Sun glistened off the still waters of the fountain in the front yard. A fountain Felicities father had put in when they moved to their new home in England. The fountain adorned a statue of a knight riding its horse as a centerpiece, looking ready to guard the home, a stone walled 18th century piece with more than enough space for the Fawn family. Medium height bushes surrounded the house, creating a sort of fence to keep the neighbors from intruding. The front garden was the perfect place for an afternoon snack and the back yard provided running room for Felicity, the families German shepherd. The sky was a shade of dark blue as the sun fell beneath view and Lily lay down into bed.
Sunlight shined through the open curtains onto Lily waking her to the new day. Boxes were still in need of unpacking so she began organizing her room. Baby dolls went in one cabinet as tea sets went in another. Her closet was lined with new dresses her mother had bought for her. She was her parent's princess and received anything she wanted. Though she could get anything was not spoiled, she grew to become charitable and kind, accepting that not everyone got their way.
Lunch time had come and her mother soon realized they were out of condiments for the sandwiches. Lily would tag along to learn the ways of being a lady and to spend time with her mother, whom she loved more that life itself. Upon leaving they passed the fountain and Lily could of sworn the horses' eyes followed her from the house, its head creaking as it turned about to watch her but her mother noticed nothing. When she looked back the statue quickly turned its head to the normal position which frightened Lily.
All was still within the house and Lily craved a glass of water, her throat being dry as a desert. Her parents lay in the room beside her, sound asleep, as she tried not to wake them. The stairwell was long and narrow, shrinking as she fled down the steps. Feet could not move quickly enough and soon she was flying, skittering across the floor into the front lobby. Wind came in gusts through the, now open, front door that teetered on its hinges. Felicity could be heard barking from the backyard, trying desperately to break free of her leash. Lily stepped lightly to the door and spotted two small lights from the front lawn, they drew her closer and closer until she stood in the fountain. The hem of her nightgown was soaked and her feet froze in the waters. The knight was kicked from his horse, which turned towards Lily, its big red eyes staring straight through her. "Lily," it whispered in a familiar voice.
Lily awoke in a panic; she had nightmares like this before and tried not to read into them. As a small, twelve year old girl, the statues frightened her, doubling her size and more. The knight was so easily kicked from his place and discarded like yesterday's garbage. Just the day before the statue had watched her, moving the way marble should not bend. When she got out of bed Lily felt something strange at her ankles, the hem of her night gown was still wet. Never before had she experienced sleep walking but she shook the thought of the events being real. Had they been real her fears would be brought to life and she did not want that.
Morning bells rung and she began preparing for her day of cleaning and shopping with her mother. This time the statue made no attempt to watch Lily was they walked past but something was different about it. Stopping to exam the statue Lily noticed pieces of the knight had chipped. His once perfect armor now was cracked while scratches lined his face and hands. The sword that he wielded before was missing its tip which Lily soon spotted in the fountain. As she reached to pick it up her mother gripped her hand and pulled her away.
As night approached, the fawn family prepared once again for bed. Morning brought new chores and work opportunities but night brought new nightmares and Lily was ashamed to admit she was scared to sleep tonight. She tugged at her mother's dress and begged her to sing her to sleep as she did when she was younger. Even as a small girl nightmares attacked Lily and her mother's voice was always able to send them away. Within her room the lyrical voice of her mother's echoed off the walls, creating a melody that sent her into a deep sleep.
Lily's mother and father awoke before dawn when they heard a harsh shriek come from the yard. Through the window they could see their child trapped in the fountain, trying desperately to climb over its edge. How she got in the first time was a mystery being she could hardly make it out now. Her shrieks grew louder and the panic in her rose, as she splashed around and was drug beneath the water's surface. The Fawn's had not been sure what to make of the situation but knew their daughter needed them as they raced to the fountain to pull her out.
"Lily," her mother cried as she reached after her daughter's hand. "Lily settle down it's only a nightmare," but her words made no difference. Terror was in Lily's eyes and she could not escape what was after her.
"Lily, stop this craziness at once, you are behaving completely inappropriately," her father shouted in hopes to scare her daughter out of the dream.
Both he and his wife worked to grab her arms in order to pull her out. Once Lily was on the ground her eyes seemed to roll from the back of her head then she fainted from exhaustion. The occurrence scared both of her parents as they proceeded to carry her back into her room. The sky was a grey blue making the path to the house clear. Winds that were once so still began to pick up, whipping Lily's hair around and nearly knocking down trees. Her father struggled to keep her in his arms, being blinded by her hair. The task of carrying her was difficult but he eventually made it to the living room where he laid her on the couch. He was no young man and needed a break before carrying her up the steps.
The Fawn's escaped to the study which was a few feet away; A large double door room with enough space to echo the smallest whisper.
"How could this have happened?" Her father asked as if his wife knew the answer.
"Like I would know, perhaps she's sleep walking," her mother retorted.
"Sleep walking into a fountain? My girl is not large enough to sit on the fountains edge, let alone climb into it."
"Well maybe we should have it removed, who knows maybe we won't be so lucky to pull her out next time."
"You are right but that's money we don't have," he stopped to notice Lily.
Lily sat up on the couch and looked about the room as if she had never seen marble flooring and eggshell white walls before. Each painting held a certain fascination in her as she seemed to glide across the floor. Every piece of wood work and mantle made their way under her finger tips until she stood before her parents, eyes red as though every vessel had burst. Her mother looked away, the sight so terrifying she could hardly keep from screaming. Then it was over, Lily was on the floor unconscious again.
