IN THE SCRATCH|
Illustration by KKC Bauder
I’m Sarah. You never want to see me, I can assure you. I just do what Master tells me. This is my story:
I found a book at a garage sale when I was six. I was sitting in my mom’s car, just watching her go to yard sale after yard sale. Then, a glimmer of light flashed into my eyes. It was a book. But most of all, it was a shiny book. Yes, I was six.
I leaped out of the car and scooped up the thing. It shone in the sunlight as the heat beat down on the back of my neck. The second I touched it, it determined my fate and drew me in. I was attracted to it in ways no one could explain. I rushed to my mother.
“Mom!” I called, shoving the book in her face. “Can I have this?” My mother read the title, HOW TO . . .
“Honey, you don’t want this,” my mother said, and added, “It says HOW TO and the next word is all scratched up.”
“Yes I do!” I retorted stubbornly. Eventually I got the thing I wanted, but what I regretted I had later. As I bought the book, the seller looked at me with blank, unblinking eyes like he was mesmerized. “Thank you!” he said, a tear of happiness rolling down his cheek.
“I’m free!” The man literally ran away. Of course, I was six. So I didn’t understand. As I went home, I held the book and felt it thunder in my hands.
I was in my room, anxious to read my book. It was MINE! I flung the cover open, but what I saw was not what I expected. Instead of pictures of ponies and pink words exclaiming “Pretty pony loves you!” there was a face.
It was a scary, gruesome, face, the kind that frightens you and makes you jump.
Then it spoke: “I need your help,” it said. I stared. Was this a movie?
“Okay,” I answered.
It smiled a horrid, evil grin, and cackled. “What I need you to do is fetch me ink. I need ink.”
I rushed out of the room and grabbed an ink kit that my mom used to put in the printer. When I was back, the face twirled it’s beard.
“Pour it on me. Give it to me,” it said in it’s raspy voice. I did as I was told.
The face grew larger and more muscular.
It ordered me again. “I have friends, lots of friends. I need you to go to your daddy’s closet and get what looks like a gun. It’s a camera. Bring it to me.”
I was in a trance. I did as I was told, not pondering about why or what I was doing. I came back with my dad’s pistol.
“What next?” I asked, emotionless.
“Your daddy and mommy are in the dining room. They want there picture taken. Will you go take their picture? It will make them awfully happy.”
I walked into the dining room. Enough said, there was a deafening boom.
For the next few years, I followed the book’s commands. I became a doctor at age thirty-four. I was told to use an autopsy tool to. . .well. . .you know. For the past years I have been killing at the books very whim, until it possessed me. Now I sit at home, holding the book in my hands––holding Master in my hands.
I’m Sarah. You never want to see me. That was my story. But if you do see me, look at my book. HOW TO–– and you just might make out three words: Hypnotize and Kill, in the scratch.