I could probably pick any portion of my pathetic existence to start with, but I think I will begin with when I met him, when my life changed for the first time...

September, 1993 It was warm for September. Our new neighbors had finally moved in and we knew virtually nothing about them. My mom requested I go with her to meet them, to which I declined. So she grounded me for the week. No friends, no computer, no gaming. Which is how I came to be standing there, on the doorstep of the white house with blue shutters. I will never forget those shutters.

My mother was standing aside me as she knocked on the door. *rap rap rap* And we waited for an answer. After a few minutes, my mother reached out to knock again when we could hear the sound of the deadbolt being pulled back as the door was unlocked.

The door creaked open and gave witness to a small boy with blonde hair and electric blue eyes. They were the brightest, most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I caught myself staring but managed to turn away before it got embarrassing.

"Hello," my mother said. "I'm Jean, Mrs. Anther. We live next door. Thought we'd stop by and say hi."

"Oh," the boy said. He turned around and shouted at the top of his lungs, "MOMMY! VISITORS! SOME CREEPY LADY AND HER GIRL!"

I almost burst out laughing. It's understandable. Young boy opens door to find a forty-three year old woman staring at him with a gleeful smile. My mother looked murderous, but I guess she thought the same thing since her expression calmed somewhat. I could still somehow sense the fire burning somewhere within the recesses of her mind.

Another moment and a young woman came out of the door onto the step.

"I'm Cathy, Billy's mom. Sorry about that. He's usually polite, but always speaks his mind. It's nice to be able to meet you." Her eyes turned to me, and I could sense something dark lurking in them. It was as if, behind the pretty face and the friendly smile, she was secretly plotting to eat us.

"And who might you be?" she asked sweetly, but the illusion was undone. I didn't trust her anymore. But I had no choice but to respond.

"I'm Amanda, daughter of the creepy lady," I said with a chuckle. Then I jumped when my mom pinched me, but she also laughed. She was over it already. One thing I loved about my mom.

"How old are you, Amanda?" she asked.

"I'm twelve and a half."

"So Billy's age. Yes, I know, he's small for an almost thirteen year old boy, but he's always been small. He'd probably surprise you with how smart he is, though." As if to show off, she called for Billy. "Billy, what's the capital of Germany?"

"Berlin," Billy said blandly, without blinking.

"And what do you get if you multiply fourteen by ninety-five?"

"One thousand, three hundred and thirty. Why the questions, mommy?"

"Nothing, child. Go play. Maybe you can take Amanda with you."

"Ew, no. She's a girl."

"You might have fun."

Billy groaned in protest but didn't argue. We walked into the house together.

"So what do girls like you do anyway?" he asked me.

"I like to play video games. I like movies. I don't really like boys much. I don't like girls either."

Billy laughed. "You're a weird one. What games do you play?"

We spent the better part of the evening playing video games. Suddenly, my mother walked into the room and said, "Amanda, honey. It's time to go. We've been here more than a few minutes."

"More like a few hours, mom," I said. But I got up and said bye to Billy. Normally, I don't like boys, but he's an interesting exception. Oh how I do wish I had never thought that way.

October, 1993 About a month had gone by since I met Billy. We'd hung out a couple times - he has some of my favorite games that my mother won't buy me - but mostly, we'd kept our distance. Something, though, was changing. I was feeling more and more attracted to him, but I didn't know what it meant. I knew about puberty and how girls would eventually learn to like boys, and that wasn't what I felt. It wasn't a sexual attraction. I didn't feel like I wanted to spend my life with him. It was more like...I just wanted to be with him, not because he makes me happy, but because...I'm not sure how to describe the feeling.

It was around mid-October when it happened. He asked if I wanted to come over and I accepted his offer. I didn't know his mom wasn't going to be home, not that it really made much of a difference. Whenever I was over, she pretty much left us alone.

