoing.” The 3 or 4 year old kept eye contact with him, and never so much as glanced at her probable mother.
“Friendly though,” he reacted. He looked back at the girl, who stared at him with wide eyes. He could sense a bit of anger, a bit of frustration, but calm. Very calm. “And, yes. I did hear what you said. Everyone dies eventually, but I won’t die for a long time. No need to worry.”
The woman laughed quietly. Osmond joined along.
“Your child?” he asked, looking back at the woman. She nodded.
“Yes. I’m Mandy, and this is my daughter, Sarah. I’m sorry for any inconvenience she may have caused you. She is only 3 after all. Still learning her manners, huh?”
Again, she looked at Sarah lightly. Sarah didn’t look back. She kept her eyes locked on Osmond, in a deep state of concentration. Mandy shook her head at her daughter’s strange behavior and sighed deeply.
“Well, it’s been a pleasure to meet you…” She hesitated, waiting for him to say something. He took the hint.
“Osmond. Osmond Moore.”
“It’s been a pleasure to meet you, Osmond. Unfortunately, we must be going. Maybe we’ll run into to each other sometime again.”
“I hope so.” Osmond smiled. “Have a good day, ma’am!”
“Thanks!” Mandy replied gleefully. “You, too!” They began to walk off, and Sarah kept her eyes on him.
“No, Mister,” she said. Mandy stopped and watched what she was about to say. “You’re going to die today.” Then, she looked away.
An hour later, Osmond Moore lay in his bed, on his back, staring straight up at the ceiling of his two bedroom apartment. He was thinking. He was worried about what the child had said. That sweet, seemingly innocent, little girl. Her voice echoed throughout his restless mind.
‘You’re gonna die…’
He shuddered and took a big gulp of saliva. He tried to talk himself out of the fear, tried to be rational.
‘She’s only a child. She doesn’t know better. You’re not going to die. Not today,’ he thought. Even after attempting to convince himself this, he still was afraid for his life.
He turned off the lamp on his bedside table and scanned the digital clock next to it. He took note of the time, 8:34, and closed his eyes to try his best at a good night’s rest.
After 20 minutes, Osmond still tossed and turned, pulling the sheets and rolling around. He just could not for the life of him fall asleep knowing what that little girl said to him. He stared at the ceiling, and once again, his head swarmed with thoughts.
‘No, Mister. You’re going to die today.’
At the same time as Mr. Moore was trying to fall into a happy dream, Mandy Gutierrez was effortlessly trying to get her daughter to sleep.
“Sarah,” she’d complain. “Go to bed, Sarah. Mommy’s tired.”
“No. I want to stay up and play with Mathew.”
Mandy smiled and tilted her head. Mathew has been Sarah’s invisible friend since God knows when. She thought back on the conversations, the tea parties, and the endless talk at the dinner table about what they did that day. All with a strange friend she called Mathew.
Soon, little Sarah would be starting preschool, providing her with some real life friends and hopefully saying goodbye to Mathew, too.
“Well, tell Mathew that it’s time for you to get into your PJ’s. You can see him in the morning.” She talked to Sarah as if Mathew were a living person, as if she really could see him and it wasn’t just all pretend. Once, Mandy had questioned Mathew’s existence. Sarah threw the worst temper tantrum she’d seen before.
“I mean, you have to be careful with little kids,” she told her sister after the incident. “You never know what might get them upset.”
Sarah stopped what she was doing and looked up at her Mom slowly. Her eyebrows were cross, she looked angry.
“I don’t have to listen to you no more,” she said in full seriousness. Sarah relaxed her facial expression and went back to talking with Mathew, sitting in the middle of the living room floor.
“Excuse me? I’m your Mother, and you do as I say.” Mandy started to become harsher, trying to get the point across to her little girl. She’d never shown this much bad behavior before. It began to worry her.
“No,” she replied, not even regarding her Mother.
