*The origin of a character from my story “31 horrendous Halloween tales”. This story takes place in the 1930s. The main character is sixteen years old. Gacha Club character designs are on my wall. Enjoy!*
Monsters. They’re what people fear and what people admire. What people shrink away from and what people crawl towards. They scare as well as they fascinate.
But what makes a true, real monster? Is it a cold gaze, the baring of teeth? Is it a hatred towards humanity, a desire for all to burn?
Does anyone know a real monster when they see one?
DAHLIA WOODS-1932-12:00 A.M.
Cyfrin trudged through the rain, boots sloshing on the mud. He was supposed to be at “Dahlia Boy’s summer camp”, but…the woods were far too boring for him. Not a single person wanted Cyfrin to sing or dance. What was he to do if he didn’t perform in front of an audience?
Mom and Dad would be furious, but who cared? It was the sixth summer camp he was escaping from in his life.
At least his younger siblings, Catrine and Bryn, would be excited to see him. Their eyes always lit up when Cyfrin came to the door and he would embrace them in his arms.
Something in the distance caught Cyfrin’s attention. It was small twinkling golden lights, like faeries.
Cyfrin ran towards the lights, curious as ever.
When he got closer, he could see from the striped tents, the food stands, the costumed individuals, and the crowds of people, that it was a circus. Cyfrin had seen it before in magazines, but never thought that he would come across it.
“Ferrin’s Famously Fantastical Circus Of The Damned.”
It was said that the performers were not human and in fact, creatures from humanity’s nightmares.
Cyfrin saw them advertised in magazines a few times, boasting of its grandeur and mystery. Cyfrin didn’t believe that the performers were really monsters, but they all seemed to enjoy their lives, so who cared if it was all a show?
It was all a beautiful, tantalizing sight, straight from a storybook. The people coming and going left with memories, the performers had a purpose greater than anyone understood.
Cyfrin sighed. He couldn’t stay forever, he had to come home.
Just as he was about to turn around, something came upon his head, trapping him in darkness.
Cyfrin screamed, but his scream was muffled, quieted down.
Someone put a bag over his head.
IN THE TENT
The bag was snatched from Cyfrin’s head, revealing to him a dark, dirty tent.
Cyfrin looked around him. Though it was dark, he could see the navy and white stripes of the tent, just faintly in the moonlight, and then…
Cyfrin could see him. Mr. Ferrin, the circus man himself, standing right in front of him.
But…what did he want?
“Lost, little one?” Mr. Ferrin asked. His voice was a deep melody, a song to hypnotize the audience.
Cyfrin wasn’t falling for it, though.
He tried to get up, but he couldn’t move. Something was pulling him down, trapping him.
“What’s going on? Why can’t I move?” Cyfrin asked shakily. He was still shivering from the rain. His black hair stuck to his face, his eyelashes had dewdrops in them that fell into his blue eyes. His moss green summer camp uniform was bound to his skin by the damp water.
“I’ve tied you up, that’s why you can’t move.”
Just then, Cyfrin could feel the ropes, binding and pressing his body.
“W…why?” Cyfrin asked, voice rising slightly.
Why would Mr. Ferrin need to tie him up?
“I’m always on the lookout for new performers. The young ones are more apt to perform than the old ones. They’ve got energy and an undying spirit!”
“What are you talking about? Let me go, right this instant!” Cyfrin demanded.
How could Mr. Ferrin just tie him up and ramble about performers? He didn’t care, he just wanted to go home!
“I don’t find nightmare creatures. That’s not possible. I make them. I’m going to make you, little one.”
“You talk madness! Let me go, right now. I’ll scream if you don’t.” Cyfrin said.
Mr. Ferrin walked up to him, holding a frightfully pointed syringe in his white gloved hand.A syringe? What was Mr. Ferrin going to do, poison him? Cyfrin wouldn’t have it.
Before Cyfrin could open his mouth to scream, Mr. Ferrin injected the syringe in his right arm.
A real, bloodcurdling, awful scream spewed out of Cyfrin’s mouth. His teeth felt like they were being contorted into something vile and inhumane. His fingers were being twisted and pulled, his very body felt pricks of needles seep in.
