I fall onto my couch, exhausted. Running tired me out faster than it used to. I shouldn't have taken such a long break from it over the summer. I grab the remote to the TV, and turn it on. I flip through the Guide; the only thing on is an old rerun of That 70s Show. For some reason, this is one of my favorite shows. It's probably the fact that it mocks what the government is trying to do to us. Keep us away from drugs, from doing bad things, etc. It's the rebellion that I love about it.

It's about nine when I head on up to bed. I turn off the lights, trudging my way upstairs. My legs kill from cross-country practice. At least it's Friday. I'll be able to rest my legs.

I reach my room, and push the door open. It's not until I'm undressed do I hear a creak. It's not an unusual noise. I hear it just about every night. It could just be a rat in attic.

That's when I realize that I'm alone. Completely alone. My dad is working out late. He's at the college still. I don't know why the hell he isn't home, or hasn't called.

I climb into bed, and turn off the lamp on my bed-stand. Darkness surrounds me, like it does every night. Usually, I can hear the TV from my dad's room, but he's not home. So it's completely silent. I pull my covers over my head.

This silence, like the cliché goes, is much louder than any noise. It's practically making me deaf. I wish I had a fan going in my room.

I'm tense. Every muscle in my body is contracting.

I could hear a needle drop all the way in the basement.

My eyes close, my legs aching, my muscles tense, and I find sleep.

A red sky stretches beyond the mountainous landscape, casting a blood-red color on the plateau on which I stand. I see myself walk toward the mountains; they approach quicker than I imagined. Just as I'm about to begin climbing the mountain, they all disappear, leaving me stranded on this never-ending plateau. I see myself run, trying to find an escape to it all. I feel the fear of my running corpse, leaving me dead in its tracks. This fear is not of being utterly alone. This fear is of being watched. God ceases to exist on this blood-red plateau. Am I really alone? No. There is something watching me. Watching me run along, knowing there is no escape. Death has taken over. The sun turns black, utterly encasing me in darkness. Darkness. . .then everything is still.

I wake up, sweat streaming down my forehead. What the hell was that? A light is on in the hallway. I sigh in relief. Thank God Dad's home. I get out of my bed, and head over for the door. Opening it, I shield my eyes. I walk downstairs and see my dad sitting at the table. He looks horrified.

"Hey, Dad. You alright?" I ask, my voice stuffy from sleep.

He doesn't answer.

I don't say anything, either. The look on his face was enough to say that he didn't want to talk about it tonight. Whatever it is, it's not good.

Just as I reach the staircase, a voice penetrates my ears. "Don't go to sleep."

I come back into the kitchen, and say, "Why not?"

He looks at me intently. "Just don't."


I'm back upstairs in the hallway when I notice that the walls have etchings in them. Demonic tongues and symbols are carved into the walls. "Daad?"

No reply. Oh God.

My door has a hexagon carved on it.

I shield my eyes and rush downstairs. I can't stand to look at any of this Satanism shit. But where'd it all come from? I was up there just five freaking minutes ago and the walls were clear and I'm pretty sure my door didn't have the Star of David on it before.

"Dad?" The walls downstairs are now etched in the demonic languages, and on the ceiling, the number 666 is written repeatedly.

"DAD!" His body hangs from the ceiling, the nail in the middle of a Star of David.

His body is dead; his face stares down at me.

I'm back on the plateau, completely alone, Godless.

Where is he now?

The lights turn off. . .

A whisper. . .

"I am Satan. . .I am your father. . ."