“Sarah, if you’re not UP and getting ready for bed when I say 10, you go STRAIGHT into a timeout! 1…2…3…”
Sarah didn’t move, didn’t even show the slightest bit of concern in the rising numbers, or the consequence with which they came.
Sarah whispered to him, talking to an empty chair, smiling with not a care in the world. She nodded to Mathew, paying no attention into her Mother’s words.
“Mathew says you should get the fuck out.” Mandy gasped at her words. Sarah looked at her with her sweet little angelic face and turned away once again. Mandy put her hands to her mouth and tears began to escape from her eyes. She had never once said that word, not that she could ever remember. She was a careful Mom, and knew whatever words Sarah heard, she’d immediately begin to use them. She didn’t even let herself say words like crap or damn. Where her little girl would have learned to say something like that was beyond her. They hardly ever left the house, never watched movies above G or TV not on Disney. They had nobody she knew of that would dare say something that explicit, that vile, in front of her own baby. Mandy dropped her hands and took a deep breath.
“Honey, who told you that word?”
She waited in silence for what seemed like an hour, but was probably somewhere closer to 5 seconds. Sarah didn’t move, didn’t speak. She just looked up at that empty spot in the chair.
“Mathew,” she answered.
The question just seemed to slip out, and Mandy didn’t even think, didn’t realize the consequence it may have had. Yet, without considering, she asked it. She was not prepared for what came next.
“What else has Mathew told you?”
“That you’re gonna die.” Sarah looked at her Mom’s nervous face. “You’re gonna die today.”
Sarah stood up and walked to her Mother, who stood in the kitchen, shaking her head, tears on her face, mouthing the word ‘No’ repeatedly. Sarah’s attitude turned from bad to worse before Mandy could comprehend what was happening.
“Mommy’s gonna die. Mommy’s gonna die.” The little angel’s eyes bulged, her mouth skewing into an exaggerated scowl. Her tiny fists swung toward the Mother, who slowly backed away, her hands gripping to the edge of the counter.
Mandy began to speak out loud now. “No. No. No.” She shook her head in horror. “NO!”
Sarah began to punch her creator in the leg, chanting as she did so. “Mommy’s gonna die. Mommy’s gonna die.”
“Baby, stop. Please, no.” Mandy cried. She cried harder than when her Mother died when she was 9, she cried harder than when her husband left her, she cried harder than when her brother was killed, and she cried harder than when her Father died of a heart attack the day afterwards. Mandy Gutierrez had reached a breaking point.
She launched her left hand out to the drawer and fumbled around for a split second before her fingers grasped the handle of a long, narrow, stainless steel steak knife. She switched it to her dominate right hand and held it out, blade first, to the neck of her 3-year-old daughter.
Sarah stopped cold, her arms falling down to her sides. Her face relaxed, now a look of genuine fear and anguish upon her. Her small tongue wet her lips and swallowed. The girls breathing slowed and became more pronounced. Mandy kept crying.
“Please don’t make Mommy do this, Sarah.” She spoke to her between bursts of tears and breaths of air. Her grip loosened on the handle of the blade. “Don’t let Mommy die.”
For a short moment, she saw in Sarah the little girl she had known before. The friendly Sarah, who played dress up and gave her dolls baths in the bathroom sink. The one who smiled affectionately and cuddled next to her during a storm.
The sweet silent image was broken by two words. Two words spoken by an invisible source, heard behind her in a deep, raspy male voice. “No fear.”
The look of surrender in her little girls face transformed to the frightening image of a psychotic child urged on the goal of killing Mandy. “No, Mommy.” Her words were pronounced and slow, and her baby hand clawed at the knife in her Mother’s grasp. The knife fell out and clanged onto the hard tile flooring by her feet. Sarah went for it. Mandy screamed.