Cyfrin’s heart almost stopped when he noticed that his scream sounded less like a scream and more like a demonic howl.
“You’ll feel better tomorrow…” Mr. Ferrin said. His voice was a hazy dream. The world around him was starting to blur and fade.
What happened to him?
Cyfrin opened his eyes. At first, he was puzzled when he saw that he was in a circus tent, but then he remembered what happened.
Chills crawled down Cyfrin’s spine. At least he wasn’t tied up anymore, that was good.
But became of him?
As Cyfrin got up from the ground, he noticed that his hands were ink black, his fingertips alabaster white, clawlike, pointed. Sharpened.
He stood up to face Mr. Ferrin, who smiled with a loveless mouth. Mr. Ferrin’s black velvet suit seemed darker than the very night.
“You might need time to adjust.” Mr. Ferrin said, handing Cyfrin a mirror.
Cyfrin took the mirror from Mr. Ferrin, glaring at him all the while.
Cyfrin gasped when he saw the monstrosity before him.
Staring back at him wasn’t a boy, but a clown.
An alabaster white clown with long, tangled red hair and large white eyes. Only the black pupils and dark purple eyeshadow made the eyes visible.
Each eye had light blue markings going down. His nose was a small red ball, slightly lighter in shade than his hair, which was more of a maroon color when he really thought about it.
Cyfrin’s smile was sharp-toothed, fanged.
He was a twisted, messed-up mockery of a clown.
“I’ll take that.” Mr. Ferrin said, snatching the mirror.
“You better change me back!” Cyfrin yelled. He couldn’t live with the face Mr. Ferrin gave him and he wouldn’t live with a face as such.
“Or what? You’re going to tell your Mommy?” Mr. Ferrin asked in masked kindness, a smile creeping up his lips.
“You’re my clown now, Saccharine. Go to your trailer, it has your name on it. Your costume is waiting for you. Can’t have you in mortal clothes, can we?” Mr. Ferrin asked.
Before Cyfrin could utter another word, Mr. Ferrin left.
Cyfrin bowed his head in defeat. He couldn’t possibly come home in the way he looked. Why he did stay for a peek? Why didn’t he just run away?
There was no escape. Cyfrin was there to stay, whether he liked it or not.
IN THE TRAILER
Cyfrin had found his trailer with no trouble. Painted on the white trailer in big, obnoxious red letters were the words: “Saccharine the scallywag”.
When he entered inside, there was a pink and white checkered shirt, a light blue suit jacket that could have been a light purple, depending on how one looked at it, a violet and white checkered belt with a large bow attached to the back, which matched in color with the jacket, and aqua blue pants.
Sitting on the ground were sunflower yellow ankle boots with matching bows on the sides and a navy blue, polka-dotted party hat, also with a matching bow on the side.
Cyfrin swept up the boots, hat, and costume in his arms and headed off to the dressing room of his trailer.
Time to turn into Saccharine.
Cyfrin stared at himself in the dressing room mirror. He was Saccharine, that was for sure. A confident nightmare, an idol and a demon. Perhaps being Saccharine wouldn’t be too bad…
No! He was Cyfrin and he would always be Cyfrin, no matter what. His new form didn’t define his soul.
Cyfrin opened the dressing room curtains and walked up to the trailer door.
He tried turning the knob, but it wouldn’t budge.
He tried turning it, again and again, but it wouldn’t move.
It’s closing time. Mr. Ferrin’s voice rang in his mind.
It’s closing time! Don’t come out until I tell you to.
Do as I say.
Cyfrin screamed, a piercing, siren wail crying from inside him. Somehow, he felt that no one would hear him, no matter how loud he screamed.
His new life would never be nice. Why did he ever let such illusions come in his head at all?
Wake up.Wake up. Wake up. Why…aren’t…you…waking….UP?
Cyfrin shot up from bed, the siren noise wailing in his brain yet again. He wondered if Catrine and Bryn were worried about him. Their minds always spun tales of woe when a loved one didn’t come home after some time.
Cyfrin opened the trailer door, the sun blasting in his eyes. He couldn’t come home a monster, but he couldn’t leave his siblings to fret, either.
He’d need some time to think.
