– Samar, wake up. The Sun is almost down.
– Is it night yet? I don’t want to wake up so early. Lina I am still sleepy.
– We need to go down to the lower house in few minutes, we can’t be late. Come on, you can sleep in the living room in the lower house.
5 years old Samar slowly sat in her bed barely opening her eyes. Impatiently, her sister grabbed her sleeve and pulled her out. Samar said in a whining tone pulling her sleep from her sister’s grip.
– I coming, I am coming Lina.
– I have a surprise for you, but we need to go down fast, hurry up.
The two little girls got out from their rooms and started to walk downstairs, as they were passing their father’s room, a hissing sound mixed of spasms and rattling. Sounds of something tearing up leather. Human groans started to faint and familiar clicks started to get louder. Lina holds her sister’s hand hard and she ran down the stairs. Her sister glided every two steps together.
– Slow down, I am falling.
– We need to get to the lower house faster Samar.
The two little girls arrived to the basement door, 10 years old Lina opened it and let her younger sister enter. She closed and locked the door. Then went down a dozen more stairs to a second door. Samar grabbed the door knob, rolled it open and entered followed by Lina who gently and quietly closed the door, she started locking it when both girls heard a clicking sound coming behind the first door. Samar opened her eyes widely and held her breath. Lina came to her sister and hugged her. Both sisters looked into each other’s eyes as Lina tried to soothe the fuzzy flying light hairs in her sister’s head. Lina took a deep breath and demonstrated to her sister how to breathe slowly and calmly. Samar followed her sister’s gestures.
– I am hungry Lina.
– There is a surprise for you. Daddy brought it during the day. Just sit on the couch and close your eyes.
Samar went to the couch, jumped on and sat down, she took another deep and fast breath. Lina head to the small fridge in the basement, and took out a small strawberry cake. Placed five candles on top and lighted them. She carried the cake to the table and placed it there.
– Don’t open your eyes yet.
Samar tightened her eyelids to each other and nodded yes. Lina walked fast to the small closed and took two gifts, one is wrapped in pink and blue, and the other was a stuffed white owl toy tied with a golden ribbon. She went to the couch and sat beside her sister. She told her sister to open her eyes as she was smiling.
Samar abruptly opened her eyes, looked at the birthday cake and at the two gifts. A wide smile brightened her face. She held the wrapped present.
– No, you need to make a wish and blew out the candles. Then you can play with your presents.
Samar put the box down, she closed her eyes again and made a hearty wish. Then blew the candles hard. Lina clapped gently as if she didn’t want to drag any attention. Then opened a drawer beside her and took out a pair of paper plates, plastic forks, and a medium size plastic knife. She placed them on the table and started cutting the cake. Samar in a restless voice said:
– Can I open the present now?
– Yes of course you can.
The birthday girl tore up the wraps and found a white box with young girls drawn on it, girls look like her.
– Wow is this a treasure box?
– It’s a music box Samar.
Samar opened it, and a lullaby music played. The Lina closed the box after a short time.
– We don’t want to bring him here. Let us eat some cake and go to sleep.
– But I just woke up.
– Ok, we’ll stay up for a while, then go to sleep. We don’t want to stay up in the night, he can feel it.
Samar’s body loosened up in disappointment, she took the white owl and kissed it.
– Don’t fear anything Mr. Daylight, things will turn out alright.
The girls ate some cake and had some milk. They took their PJs from the closed and wore them. Then they went to their beds. Lina tucked her sister in, kissed her on the forehead. Then went to rest her tired body for the night. Before slumber stage, both girls hear the sound of huge wings flip fast, similar to an amplified sound of a grasshopper’s wings. It was floating around the house. Then it flew away.
Sunlight started to sneak in the cracks of thewindows shut by wooden plates, Lina opened her eyes. One beam always washed her lovely face in the morning, she was never bothered by it, sometimes this sun beam was the only warm entity she had, and she was always comforted by it because it meant that the danger phase is over, and they can go back to life.
– Samar, wake up, it’s morning.
Samar yawned, the sat in her bed.
– Is daddy coming today?
– Yes, he will, he always come in the morning.
There were knocks on the upper door, and a familiar voice shouted: Girls, are you up yet?
Samar and Lina jumped from their beds and rushed to open the first door, then raced to the second door. The girls pushed each other’s hands as they were hasting to open the door. The bigger sister won and unlocked it. The face of middle aged father crunched in joy to see the two apples of his eyes hold onto his legs. Giggles filled the house as they played.
– I am so glad both of are alright. I was so worried about you.
– Don’t worry father, I followed your instructions and was sure that everything is alright.