“NO!” The late-20’s woman clenched her hand into a fist and swung it, knocking the 3-year-old girl in the face and into the sharp edge of the kitchen counter. Her hand grasped a wad of the girls thin blonde hair and ripped it out of her soft, delicate scalp, letting it fall out of her hand and scatter to the floor. Mandy’s hand shook, in disbelief of what she had just done to her own child. She would never be able to live with the thought of what terrible abuse she had just unleashed upon her.
‘What have I done?’ she thought to herself.
Mandy kept backing away slowly from Sarah, step by step by step, until she bumped into the refrigerator behind her. Her hands, splattered with the blood of her baby, met with the cold surface of the door and she slid down to the floor, bawling. She looked up at her daughter, whose face lay hidden from view, looking down at her feet. A large, red gory spot on the middle of her head lay bare of any hair. The girl looked up slowly, putting her eyes into view. The knife was held tightly in her hand.
“No fear,” she muttered. Little Sarah bounded onto her Mother’s weak body, holding the knife like a simple play toy. She pinned her down to the floor, expressionless and deathly terrifying. Mandy didn’t speak. The little 3-year-old clasped the steel utensil skillfully above her face, blade first.
“Mommy,” she asked curiously. “What does fuck mean?”
The knife came toward Mandy’s eye, and it never came out.
Quincy Fisher, better known to his friends as simply ‘Q’, ran through the dark streets on this pleasant, summer night. He wore a dark purple hoodie over a plain white tee, and black athletic shorts paired with some brand new Nike shoes. His iPod remained on shuffle, now blasting Skrillex through his cheap pair of Apple ear buds. He kept his pace with the beat of the music and never stopped going.
The atmosphere suddenly became rich with the taste of fear and terror, the gravity seemed to increase and running became more difficult. Q slowed down and came to a halt. Two silhouettes came into his view, and he removed one ear bud to get a better look.
The first shadow was short and slim, like that of a child. The other seemed taller and more muscular, but also a bit more obscure. The first shadow emerged from the light evening mist and kept advancing in his direction. The other stayed at a distance, out of sight, observing.
The small shadow turned into a small child, a little girl with a discomforting disfigured look. A large purple and black bruise covered roughly half of her face, starting at her left eye and smearing all the way down to her cheekbone. A clump of hair was missing from the top of her head. The girl wore a fading pink dress, splattered with red stains and she wore no shoes. In her left hand was a long, sharp knife, stained with blood.
Q felt a small portion of barf fill his mouth at her sight. A chilling ice cold breeze slithered up his spine. He swallowed the fluids back down and tried to keep his cool as she came to arm’s length from him. He grinned a nervous smile and knelt down to her height. She stopped in front of him.
“Well, hey there little one! What’s your name?” he asked, trying to sound unafraid, even if he was trembling in icy fear. The girl spoke.
“Sarah,” she replied. Her expression was intense, and it looked as though she were upset at him for asking. He tried to keep his calm appearance.
“Well, Sarah, my name is Quincy. Are you lost?” If she were, he could help her find her way back home. He didn’t want to up and leave her. You never know what could have happened.
‘Don’t judge on looks,’ he reminded himself.
“No,” she said. Her look remained the same. “I’m just playing a game.”
Q had a bad feeling, but wasn’t about to take it and run. He wanted to help her.
“Really,” he said. “Well, what are you playing? You think I could join, too?” He smiled at her, trying to hide his panic from the child. She held out the knife, and he jumped back. The smile faded and his mouth gaped open in dread.
“Sure,” she said, as if there were nothing frighteningly strange about her behavior. “It’s called killing.” She swung the knife at him, slicing it clean through his thigh like an expert butcher. The blade went in to the skin about 3 inches, snapping away at the nerves and pulling back out smoothly. He screamed in misery, his hands clenching the now blood soaked portion of his leg. The pain was unlike anything he felt before. The slice burned at the muscles, stinging like citrus over an open wound. His leg became limp in a dull ache, and he collapsed onto his back, slamming hard against the gritty pavement. He winced at the twinge as she stood over him, now smiling.
