Author's notes: Excuse the typos, it's late and I'll do my usual proofreading later.
The Entity had existed for so long it
didn't know what it was or how it came to be. Not that it worried
over such trivialities, its one overwhelming need was to feed. In
some ways it wasn't much different from common bacteria, as long as
it found sustenance to insure its continued survival nothing else
mattered. It had no dreams for itself, no aspirations, no desire for
love or to improve its condition.
Understand, the Entity was intelligent,
in a sense, because it knew of humanity and the slice of reality the
scurrying, glorified bags of water occupied. Because the Entity fed
exclusively on their fears, their darkest emotions. It would latch on
to a damaged soul and twist whatever nightmares or dark memories
played in their minds to the point nothing would be left. The usual
result for that person was death with the Entity satiated for what
humans perceived as decades.
Not that it left humans alone until it
hungered again. The Entity, and those like it, were often the cause
for a sudden bad feeling someone would get for no reason. The basis
for the bad memory, long forgotten, to suddenly resurfaced. In the
worst cases, the Entity and its kin were the reason for a totally
unexpected and horrific crime of passion. Something that would leave
the perpetrator claiming he or she had never in their wildest dreams
meant to hurt the victim.
Not that it and its kind were to blame
for all human failings. Humanity was an unfinished product with
enough inherent flaws to make its long term survival highly
questionable. It went without saying that humanity's worst enemy was
always itself. That was what made humans an ideal source of food.
The Entity had for years resided in
the house of its last meal. There was no attachment to the construct
any human would understand. Structures were just convenient vessels
to given them a physical form in the human universe because the
Entity had no real substance they could easily call upon.
Years before a family of three,
father, mother, and young son had moved into the house. The father,
a newly wealthy businessman wanted nothing more than to expand his riches. The mother's chief desire was to achieve social standing
among the other wives of her husband's business circle. At best, the
two ignored their young son who suffered from loneliness and cruel
treatment by his cold nanny.
The boy offered such an abundance of
fear that the Entity was almost gleeful as it fed like a bloated tick
on a dog. As the boy grew older and became a teenager, the Entity twisted
his fears into rage and hate. The Entity grew so strong from its
efforts and the purity of the boy's dark emotions it gained the
ability to physically manifest itself in the human realm. But even
for the Entity, all good things must come to an end.
One winter morning the boy took an ax
to his nanny and fed the pieces of her body to the basement furnace.
The mother came home early from a church meeting that day and came
close to suffering a similar fate. She escaped the house and ran out
into the snow covered street drenched in her own blood. When the
police arrived to take the boy into custody he offered no resistance
and peaceably went off to jail. Later that night he hung himself in
his cell, but not before telling his court appointed attorney that a
voice in his head prompted him to murder his nanny and attack his
Days after the boy kills himself, the
father and mother mysteriously die in their beds. Autopsies of the
two are performed but fail to determine what caused their demise.
Word does slip out to the community that the medical examiner made an
offhand comment saying that if he didn't know any better its seems
something scared them to death. Like all bizarre incidents, the
largely rational people of the community soon move on with their
lives and forget the event ever happened.
The Entity, fully satisfied, will spend
years alone in the house only leaving to take advantage of any
troubled human it might stumbled upon. Things do change and
eventually someone does buy the old house with the intent of
returning it to its full glory.
Noah James unlocks the front door and
enters the foyer wondering if his plan made any sense. The house,
largely empty for twelve years, is in far worse shape than when he
initially looked at the place. Most notably, there is a clearly
defined crack running along one of the living room walls. The house
has major foundation issues, Noah mentally kicks himself for not
noticing it until now. Such an issue might make profitably flipping
the house impossible.
Noah sighs, and resigns himself to
another possible huge failure. His worst still being the death of his
wife and daughter while he was deployed to Iraq. With nothing left in
his life but to move on despite his deep desire to just quit, Noah
walks back out to his truck to unload his tools and supplies for this
The Entity is overwhelmed at its luck,
this new human was surrounded by raw despair. Another tortured soul
so soon after the boy is incredible. Still powerful from twisting the
boy into a murderer, the possibilities with this new prey are nearly
endless. That night as Noah slept in the living room on a recently
bought cot, the Entity touched his mind to begin feeding.
The Entity perceived a wealth of pain
unmatched in its long history. His new victim had seen unparalleled
cruelty and even taken part in a few events. But what mostly haunted
the man was the loss of his wife and young daughter, and the fact
that he had been with another woman in Iraq almost the exact moment
they were killed in a car crash back home. There was so much to feed
from this mind, the Entity thought to itself, that it might be able
to permanently take physical form in the human reality. An
achievement for its kind that that had pushed the world towards
madness several times over the centuries.
But there was a problem, his victim
wasn't connected to his emotions. It was as if the Entity was facing
an unscalable wall between it and something close to infinite
treasure and power on the other side. It frustrated the Entity,
something it had never in its memory felt before during its long
existence. But if anything the Entity was patient, it had infiltrated
cleaner human minds and been well rewarded for it.
