Samuel threw open the door to his home. With a bright smile on his face he was about to walk in. However, before he could even step inside, his mother had already appeared in front of him.
“Where have you been, young man?” Evelina said calmly.
However, Samuel knew that she wasn’t calm. She was furious. Her face was red and her voice quivered with anger. Samuel knew that putting one foot wrong would lead to serious consequences.
“I… I was playing with Grace.” Samuel said, nervously smiling at his mother.
Evelina crouched down and looked Samuel directly in the eyes. It was as if she was looking into his soul. However, Samuel did not let the psychological penetration of Evelina affect his eyes. He stood tall with a perfect poker face.
“Why are you so late then?” She asked.
Samuel did not let his poker face falter.
“We lost track of time…” He said nervously.
Evelina sighed and let him in.
“Fine.” She said “But make sure to not be out this late again.”
Samuel breathed a sigh of relief. If he had faltered at any second his mother would have pressed him harder, to the point where he might have had to reveal everything that had happened. And Samuel knew that if he said anything about what had happened his mother would never allow him to leave the house again.
It wasn’t that Evelina was overprotective, but rather that Samuel needed protecting. Not only was he often shy and had difficulty communicating, but he had red eyes. Everybody in the town was used to Samuel and he wasn’t seen as special or evil in any way, but what about outside of the town? How would someone react to seeing Samuel for the first time? Red was often synonymous with evil, and if Samuel was seen as such he would not live very long.
Seeing that Samuel was fine Evelina could also sigh in relief as she let Samuel in and closed the door.
Samuel went to sit down at the dinner table. He put his book down next to his plate and began to eat the wonderful meal his mother had made him. As the phenomenal smell of the meat on his plate entered his nostrils he nearly teared up. There was something about good food after a day of hard adventuring that made him truly appreciate life.
Just as Samuel was about to take a big bite of his luscious steak a large shadow emerged, covering both him and the table. Samuel suddenly felt two large hands grab him and begin to tickle him.
“Hahaha! Dad! Stop!” Samuel said while giggling.
Richard put down his son and sat on the chair next to him.
“You know. You worry your mother a lot when you’re out that late.” Richard said seriously.
Samuel looked a little guilty.
“I know. I won’t do it again.” He said.
Richard patted his sons head and said “Good.”
Richard looked over to the book near Samuel’s plate.
“What’s this?” He asked as he picked it up.
Samuel decided to make up a reason for why he had the book.
“I found it in the field.” He nervously said
Richard blew the dust off the book and read the title of the book.
“Possessing creatures…” He began to read the title but stopped halfway.
Samuel fell off his chair and held his cheek in pain. He looked up and saw his father standing over him. His eyes were serious and intense.
“Don’t. I repeat. Don’t ever even think about this book again.” Richard said “Forget it ever existed.”
Samuel, being a child, couldn’t understand the reason why his father lashed out in such a manner. He had never been hit by his parents, and his father had never even shouted at him before. In confusion Samuel could only begin to cry. Tears flooded down his face.
Evelina immediately rushed over to see what had happened. Upon seeing the look on Richard’s face she started. It had been a long time since her husband had made such a face. She knew something had happened. She looked at the pitiful Samuel, whom was lying on the ground crying. She picked Samuel up and carried him to his room, and locked the door so he couldn’t leave.
Samuel could only sit there, crying in confusion. But while he was confused, he was mostly just hurt. He was truly hurt that his father would hit him, and he couldn’t wrap his head around it.
Suddenly he heard his parents talking about something.
“Why did you hit him?” Evelina said angrily.
“Look.” Richard said, Samuel could only assume that he held up the book.
Samuel heard a gasp.
“A possession book manual!?” Evelina said “Our son found a possession book manual!?”
“Yes.” Richard said “Do you understand now?”
“Y-Yes…” Evelina said “But what are we going to do with it?”
Richard stayed silent for a bit.
“If anyone sees this book then we would be condemned, and we can’t let Samuel see it either.” He said “We would have to hide it…”
“Yes… Oh! I know where!” Evelina said
“Shhh!” Richard interjected “Don’t let him hear it.”
Suddenly Samuel couldn’t hear them anymore, but he seemed to understand the basic premise of what had happened. He understood that the book was very, very, bad. He also knew that it had something to do with possession, but he didn’t really understand what that was all about. With all these mysteries Samuel found a strong curiosity build up in his heart. He wanted to find the book, even if it meant going against his parents will. However, he simply had no idea where his parents would hide the book.
Unfortunately Samuel’s door was locked, and he still wasn’t really in the mood to go searching for a book. His only option was to sleep, and so he did.
In the morning Samuel found that his door was no longer locked. He walked out of his room and headed to the breakfast table. There his parents sat, with a tired expression on their faces. Samuel could only assume they spent the entire night hiding the book. He was still angry with his father, and he decided he wouldn’t speak to him until he apologised.
Samuel sat down at the table and began to eat, refusing to greet his parents.
Richard and Evelina looked at each other. Richard looked incredibly guilty, but he felt that he had to hit Samuel; otherwise he wouldn’t understand that the book was bad.
