| My name is Eric Red. Ever since I was little, people have seen me as different. I remember those nightmares… a horrible, scaly creature attacking me… It happened every night. My parents took me a psychologist, but he couldn't find anything wrong with me. At school, I would commonly see a man who was not there. Sometimes he was just standing there, other times he had a weapon, like a gun or a knife. Once, his clothes were stained with blood. Although how he appeared varied, he was always the same. I'll never forget that pale skin, thick, greasy black hair, and his eyes. The eyes were the worst part. They were violet. A strange glowing violet. The glow didn't seem natural, almost as if it was the man's cruelty that was glowing, shining through those two orbs of wickedness. I tried to tell other people about him, but they couldn't see him. They just thought I had an imaginary friend.
One day, in sixth grade, he spoke to me. His voice was raspy. As if he was on the brink of death, struggling to stay alive.
"Hello, Eric," the man said, smiling. It was a friendly smile, but it couldn't hide his cruelty. "My name is Baal. You're the only one here who can see me or even hear me. So I want to get to know you better. How are you?"
There were kids all around me. I didn't know what they'd think if I started talking to nothing. So, I kept silent. I couldn't stop staring at those eyes, though. Something about them captivated me.
Baal waited patiently for my response. After a while, he chuckled. "Well, if you're so concerned about your self-image…" I jumped. A few kids turned to stare at me. My heart pounded in my chest. How did he know what I was thinking? That's when he pulled out a knife and thrust it into my heart. I saw it. I heard it. I didn't feel it. Baal laughed. Then he exploded. It wasn't a fiery explosion. It was like a balloon popping. A balloon filled with blood and organs and pieces of bone popping. What was left of the body lay on the ground, slowly dissolving into the air. I screamed when it happened. By the time everyone had rushed to me to see what had happened, I was crying. Tears rolled down my burning cheeks as I curled up on the ground, my eyes shut tight. I didn't want to see it anymore. I wanted it all to go away. The teacher tried to take me to the nurse, but I couldn't move. Images of the blood flooded through my mind. I didn't want to open to my eyes. I didn't want to see the gore.
The teacher had to call the school nurse over to me. After a while, she finally managed to convince me to come with her. I gathered all my courage and opened my eyes. The gore, the blood, everything from the explosion was gone. I was still shaking and unable to speak when my parents got there. They took me to a hospital. As I got in the car, I saw Baal nearby, smiling viciously at me. Everything seemed cold all of a sudden. As if fear had wrapped its stone cold claws around me, choking me, strangling me. I didn't know it then, but those claws would never let go. Not as long as I lived. Even now, I can still feel it. That terrible fear.
When we reached the hospital, Baal was waiting for me. He stood there, right in front of the entrance, chuckling to himself. At the sight of him, I stopped dead in my tracks.
"What's wrong?" Mom asked. There was a lot of worry in her voice.
"B….b…. Baal…." I managed to stutter, staring at the terrible man.
My mom gave me a funny look. "Ball?" She asked.
"Baal…. He's Baal…. Here…." I pointed like an idiot, my hand shook violently. Baal burst out laughing. It was full of amusement. Sadistic amusement.
"Who are you talking about?" Dad wondered, staring at me. I could tell both he and mom were now even more worried.
I couldn't take it anymore. I screamed as loud as I could. "Baal! He's here! He's going to kill me! Cover me in blood! He's after me! Don't let him get me! The blood! The blood…" I ran in the opposite direction, everything was beginning to darken. The sounds of my parents and the people who had seen me all seemed like incoherent babble. The only sound I could make out was laughter. Cruel, wicked laughter. Baal's laughter. My head was spinning, my mind was drowning in confusion, and the last thing I heard before passing out was Baal's laughter.