– This is my big girl. And you my sweet birthday girl, did you like your cake?
– Since there is no school today, why don’t we go in a picnic? Go upstairs, wash your most beautiful places,
The two girls ran in thrill, the father called Lina to wait. She approached him with an empty face.
– Lina. Did…did anything happened last night?
– No daddy, nothing happened. We remained clam as you told us.
The father nodded in relief and told his older girl to go and get dressed. It was a calm day, the weather was nice although there was no breeze. The father and his two little girls sat in the shadow of an oak tree not far from their mother’s grave and the grave of their Saint Bernard puppy Mr. Plump. The poor creature were forgotten one night by the girls, and Lina always felt responsible for his death. Ad a grasshopper jumped before Samar, she screamed from fear. Lina scared the creature away, the father held and kissed both.
No one knows when this started. Before their mother died, she used to take the two girls to the basement, but one day she disappeared. The two girls remained in the basement for two days as the father was cleaning the blood from the floor and walls.
The three of them returned home in the afternoon. The two girls were tired. They went to their room to clean up and change. The two girls were in the bathroom washing their dusty hands when their father came and stood in the doorway, then he crossed his arms and leaned on the door.
– Girls, do you think that we should stay like this? I mean, you can always go to another home and be free without restrictions, and without…you know…it is not a life to stay in fear like that.
– Do you mean that you want to leave us Dad?
– No Lina…I don’t want to, I am forced to. I can’t do this anymore. I love you girls so much and I feel that I can’t breathe as I am saying this, but I can’t let you stay anymore. I can’t stand the idea that something would happen to you, not by my hands. You need to live a natural life, you need to evolve peacefully like other kids. You don’t deserve this curse, it is mine, not yours. Tomorrow we will search for a new home for you ya? I am going to my room. Tonight might be the last time you hide.
The girls’ eyes sank in tears and glittered. The father turned his face away, then started walking to his room. The girls dried their hands, then together went and laid on Lina’s bed. They looked in each other eyes and cried. Line held her sister, both wept for a long time till they used all their energy. Both girls slept hugging.
Samar opened her eyes and took her few seconds to get used to the darkness, as if she was hit by thunder, she suddenly sat in her bed, and started to shake her sister and whispering with a wounded voice: Lina, wake up it is dark.
Lina opened her eyes in terror. She grabbed her sister’s hand and both headed to the door of the room. Lina took a look first, and they heard a sharp groans coming out from their father’s room.
– No Lina, he will catch us.
– We need to get downstairs, if we stay here he will catch us.
They started running in the hallway, as they passed their father’s room, they caught a picture frame of their transforming father. His long legs came out from his sides, jaws from his cheeks and red compound eyes. His four wings were still wet and fragile. The father noticed the girls passing and screamed to the sky and chased the hunt.
Lina and Samar ran downstairs. They could hear the creature climbing down the stairs. They barely made it to the first door. Samar entered first, Lina turned to close it and she saw the huge monster with his wings flipping coming her way. Immediately she closed the door and ran downstairs to the lower door left open by her younger sister. She heard a loud hit followed by an angry groan and clicks. Then the creature hit the door again. Lina closed the second door and locked it. Her sister Samar was hiding under the bed. Lina tried to push a heavy chair to block the door, as the sound of bumping grew louder and louder.
– Samar help me here.
The young sister couldn’t move. They heard the first door shattered.
– Samar please help me.
Finally, the child came out from under the bed, and helped her sister pushing the chair behind the door. Then they heard a loud bump on the door. Both girls were petrified.
– Hide Samar, to the laundry corner room.
In the basement, there is a small hallway that was turned into a laundry room by the father, inside it is a machine washer, a dryer and on the other side long freezer were the family kept the meat and ice. As Samar entered the room, she didn’t think of but the white freezer. She opened it and hid inside.
Lina was searching in the room for something to fight with, but her father made it a safe room for the girls so they would not heart themselves at night. She grabbed the lamb and hid in the closet. A long time passed as the creature was trying to destroy the door, a brief silent came. Lina thought that the monster gave up and left. She carefully opened the door, as she came out the creature attacked.
In the morning the father woke up in a pool of blood, he saw the lifeless empty body of Lina. He wailed and cried out for his younger daughter. He searched the basement, then went up and down the house looking for his child. He went down the basement again, sat without moving beside his dead daughter. Then he decided to bury Lina beside her mother before he resume the search for his younger child. He prayed that Samar would be in a safe place if he couldn’t find her at night. The father carried Lina in his arms as he was weeping, hugged her on his way the freezer to put her in before he goes out and dig a grave for her beside the oak tree. He opened the freezer and found the lifeless icy blue body of his younger child.