Her.

She lies on her bed as always, basking in the dull light of the midnight moon transiting lazily through my curtains. She has beautiful, hazel brown eyes that surround her darkened pupils, with eyelashes impeccably crafted onto her closed eyelids. Her hair compliments her skin perfectly, the pale yellow contrasting immaculately with her bright red hair. She is a beauty queen, and I should know best. The beauty pageant trophies that adorn her room speak in volumes about her beauty, intellect and wit. I kissed her on the cheek, and though she did not move, I could feel her love reciprocated immensely, filling her bedroom with all that I’ve ever wanted and yet again masking the stench that wafts steadily around. Not only was she beautiful, but also helpful. What more could a man ask for?

She saved me. I was an utter failure, never succeeding in anything in my life. Yes I was married with a hardworking wife, had a stable job and a beautiful young daughter with the brightest smile in the world. Some would say that I lived the mid-life dream. The dream embedded with sufficiency and contentment galore to last me until the day I die. How wrong they were. I only wanted the best for my daughter but she was unable to fulfil her obligations, her most basic obligations. Her small, beady eyes and her frazzled blonde hair overshadowed her bright smile. How could beauty be so tainted? She could have been so perfect. What good was her intelligence if she couldn’t physically show it? My wife adored and smothered her, and I hated both of them for it.

And then it happened. My wife died in a motor accident 1 year ago, and it devastated my daughter. She cried at the hospital, at the funeral, and for weeks after. I had my fists clenched and my teeth gritted the whole time. It was after this point of time I met her. What my own daughter couldn’t achieve, she could. Through her eyes, I knew now what I had to do. I have never felt happier than I ever did.

It has been a month since then. The stench gets worse with each passing day, but I know better than to make her unhappy. The neighbours were suspicious of course, those nosy little busybodies. More than once they’ve tried to poke their nose in OUR business. How dare they. What business is it of theirs to interfere in OUR happiness, OUR lives. Their eyes grow wider each and every day, but I will protect her, as I always have.

“Daddy! I had a nightmare!” She called in her usual falsetto tone, so sweet to my ears.

Heh. A father’s work is never done. I cuddled her in my arms, and kissed her again. Oh dear, I’ve got some red again on my lips. Let daddy clean you up, sweetie.

“I love you daddy, are you ready?” she whispered softly in my ear as I embraced and caressed her in my arms. I love you too baby. I’ll sleep with you tonight, all right? We’ll chase those bad dreams, those bad men away. They will not harm you, they will not harm us.

I am ready, love.
————————————————————————————————————————————————————————
“911, what is your emergency?”

Multiple calls went out at the break of dawn, the reports centred around screaming and boisterous laughter in the wee hours in the morning, coupled with a steadily growing stench that exuded from the house from the past 2 weeks. Neighbours gathered curiously outside of the house with bated breath as 3 police cruisers pulled in. Sergeant Phil Craigson was the first to be hit by the smell as he neared the house, and subsequently the first to also vomit out the morning’s donuts and coffee. The smell though, he recognized it instantly, as he pulled his radio closer and called for backup.

All entrances to the house were locked, and as such the police were forced to break the door down, with paramedics just behind them. The door opened. If Craigson was horrified by the smell alone outside, then he was damn well mortified now, as was everyone else. The entirety of both the living and dining room were spread rampant with dried blood, in streaks across the walls and floor. What could be construed as human offal were strewn around the house, the older ones being a breeding ground for maggots and the seemingly fresher ones a source of delight to the mini community congregating within the confines of the house, living in a maggots’ paradise. More vomit.

The source of the horrors was traced to an upstairs bedroomthat seemingly belonged to a young girl. What once looked like a warm, loving household was now morbidly transformed into a dark, foreboding abyss. By now, more police officers had arrived on the scene, and the crowd gathered outside of the house would put any iPhone launch to blatant shame. The room itself was the worst, which looked as if the existence of Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs had finally dawned upon H.P. Lovecraft from beyond the veil, and in a fit of unbridled rage unleashed from his creative bowels the mind numbing horror into that single, innocent room.

The most obvious thing they noticed was first the dried out body of a young girl, hanging from a makeshift noose attached to the ceiling. She was devoid of blood, with slash marks across her torso, back and neck. Her torso was cleaned out like a Halloween pumpkin, although at least the older “offal” wouldn’t have to be identified. Other than that, the body was almost unrecognizable, taking into consideration the amount of decomposition that had taken place as well as the maggots having a field day feasting on it. One of the paramedics almost fainted. The second thing they noticed, was the body of a man in his middle 30s, laying on the ground beside a bed with scratch marks to his face, and his stomach torn open with all manner of innards spread out across the room and the rest of the house. He had apparently died with his hands around a doll’s neck. One would be correct in assuming that the main highlight of the crime scene was the porcelain doll, its hair covered in blood – both dried and fresh – and some of the officers could swear that its large, round brown eyes followed them as they moved around the room, if ever only so slightly even. Forensics got the worst end of the stick, all of them also swearing that they saw the lips of the doll grin slightly as they investigated the bodies of the deceased. The creepiest part of it however, was the fact that the word “lips” were used to describe the doll and if anything meant it in a literal sense. The decomposed lips of the deceased girl were sewn onto the doll, slightly quivering, as if the soul of the deceased was still trying to scream out for help. Needless to say, it scared them out of their wits to no end.

The cordoning off and guarding of any crime scene had to be the worst part of the job, and as a senior officer, Sergeant Craigson had the thankless job of undertaking a last run and ensuring the “sterility’ of the crime scene before the junior officers took over. He did a check of the entire house, looking a little bit more welcoming now that the body parts and scattered organs were taken away to the mortuary. Walking back to the little girl’s bedroom, he couldn’t help but think to himself that this was once a place of innocence and tranquillity, transformed suddenly into a real life nightmare that will forever change the dynamics of that room. He stared at the room for a little while more, lost in thought. That was when he noticed. The doll was missing. He was sure forensics hadn’t taken it back to be analysed. Hell, they weren’t even done with fully analysing the house yet. He stepped cautiously further into the room, over the Hello Kitty carpet that now looked like the Kitty had a bad bout of menstruation, over a Thomas The Tank Engine train with a scowl rusted on its face, and lastly over the carefully chalked outline of the man who had breathed his last. He contemplated for a moment whether to search for the doll, when he heard the door creak mournfully behind him. The room gradually began to turn dark as fearful instinct took over and he turned around, preparing to bolt out of the room and to the safety of the late afternoon sun.

“Hello Daddy”.

Giggle. Oh, I should know, I should know very well. Isn’t that right, love?

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