When the sun rose to break the night's spell Lily awoke as though she had another nightmare to find it more real than she wanted. Her father stood at the foot of her bed as he mother slept in the large chair that sat beside her bed. The clothes she wore were soaked and she shivered below them. Beneath her finger tips she felt something that frightened her more, the cold, jagged touch of a blade that had been broken. When did she get the blade and when did marble turn to steel? Panic rose in her chest making breathing difficult, her father rushed beside her, slipping her hand in his own to calm the nerves.
"Honey, calm down, everything is fine. You had an accident last night, do you remember?"
Accident was not the term she would use, a torturous encounter was more correct. Memories of her nightmare flooded over her as she soon realized that they were reality. She remembered standing above the fountain, staring at the steely blade as it glistened in the moonlight. When she reached her hand beneath the water's surface a shadow pulled her in, trying desperately to bring her under. The disguised figure whispered her name, growing louder and louder until it became her. She remembered fighting to break through the walls of her own mind as her parents started at her as though she were a phantom, looks that were enough to break her.
These events were not normal, her dreams were no longer dreams she soon realized but could not decipher what was really happening. Desperation burned in her throat and fear stung her eyes as she began to cry using her father's hand as an anchor. Something or someone was trying to take her over and she knew this was nothing to tell her parents. They would send away for a priest or exorcist and that frightened her. Rumors circulated that those who underwent the treatment almost never made it out alive. The beast would swallow them before they could escape and they would be forever doomed to be the demon's puppet.
"Lily," she heard and looked about the room for the source of the voice. It called again and again until she realized it was in her own head. The voice echoed off no walls, it existed within her now and she was determined to do what it took to keep it from taking over again. Mr. Fawn could not figure out what to do as he watched his daughter have what appeared to be a tantrum. Stop it she repeated until her thoughts became whispers and her whispers became shouts. Floor boards creaked and shook as though her voice could cause them to rupture. Doors slammed throughout the house as if thunder rumbled within the house and when Lily opened her eyes it was her parents that stood before her in fear of no one else but her.
Days had passed since the incident and Lily's parents spent as much time away from her daughter as possible. They feared a beast lay dormant within her and were not prepared to fight it alone. Her days were spent locked in her own room as her mother sang outside her door to keep her calm. Meals were sent to her room because her parents could not bear the torment that lay in their daughter's eyes. The fountain was removed, deemed to possess evil spirits within and a priest came to bless the house. Life seemed to return to normal as Lily suffered minimal attacks. Felicity spent her days in Lily's room because her parents believed she could ward off evil spirits and it seemed to work.
Just as the Fawn's were settling into bed they heard a loud shriek come from Lily's room and chose to ignore it, in fear the demon was trying to lure them in. Scratches could be heard against the doors and walls and barking boomed through the halls. Within minutes it was all over and a loud thump was heard. The two adults looked at each other in horror when they soon realized what had happened. Neither made a move to get out of bed, they only held each other and waited it out.
"Oh mother, oh father," Lily hummed in a voice not her own. Her once sweet child like voice began shaky and dry as though she suffered a cold.
Within her room, blood lined the walls and covered her gown. Felicity lay slumped against the door like a stuffed animal long since forgotten. The sight horrified Lily who fought to regain control. Each time the beast moved in she was sent to a dark room where she could only see her hands in front of her and there was enough room for her to pound against the walls. This was the recess of her mind, when she lay dormant, fighting for survival. Her own voice frightened her as it hovered above her. She hoped and prayed her parents stayed in bed as the beast whispered, step by step, what he would do to them.
When no one replied she fought harder to knock down the walls, searching for a small crack of light to guide her way out. If she concentrated, she could hear her mother's lullaby being sung down the hall. She gained strength and kicked down the wall to be in her own room, but she was not herself. She could see her body standing still and lifeless in the room while the shadow danced around the room, taunting her with each movement.
"Get out!" She shouted as though her words were knives made to penetrate evil.
"Oh why would I do that?" The words came from her body but the puppet master stayed separate, hiding in the corners of the walls.
"Because that is my body and you do not belong there!"
"Well that is where you are mistaken. I control this vessel and can make it do whatever I want," with that her body moved towards her bed when the shiny blade lay. She sliced the palm of her hands, deep enough to keep a constant flow of blood. The pain seared through here but no physical cuts remain on her ghost form. Her body moved to the walls and wrote out the words she soon recognized as her mother's lullaby.
"Stop it, get out!" She fell to her knees, weighed down by the pain.
"Now, this is all mine now. Once I wear you down, that precious body of yours will go limp and I'll climb right on in. Your parents won't be able to help their precious daughter then. Not like they are now, do you know what they are doing? You can't see but I can," the beast stood before her, a black mask with glistening white eyes staring into her own.
Within his eyes Lily could see her parents packing suitcases with anything they could grab. Neither stopped in hesitation, only moved quicker to get out and away before the beast could get them. He clicked his fingers and their bedroom door slammed shut and locked. They were frightened and began pounding against the door to break it down.
"Oh they will not get away easy. They will suffer a worse fate then your Felicity mutt over there," Lily followed his finger to see the once bold German shepherd lying in shambles, each bone broken recklessly. "Now get back where you belong," with another click of his fingers she was back in the black box.
She was broken and had little fight left. The beast had toyed with her and kicked her around and she could hardly move. Now she sat against the wall pulling into a ball. She could do nothing but watch as he destroyed all that she loved and soon he was climbing into her skin. The body that belonged to her was now the mask to a beast who did not deserve it.