Cyfrin walked throughout the carnival, watching the many monsters prepare for the show. In their eyes, he saw slight hints of woe, but only slight. The rest was dullness, utter, sterile dullness, the kind that came upon a corpse.
Not a single idea of escape came to him. His mind was a sterile dullness, just like the eyes of the monsters.
“Hey.” A voice said behind him, putting a hand on his shoulder.
Cyfrin jumped, turning around. He hadn’t expected anyone to acknowledge him, much less touch him.
Behind him was a pale girl around his age. She wasn’t just pale, as in light, blinding features, but actually pale. Her eyes, hair, skin, dress, and shoes were pure white. Blood dripped down from her eyes and stained her dress. Unlike the other performers, there was no sharp-toothed smile on her face. Just a somber frown.
“You want to escape, yes?” She asked. Her voice was a hushed whisper, a careful symphony.
“Take my hand.”
Her hand had small holes, with mold along the sides, that revealed her inner flesh. For a moment, Cyfrin wanted to kiss the holes, take away her pain.
But he simply took her hand and let her lead the way.
Hopefully she could be trusted.
The girl led him to a trailer with faded white paint. In large, curving red letters painted on the side of the trailer, it read: “The Malevolent Marcellina”.
So her name was Marcellina? Or was that her stage name?
Marcellina opened the door to the trailer with her free hand, bringing him in.
Her trailer was just like his, save for the miscellaneous girlish items, except for…
The hand-mirror sized, cream-colored portal swirling in the middle of the room.
Just what was it doing there?
“That is the portal I’ve been making to escape. I’ve been working on it for a while.” Marcellina said, pointing to the portal.
“But it can only grow if someone else comes with me. No one has ever wanted to come…until you came along.”
“You still want to come, right?”
Cyfrin looked to Marcellina, then back to the portal. If she was telling the truth, then he could be free. He wouldn’t have to perform, he could live his life as normally as he could live it.
But if she was lying, if it was a trap, then he would never trust a soul again. Cyfrin might not even survive to distrust anyone…
Where are you? I need you to come out, NOW!
Cyfrin knelt down, Mr. Ferrin’s voice ringing in his head, like the jolt of pain that came when eating ice cream too fast.
“Are you okay?!” Marcellina asked, bending over to him.
“I…I’m fine.” Cyfrin said, putting his hands to his head.
He ran out of the trailer as fast as he could, not looking back.
He had to get out. He had to perform. Mr. Ferrin wasn’t asking for it, it was a demand.
Cyfrin had to do it.
Cyfrin stared at the crowd of people, unsure as what to do. They were walking by, catching looks at him. There was so many eyes, so many eyes…
Something clicked in Cyfrin. Like breathing, the instinct came naturally, without much effort.
Saccharine pounced upon the guests, a grin on his face, delighted evil in his eyes.
He danced as he walked, contorting arms that reached out with pointed claws, as if to grab an unsuspecting individual away.
The guests squirmed away from Saccharine, screeching screams of joy and terror, all at once.
Oh, how it thrilled him! The screams, the power. He was a clown, bright and eternal, unaffected with the woes of humanity.
Why would Saccharine want to return to that life?
Cyfrin blinked himself out of his haze. He was trapped. He couldn’t leave. People were scared of him.
But Cyfrin had no choice. He had to scare them, until they were ushered to another monster, another creature.
“And now, come see the Malevolent Marcellina!” Mr. Ferrin’s voice boomed.
Like mice, the crowd scrambled to see the sight, Cyfrin following close behind.
What did Marcellina do that was considered “malevolent”?
Everyone, including Cyfrin, surrounded Marcellina, who was standing in front of her trailer.
Mr. Ferrin walked up from the crowd, taking with him a small girl, long, brown hair almost swallowing her face. Her raggedy red dress swayed as she walked, rotten boots crunching on the dead, scattered leaves.
“Now, watch this.” Mr. Ferrin said, giving the girl to Marcellina. He backed slowly away, as if Marcellina were about to pounce on him, claws out, teeth bared.
But that couldn’t be possible, right?
Marcellina looked at the girl, not a single thought behind her white eyes.