So we were in his basement, playing The Art of Fighting on his Super Nintendo Entertainment System or SNES. It's an action game, where you control a character and have to save the stereotypical damsel in distress. It's one of our favorites, but since he owns it and I don't, he's better than me. We always took turns, though.

It was late into the night and he was playing and he suddenly stopped and looked at me, his eyes full of passion. I didn't know what it meant.

"Amanda," he said softly.

"What is it, Billy?" I asked him, unsure whether to be concerned or nervous...or both.... Instead, I felt strange.

"I..." he began. "You're the only girl I can easily talk to. I didn't think I like girls, but...I don't know what I'm saying." So he didn't say anything. He paused the game, put down the controller, came towards me, and kissed me. I wish I had pulled away, pushed him away, or somehow otherwise rejected him...but I didn't. I kissed him back. And that's when my life changed. It got infinitely better.

October, 1996 Three years later, and Billy and I were still together. Nothing really special happened during those three years, nothing worthy of note. Well...maybe. I filled out more, grew breasts, hips got wider. People started staring at my body, mostly my ass. I got a lot of catcalls. I didn't think I was that great... Billy, on the other hand, changed from the scrawny kid he had been, into a tank. I was only five foot three inches, one hundred and two pounds. After the years passed, I didn't grow but I did gain two pounds. Billy, however... He was barely five feet when I met him. Now he's almost six feet. He got huge!

Anyway, so it's almost our three year anniversary. October twenty-second. He had something special he wanted to do, but it wasn't to come until Halloween. And I didn't know about it until this very day.

After class, he walks with me and then pulls me aside.

"Amanda," he said with his deep voice. "There's something I want to do...with you, to celebrate our third year together. And I want to do it on Halloween, your favorite holiday."

He's right. It is my favorite holiday. I love being able to dress up and scare the piss out of annoying kids and obnoxious teenagers. But we were supposed to go to a party.

"I thought we were going to a Halloween party?" I said.

"I'd rather do this."

"Well, what is it?"

"I want to keep it a secret."

I giggled and blushed. "Okay, that's fine sweetheart." He kissed me and smiled.

If only we had gone to that party... If only we hadn't decided to do something else instead...things might be so much different....

Halloween Night, 1996

So it's Halloween. I'm already in my witch costume. It looks pretty great, I made it myself. I was almost ready to walk with Billy to wherever he wanted to go to celebrate. All I had to do was tell my mom I was going out with Billy. So I told her. She told me to be careful. I just nodded but didn't worry. My boyfriend is built like a tank...what would I need to be worried about? In hindsight, I should have taken my pocket knife with me...though I doubt it would have helped.

I walk outside and see him in his Batman costume. It fits him well.

"You look amazing," he said. "Amazing and evil."

I stuck my tongue out at him and took his hand in mine as we started walking.

We were only walking for about twenty minutes or so when I heard - and felt - something or someone following us. I thought nothing of it so left it alone. A few minutes later, though, and I heard and felt it again.

"Billy?" I said, fear in my voice. "I think someone is following us."

Billy stopped and turned around, but there was no one in sight. He kissed me on my forehead and said, "There's nobody, Amanda. We're okay."

I still felt scared, and wanted to go home. I should have gone home, but I didn't want to disappoint Billy.

We were still walking when it happened. There was a rustle of leaves, a swirl of wind, then a thump and Billy fell to the ground, his head bleeding. not severely, he'd live, but he was unconscious. I felt something strike me, saw stars, then let the blackness consume me.


I woke up, feeling strange. I had no idea when it was or where I was. To be honest, I wasn't even sure I was alive. As my eyes adjusted, I noticed I was in a dark room, on the ground. There was a pentagram drawn around me. In my foggy state, I didn't recognize it as a pentagram, so didn't associate anything with it but insanity.

I shakily rolled over and got to my knees. I then puked as something in my stomach heaved. Or...maybe it was my stomach. I wasn't sure. Which was probably the second sign that something was wrong, but the first that I was alive, at least. I wondered what happened to Billy, and I hoped he was okay.

