A/N: I updated! :- ) (Finally…) And I have a totally legit reason why I waited two weeks from the last chapter!....I was busy. :-P Anywho, please read and PLEASE review. :'( I'm down on my knees, begging you! Okay, not really, but reviews would be awesome. Even if they're bashing me and the story. :-P I wanna hear some feedback. xD

~Enjoooy~

The next day, I walked home from school feeling better than I had in years. It was surprising how one little event could lift my mood until I felt like skipping home.

I had finally told my friends the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The best thing though, was that they were still my friends. I was extremely grateful that they were fairly open-minded and seemed to think that possession by a demon was the only reasonable thing to explain what has been going on.

I could vividly remember the looks on their faces. Austin looked completely satisfied with what I told him. I could see the familiar gleam in his eyes that he got when he was right.

Evangeline's mouth was open in a wide, 'O' shape, with both hands on either side of her face. I suppressed a laugh as the image of Edvard Munch's, The Scream, was forced into my mind.

Cody expression was skeptical, and he seemed to be thinking things over in his mind.

Eventually, though, they all decided to believe me. There was only one little thing that was disconcerting. The silence. No dark laughter, no sarcastic or degrading comments. I thought about it as I walked down the street. The demon had said nothing at all, which both worried me and added to my ecstatic mood. The only thing I could feel from it was its quiet discontent.

I shrugged to myself and walked up the stairs to my house. I opened the door to find Annalise reading on the couch. Waving energetically, I exclaimed, "Hey, Annalise! Guess what?!"

She looked alarmed at my mood change, but answered, "What?" anyway.

"I told my friends the truth and they still like me!" I smiled big, the action making my face muscles feel a little weird.

Annalise smiled warmly and said, "That's great! Now will you not blow up on me if I call Austin's aunt?"

"Nope!"

"That's good, because I already did and she's coming on Friday with her paranormal investigation team." She smiled apologetically. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you before, but…"

"Yeah, it's okay." I smiled back. I could sense the feelings of discontent from the demon grow. I couldn't help but be happy about making it feel uncomfortable and worried this time.

xXxXx

I woke up to feel icy metal on my arms and stomach. I opened my eyes to see my basement, looking dustier than it's ever been. With a jolt of reality, I realized that I was chained to a pillar that was uncomfortably close to the furnace. I eyed the place in between the furnace and the washing machine, expecting something to happen.

Suddenly, I heard a blood curdling scream from the middle of the room. My eyes traveled there quickly, only to see the source of the noise, my mother. She was on her knees, clutching her head; her eyes were wide and bloodshot. Beside her on the floor, lay Nick's bloody corpse. His open eyes stared at me.

I struggled against the chains. I wanted to go to her and tell her that everything would be alright; I wanted to stop her pain.

Then, I heard the oh-so-familiar laughing. It resounded throughout the room. Hate erupted inside me and I started to scream as well. "Damn you!" I exclaimed. "Why are you doing this?! Leave them alone, you bastard!" I felt the anger that had been piling up for five years being released into my words. The demon's laughter got even louder, which only increased my anger.

Flames erupted in a circle around my mother and Nick, her screaming becoming even more hysterical. Decrepit arms came up from the floor and grabbed them, pulling them down.

"No! Stop it! STOP IT!" I screamed. I wanted to help them, but the chains held up against my efforts.

The demon's laughter rang close to my ears. I burst into tears of anger and sadness, thrashing harder against the chains. "Shut up! I hate you! I hate you! I HATE YOU!!" I screamed so loud that my throat started to hurt.

My mother and Nick had completely disappeared and the flames were advancing upon me now. I struggled on to no avail. The energy in my limbs was almost depleted and my attempts got feebler as the seconds went by. The temperature was approaching uncomfortable highs as the flames got closer and closer. I gave up, hanging from the pillar like a limp, rag doll. I could feel the chains around my arms heat up, burning into my flesh. I wanted it to stop.

It did stop. Almost abruptly, I woke up, gasping for air. I quickly turned on the light and looked around. Nothing was out of place as far as I could see.

Then, I noticed that my body temperature was far above normal. I looked into a mirror and saw that my usual fair skin was flushed. I glanced down at my arms and saw the shape of the chains burned into them.

Shaking, I sat down on my bed and stared at my arms. I tried touching one of the marks. It didn't hurt very much, but there was still a slight stinging.

I glanced at the clock and read 3:05 a.m. I decided that it was unnecessary to worry Annalise at this hour of the morning, so I crawled back into my bed. I stared up at the ceiling for the rest of the night, too terrified to go to sleep again.

xXxXx

That day, I should've been ecstatic. It was Friday, and Austin's aunt was coming over to try and help me somehow. But instead, I couldn't shake off a strong sense of foreboding.

I struggled through the school day, my dream and sudden negative attitude bringing me down. My friends noticed the change in my behavior, and tried to question me on it. I told them not to worry and that I was totally fine.

I trudged home from school, the fall wind blowing in my face. The trees had long since changed colors, so there was a fair amount of leaves on the ground. I crunched on them to have something to fill my mind.

As my house came into view, I saw a huge, black SUV with tainted windows and a cop car waiting outside of it. I started to rush, worst case scenarios running through my head.

I reached the stairs just as the front door opened. Two police officers leading my handcuffed mother came out, with a man in a black suit following.

My mother was yelling obscenities at the police officers, and trying to shake them off. Her hair was a mess, and she was still wearing her dirty, old night gown.

I didn't move. The police officers stopped in front of me and said, "Please move. You're blocking our way." The man said it as politely as he could, but that didn't take away the fact that he was taking away my mother.

"What's going on?" I asked them. "Why are you taking away my mom?!" My mother thrashed silently, but didn't even acknowledge me.

Annalise appeared in the doorway, her eyes and nose red. "Hana, move. There's nothing we can do."

I still stared at the police officers for an answer. One of them sighed and said, "I'm sorry, but Mrs. Gabel is being arrested for child neglect and possible abuse. Please move."

My whole body went numb. I started crying and moved aside for the cops. I knew it was useless too. When I thought about it, the evidence was against her. There was no way we could argue or lie out of this one.

The police led my still struggling mother into the police car. The man in the black suit stayed behind.

"The date of her trial has not been decided yet. We'll be notifying you of all further changes." The cop car drove off with my mother in the backseat and the man in the black SUV followed after them.

I glanced at Annalise, her cheeks wet with tears also. I walked up the steps and embraced her. We both stayed there until we had the motivation to move.

My mother and my brother were both gone. I needed to do something before Annalise disappeared too.