Marcellina danced slowly, in a trancelike state. It looked like nothing at first, but then, the little girl screamed, limbs contorting in limp movement, body twisting like a snake, bones cracking over each other.
Cyfrin got a glimpse of her wide, petrified green eyes before the girl fell into a heap on the ground, fingers pointing towards the sky in agony.
Marcellina ceased her dancing.
“How did that happen, you wonder?” Mr. Ferrin asked, facing the audience.
A murmur went throughout the spectators, hushed and uneasy.
“She’s a witch! Her dancing can kill the person closest to her, which in this case, was this unfortunate child.” Mr. Ferrin said. He bent down to the little girl and stroked her hair, seemingly compassionate for her.
“I didn’t tell Marcellina to dance, I just handed the girl to her. She could have very well just scared the girl, like the rest of the monsters.”
“But that’s where she’s different. She’s malevolent. She killed that child out of pure evil.”
“This girl,” Mr. Ferrin said, pointing a finger at her.
“Is the devil in disguise.”
The crowd gasped, backing away from her. Mothers covered the eyes of their children. Marcellina didn’t say a word, didn’t react.
Cyfrin stared at Marcellina, searching for a hint of humanity, a reason to trust her.
He found nothing.
Cyfrin turned around, about to walk from the monster, the villain.
“Saccharine.” Marcellina said, grabbing his wrist.
Huh. Her voice was full of woe, did she not want him to go?
Cyfrin tugged his wrist away from her grasp. It was all a lie, all a trick. She killed a little girl with no remorse, not even a speck of emotion.
“Saccharine, look.” Marcellina said, turning him around.
The little girl appeared to be moving just a little bit, then some more, then…
“She’s alive.” Cyfrin said, amazed. The little girl sat upright on the grass, looking left to right with a perplexed expression, brown hair whacking her face as she did so.
“I don’t kill people. My dancing just puts them to sleep. It looks like they’re dead, yes, but then they come back right as rain. Mr. Ferrin would like others to think me a killer, though.”
With her right hand, Marcellina made motions with her fingers at the girl. The girl disappeared, right before their very eyes.
“What happened? Where did-“
“Relax. I just took her back to her parents. See for yourself.” Marcellina said, turning him around yet again.
The little girl appeared to be with her mother and father, eagerly watching a fire performer.
“I told her in her mind not to tell anyone what I did. If the audience saw her, besides her parents, they wouldn’t recognize her, for they wouldn’t think that she’s alive.”
“But if Mr. Ferrin knew…I would be done for. Exiled to Hell is a nice way of putting it.”
“That’s why I tell everyone that gets affected by me to keep quiet! At least no one says anything.”
“Now, let’s get out of here!”
Marcellina grabbed Cyfrin’s left hand and pulled him away, determination in her steps.
The little girl was okay. She was alive. He couldn’t imagine how he’d feel if it had been Catrine up there. Would he have lost his mind? Would he know that the circus spell would affect her until it was too late?
The little girl was alive, but would
“What about the others? Don’t you want to save them?” Cyfrin asked. He couldn’t believe that Marcellina was willing to help him, a stranger, a new performer, instead of the others.
Marcellina gave an irritated sigh and said:
“I told you before. No one wanted to escape. Not a single person and I couldn’t persuade them otherwise. Now, will you please be quiet? You don’t want Mr. Ferrin to hear us.”
Already, they reached her trailer.
“Wait, I don’t understand. Why do you want me to come with you? Can’t we help the others?” Cyfrin asked. They were inside of her trailer, Marcellina holding tightly to Cyfrin’s hand.
She let go, eyes full of sorrow.
“They cannot come because their souls are lost to Mr. Ferrin. I have tried to help them, but they are lost. There is no helping them.”
Cyfrin wasn’t certain if he believed that. There was always a way to help, if one tried hard enough.
“What if you tried again?” Cyfrin asked.
Marcellina threw her hands up in frustration.
“It won’t work. You can’t just save everybody!”
“I know that, but-“
“Come on! We don’t have much time!”
“Is it really that hopeless?” Cyfrin asked.
He didn’t want to believe that no one could be saved, that nothing could be done.
Marcellina’s eyes softened, seeing his despair.
“I’ll try again. For you.”
