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The Darkness Within

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Ever since she was little, Katherine, or Kate as she prefers, had preferred the darkness over light. There was just something about it, something captivating, something comforting. She felt protected in the dark, she felt more herself in the dark. 

Every night, ever since she was little, she would always turn the light and just fall asleep to the sound of her own heartbeat, the darkness enveloping her until she just couldn't breathe, until the suffocating feeling overcame her, until she woke up with the need for air and the fear that something was hidden in the darkness, waiting to pounce and rip her to shreds.

She loved it all.

When she was little, Kate believed everyone else was like her, a huge fan of the dark, another person who loved the suffocating fear of it all. She learned the hard way that she was the only one.

She used to tell her parents about the nightmares she had before with just a gleeful tone. She never realised it until a much later age, but they'd always look at each other and then her with this...almost fearful look, as if she was something to be wary of, something they should be packing up and running away from.

When she found this out, she just assumed they were being a bit weird, and thought other people would understand... They didn't. In fact, as soon as she started school, everybody - even the teachers - would insult her. The teachers would always do it less obviously - asking her to answer a question she obviously doesn't know and thus humiliating her - but they'd never stop the other children from doing it.

She hated them all.

It was a Friday night. Kate had been home from her secondary school for exactly three hours and one minute now, and she was glad. (She wished she didn't need to take her last year again.)

Most of the children who went to her primary school had followed her into secondary, which meant there was no 'fresh start' for her. Not that she really expected it to be. The town she lived in was one of those so-close-everybody-knows-everything towns, and it only meant everybody knew how 'strange she was'. All because she preferred living in the dark.

Kate sighed as the lyrics of 'Sally's Song' (her favourite song from her favourite movie) burst in her eardrums, deafening her from the world. As usual, she was sat in the darkness, and since it was winter, which meant it got darker earlier, she was in pure darkness. She couldn't even see the back of her own hand.

It was just as she preferred, and despite what people said, it was how it would stay. Her parents could beg her to take therapy ('it might help you get rid of this strange fascination with darkness and love of...your own nightmares'), and her peers could bully her and torment her all they wanted.

As long as she had her darkness, she was fine. The darkness was the only thing that stayed with her, helped her, comforted her. Her darkness was the only thing she loved, and the only thing that loved her back.

So, she didn't care about anyone else, nobody else - just her darkness and what lay within - just her and her darkness.

"Hey, look it's Banshee!" People all around her shouted out, calling her by that dreaded nickname. She'd gotten it when she had lost it once and just screamed for everybody to stop. It was so high-pitched, that everybody had to cover their ears. Nobody forgot that time, and so the nickname 'Banshee' was born. (It had been given to her by the video gamers of this school. Yeah, that was her life; she seriously got bullied by the blood ones who got bullied themselves. She fucking hated her life, seriously.)

Ever since this was said, Kate was known as Banshee. She hadn't bothered trying to stop the name going around, it only seemed to make things worse when she tried the first time, and then the second time.

Everybody shouted insults at her as she passed, as if they got a kick out of doing it (and maybe they did, the bastards.) She huffed as she pushed the door to her school open- and was instantly knocked over.

She felt herself fly through the air, and for a few seconds she felt free. The wind blew through her hair, her hands instinctively reached out to stop herself from falling, her heartbeat raised and fear welled up inside of her. She felt as free as ever - and then she hit the ground with a painful thud, her knees and palms smacking harshly against the ground.

She heard the laughter rise up almost instantly, and the feeling of freedom escaped from her. She felt her cheeks heat up in embarrassment, and tears welled up in her eyes, but she refused to give in. She needed to be strong, unlike all of these idiots who all laughed only because they're sheep and they follow the leader. She needed to be strong, because she had the darkness still with her.

Wait, huh? That's new. She's never had it with her in school before. It always preferred to comfort her in the safety of her room, but now... Now it was right in front of her, shaped exactly like a human, expect there was no features. It was literally just a black mass shaped like a human, and it was walking right over to her.

Wait, no, it was walking right past her. Walking right past her and over to...the one who had tripped her. It was Blake Williams, a teenage boy, averagely cute yet overly popular in school. He was with his friends, laughing away at her embarrassment and pain. He hadn't noticed the black mass coming closer and closer to him, until suddenly it was standing in front of him. He stopped laughing and stared at it with eerily blank eyes. It was as if by that one glance to the mass, all emotions had just been sucked from within him.

His friends slowly realised he had stopped and was looking blankly ahead. They gave him confused glances, looking at him and then each other. Everybody stopped as well, and looked at the popular boy who always tormented Kate.