“Samuel.” Richard began to speak “Do not ever tell anyone about the book. I’m sorry that I hit you, but you must understand that having a book like that could lead to serious consequences.”
Samuel looked at his father. He was unsatisfied with his apology, but he knew he wasn’t going to get anything better.
He sighed and nodded in understanding.
Breakfast was long and rather awkward, so Samuel decided to take it as an opportunity to think about where his parents might have hid the book. He knew that if they spent all night on hiding it then it would definitely be hard to find. Samuel looked around the dining room for any clues. He focused his eyes as hard as he could on every area of the room. But all that led to were his eyes tearing up. He rubbed his eyes and began to look again, but this time things seemed to look a little different.
He noticed a small red fog, leading in a certain direction. Samuel’s eyes lit up. He didn’t know if his eyes were fooling him so he rubbed them again. He opened his eyes and saw that the fog had only gotten thicker. He excused himself from the table and began to follow the fog.
“What could he be up to now?” Evelina asked.
Samuel continued to follow the fog and he saw that it led into the basement. The basement was a dark and unwelcoming place. At least that was what his father told him. Samuel wasn’t allowed in the basement for one reason or another, and he never particularly wanted to go there either. But now it was different. The red fog led directly into the basement, and Samuel wasn’t going to let a bit of fear stop him.
He opened the hatch and found that it was unlocked. Probably because there was never any danger of Samuel wanting to go into the basement, since he was so afraid of it.
When Samuel entered he found that it wasn’t such a dark and horrible place at all. It was a cosy area, with lanterns still lit. There was a fancy wooden desk in the corner with an even fancier chair. There were several paintings on the walls. There was one with two people, a man and a woman, standing side by side. The man was tall, strong, and had a white beard. He resembled Samuel’s father a lot. The woman was slightly different. She was fairly short and stout, but her eyes were just like Richard’s.
“Are these… my grandparents?” Samuel asked himself.
He had never questioned why he hadn’t seen his grandparents before, but looking at them Samuel felt a little sad.
‘Are they still alive? Do they even know I exist?’ He asked himself.
He pushed these thoughts to the back of his mind and focused on finding the book.
He saw that there was a bookcase hidden in the darkest corner of the room. The red smoke seemed to encompass one book. He quickly grabbed it and looked at it, but he realised that it was not the same book. This one was clean and had a red cover, the one he had before was dirty and slightly blue. In addition to that this book had nothing to do with possession either, and seemed to be a romance novel.
However, the red smoke still seemed to point towards the book. Samuel thought back to his parents. This morning they seemed incredibly tired, and they definitely wouldn’t be tired if the book was simply hidden in the basement. He sighed, realising that the red smoke had led him astray.
He sat at the desk and looked at the painting of his grandparents. He realised that they didn’t have red eyes either. All of a sudden he felt a bit strange. He had always received strange looks from strangers. He knew he was different, and he didn’t like it. He felt so lost. Everybody always told him that he should be unique and be different, but he just wanted to be like everyone else. Normally one could relate to their parents or family, but even his parents had normal eyes. Samuel felt his eyes begin to tear up.
A single tear fell from his eyes onto the book in his hands. He looked at the wet spot on the book and began to see something strange. The tear seemed to dissolve the red cover. As the red began to dissolve he saw the cover of the old book emerge. He read the title out loud.
“Possessing Creatures: Basic Manual” He read.
He remembered his father saying the first two words. This was the book! But why was it different in the first place? Samuel was incredibly confused. He began to look inside the book, but realised that it was still the same romance novel. His eyes were still wet and a tear fell onto the pages of the book. Just like with the cover when his tears fell on the pages it revealed the pages from the old book. Samuel laughed in shock and happiness.
He looked at the book and he saw that it really was the exact same as before. He had no idea what had just happened, but he didn’t really care. He had his book. In excitement he began to read.
“The possession of creatures, both humanlike and other, requires a strong consciousness. It is important to understand that this possession does not mean to own a creature, but rather to truly possess it. To the point where it will be a part of you. In this manual one will learn how to split one’s own consciousness and control that split consciousness perfectly.”
Samuel’s head was spinning after reading that. He simply had no clue what the book was talking about.
‘What does it mean to possess something? What does consciousness even mean?’ He asked himself.
Samuel knew his limits. This book, even though it was supposed to be basic, was way above his ability. He simply did not understand anything the book was talking about.
He walked out of the basement with the book hidden underneath his shirt. Grace was going to be mad if he didn’t go out to play so he put the book in his room and began to walk towards the field.
On the way to the field Samuel began to think.
‘If I want to understand the book then I would need someone to help me. But it’s apparently really evil, so it’s probably a bad idea to just ask someone. If only there was someone who could help me with it.’
He eventually made it to the field. He saw Grace sitting there, clearly annoyed that she had to wait so long. He looked in the distance and saw the forest. A dangerous idea appeared in his mind, but he laughed it off.
‘No. That would be insane.’ He thought to himself.