Perhaps it wouldn’t work, but at least she was trying, wasn’t she?
LATE AT NIGHT
The last of the crowd left. The monsters were just getting ready to hide away, till the first licks of light entered the Earth.
Marcellina and Cyfrin ran towards the orange-eyed fire performer, with small flecks of fire in his skin.
Marcellina stood still, right behind him. She twisted and contorted her hands, moving her lips fast, too fast for Cyfrin to catch anything she was saying.
The fire performer didn’t turn around. He didn’t acknowledge them. He didn’t do anything.
Marcellina looked to Cyfrin with sad eyes and then, he knew.
“I’m sorry, Saccharine. I really am.”
Marcellina took Cyfrin’s hand. All the while, thoughts of leaving others to suffer, to never be free, always be trapped, surfaced through his head, rang through his skull.
When was anything ever fair?
IN THE TRAILER
Cyfrin held tight to Marcellina’s hand as they stepped through the void, to freedom, to safety.
Everyone else was being left behind…left behind with Mr. Ferrin…
No. Cyfrin couldn’t worry anymore. They were going to be safe and sound, away from harm.
They would be fine.
Cyfrin found himself in a forest, a forest that sounded as though many animals were chirping and hiding within.
“It’s my family’s forest. You’ll be safe.” Marcellina said.
“Your family’s forest?” Cyfrin asked. The whole forest…belonged to her family?
“Yes, follow me.”
“Your family has an entire forest? Who…who are you?” Cyfrin asked. He never heard of families owning a forest before. He didn’t even think that it was possible.
“One could ask you the same thing, Saccharine.” Marcellina said.
Cyfrin frowned. She didn’t know his real name. She still called him Saccharine.
“If we’re going to be spending time together, you should know my real name. It’s Cyfrin. What’s your name?”
“Mine is Marcellina. It’s not a fake name, it’s my real name.” Marcellina said.
She stopped and turned around to face Cyfrin.
“If your real name isn’t Saccharine, then does that mean you were…human?”
“Yes. I was.”
Was his family looking for him? Did they even care?
“Were you running from something?” Marcellina asked more quietly.
All thoughts of the summer camp came crawling back to him, slashing with more ferocity than Mr. Ferrin’s voice ever did.
They were all sitting in a circle together, around a bonfire. Cyfrin, the kids, and the teacher. They were telling scary stories under the moonlight, faces glowing ghastly with the flames and moonbeams.
The fire seemed to be climbing higher into the sky, as if it wanted to engulf them all. Cyfrin pointed it out, but no one listened. No one noticed.
So they all sat, sitting ducks in the face of danger. The fire’s fingertips touched the moon and that was when everyone, everyone around him, screamed in utter agony. Cyfrin had never seen or heard a more terrible sight. Everyone was blackening into ash, crying with decaying faces. The forest didn’t burn. Cyfrin didn’t burn.
He ran from it all, tears streaming from his eyes. After a while, rain started to pour, as if mocking the tragedy of the camp. It didn’t come when it was needed, only when Cyfrin was alone and frightened.
It wasn’t the first time it happened. The same incident happened in every other camp, with the rain coming far too late. Cyfrin tried telling his parents about it, but they didn’t believe him. They thought that he was crazy. That he wanted to burn them all. A pyromaniac, they called him.
They didn’t send him to summer camp. They sent him to a behavior camp, for boys. For “crazy” boys.
The same thing happened again, except Cyfrin could see a man in the flames. A man who looked like…
“It was…it was him.”
“Huh?” Marcellina asked.
“My family used to put me in different summer camps, to keep me occupied. But I wouldn’t make it past the first night, because every single time, when we would gather around the bonfire, they would all burn. Every single one of them, except me. I’d always run away, never knowing why.”
“But the very last time it happened…the time that brought me to Mr. Ferrin’s circus, I saw a man in the flames. It didn’t come to my head until now, but…that man was Mr. Ferrin. Mr. Ferrin would always kill everyone in camp and leave me alive. I feel like he’s targeting me.”
In the distance, the circus calliope played, followed by a pipe organ. Marcellina’s face got paler.
Was anywhere safe?
