I didn't move at first. I suddenly realized I must have fallen asleep. The first time in over a week I let myself sleep during the night.


Nathaniel was whispering again. I didn't open my eyes, but I had a feeling he was leaning over me. It kind of scared me to think about how close he was to me.

"Joey, you need to get up now."

"No, I don't, Nathaniel," I said.

I heard a slight chuckle. "Sit up," he demanded.

"No. Just leave me alone," I replied.

Nathaniel grabbed my shoulders and picked me up from the bed. He dropped me to the floor. I was entangled in a thin sheet and fell hard.

I looked up in terror at Nathaniel. He had a wild look in his eyes, and his hair was messy.

"It's been fun getting to know you, Joey. My sweet and tender son," Nathaniel said. He held my chin in his head.

"You're going to leave now?" I said, a smile starting to form on my face.

Nathaniel burst into hysterical laughter. He's gone insane! I thought.

"No, Joey," he said, "You're the one leaving."

I froze.

"Raine didn't tell you a lot about me. I figured that out quickly," Nathaniel said. "Do you want to know what I did for a living? I took little girls off the street, and I took them home. And I had so much fun with those girls. But I couldn't let their mommies and daddies know about our fun, could I? No!"

I was petrified. MY FATHER WAS INSANE!He was a whack job, a nut, and a RAPIST! How could he do such a horrible thing? What had he gone through in his youth? What kind of-

"I would murder them, little Joey. I would stab them and… oh, Joey! It was so fun to kill them… I took their blood, and I wrote poems with it. They were good poems." Nathaniel paused and stared at my horror stricken face.

He was smiling by then. I was in a state of pure terror. He was truly insane!

"And then, that stupid girl came along!" Nathaniel said, sounding very angry. "She RUINED the fun! She ran and called for help! So of course I would kill myself. I WASN'T GOING TO GET CAUGHT!" He was screaming by the end of his sentence.

Nathaniel held my chin again. "Then I found out I had a son," he whispered. "And now, I know what I must do."

"What are you going to do?" I weakly whispered. Nathaniel gave me a sinister smile.

"I'm going to take over you," he said.

"What?" I screamed.

"Don't squirm too much; it will make it harder to control you."

I tried to stand, but I was still tangled in my sheet. I tried to break free, but by the time I was out, it was too late.

Nathaniel grabbed me and threw me on the bed. Then he began to take me over.

There was an explosion of pain in my skull when he began. It felt like thousands of little needles going into my head at once. I fought back for control of my body. I could feel Nathaniel working hard to get inside my head. He set his mind to controlling me, and it was clear he wouldn't stop until he got it. The battle in my mind went on. Finally, my defenses fell. I was too tired to fight. I felt him overtake me. I-

Suddenly, I had different thoughts, thoughts belonging to Nathaniel. I could see into his darkest thoughts as he could see into mine. I had no control over my body; the power now belonged to Nathaniel.

"Get out of here!" I was screaming.

"No," he replied.

Nathaniel went into the kitchen and grabbed the best knife we had.

"I have been craving another game. I need a fresh start," he told me.

"GET OUT OF MY HEAD!" I shouted.

I could see everything he did, I just had no control.

He marched up the stairs, heading to Mom's room.

"I did nothing wrong," I said.

"I don't care. Your body is mine."

Nathaniel made his way down to Mom's room.

"Please," I begged. "You can't do this to me."

Nathaniel laughed, both inside and quietly outside. "I just did," he said.

I had no control of my own body. I felt trapped in a jar inside of my own body. It was like a prison.

Nathaniel slowly opened up my Mom's door.

"What are you going to do to my mother?" I shouted.

Nathaniel didn't respond to me.

"Leave her alone!" I screamed.

He approached her. He stood over her. Nathaniel stood like for an hour. All the time I was begging him to leave her alone.

My mom turned and awoke to see him over her. Except, instead of seeing Nathaniel, she saw him in my body.

"Joey…?" my mom said groggily.

"Nathaniel, please! LEAVE HER ALONE!" I screamed.

Nathaniel spoke, using my voice.

"Every journey starts with a step," he said.

My mom saw the knife. Nathaniel raised it up over his head. The blade gleamed in the moonlight coming from the window.

"THIS," Nathaniel screamed, "IS STEP ONE!"

I closed my eyes so I wouldn't have to watch Nathaniel kill my mother.