…or turning a snippet into another story.
What happens when you’re a child that can see what no others can? What if you live in a home infested with demons only you can see, and they torment you endlessly?
Now, imagine you’re Morgan…
Morgan laid in her bed trying not to move. Her breaths were nothing more than quick intakes. Her mother’s footsteps increased in volume. “You had better be asleep, child. It’s past your bedtime. You remember what happened last time I caught you awake?”
Morgan didn’t answer. She fell for it last time and the lash marks on her back still stung when she rolled onto her back. She tried her best to explain to her mother she couldn’t close her eyes and sleep. The monster in her dreams would torment her, but the explanations fell on deaf ears.
Ever since she was 8, she could see and hear things her mother could not. Ghosts were the first. Then came inky things that slinked along the walls. After the shadows came, the monsters with gnashing teeth and red eyes.
Each time she tried to talk to her mother, her mother would scoff and tell her it was her imagination. Her mother would tell her those things didn’t exist. Then one evening while Morgan was trying to talk to her mother about the scary things, she saw something small sitting on her mother’s shoulder. It had horns and a pointed tail. Its wings were pitch and the eyes were a green she only saw in haunted houses.
That’s when Morgan knew nothing she said would get through to her mother. The thing had her mother. She was alone.
The above was the original snippet. I rewrote some of it below.
As the thumping of footsteps approached her door, Morgan did her best not to move under the covers. Her breaths were deliberate, quick, and shallow.
The footfalls stopped at her door, “You had better be asleep, child. It’s past your bedtime. You remember what happened last time I caught you awake?”
Her mother’s voice was raspy with a guttural undertone.
She knew better than to answer. The stings of the lashings she took for responding were still fresh on her back. Sleeping on her side and belly were her only options until they healed. Sleep was foreign to Morgan. Monsters and demons haunted her sleeping hours, but no matter how many times she tried to explain this to her mother, it fell on deaf ears.
Her eleventh birthday would be here in three days. She first started seeing ghosts and phantasms when she turned eight. Morgan also noticed no one else saw them but her. The ghosts weren’t the bad things, and she became accustomed to seeing them in her room, floating down the hall, and would even talk to them on occasion.
It was the things that came after which scared her. Shadows would come out of closets and from the inky darkness objects would cast on walls. They had red eyes and would show her gnashing teeth and growl at her. Next came the demons, the things which tormented her and slowly turned her mother against her and her father.
Her mother would dismiss her accountings as a child’s imagination and scoff at her descriptions. Morgan would draw them to the best of her abilities. Her mother would tear up the pictures and burn them in the fireplace.
Then, one night when Morgan was ten, she saw it. Her mother was standing at her bedroom door telling her to go to sleep and out of thin air, a small horned creature with skin as dark as pitch and eyes an eery green appeared on her mother’s shoulder. The tip of its tail wagged back and forth as if it was a content cat. It was at that moment Morgan knew her mother was lost.
~~~Three months ago~~~
Morgan was going to the kitchen to sweep the floor when she heard arguing from the living room.
“Who are you, Anna?” The sadness and frustration were present in her father’s voice.
“I am who I have always been, Robby.” Her mother’s voice was devoid of emotion.
Morgan stopped at the door to the kitchen and watched her pace while rubbing the bridge of his nose, “How do you not see what you are becoming, Anna? Your demeanor has completely changed. You dismiss my concerns, and you do nothing but yell and hit Morgan. This isn’t you.”
Her mother’s eyes flashed red, “It’s you. You’re the one who’s changed. You don’t listen to me anymore and you are constantly finding fault in what I do. As for Morgan, she’s turned into a liar and little fiend. She needs discipline.”
Her father threw his hands into the air and made his way to the door, “It’s been a year of this. I can’t take anymore. I am leaving, going home to my parents.”
Morgan’s eyes flew open and she started running toward her father, “Dad! Take me with you! Please, don’t leave me here! I want to go!”
She knew she was screaming the words, but no sound came out. Morgan grasped at her throat while tears streamed down her face. Her father was gone, and she remained.
She heard a cackle behind her.
The voice was like sandpaper, “If he truly loved you, he would have thought of you before walking out the door, Morgan. You belong to us. Did you think we would let you leave?”
She felt tears rolling down the side of her face to her pillow as the memory faded. Rolling over to give lying on her back another try, she counted her mother’s footsteps as they left her door. A dark pool seeped through the light fixture. Its mouth was full of pointed teeth and its eyes could not be discerned from the rest of it.
“Are you ready for another nightmare, Morgan?”
She shook her tear-streaked face, “No, please, can I just sleep this time? I’m sleepy.”
The thing chuckled, making Morgan sink further in her blankets. The sound was akin to metal grating on metal, “You know that’s not how it works, dear Morgan. It’s not Friday. That’s the only night you get to sleep. You know that.”
She shivered as she cried and closed her eyes so tight her face hurt. She recited prayers in her head. The thing recoiled, “Sneaky, sneaky, you keep that up, I will tell your mother you’re awake. You want the whip again?”
“No. I still hurt from last time.”
“Well, stop that annoying praying and let me in then, child.”
She stopped and felt the inky thing sit by her bed and cold fingers on her forehead. She closed her eyes, and the nightmare began again.
The landscape was black and streaked with red, glowing cracks. There was a volcano in the distance and a voice calling to her. Her mother was at the base of the volcano tied to a human-sized spit. Demons were taking her to the opening, discussing how they would cook her.
Morgan would break into a run to save her mother, but no matter where she treads, the ground broke and the volcano would get no closer. When she tried to jump, hands would jut out of the cracks and pull her back to the surface. She would yell at her mother she was coming only to have her breath catch and the words fail.
The scene played on repeat until the morning.
Morgan was awakened out of a catnap by her mother opening her door. She peeled her eyes open and sat up. Her mother toward her.
“Are you going to get out of bed, Morgan, or are you going to be lazy?”
“I’m getting up, mama,” Morgan swung her legs over the side of her bed. Her eyes were still trying to stay open as she rubbed them.