“Bye-bye!” she said, waving her hand above his face. She kept walking, leaving him open veined in the street. The world around him became blurred, and he drifted off into a long, dark slumber.
Osmond knelt at the side of his bed in the late hours of the night, his hands clenched together, joined in prayer.
“Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the malice and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen.”
Reciting this made him feel safe, made him feel like he was in charge of what crossed the door. He wanted himself, Mandy and the little girl to be sheltered from the evil that may be in their midst. He didn’t know if it was something evil, but even if it wasn’t, it made him feel protected. Now, in his mind, there was nothing wrong with the girl. She was only 3, after all.
A tapping sounded against the glass of his second floor window. A steady rat-tat-tat. He jumped, taken my surprise. He looked over at the dark window. Another tap came, and with it a small pebble hit the outside of the glass. His heart began to beat nervously, his fear returning. He didn’t want to look, didn’t want to see what monstrosity lay outside his window. Yet, he began to slowly approach it. The frail floorboards creaked underneath his easy steps. Inch by inch, he progressed. Soon, his eyes looked down out the window at the ground below, and the small figure that stood looking up at him. Her face was concealed by the foggy black, but he knew immediately who it was that stood before him.
“Hey, Mister,” Sarah spoke sweetly, like a little chiming bell. “It’s time…” Her darkened outline went forward into the building to the steps that led up to his door. This was real.
He flew across the room to the front door of his apartment, grabbing a chair from the dining table as he went. The door was already latched, bolted and locked from the inside, but he wanted to insure his safety. He tucked the chair underneath the handle and backed up 5 feet. He could hear her steps coming up the stairs. He trembled, waiting for her to come to the door.
“Hey, Mister. Open up!” she tried to open the door, but the handle merely jiggled. “I know you’re in there!”
She pounded against the door, seeming to make the whole room shake. He stayed his distance. Osmond Moore was truly scared for his life.
“Stay away from me!” he demanded. She didn’t stop.
“Don’t make me mad!” she said, her voice rising in volume. The room kept trembling under the violent slams to the door. Osmond shook violently under the pressure.
“Stop!” he cried. The pounding paused, and the shaking of the room came to a slow silence. His breathing was heavy, and the air was dead of any sound. Osmond swallowed and didn’t move.
“Hello?” he said quietly. The latch broke, the bolt turned and the lock clicked. The little girls menacing laughter rung behind the door. It swung open, batting the chair off and slamming it into Osmond, who smashed into the wall behind him. He could see Sarah, her mutilated face smirking at him, the knife held high above her head, ready to slaughter.
“Stop! Stop!” he screamed, pushing the splintered remains of the chair off of him. She kept coming, laughing hideously. He looked around, trying desperately to find a way to fend her off. Next to him, on a small table, lay a 5 inch long, wooden cross. He lifted it off the table and, holding it in his hand, closed his eyes and pointed it toward the evil child.
Her laughing ceased and he opened one eye to look at her. She dropped the knife at the sight of the symbol. She looked scared, terrified of the object. He couldn’t believe it had worked.
“Kick the knife to me,” he said. She followed his command and the knife slid across the floor to him. He picked it up with his left hand, keeping the cross pointed to her. He stood up and pointed the blade toward her, trying to keep her threatened by him. He walked closer, feeling more confident now. She backed away, keeping her distance.
“Why are you doing this, Sarah?” he asked. She looked up at him with wide, trembling eyes.
“He told me,” she replied. Her voice quivered, full of fear. A tear began to well up in her eye.
“Who told you?”
She backed away again, her bottom lip shivering. Her breathing was shallow. “Mathew…”
Her smile slowly began to return, and Osmond’s eyes became full of fear. A warm cloud surrounded the cross, and the wood became hot to the touch. A small flickering flame sparked at the top and he dropped it on the floor, the whole thing bursting into scolding flames at impact.
“God!” he exclaimed, his voice full of alarm. He kept the knife in his hand. Sarah giggled, pointing in his direction. She kept her stance in the frame of the door. He looked at her with frightened eyes.