I notice someone in the corner and he turns and sees me.

"Ah, you're awake!" he said cheerfully. "Excellent, excellent. I wasn't sure if it worked or if you were dead. I am happy to say you are alive."

I looked at him strangely. "What are you talking about?" I asked him, confused.

"The ritual! You were unconscious, so you don't remember, but we used the pentagram and blood from your loved one to summon a demon inside you. It's name is Khor'al, the Demon of Vengeance and Violence." His expression turned very dark. "There's someone I want dead...someone I want revenge on. I will have it, I will avenge my brother." His expression changed back. "But not yet. First, I want to make sure it went all right, that the demon was summoned into you but does not control you."

So that's what it was. Since I had woken, I felt like I wasn't alone, in my own body, my own mind. I thought I was crazy...maybe I'm not crazy...maybe I'm just a vessel now. Maybe I already was or maybe I was always meant to be.

I think he would have said more, but for some reason, I didn't like this man. He had changed me into a monster and I wanted revenge. Suddenly, a claw shot out of my palm, stabbing him through the middle. I felt the other inside me perk and I could sense joy from it. It was glad to be killing, getting revenge. Considering it patrons violence and vengeance, I'm not surprised it enjoyed getting both at the same time. I didn't mean to kill him though, so when blood spurted like a fountain from his mouth and then from his middle when the claw retracted, I screamed.

I screamed and screamed and ran and ran, trying to find my way out of this accursed dungeon - later, I realized it was nothing more than the basement of some abandoned warehouse, but it felt like a dungeon. I managed to scurry outside and the dazzling light blinded me. There was a pool of water, a small pond, nearby. I went to it and looked in and almost screamed again. The hideous figure staring back at me...was me. Disheveled hair, deep set eyes full of hatred, pointed teeth. My skin had an ashy look, as though it had met the aftermath of a fire. My hair, disheveled as it was, still shined black. I was no longer wearing my costume. I was in a dress of some kind. Something old fashioned. The only real change to my appearance was my face. Everything else appeared to be the same as it was, aside from my hair being a complete mess.

I scooped water to my face and rubbed it. When I looked back, the scariness from before was gone. It must have just been my running makeup. The only remaining feature was the hatred in my eyes. Can't wash that out.

I ran to the nearest store, grabbed a newspaper and looked at the date. It was November fourteenth...nineteen ninety six..over a week later. Two weeks, in fact. I then looked at the front page story to see a picture of me. The headline read "Girl Still Missing After Kidnapped Halloween Night".

The store owner saw me and said, "You gonna pay for that, sweetheart?" Suddenly, his mouth dropped open as he recognized my face from the paper. "'re alive! Everyone thinks you're dead! Amanda, right?"

I nodded and he ushered me back into his office. "Wait here while I call the authorities." He went back out. I could feel the hatred, I felt the other inside me desperately wanted to kill him, but he was helping me, unlike the other guy, who had probably raped me and tortured me and put this..this...fucking demon inside me! He deserved what he got! But not this man. He's innocent. He deserves to live.

Next thing I know, he's back in the office and ushers me out into the arms of the police, who then brought me home. I hugged my mom and tears filled my eyes and when the police were gone, I asked her about Billy.

"He's fine," she said. "Shaken up, he had a concussion, but he's alive and well."

I ran out of the house and knocked on his door. It slowly opened and I saw Cathy, Billy's mom, and she almost screamed. "Amanda! Oh my god! Billy!" she exclaimed. "You have a visitor!" She winked at me.

Billy slowly came down the stairs, a bandage still wrapped around his head. When he saw me, his eyes lit up. He rushed at me, picked me up and twirled me around before putting me down and sitting on the ground, his eyes strained.

"Billy," his mom scolded him. "You know you shouldn't be doing that. You're not fully recovered yet."

"I know, mom." She left us alone.

"What happened, Amanda?" he asked. "I remember getting knocked out but nothing else. When I woke up, you were gone and it was morning already. I tried to look for you, but I couldn't find you. No trace of you at all."