Marcellina and Cyfrin ran as fast as they could away from the daunting carnival music, the sounds of Hell fading behind them as they ran.
“It…followed..us…here! It…slipped…through…the…dimension!” Marcellina said, panting in between breaths.
Cyfrin stopped running. He was sick of it. He ran before and still, the danger followed him. He was running again, with Marcellina, who only gave short answers, who could put people to sleep just by dancing.
For all he knew, she and Mr. Ferrin were working together, leading him into Hell.
He wanted to trust her. He wanted to care for her. She seemed genuine, kind.
But he couldn’t be too sure.
“Dimension? What do you mean, dimension? What’s going on? You have the power to put someone to sleep just by dancing and yet you can’t save everybody else from Mr. Ferrin? I don’t know who you are or why I should listen to you-“
“I saved your life! We don’t have time for this!” Marcellina cried out, tears in her eyes.
Cyfrin felt a stab of guilt inside him. Who was he to ask her such things? For a moment, he enjoyed frightening innocent people. He had sharp teeth, sharp claws. It wouldn’t be long before he craved human flesh…
No. Why was he thinking that? It would never happen, for as long as he lived.
“I just need to know: Are you or are you not someone I can rely on?” Cyfrin asked more softly. He didn’t want Marcellina to cry, it would make him feel like a monster.
“Just behind the trees is my home, the Allaband mansion.” Marcellina said, pointing further down.
“I used to live there. I started showing my powers when I was just three years old. My family was fascinated with me, they used to have me do it for my younger siblings, so that they could be put to sleep.”
“But then Mr. Ferrin came. No one kept their mouth shut and it all led to him coming over, watching me do it, and taking me away. I didn’t know who he was. I didn’t know what was going on. I was seven.”
Marcellina sighed, stared at Cyfrin with sadness.
“I know you’re scared and confused. I know that you have your doubts about me, but please, please trust me. I’m begging you. I waited my whole life to get out. I don’t want the same for you.”
A siren sound was screeching throughout his head, wailing desperately. Cyfrin kneeled over, screaming, holding his head.
I know where you are. I know what you’re trying to do.
Tears burned his eyes, distorting his vision.
You think you’re so clever, don’t you?
“It’s…it’s Mr. Ferrin!” Cyfrin blurted before yet another scream crawled out of his throat.
“You know, there is another way to save them all.” Marcellina said.
Cyfrin couldn’t speak, Mr. Ferrin wouldn’t let him, but he looked up at Marcellina, a question in his eyes.
“Right now, Mr. Ferrin is trying to kill us. He’s not going to merely capture us, he will kill us. But if we let him, then the others will have complete humanity. They won’t be monsters anymore.”
“We will still retain our humanity, but once in a while, our monster nature will show. We’ll never know when.”
Marcellina sighed heavily and haggardly, Cyfrin screamed with pain, his voice getting more hoarse by the seconds.
“I didn’t want it to come to this, but now that I see you…at his mercy…we can’t just leave them.” Marcellina said.
Marcellina looked at Cyfrin, a new idea in her eyes.
“Unless you want to. I won’t judge you. We don’t have to sacrifice ourselves. We can just leave.” Marcellina said.
Cyfrin thought about it. Was his family looking for him? He didn’t know. His family must have missed him, but soldier’s families missed them too. Sometimes, one had to sacrifice themself for the greater good.
Cyfrin swallowed hard. He was undoubtedly frightened, he wanted to run further into the forest with Marcellina.
But the others had been trapped for so long…they deserved a better future.
Mr. Ferrin wasn’t in his mind anymore. Cyfrin was no longer sentenced to scream, but he still felt the lingering pain Mr. Ferrin gave him.
“You want to do this?” Marcellina asked.
“Y-yes.” He croaked.
They stood still, waiting for Mr. Ferrin to appear. There would be more blind running, they had to face the horror.
“Well, well! If it isn’t the little escapees!” Mr. Ferrin exclaimed.
No turning back.
They turned around to look him in the eyes. Marcellina took Cyfrin’s hand and he felt the bruises, the holes in her skin that ran deep.
She was hurt, but she stood tall. She wanted to help.
They wouldn’t run anymore.
“You’ve gotten far, that, I’m proud of.” Mr. Ferrin said with a smile.
