Rion Webster never knew she had a father, let alone a little sister. But, when social services calls informing her that her estranged father is dead, and her younger sister is now an orphan, she reluctantly opens her home. It doesn’t take long to realize Beckett is a troubled kid. Deeply troubled.
Unwilling to turn her back on the only family she knows, Rion struggles to help the child. Rion, more than anyone, knows the horrors of an abusive childhood, so she vows to stick it out for her sister. But, something is wrong with Beckett. Something more than just an abusive childhood.
If Rion and her friends can find out what happened, they just might save the child. But, who will save them from Beckett?
From the moonlit
window, she could tell the closet door was open. Rion’s heart slammed in her chest as she
noted the empty bed. “Beckett,” she
gasped. Hisses and grunts were coming
from the dark closet but that was the only sound in the entire house. Every sound was blocked by the blood rushing
in her ears and the struggle coming from the closet. She stepped into the doorway and the breath
was stolen from her lungs. “Beckett!” she
The little girl
was holding Link—the cat’s back to her chest—as she struggled to wrap long
piece of cloth—a robe belt, Rion realized—around his neck. The other end was tied to the clothes rack. Link was struggling to claw or bite his way
free. “Let go of him!” Rion snapped.
towards her and Rion froze again. The
smile on the kid’s face was eerie enough, but something was wrong with her
eyes. They were on fire with hate…and
something else. Glee, Rion
realized. The kid’s entire face was
twisted into pure evil glee. It was as
unnerving, as if a doll had come to life.
Becket snarled and Rion could feel every hair on her body stand on end. Finding her voice, she dropped to her knees
and growled. “I said, let him go.”
dropped the struggling cat and it bolted from the room. Fear and anger surged through Rion and seemed to push her out of her
body. Everything was too much, too
fast. She watched as she reached out and
gripped Beckett by the shoulders. “What is
wrong with you?” she roared through clenched teeth. She shook the girl’s shoulders, once, twice,
three times. And on the third shake,
reason returned. She needed to get the
girl out of her hands or she would do something worse. Her arms felt like iron and her fingers
claws, but she regained enough sense to push the girl away. Beckett stumbled backwards and landed in a
pile of dirty clothes.
Rion stared at
her in shock, the rage melting as she sucked in a heavy breath. What have I
done? She waited for Beck to start
crying. Screaming. Anything.
Instead, the kid laughed. It was
a guttural chuckle in a little girl’s voice.
She struggled to right herself and Rion was reminded of the eighties
horror movie about a killer doll.
Beckett didn’t move like a kid.
She moved with a horrific calm and purpose. Rion couldn’t move, or speak, she was
stunned. By her own behavior and at
Beckett’s. Once the kid was sitting up,
she crossed her legs and stared at the floor.
And didn’t make a sound.
As the seconds
ticked by, everything grew still again.
She let out a gush of air and flopped back onto her heels. She felt empty. Beckett had needed her and her response was
to shake her. Beckett might not have
even been awake. “Fuck,” she
whispered. But what about her eyes? I’ve never seen someone look so cold and
brutal before. Even the foster father
who whipped her with a belt for forgetting to clean the bathroom didn’t look
like he enjoyed it as much as Beckett did when trying to kill Link. Rion almost laughed at herself. Clearly, she had imagined it. She was in a panic and it is almost pitch
black in here. A kid isn’t capable of
that kind of villainy? Right? “Beckett?”
The kid didn’t respond.
“Beckett?” Rion tried again.
“Let’s go back to bed.”
She reached out
to lift the kid off the floor, but as soon as she touched her the stillness
exploded. Beckett began screaming and
flailing. It wasn’t a scream of fear. It was rage.
The kid’s teeth were bared and her eyes were burning again. White fire scorched her neck as Beckett tried
to claw her face. Rion jerked her head
back in time and the tiny, razor-like nails missed their target but got her
throat instead. She tried to restrain
the kid, but, even though she was small, she was strong. And she had the advantage of surprise.
cried, wrestling with teeth, arms, fingernails, feet and legs all at once. Stars burst in her eyes when Beckett’s head
slammed into her nose. Her vision took a
second to return and by the time it did, Beckett had scrambled away into the
corner of the closet. Rion touched her
nose, expecting her fingers to come away covered in blood. But, they were clean. Her eyes watered, but she didn’t think her
nose was broken.
Beckett for a moment. Can a night terror
cause this? Wouldn’t she wake up by
now? Rion had no idea—so she gave
up. She knew fighting with the kid would
only cause more damage. “Beckett…I’m…I’m
just going to let you stay in here.
I’m—I’m sorry. OK?”
Rion backed out
of the closet. That was so fucked
up. She sat on the edge of the bed and
rested her head in her hands. When
Chambers finds out about this I’ll be lucky not to be in jail. But, would Beckett even remember this? Rion’s skin crawled. She felt like a monster. She had physically attacked a kid she was
supposed to be caring for. But, a
reasonable voice in her head began, the kid attacked a cat. And she attacked you. Rion knew that was shitty semantics, but she
found some comfort in it anyway.
About the Author:
Brandy was born and raised in Lexington, KY, but moved around a bit since then. Currently, she lives outside of Chicago and writes when she's not working to make the world a better place (her day job is at a nonprofit).
If one person enjoys the stories in her head, she's happy. And inspired to keep going. If you keep reading, she'll keep writing. Just kidding--she's gonna write even if no one is reading.