I suddenly felt the hatred again, and I knew I wanted revenge on whoever had hurt my Billy. But then I remembered the man. It was most likely him who had done it. So the revenge was already taken.

I didn't want Billy to know the truth, so I merely said, "I was kidnapped. Whoever it was tried to rape me, but I managed to get away and I wandered around, barely eating, sleeping when I got the chance... I don't know how I managed to survive that long, but I did."

He held me close and I could hear his heartbeat. "I'm so happy you did," he said.

The next few days were the same. People coming to visit to say how happy they were to see me, but all I wanted to do was be with Billy. I suddenly realized...the only way to get to Billy was to kill everyone who kept me from seeing him. I felt the hatred rise up inside me, felt something snap and suddenly, I felt my consciousness reduced to a small corner of my mind as the demon took over.

Laughing manically, I ran through the house and plunged my claws into my mother, who had just opened the door to let another person in. The people screamed and tried to run, but they weren't fast enough. I killed them too.

People were at the end of the street, staring at my now grotesque figure. My claws shot out at them like missiles, killing them as well. It was so much fun, that I when down the whole street, killing everyone I saw. I started going in the houses and killing more people. My thirst for blood was insatiable, it seemed.

I then made my way back to Billy's house. I didn't want to kill Billy or Cathy, so I struggled to take back control of my body, and I won. I felt my body return to normal, and the pain was intense. I then saw all the carnage and devastation I had wrought...and was afraid. Afraid of myself. I wrapped my arms around myself and started to cry as I walked up to Billy's house. But the damage had already been done. Cathy had seen my monstrous self rampaging and slaughtering. She had already called the police when she opened the door.

She saw me, shivering in the cold, crying, looking alone and scared. I saw in her eyes that she felt sorry. At the time, I didn't know why. But she felt sorry for me, because I looked so innocent, so sweet, and the next few minutes would most likely break Billy's heart. Oh how wrong she was.

She took me to Billy's room and when he saw me, he put his arms around and held me close, whispering that everything would be okay. He didn't know and he didn't ask.

I heard the sound of the police sirens and realized that someone had called them. I knew it could only have been one of two people. Billy or Cathy. Billy would never have done that to me. His mom...I didn't think she would, but I wasn't sure. It didn't matter.

I broke out of Billy's grasp just as I could smell the police walking up to the door. They knocked as I stabbed my claws into Cathy. One word escaped her lips before she died. "Why?" I wish I could tell her why. I wish I really knew why. But I didn't, still don't. All I know is that a demon lives within me, and I can't get it out.

Billy came down when the police knocked, and he saw what I had done. He fell to his knees.

"Amanda, why?" he said, crying. "Why did you do this?"

"Because she wants to keep me from you," I said with a soft snarl. "I couldn't let her keep us apart."

The door slammed but didn't open.

"I...I don't think we can do this, Amanda. What I wanted to do with you on Halloween...was break up with you. I can't do it. I'm not ready."

Tears filled my eyes as I killed him too. He had been about to say something but my claws interrupted him. One word he said, and that word haunted me. The door broke down and the police took me, but I didn't fight. They locked me away, so I could never kill. But the demon was broken, I was broken.

Billy's final word had cut into my soul. Not the word itself, but the way it was said. Full of sadness and love. He did love me, but he needed a break. I thought he didn't love me, so I killed him. I couldn't bear the thought of life without him. And if I couldn't have him, no one could.


I sit in my cubicle in the crazy house. I don't even know where. Nor what month it is. I just write this story so all can understand. Billy's last word still torments me, taunting me that it could have been different.

Over and over it echoes in my head, a soft shout to tell me the wrong I had done.

Over and over it rings inside, filling me with hatred and sadness, wanting to kill myself, but the demon inside me won't let me. It wanted life, wants life.

Over and over, one word. One damn word to curse me forever.

That word is... Amanda.