For what felt like forever, but was probably only a few minutes, Blake and the darkness just stared at each other (or at least Kate thinks the darkness was staring, she couldn't really see, but she felt it...somehow.)

Kate nor anybody else knew what to do, both were as confused as the other, though for different reasons. The other students were confused because of the boy's strange behaviour for they obviously couldn't see what Blake and Kate saw. Kate however was confused with how the darkness could have gotten out of her room...and shaped itself into a humanoid mass.

Despite what people said, she wasn't crazy enough to start thinking the darkness was actually alive....yeah.... So, she couldn't understand what was going on; how had it escaped her room if it wasn't alive?

Then everything happened all at once, forcing her to forget about how this was all happening and instead focusing on getting out of there. Because one moment the boy and the mass were staring at each other, and the next the mass had lurched forward, screamed this earsplitting scream causing the ground shake. As soon as the dark mass was near, it just seemed to melt away, and then Blake fell.

As soon as Blake hit the ground with a thud, Kate opened her eyes - since when did she close them? - and saw Blake was on the ground, a black puddle of...blood?...forming quickly around his head, leaking from his ears. She was knelt in front of him, where the black mass had just been seconds ago.

Kate looked around, and saw every teenager and teacher - they must have decided to be nosy and come out when they heard laughter - looking at her with a horrified, fearful expression. Why was they looking at her like that?

She didn't know what had happened. She didn't know if Blake was dead (though somehow she felt she already knew the answer); she didn't know what the dark mass was doing or where it had gone; she didn't know how she could have moved from where she was standing before to where she is now without even knowing herself. She didn't even know why they were staring at her as if she was something to be feared.

All she knew was that somehow, someway, she had caused all this. She needed to get out of there, she needed to get away. So she did.

Grabbing her bag, she scrambled to stand and raced out of there, hearing the screaming of the teenagers behind her. But before she had ran out, she had noticed one thing on Blake, that she had sworn wasn't there before; on his skin, bright red and prominent compared to his pale skin were three, possibly four scratches. They looked like they had come from human finger nails, yet somehow they didn't.

Run.
Run.
Run.
Run.
Run.
Run.

Kate, what have you done?!

It wasn't me!

Then who was it them? Huh?

It was-

And don't say it was the darkness.

But it was!

That is it! I have had it up to here with all of this nonsense!

It's not nonsense, it is real! It may not be an actual breathing human but it is real! (Somehow.)

No, it's not, Katherine! It can't be!

It is, Mum, and it cares about me-.

Really? It cares? A nonexistent thing cares, about you?

Yes! It does! And you know what? It cares a lot more than you two ever did!

How can you even say that?!

All you have ever done is patronise me, pretending to be these perfect parents when you're not! You try and bully me into talking to someone I don't know and trust! ... You don't love me, you don't care about me, you just want me 'fixed', made into the 'perfect daughter of Mr and Mrs. Williams, the one everybody will love and nobody will look down upon with disgust.' Well, guess what, Mother, I'm not ever going to be that 'perfect daughter' of yours. I don't need to be fixed.

Hey, don't you walk away from me, young lady! Get back here, right now!

No!

Don't you dare disobey your mother, girl!

Don't touch me! Let go!

Not until you apologise to your mother!

No, I won't! Just let go!

Apologise!

Ow! You're hurting me! Let go! I SAID LET GO!

I-I can't see. What's going on?! Maria?

Katherine, what are you doing?! Stop!

No. Why should I?

Kath-Katherine, please. Stop. I c-can't b-breathe.

Maria!

Robert!

Shh, my oh-so-lovely parents. Don't worry, you'll still be with each other...in Hell.

K-Katherine, p-please! We l-love you.

It's not good to lie, Mother. Do you really want the last thing you ever said to be a complete and utter lie?

S-Stop, now, y-young lady! I de-demand y-you...you...

Ha, you've been 'demanding' me things all my life, but I refused to listen. What makes you think now will be any different?

K-Kath-Katherine-

Shh, Mother. Don't waste your breathe.

"Miss. Nolan, could you tell me what happened?" A feminine voice was saying softly, as if she was speaking to a terrified child. (I'm not a little girl, you idiot!) Though, of course Kate didn't say that. She couldn't really even focus, not properly. It was coming in fuzzy. One moment it sounded so far away, and the next it sounded far too close.

The police officer was speaking too softly. She was obviously speaking with caution to Kate, as if to comfort her, to make sure she doesn't do anything stupid, to comfort her in this dark situation.

It didn't comfort her.

No matter how soft the police officer made her voice go, Kate still felt her fight or flight instincts kick in. If it hadn't been for the numbness she was currently feeling in everything, she would have already gotten up and ran as fast as she could.

