I stood over Melissa’s twisted, flailing body. Monstrous screeches rang across the entire playground. Her head was turned all the way around, looking up at me. The right side of her face had a small dent under the eye, a small piece of the socket breaking through the skin. Her forehead was split near her hairline, blood slowly oozing out down her face. The whites of the eye was completely red, filled from a popped blood vessel. That same eye rolled around in the loose socket, not focusing on something specific.
My stomach should have been churning, wanting to completely empty its contents. My legs should have been weak at the knees and bucking, struggling to keep myself up. But I stood there, watching her struggling on the ground, eager to finish the job. The palm of my hand was covered in a light layer of sweat. My hand was still gripping the bat as tightly as I could.
I watched Melissa suffering on the playground; she was nothing but a convulsing, demon-possessed child trying to fix herself upright. I brought the bat up, seeing a bit of blood splatter on the widest part. This whole event—seeing her hiding behind the bush, looking a the squirrel’s head on the ground, hitting her with the bat—everything felt like one long nightmare. Nobody should ever have to hit a child, regardless of the reason; they’re just little people who’s barely even experienced the joys of life and growing up to fulfill their dreams. But for me, this was all a dark reality, of having to end a child before seeing them grow up into a blossoming young adult. As this nightmare continued the fright of the unexpected melted away, leaving nothing behind but the urge to bring this dream to an end. I started to wonder who was having a worse nightmare: me or Melissa?
What if the real Melissa was still aware of everything that has occurred? What if she was consciously aware of everything she’s done but had no control over it? Was she really screaming out because of the physical pain or because she had no clear way of asking for help? What if she was suffering from inside of her own mind while her body was possessed? Regardless of the truth, there was one thing I knew that could have helped Melissa escape from her own nightmare.
“She has to die,” I uttered, sure of what had to be done.
Melissa’s searching eye finally came to a stop. The bloodshot, dark yellow eye focused directly on me as if aware of what I was saying. The rest of her flailing, damaged body slowly came to a stop as well, arms bending the wrong way and legs folded back. The ear-splitting cries halted, only to be replaced with heavy gargled breathing. Perhaps she really did understand me when I spoke.
Neither of us made any sudden movements; we both stared back at one another, me towering over the child. I stood there, the faint breeze blowing across the back of my neck and through the holes of my blouse. Even in such a large playground all I could smell was iron and rusty metals: the smell of blood. I didn’t gag nor did my stomach start rumbling with disgust. After seeing the innards of a small animal and the broken body of a child, I came to the realization that I truly lost my sense of gore and violence. Seeing everything first-hand only solidified that lack of feeling.
With that in mind I brought the bat up over my head. On the ground my shadow produced a long silhouette, the bat reaching across Melissa’s face. In the back of my mind was the realization that somebody was probably watching me from the upper floors of the school building—they’ve probably called the police by now, informing them about a teacher assaulting a student. There was no way they’d believe my story about a demon child. Was she really possessed? I don’t know. Perhaps she caught some kind of deadly, gene-altering virus. I don’t have the slightest clue as to why she was acting like this. The only thing I did know was how she was going to be stopped.
No regrets, no sorrow, and no turning back, I brought down the wooden bat with all of my strength. Melissa let out one final screech before the bat collided with her face.
Copyright © 2019 by Luka Tatsujo