Weeks went by as Noah methodically
gutted most of the house's infrastructure barely leaving anything but
the basic frame in some places. The man remembered the horrific
dreams that plagued him at night but he refused to succumb to the
despair they tried to inspire. Noah wanted a fresh start to his life,
and even though he wasn't religious in any real sense, he wanted a
path to redemption from what he had done and who he betrayed.
While the Entity didn't perceive time
as humans, several months passed with it still unable to touch the
core of his new prey. It raged inside its dark realm unable to find a
way to tap into what amounted to its victim's soul. So the Entity
renews its assault, this time playing to the human's self-pity. It
whispers to the human's subconscious that his actions in Iraq were
justified and that his wife had probably been cheating on him while
he fought overseas. Worst of all, the Entity tried to plant the seed
that his daughter hadn't really been his, that at birth the baby
looked a lot like one of his wife's old boyfriends from high school.
These nagging falsehoods took their
toll, but Noah refused to yield to their self-deception. Noah
understood the hurt he had caused in Iraq and while others had
written off his actions as the normal costs of war, he refused. As
far as the possibility of his wife cheating and his daughter not
being his child, that was simply not conceivable.
This enraged the Entity, throughout its
existence all its other prey would have long since fallen. This
troubled human's embrace of its faults had become the bedrock of its
strength. The prey even refused to indulge in self-pity and
irrational justification, something even the best human's normally
Had the Entity not been a creature of
chaos and destruction, it might have given up on the human and just
used it huge surplus of energy to survive until another victim
appeared. But this human radiated such dark emotions and despair the
reward for sucking his soul dry would be like none before.
That left the Entity one option, it
would have repeat what it did to the parents of its last victim, a
physical manifestation that would drive the human insane thereby
destroying its mental defenses. Such an action would spoil the taste
of the prey's emotions but the energy it would reap would be
As the day progressed Noah perceived
something was off with everything and nothing. It reminded him of
some days back in Iraq when the village locals did their best to act
normal around the Americans but knew that insurgents were going raise
hell that night. Noah tried to shake it off but long ingrained habits
and outright instinct told him something bad was coming.
He called it quits a little earlier
than usual and decided to get cleaned up and grab a burger at one of
the nearby diners. It would do him good to get away from the house,
even though he finally could see the finished line and hopefully a
profit from his efforts.
Noah returned to the house a few hours
later feeling slightly better about the world and himself. That ended
as soon as he stepped inside, a sense of doom overwhelmed his mind
and for a moment he seriously thought about turning around and
running away. But he shook off the feeling subconsciously knowing
that he had to face whatever was about to happen.
The house was dark except for a lamp in
the now finished living room and a halogen work lamp in one of the
bedrooms. Noah walked down the hallway connecting the two areas
looking for the source of his unease. He half expected to find
someone hiding in the house, whether taking refuge from the cold or
trying to steal his tools or supplies. But the first floor of the
house was empty and there was no evidence anyone had been lurking
Grabbing a flashlight and going
upstairs to the second floor, Noah calmly checked out every room
until he came to the master bedroom. Its door was shut, something he
didn't remember doing as he went about his work. By this time in his
search, Noah expected to find nothheing and no one in the house. It
has to be my work schedule, he thought to himself as he opened the
door and stepped inside.
The master bedroom was still very much
a work in progress, The walls had been stripped down to the frame
leaving old wiring and pipes exposed. A pile of both sitting in one
corner of the room.
Noah stepped over to one of the work
lights and turned it on so he could access the hatch leading to the
attic. The next and last place in the house that anyone could hide.
That's when the Entity chose to reveal itself.
As Noah moved toward the ceiling access
hatch to the attic he detected motion to his right. Turning around he
what looked like a dark cloud spinning in one itself. For a moment
Noah figured it was some play of shadows combined with the harsh
light from the work lamp. That was when the scream issued forth from
the bizarre cloud.
Noah was both fearful and entranced by
the spectacle, it was nothing like he had ever seen before. Terror
started to grow in his mind though as he began to see a form take
shape in the cloud, it seemed vaguely human but twisted in on itself.
Part of Noah's subconscious recognized what was happening but the
larger part refused to believe the event was really occurring. It has
to be all the bad dreams and the overwork, he thought to himself.
That is until the apparition's finally form came into view.
The Entity now looked at his prey with
something approaching physical eyes. Yes, it thought to itself, the
human's mental defenses were weakening, it would reap the reward of
sucking his soul dry. The Entity then began moving towards its prey,
physical contact would ensure entry into its mind. It cried out in
victory as each step brought it closer.
Noah was frozen in terror, the thing
moving towards him looked like a human skeleton covered in tar. Where
the eyes and mouth were supposed to be located on the skull, a bright
orange and red light could be seen. To Noah, the thing looked like it
was having a hard time moving, as if the action was something it
hadn't done in a long time or never done at all.
