A massive crash – a mind blowing crash – echoed throughout that quiet country road. Silence. It permeated everything. Except the ocean. It continued to explode somewhere far away.
Leo was aware that he could still hear the ocean. But he was also aware of the pain. There was pain all over him. In his head, in his stomach… His eyes were so tired, and seemed to beg him not to open them. And then he became aware of what had happened. The crash. The sea. The dog. The monster…
He opened his eyes suddenly and looked around into the back seat, tentatively. Nothing there. He sighed and started to cry. Had he imagined the whole thing? But he couldn’t have. It was the horror of seeing that creature in the back seat of the car that had caused him to crash into the ditch. He looked through the cracked windscreen. Smoke was rising from the bonnet. There was no light, and thick, heavy clouds continued to blow through the sky.
He felt lightheaded, and realised that he must have fallen unconscious from the force of the crash. He didn’t know how long he had been out for. All he knew was that it was half twelve at night. He had never thought to check the time when he woke up on the beach…
And he knew that he would have to work up the courage. He would have to look in the mirror and see… find out, once and for all, if what he had seen was true – had he really had his face stolen by that creature? It just seemed so bizarre, so out of the question. His hand trembled as he reached out for the mirror and adjusted it. He could see nothing through the darkness, and turned the light on.
It was normal. It was his face. He was Leo. He was still Leo. Nothing had changed. He rested his head on the steering wheel and took a deep breath. Was he losing his mind? Had he conjured up this whole thing? He felt queasy.
He opened the car door and stepped out onto the ditch. The car was truly mangled, and refused to start. He would have to walk home. Besides, it was only down the road… But in this dark country road, where anything could happen… He wished he had brought his phone with him, but in his rush to get out of the house, he hadn’t bothered.
He would face this head on. He wouldn’t be scared. He would walk. He strode purposefully out onto the road, and wobbled along. Home again. He thought of Anna. He missed her. He really did. But perhaps it wasn’t in the right way. He knew that he missed her as a companion, but he didn’t want her anymore. He hadn’t wanted her for so long now.
And then he heard it, and he knew that he would hear it. Because that haunting, shrill voice would never leave him. From behind, he heard the creature. He felt its presence slowly creeping up on him. This time he didn’t stop to look, he ran. He ran with every ounce of his being that desired to live, to survive whatever this thing was.
He arrived home at the front door. The porch light was on, but there was no sign of life from inside the house. Anna’s car was parked in the driveway. Could it be that she hadn’t left at all? He wasn’t sure if he felt disappointment or relief – a mixture of both, he supposed.
He put the key hurriedly into the lock, his hands shaking. Once he got inside, he would feel safe. That thing couldn’t get into the house without a key. That was a fact. A mathematical, undeniable fact… unless, of course, it broke a window…
“Hello?” He called down the hallway.
Nothing. She was probably in bed, he realised, with a pang. He wanted to wake her up, to tell her he loved her, and that he needed help. He needed to say that he thought he was losing his mind. He needed her to comfort him.
The bedroom was dark. And he didn’t want to turn on the light. He knew something was wrong, and he couldn’t quite put his finger on where the knowledge had come from. But slowly, he raised his hand to the light switch. With all his might, he pressed it. And light came. It exploded into the room in all its intrusive glory. And then his world fell apart. Within that brief explosion, everything in his mind collapsed. Because Anna was dead. And Oscar. They were both gone. Dead… Forever… He put his hand on his head, as if he wanted to massage out this sight. But he couldn’t.
The brutal scene was hard to look at. Anna lay sprawled on the floor. Her eyes looked dull and glazed. Congealed blood nestled in her hair like dried eggs. The pool of blood surrounding her extended farther than the confines of imagination. And on the floor too lay Oscar, his beautiful head twisted the wrong way around, blood oozing from the wound in his neck. Still. So very still. And so peaceful, but so violent.
He collapsed onto the floor without knowing what was happening. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw the creature. Its long, black cloak – its gaping mouth and beetle like eyes. He couldn’t even tell if it was smiling. It had been in the room all along, and he hadn’t even noticed. It glided across the room and with a swift movement, took what was left of Leo.
“Police this morning encountered a brutal sight, after being called to a house in Galway by a friend of the family, who had gone into the house to see the family. The woman, who cannot be named, called emergency services straight away.
Police found Leo Kavanagh and his wife, Anna Kavanagh, dead. Their dog was also killed. In an announcement earlier today, Police have said that the circumstances are suspicious, but that they have no leads. Supernatural groups are attempting to get the attention of the Police at a demonstration later on in Galway. One woman, Elizabeth Rees, who leads a supernatural group, claimed in an online video that this is the obvious work of the demon Hantu Kopek, however the Police have dismissed this as a myth that can’t be taken seriously. For now, the investigation is ongoing.
Reporting from Co. Galway for RTE news, this is Robert Conway.”