“What are you!?” he screamed. A sharp voice came from behind him. A deep, raspy menacing laugh. He swallowed, and slowly, he turned around. Behind him, plastered on the wall, was the shadow of a man. It stood 7 feet, black as ink, with a fiery red glow illuminating its sides. It laughed at him, mocking his cowardly actions. It was, as Osmond recognized it, a demon. This was Mathew.
The demon reached out of the wall, it’s long, bony clawed hand becoming three-dimensional. Osmond doubled back in terror, narrowly avoiding a scratch from the creature. The rest of its body emerged. Mathew kept laughing in a deep hallow voice. Osmond’s mouth became dry and numb. Its arm swung out toward him again, knocking over the table in the process. He ducked down to escape the claw.
Osmond stood up straight and swung the knife toward it, his whole arm going straight through the cold, cloudy body. The demon grabbed his wrist. The feeling of dry ice on bare skin burned through Osmond’s arm. He screamed in pain. It laughed.
The arm of the demon raised him high in the air before tossing him aside like a piece of trash. Osmond collided with the large wall window, causing the glass to shatter. The back of his head was slammed against the pane as small shards injected into his skin. He fell to the floor, almost unable to breathe, but in extreme situations, nothing would stop him. He got hastily up on his feet to see the seven foot black monster parading toward him.
Mathew reached out his long, bony arm and gripped Osmond’s blue shirt, lifting him a foot off the ground. He was at eye level with it now, and could clearly see every frightening detail of its face. His eyes were solid, glowing red with what seemed like a spark of a flame igniting inside. His forehead lines were in a V-shape, angling at his eyes and narrowing to a point at his nose. His nose consisted of two black holes, rapidly expanding and contracting to his heavy breathing. He could feel the hot air rushing into his face with each exhale of the demons breath. Its mouth was held together with a gory, stringy skin. Osmond was terribly frightened of it, but would not give up. He would not let himself die.
“Get the fuck out…” he said. The demon screeched, its mouth opening, the bloody skin stretching out to reveal a fiery gaping hole. Osmond thrust the knife toward the demons face, slashing through its cheek. Glowing orange ooze spilled out of the wound, and the creature leapt back into the dark, out of sight. Mr. Moore dropped back to his feet and promptly made his way toward the girl, who still stood in the doorway with a large evil grin on her face.
“He’s gonna chew you up, Mister. He’s gonna chew you up and eat you. You’re gonna die.” Little Sarah giggled, but Osmond grabbed her shoulder and pulled her in front of him, putting the edge of the knife against her neck.
“Show yourself, Satan. Show yourself! I’ll kill her! I’ll kill YOU!” Osmond kept threatening, but it never revealed itself. He remained in the door way for a minute of silence, completely dead, eerie silence, until finally there was a sign it was still there. Loud thudding footsteps came from the shadows, steady heartbeat rhythms that echoed through the weak flooring. He looked around, trying to find the red eyes in the shadows that surrounded them. Suddenly, there was once again silence. The demon leaped forward from the dark, tearing its claws into the wooden floor. It crawled on all fours, screeching and hissing at him.
“Leave, you pawn of the devil! Leave this world and go back to hell!” Osmond’s eyes were full of anger, trying to cover the fear he felt. The knife came closer to Sarah’s fragile skin. The demon crawled closer, gradually inching nearer.
“Leave this child!!” he shouted. The demon froze and looked up at Osmond. Sarah squirmed, trying to escape his grip. He wouldn’t let her go. “In the name of God, leave this child!”
A burst of the magma looking substance occurred on the head of the demon. It screamed in pain. It was working.
“In the name of God, leave this child! In the name of God, leave this child!” Osmond repeated the phrase, and with it one more burst of the demons blood occurred. The demon began to retreat against the wall behind it, its claws scratching at the glowing spots that bled with the liquid. The shadowy figure began to melt away in a brilliant display of liquid flames, screaming a blood-curdling wail.