“But now, it all comes to an end. Goodbye, my dear friends.”
Marcellina closed her eyes tightly. Something told Cyfrin that he was to do the same, so he did.
“One…” Mr. Ferrin counted.
A sound, like the clap of lighting, resounded throughout the forest, shaking the very Earth. Cyfrin didn’t feel as much as pain as he thought that he would, only a slight tick within.
Mr. Ferrin was screaming, screeching demonically.
“What…is…this?!” He yelled out.
“We’re saving the day!” Marcellina said happily. Cyfrin felt his heart beat with joy. She sounded so young, so free.
The nightmare was over.
Cyfrin opened his eyes. He saw the monsters speeding past them in the forest, giggling with joy, glad to be free.
It would hurt him that he wouldn’t see his family again, but at least they would. That brought warmth to his heart.
The world around him began to blur. Cyfrin felt weak, like his legs were about to melt.
He almost fell down, but Marcellina caught him.
Then, they both fell to the ground, closing their tired eyes into darkness.
Cyfrin and Marcellina’s spirits lingered in an abandoned cabin in the woods. Sometime later, Catrine and Bryn explored the house at the age of eight.
“Hello? Is there anybody here?” Bryn asked.
“Why would there be anybody? The house is abandoned!” Catrine argued.
“I don’t know. Maybe ghosts are real.” Bryn said, shrugging.
Cyfrin rubbed his eyes, to make sure that he wasn’t imagining things.
No, he wasn’t.
His siblings had arrived!
They looked so much older than he did when he last saw them. Older, but still children.
Saccharine crawled out of his hiding place in the shadows. It had been so long since he had seen them. He missed them so much!
“Catrine! Bryn!” Saccharine said with joy.
“Do we…know you?” Catrine asked, raising an eyebrow.
Saccharine laughed. That was a funny question!
“Know me? I’m your brother!” Saccharine said.
Bryn’s eyes went wide with recognition, but Catrine still seemed a little skeptical.
“What if the legends are true? What if he’s been taken by Mr. Ferrin?” Bryn whispered rather loudly to Catrine.
Catrine shook her head.
“No, Mr. Ferrin isn’t real. It’s just someone pretending to be a clown.”
“Oh, I assure you, Mr. Ferrin was alive and kicking, but don’t worry! Me and Marcellina took care of that!” Saccharine cackled.
“Isn’t that right, Marcellina?”
No response. Huh. She must be out dancing somewhere.
“No matter. She’ll come back soon. In the meantime, stay with me.” Saccharine said.
Before they could run, Saccharine took a hand of theirs and led them down the hall, to his bedroom.
“Now that we’re all settled in,” Saccharine said, slamming the door shut. He held on to their hands so tightly. They were squirming so much.
“I can begin your lives anew.” Saccharine said.
“W…what are you going to do?” Bryn asked. He was near tears, the poor boy. Catrine’s eyes boiled with hatred, seething with anger.
Saccharine only grinned.
He lunged towards Bryn, claws extended. Catrine jumped up, to protect Bryn, but he simply slashed through her chest, blood seeping into his claws.
With the same bleeding claw, without a second thought or moment of reflection, Saccharine slashed through Bryn, who joined Catrine on the hardwood floor.
Cyfrin blinked. What…what had he done? He murdered his siblings in cold blood…just like a true monster would…
Cyfrin shook his head. He wasn’t a monster. Mr. Ferrin was a monster. He trapped people in cages for all to see.
What if they were cautionary tales? What if he was really trying to protect others?
No, that wasn’t the case. They were corrupted and changed by a man who wanted to see others suffer. Cyfrin and Marcellina got rid of him and freed them.
It was just his monster side. It wasn’t him at all.
Cyfrin looked at the soft, white bed and back to the bodies of his siblings.
He scooped them up in his arms and placed them on his bed, so that they would have a more comfortable place to rest.
Perhaps some human part of Cyfrin really wanted them dead if he took them to his bedroom, where a bed would wait…
No, it wasn’t anything to fret about. Their mortal bodies were dead, but they would come back as ghosts. They would join Cyfrin. Him, Marcellina, and his siblings.
A perfect family.