Joseph sat slumped on the sofa, staring into the darkness beyond the patio windows. The only light source being a dim lamp on a side table. Any light would have done for him to ease the fear he had of ‘the Bad Man’. He had hurt Joseph’s neck, and when he had awoken the next night, Joseph wanting to do the same to others.
He glanced at the clock on the wall.
Smiling, he knew it would soon be time.
Another few minutes.
Joseph listened to the ticks of the clock counting the seconds away. He knew he should be in bed sleeping, but he couldn’t resist staying up late to see what happened. Also, his stomach was rumbling to be fed. It was getting so bad he was sure it was punching him.
While he waited, Joseph sang to himself, some of the words he had forgotten as every third or fourth word was an attempt, then back to pieces he remembered. Usually his mother sang with him, helping with the words, but she was busy in the kitchen – least that’s what he had come to think.
The singing came to an abrupt stop as the clock chimed the hour he’d been so anxiously waiting for. His nerves tingled with excitement. He knew it was about to happen. His heart skipped a beat.
As soon as he saw movement outside, Joseph leapt to his feet. What he saw was like Snow White standing outside: snow falling all around a dark-haired girl with red lips, and a long flowing white dress. He stared into her sky-blue eyes, watching her hair drift with the breeze. A sudden gust sent ripples through her dress; her slender body almost visible under the thin fabric.
Walking over to the patio doors, Joseph looked up at her. He ran his index finger over the glass, tracing the contours of her outline. He started to get an erection as he noticed her chilled nipples jutting out. This was a relatively new sensation to him, and he liked it very much.
The woman placed her hand on the glass, leaning in so close her breath made a circle of condensation. All the time she looked straight ahead as if never noticing Joseph.
She tried the door handle several times, but Joseph had learnt to keep it locked so he could savour these moments.
“Oh, Lisa! You look beautiful!”
He looked at her with love in his eyes, or at least a strong feeling of emotion.
Lisa’s eyes still stared forward, yet had a yearning look in them; begging to be let in.
“You even found the dress I saw you wearing! Amazing!”
Puckering his lips, Joseph stood on tip-toes and kissed the glass as high as he could reach.
Lisa’s gaze never moved; remaining hypnotic.
Joseph slid the latch up and turned the key; waiting for the sound of the click. Pausing for a moment, he took another look up at Lisa. Grinning and snickering, he slid the patio door over to the right. He had struggled with it before, but now he threw it open with ease.
He gestured for Lisa to come in.
Slowly, Lisa stepped over the threshold still gazing forward. As she came closer towards him, Joseph looked at her from her head to her bare feet. She was no older than nineteen; older than Gemma the night before.
Lisa stopped a few inches in front of him and knelt down. Joseph caressed her cheek with his right hand and smiled happily; leaping up and in excitement.
Joseph quickly gave her a peck on the lips.
A few seconds on the clock passed.
He gave her a grin.
Feeling shy, he dared himself to kiss her on the neck. He leaned closer and placed the kiss gently just above her collar bone, but stepping back fast to check if Lisa was still in a gaze.
Squeezing his eyes closed for a couple of seconds, he opened them again to see Lisa’s eyelids flutter as if waking up from sleep.
“Where the hell am I?” she asked, shaking her head to clear the grogginess.
“I asked you to come over, Lisa.”
“You . . . You, what?”
As she gathered her senses, she looked around to see if she could recognise where she was, then looked directly at Joseph. She remembered him. She had never met him or seen him; she had dreamt about him before waking up here. The dream had been him calling her; telling her to come find him; to wear that white dress. Lisa looked down to check and gasped realising she was wearing what he had asked her to. She gulped, swallowing what felt like a brick.
Staying knelt in front of him, Lisa’s eyes adjusted to the dim light behind Joseph, looking directly into his eyes. She noticed he was wearing pyjamas with a big red stain spread down the top half and a little splattering down the trousers, his hair was a mousy brown and matted.
Joseph kissed her lips again, making Lisa feel even more confused and uncomfortable. He went to kiss her once more, but she leaned back and stopped him from coming any closer by keeping him at arm’s length.
“Don’t do that!” Lisa snapped.
“Why not?” Joseph asked, lip starting to quiver.
“Well, because I don’t know you. And you really shouldn’t do that unless you ask first.”
Joseph sniffled and was not smiling anymore.
Lisa’s dread grew inside her. She wanted to keep the situation happy.
“Are you here by yourself? Where are your parents?”
“They’re in the kitchen.”
She felt a wave of relief.
“Did someone get hurt?” Lisa asked, pointing to the blood.
“That was Gemma. She made a mess.”
Joseph smiled again; bringing back that horrible feeling Lisa had had.
“Let go see your mummy and daddy, ok?”
Joseph nodded, taking her hand.
“What’s your name?”
“Hi, Joseph. I’m . . . “
“How did you know that?”
“It was your name in my dream,” he answered nonchalantly.
“Oh . . . “
Lisa desperately wanted to leave now.
“H-H-How old are you, Joseph?”
She couldn’t wait to let go of his hand and give him to his mother.
“I’m eight!” Joseph stated gleefully.
Pushing open the kitchen door, Lisa felt for the light switch. As the light cleared the darkness away, Lisa covered her mouth to stop her from being sick. A pile of bodies had been dumped on the floor. There were maybe four or five.
“Oh my God!” Lisa started to whimper.
“Mummy and Daddy are at the bottom,” Joseph said happily, pointing to two mangled corpses just visible.
Lisa looked down at Joseph in horror.
“And that one on top is Gemma. She came to play last night.”
Joseph looked up at Lisa, grinning and laughing like a child does when they enjoy themselves. Lisa’s face flooded with fear as she gasped for breath with her hand still over her mouth. She tried to scream when she saw Joseph’s eyes begin to glow yellow, but nothing happened. Trying to run, Lisa fell backwards slamming into the floor. Joseph’s grip was getting tighter, almost crushing her hand.
“No one will play with me!!!” Joseph screamed in tantrum.
Leaping on top of Lisa, she tried to fight him off. Panicking and sobbing, tears ran down her face.
“No, please, no!” Lisa begged.
Joseph opened his mouth wide and sank as many teeth as he could into her neck, her arms giving in under his sheer strength. He felt the warm blood pump into his mouth, drinking until he heard her last gasp.
Joseph dragged her lifeless body over to the pile of other corpses and threw her on top. He waved with his fingers at his mother and father, walked out of the kitchen and went upstairs to his room. Curling up under the covers so he was snug, he put his thumb in his mouth and began to suck on it. He hoped ‘the Bad Man’ wouldn’t come back, only the girl he would dream about.
Joseph fell asleep quickly as soon as the sun had started to reveal the first rays of morning, and that’s when the dreams started again – her name was Amanda.