“Go to hell!” Osmond shouted. Mathew exploded, splattering the hot liquid all over the room. He felt Sarah gasp, her eyes rolled back, and her body became limp. The girl collapsed onto the floor with a heavy thud. Osmond stood for a moment, still and in shock. He breathed intensely, his grip loosening on the bloody steak knife before it fell to the floor. Osmond moved his gaze toward the girl, who lay on her back, her chest moving up and down rapidly. He snapped back into the moment and bent down. He felt her wrists for a pulse. She was okay.
“Sarah!” he said, shaking her, trying to awake her. “Sarah!” She coughed, a bit of blood coming up. Her eyes began to open and she blinked a few times. She looked up at Osmond with wide eyes. She was sweet, innocent, like any other 3 year old girl. She swallowed and spoke in a soft, sore, melodic voice.
“Hey, Mister,” she said. “Where’s my Mommy?”
Sarah Gutierrez sat in a small wooden chair with the letters ‘ABC’ carved on the back. Her knees were pressed together and her small hands rested in her lap. She stared out the window at the street outside and the large sign that blocked most the view.
‘Orphanage’ it said in large, black lettering.
“Hey, Sarah!” said a small voice behind her. She turned around. It was a little boy, possibly 5 years of age, with dirty brown hair and a freckled smirk. He wore a fading Spider-Man tee and overly worn jeans with large holes on the knees. He looked at the sad girl’s expression and smiled. “You wanna play with me?”
“No,” she replied immediately, turning back toward the window.
The boy stood there, his smile fading, looking at the back of Sarah’s head. “But, I have toys?” he said, somewhat confident he could win her over. She didn’t even glance back.
“Go away, Boy!” she said emphatically. He pouted and looked down at his feet.
“Okay,” he said hopelessly. “I’ll go ask Benny.” He shuffled off and Sarah kept her eyes on an empty space on the brick wall across the road.
Memories projected themselves into her mind. Images of what happened after that man had picked her up. Vivid images.
She remembered, as if it were only the day before last, walking through the splintered remains of her front door. Her Mother’s mangled body lie spread out in the small kitchen, the tile floor stained red. Large gashes slashed down her chest, her entrails spilling out onto her cotton shirt. Her head was bashed in, a piece of sharp broken skull bone poking out from the skin, and her eyes lay next to her body, gaping holes pooled with blood where they once were. She knew she had done it, but she didn’t have too much memory of the actual murder. All she remembered was a tall, dark figure looking down at her.
His presence was overwhelming and his voice soothing and persuasive. She was comfortable listening to him, doing as he said. Most the time, his commands gave her a rush. The image burned into her mind, of him, her Mother, and all the events that occurred that day, exactly two years ago. She felt a familiar sensation come over her, and she smiled. Someone spoke behind her in a deep, raspy male voice.
She looked down at her hands, holding a long, shiny, freshly sharpened steak knife.
© Copyright Brendan Swogger 2012
The idea for this story came to me as I was sitting at a park, thinking up what terrible things could happen to me. The idea of a little girl telling me I was going to die wasn’t much by itself, but it was creepy enough to lead to something more. Immediately, I started writing it and when I finished the scene with Mandy and Sarah, I read it over. I was slightly disgusted at how disturbing and upsetting it was, especially being the main antagonist in only 3. I set it aside for a few days to think about where I should go from there and whether I really wanted to publish it. I decided I had put enough effort into it and, in my opinion, it was probably one of the best things I’ve written. So, I finished it up, put a fresh new twist on it and even, as you saw at the beginning, took the time to create it’s own cover. Comment below and tell me what you thought. You can share this story on Twitter and Facebook, follow me on Twitter and like me on Facebook for exclusive posts. Have an idea for a story you want published? Click on Reader’s Requests at the top of the page and follow the link where you can send me a quick prompt. Your story may be published! Happy Reading! 😉