"Miss. Nolan?" The police officer was still talking, but Kate couldn't speak. She couldn't speak. She didn't know what to say for one, but even if she did she couldn't speak. It was as if her vocal cords had just been frozen, preventing her from speaking...and telling on him.

She knew this was his doing, it must be - how else could she blind and suffocate someone with just pure darkness? He must have been waiting for this moment to come, bringing her closer in to him and further away from everybody else, making sure she preferred his presence above everybody else's.

He had made her love the darkness, without even knowing there was an actual presence in it.

She wanted to hate him but she couldn't. How could she? After all, the darkness has always been there, just waiting within her, waiting to be let out. How can she even bring herself to hate herself? After all, that is what he is now - another part of yourself, like an extra limb that was needed to survive.

Suddenly, it all seemed to click. He was apart of her, he loved her and wanted to protect her. That's all he's wanted to do; that's why he killed Blake. Blake had hurt her, humiliated her, and so the darkness came out for the first time to protect her. They're all trying to stop this. That's what the police want; to find out who murdered her parents and stop them. When they find out that it was him, they'd take her away, lock her inside and force her to get rid of him. She'd be alone then, and only then will everyone be happy, just like her parents wanted.

Forget that she's been mistreated by her 'fellow peers', abandoned by her parents, humiliated by her teachers, avoided by basically everyone. They don't care about that, they just want him gone, forever.

The only one that's stayed with her through out all of this has been him, and they're trying to take that away. All of them. Kate can't have that. Oh no, she can't and she won't. She refuses to let that happen. She wouldn't let her parents take him away from her, so she won't let anyone else.

"Miss. Nolan, please answer me." The female police officer was getting impatient now, and maybe just slightly unnerved at how blank the young girl's emerald staring was. She was trying to keep it out of her voice, but anybody could hear it.

All she wanted was to know what had happened to Miss. Nolan's parents, and then she'd leave her alone, leave her for the therapists to deal with. But she couldn't do that if the young seventeen-year-old wouldn't help her.

She sighed and looked over to her partner. Her mouth was just slightly open, about to shout over for him to come and help her- and that was when Kate struck. Before anybody could even do or say anything, Kate was screaming an ear-splitting scream and lurching froward, throwing the officer off balance and down to the ground.

Before anybody could stop her, Kate was bashing the officer's head on the ground, repeatedly. Blood spluttered upwards, into Kate's red, matted hair, staining her once-white skin and tank top more crimson, ruining her grey sweatpants. It even went into Kate's mouth, but none of this stopped her.

Nothing would stop her, not until she had gotten rid of every threat to her and him, until she was left with him in peace - she loved him, he was like the father she never really got, and she will do anything to protect the ones she loves.

Hidden in the back of her mind, in a dark corner stood a tall man. There was no detail on him; no nose, no mouth, no eyes, no hair, not even clothes. Just a pure black outline of a tall man. He blended well within the darkness of that corner. He was a Demon after all, he was darkness itself, or at least of it.

As he watched chaos play out through Kate's pure-black (once green) eyes, he felt happiness course through him. One by one, police officer after police officer fell, torn apart by the bare (the super-strength given to her from him) hands of an 'innocent' girl who was lured to the dark side far too easily.

If he had a mouth, he knew he would have been smirking. And her parents said she'd win over him. What they, and not even Kate herself - or at least she refused to believe -, didn't even knew was that this was all Kate's choice.

Sure he had nudged her slightly onto the right path, but he still gave her a choice; carry on walking along that path or switch to the 'better' one (though if she had chosen the latter, he would have had to 'get rid of her' and choose another body to reside in, and so he's kind of glad she didn't). She had chosen to carry on walking along that path, subconsciously but still.

Everything that happened after that was entirely Kate's choice, and if he appeared, it was only to comfort her, her shield from the outside world, her screen to hide herself from what she herself was doing. Of course, that was before she learnt to accept her gift; of creating things, magnificent things, out of the darkness. That was before she'd learnt to accept her own actions, the consequences of doing them, and welcome them.

As Kate tore through the last police officer, finally ending what will be known as the 'Nolan Massacre', one thought rang through both Kate and the Demon's heads;

I win.

Missing Person.
Katherine I. Nolan.
DOB: 23-05-98.

Katherine was last seen at 03:00pm on Friday, at the crime scene of the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Nolan, her parents. She is sixteen-years-old and is described as standing at 5'5. She has red hair, a plump body, green eyes and was last seen wearing a black cardigan, tank top and grey sweatpants. We need her in for questioning, and so if you see her, act with caution. Do NOT go after her; just call 9-1-1 and wait for them to come. Thank you and stay safe.

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