I like Them, they keep me company.
|It’s easy to be considered crazy, especially when you see what I see. Them, they’re my friends. I see Them, and I know you do too. I know you’re lying when you say you don’t. How could you not see those large, red eyes and their unkempt hair? Their sharp teeth, the long, jagged claws on their grimy hands, and the malicious smiles on their faces? It’s impossible to look away from Them. They’re amazing creatures. Beautiful, really. I like Them.. they keep me company.
It all started when I was nine. I wasn’t like the other kids. I read scary stories, and watched horror movies. In art, I would draw demons I saw in my dreams. Everyone was scared of me. Then came Them. There were three of Them. All my age, their eyes were bright red, like the red you see on firetrucks. They had short, pointed nails, and their hair looked as if they had just gotten out of bed. There was dirt between every crease and crevice on their bodies, it was ridiculous. They looked like they hadn’t showered in weeks. I offered to let Them come to my house to clean up, but they refused. They only told me that they came to be my friends. From then on, it was me, and Them.
They told me more about Them. They told me they came from a secret island called Abyssus, and that they once had an old friend the next town over, but they died of a tragic accident. They were murdered by nine mysterious killers, who looked exactly like Them. They were posing to be Them, to trick her into thinking it was Them just so they could eat her organs. They were called Vexsteps, and they followed Them around, trying to hurt Them and their friends. They were only seen by those that they exposed themselves to. And they only exposed themselves because they were eventually going to eat the person’s organs, after all of the Vexsteps assigned for that person had arrived. They starved themselves until the moment that they ate them, and pretended to be their friends. They ate the organs because, when they were humans, they had a disease or a sickness that caused them to need a new part of their body, but it failed on them, and now they wanted revenge. The only way to keep their spirits alive was to eat other people’s organs, and also the only way to end their unfinished business. It was ordered by their leader, Diabolus, to befriend healthy individuals and eventually split their organs between all of them to eat. Diabolus loved to torture, that’s what they said, and he also loved to watch people suffer. He sent his slaves to get their revenge on the people that did them wrong. When they had finished their once unfinished business, they would go to wherever they belonged, whether that be Heaven or Hell, or wherever they believed they would go. It was sick, and twisted. My new friends told me they wouldn’t ever let that happen to me. They would keep me safe.
A year after they arrived, I started to tell people about Them, despite their pleas against it. No one believed me, they just told me they couldn’t see Them, that they weren’t real. They had to see them, though. I couldn’t be the only one. Even my sister said she didn’t see Them, and my parents just laughed and said that I had a very imaginative mind. I got in trouble for “scaring my sister”, as my mother called it, but I wasn’t. I was telling the truth. They were there.
Another year later is when people began insulting us, and being mean. They called me a crazy psycho, someone who was only looking for attention. They called Them fake, and said that I made Them up only to scare everyone. I had to reassure Them that they knew I knew I still loved Them, and that people were just stupid. They just had to get used to Them, they were actually really nice. They walked with me to the park, and sat next to me on the bus when no one else would. Looks didn’t define them.
When middle school came, another three of Them arrived to become my friends. That was also when word about them had gotten around. Everyone in the grades above me knew about Them, and they made fun of me for it. They didn’t see Them, or at least that’s what they said. That’s not right, though, because if I can see Them, they can too. They’re real, and they’re my friends. More people would’ve been friends with Them too, if they had just opened up and admitted to seeing Them. They can’t now. We went through that for three years. People calling me crazy, and Them fake. Us telling the people that there was nothing to be scared of, and there still isn’t. They’re friendly creatures, and if you would open up, you’d realize how amazing they are. You would love Them. But now, you can’t. It’s too late, and they’re mine.
People stopped talking to me in high school, as did my family. Even my parents. They only talked to me during dinner, just to ask how school was going. No one even tried to argue with me about Them. At that point, though, I realized that I didn’t want other people to be friends with Them. Then I wouldn’t have anyone, people would steal Them from me. I couldn’t let that happen.
High school was also when they started acting weird. They began to keep secrets from me, they whispered behind my back. I tried to hear what they were saying, but they were too quiet. They also complained about hunger, and how they wished the “last three”, whatever that meant, would hurry up. I’m not talking about the other students, no, I’m talking about Them. Freshman year,they stopped coming to school with me. Only on certain days, and not all six of Them would come. When I asked Them what was up, they said, “The last three will come soon, and then we will all have everything we ever wanted and needed.”
Sophomore year, they started to record my height and weight, then divide them by nine, for a reason they didn’t tell me. They also asked about my health, how well my organs were working. They fed me, and caused me to gain weight. They didn’t let me to anything that would potentially harm me. I asked why they did those things, and they said it was to keep me healthy. I was so lucky to have Them.
Junior year, the last three came. They were full grown, much like the six I had already befriended. They were my family, considering I didn’t have one. That same year, my parents sent me to an insane asylum. They claimed that I was crazy, they assumed that I had a mental illness that caused me to hallucinate. They even suggested that I was possessed. They were just scared of me, and Them. They were scared of the power we had when we were put together, and they had to stop it. They were too weak, they didn’t have the strength of Them. They were the ones going crazy.
And now. Now is what would’ve been my senior year, if my parents hadn’t sent me here. They’re the reason I’m not visited by Them much anymore. Only a few times a day, when the nurses aren’t around, because they don’t want to get caught. And when they do visit, they only talk about how hungry they are. They say they haven’t eaten since before they met me, but now when I offer food, they only say that they’d soon have food. “When we’re alone,” they say. I was suspicious about that at first, but I know they’d never lie to me.
The nurses haven’t been to my room all day, and I’ve been able to be with Them. Not all of Them at the same time, though. They say they’ve been switching shifts, to keep the crazies out of my room for the day. They’re keeping me safe from the people who say they don’t see Them. Every few minutes, I hear the scream of a crazie outside my door. I assume that it’s just Them protecting me. They said they’d pass limits to protect me, which means killing. But I’m okay with that.
During lunch, all nine of Them come into my room, locking my door to keep out the crazies. Their claws seem sharper, and their eyes darker. Hungrier. Their teeth look much different than I remember, much like a tiger’s now. They look angry, walking over to me slowly. Evil grins appear on their faces as they corner me to the wall. I asked what they’re doing, but they don’t answer. They only get closer, and begin talking to one another.
“I call eating her heart,” one calls out. Another calls eating my brain, whiles calls my my liver and kidney.
“What are you doing?” I ask, watching as they all laugh. No response.
Then I remember. Vexsteps. Eating organs, pretending to be my friends. They’re Vexsteps. How stupid could I be to not realize?
“I call wearing her skin,” the quietest one says, they first time I ever hear him speak. And also the last. I ask once more what they’re doing, hoping I’m wrong. Someone begins knocking frantically on my door, yelling at me to unlock it immediately. The doctor.
“We’re hungry, and it’s finally lunchtime.”
They jump out at me, and I instantly feel a pair of claws seep into my chest.
I don’t think I like Them anymore.