“You have resisted me long enough,
human,” The thing crackled. “I will feast upon your soul and grow
so powerful I will make millions fear my chaos.”
The Entity had made the first of two
mistakes, the first being entering physical form allowed its prey to
see inside its own mind. It was there that Noah sensed all the death
and destruction it had caused over the centuries. Noah could also
perceive what it meant by making millions fear its chaos. Things like
it had sown death and destruction all through human history. Noah
also suddenly realized why he could understand the thing coming
towards him. Because he had caused his own share of death and chaos
in the world without any regard to the pain it produced.
Not that this knowledge was going to do
Noah any good because the thing had grabbed a hold of him and was
trying to sink his claw-like fingers into his head. That's when Noah
learned of the Entity's second mistake.
Taking physical form also made things
like the Entity and his kin vulnerable to harm and even susceptible
to being killed. That knowledge freed Noah from his terror.
Using all his will and strength, Noah
broke away from the Entity and scrambled to the other side of the
room. The Entity, now moving more freely, immediately pounced on its
prey producing a scream that to Noah seemed like something from the
bowels of hell. But Noah fought back throwing his entire body at the
thing knocking it backward a few feet.
“None of your kind has ever escaped
me, human,” it screeched again not for a second realizing that
entering the physical realm had compromised its plan.
Noah didn't have a plan but he was now
angry at all the suffering the thing had produced. So many deaths and
hate and fear that it was a wonder humanity had survived this long.
He had to figure out a way to kill at least this evil.
As the Entity came for Noah again he
realized that the thing would eventually wear him down. Noah looked
around the room hoping there was something he could use as a weapon.
His only option appeared to be a section of iron pipe off in the
Noah jumped around the room and
snatched up the pipe. As weapons went it was pretty sad but like he
learned in the army: improvise, adapt, and overcome. There was a
moment between the two beings as each prepared for the final assault.
It was then that the Entity realized it had once been human, a time
so long ago it was meaningless given the eons it spent outside this
reality. For Noah, he realized that he was about to die, but fighting
such a creature was a good way to make up for his own sins in this
They charged each other with Noah
swinging the pipe and catching the Entity's torso. Chunks of
something akin to charcoal flew out across the floor leaving the
Entity surprised and, amazingly, hurt. Only a second passed with each
realizing the tables had been turned. Noah started pounding the
Entity sending chunks everywhere to the point it collapsed on the
floor. The Entity tried to reassembly but the human was giving no
quarter and worst of all, it was getting weaker with each blow.
Noah fell across the creature and began
pounding its head wanting to extinguish the hellish light coming from
its eyes and mouth. He didn't stop until the thing was just motes of
dust drifting across the floor. Noah knew the thing was dead as even
those motes could be seen flaring like matches and then fading away.
As the sun began to rise hours later
the house went up into flames. Noah knew the Entity was dead but he
couldn't take the chance that one of its kin might take up residence
in what he now considered unholy ground. More to the point, burning
the house was a symbol him of moving on with his life, of letting go
of his faults and sins.
The fire department arrived in time to
see the shell of the house collapse. It was a total loss and given
the house's condition most everyone assumed it was faulty wiring that
had started the blaze. That is until the fire department investigator
showed up and found several empty gas containers behind the shed. The
police were brought in and were about to arrest Noah when a
representative from the insurance company drove up.
“Hello everyone,” he said in a
booming friendly voice after getting out of the car. “Where's Mr.
Noah James?” he asked to the crowd who looked on in awe of the man.
“Yes sir,” a police detective said
standing next to Noah, “we're about to arrest the owner for arson.”
The insurance man laughed, “Now why
would you go and do such a thing. This is clearly an act of God and
troubling this young veteran would be the only crime.”
“But sir,” the fire investigator
said, “we've found empty gas tanks in the back and they're fresh.
We believe Mr. James burned down the house to cover his failure to
successfully renovate the structure.”
The insurance man walked up and put his
arms around both the police detective and the fire investigator. “Now
gentlemen, would I be about to offer Mr. James a nice check to cover
the damages if I suspected he burned his house down.”
Both said, “No” much like an errant
Noah was released and once the ashes
were extinguished, both the police and fire department drove away not
thinking anymore of the event.
Even Noah was dumbfounded as the
insurance man drove away after telling him there were huge
opportunities out west. That a man like him would find a lot of peace
and happiness on the coast of Oregon. So that was what Noah did after
getting rid of his tools and buying a new truck that could make the
The next day another man drove by the
now empty lot. He went to several of the nearby houses saying he was
from the insurance company out to investigate the fire and the policy
holder. The neighbors smiled and said someone from the insurance
company had already talked with the owner of the house. They said the
owner had driven off without stating a destination.
A trip to the police and fire
department got similar disinterested answers so the insurance man
closed the case and started the long trip back home. His wife was
making meatloaf that night and he wanted to get some before it got