Shamir Aram was sitting alone in the canteen of the Green Haven care home. It was a dark October night, very mild for the time of year. She arose and walked towards the large window and peered thru the brilliant white window frame, it dawned on her that the darkness was overpoweringly endless. The care worker glanced around the small homely communal kitchen, noticing that the stainless steel sink had paint flecks still inside the bowl. To be fair she thought if that is the only mess the decorators had made then she would be happy. I will get that clean before the dayshift comes in she thought to herself.
The walls of the kitchen canteen were freshly painted; the white goods were porcelain like. The new gas cooker gleamed. A new table had recently been purchased and was the centrepiece of the room. Everything in the area was reflective and mirrored back the twin strip lights in the ceiling. All the light began to hurt her eyes after watching the night outside. Everything was so white and clean. The only deviation in the reflective landscape was the scarlet red kettle on top of the small refrigerator.
Shamir blinked a few times and removing her hand from the green trousers she had been issued and proceeded to rub her tired eyes. The round plate shaped clock hung on the wall behind her head reflected back off the gleaming window, it was 2.20 AM. The twenty-year-old girl decided she would finish her tea and then do the 3 o’clock check between the two wards and four private rooms.
There were three staff in the building this morning as well as herself. John the security man at reception, Jane the supervisor who would be in her office doing as little as possible and Terry the caretaker. Terry she knew would be sleeping as he lived in a small flat annexed to the main building. The 60-year-old handy man was always on call during the night in case of any mishaps. Shamir liked Terry. He had been very kind and helpful since her appointment 2 years past.
Green Haven had been built about 10 years ago, and was undergoing the buildings first big renovations. The care home was architecturally laid out in a one-storey horseshoe shape, with a garden in the middle. A few bird tables and seats had been placed around the little nature idyll. It was the garden that Shamir was trying to perceive from the canteen window. The building catered for low risk elderly psychiatric patients. Only eight were in care that week. Not as many as usual. Due to the fact the home was having new glazing installed and was being fully decorated throughout. A few of the patients had gone to their families or were farmed out to other homes in the area during the upheaval.
Lord how quiet she thought. The only noise audible was that of a washing machine in the next room violently spinning the soiled sheets of the previous day. She stared down at the clear glass cup in her other hand, the tea still warm. Shamir’s torso suddenly shuddered as a cold shiver ran down her spine. The shiver was so intense that a small bit of the liquid splashed out on to the glossy table. Shamir immediately eased herself up and went to the sink to fetch a dishcloth. There were none at hand, so she opened the draw to the left of the drainer. She found nothing amongst the miscellaneous cutlery. She turned around to go to the cupboard on the wall her eyes spotted a small object out of place atop the single white unit.
Shamir had not noticed it before but then why should she was only 5 2” at best. The cupboard well above her eye line. The small carer pulled a quizzical face and moved her left hand through her black shoulder length hair. The chair opposite her under the table was on hand. Shamir stepped onto it giving her the necessary extra height to reach for the dark item, which she reached easily. Stepping down from the chair, she put out one hand on the table to aide her dismount. She sat down immediately slipping the chair into a more appropriate position. This allowed Shamir to slide her brown soft shoed feet along the black white and black tiled floor, neatly resting them together in symmetry under the table.
She gazed down at what looked like an old purple glass vase. Shamir had not noticed how colourful the ornament was when first discovering it. The glass mystery looked ancient. She rolled it around between her fingers; there were lots of intricate patterns and what appeared to be some form of Arabic writing on the neck of the glass object. Shamir changed her opinion and assumed it was more like a bottle; yes, it was definitely a bottle of some sort! She thought it looked familiar and had seen it before. But where she pondered? The glass appeared almost blue now. A small stopper cap at the head of the bottle came to a sharp point and without hesitation, she pulled the cap out of the mystery.
Shamir blinked, why was she lying on the cold black and white floor? A sting in the right side of her face intensified as she peeled her face from the tile and propped herself upright pushing up arms outstretched almost in a press up motion. She arose to her feet shakily. The petit girl flopped down in the grey plastic chair slapping her arms out onto the shiny table. Shamir was confused, what just happened? A globule of blood dripped out her nostril splashing on the table. Shamir was terrified. Feeling her slightly swollen cheek she wondered about the bottle? Instantly she remembered where she had seen the strange object before. The bottle had been in Freddie Bell’s room.
Dr Frederick Bell had been in and out of green Haven at least 3 times since the she had started working there. As far as she had gleaned, Dr Freddie was not a medical doctor but a professor of some sort. He could be utterly charming one day and a nightmare the next. The doc had been declining of late and his mood swings were becoming more erratic.
Shamir recalled how one day shift, another carer had went to move the antiquity while clearing up his room. The professor went crazy, rude, aggressive and incontrollable until the carer had placed it back. Since that day, Dr Freddie had his medication increased.
The noise of the washer in the next room abated and it was then that Shamir heard a slight scratching coming from the direction of the window. She turned her head and to her horror, a huge locust about the size of a brick was perched on the outside windowsill staring towards her. The locust held the girl in its stare. Unbelievably it spoke.
“Woman come closer, come to me I won’t hurt you.”
Without thinking, the terrified girl replied in a broken voice her throat dry and croaky.
“Why do you want me to come, go away. Please go away.”
“Just to tell you something. Do not be afraid child.”
The words bore into Shamir’s mind she felt terrified, yet unable to leave the room and take flight from the surreal situation that was unfolding. The petrified woman knew the creature was trying to control her mind she was unable to detach herself from the gloat of the giant insect.
The tiny girl arose from her seat almost childlike and stepped forward towards the beast. She could not feel her feet touch the floor of the kitchen, Shamir could not feel anything. All she knew was that she must obey. On reaching the window, the locust spoke again.
“Open the window girl, open it now.”
Without hesitation, the girl opened the top of the window and locked it in place. Shamir held aloft her hand and placed it to the bottom of the now open window. The huge insect began to crawl toward the opening; the now distressed girl wanted to be anywhere but here but could not leave the events now playing out. The first feeling of the insect’s legs grasping her hand were cold and wretched. The locust crawled its way down her arm. The small girl was repelled. An unpleasant smell reached her nostrils. Shamir could feel the nausea welling up in the pit of her stomach.
She was petrified but knew what to do next and raised the thing up to her eye line.
“We have waited a long time for this moment, always hiding in the shadows waiting and waiting.” Hissed the abomination.
Shamir’s bladder expelled, she felt urine scalding her legs. Blood ran from her eyes, ears and nose. She lost more control of her body to the beast. Both she and the locust stared at each other. Shamir could feel the creature staring deep inside her, deep into her soul. The thing new her, It wanted her. She felt her bowels release.
“Have you lain with a man girl?” snarled the beast.
“No I am a pure girl” she replied even though no words came from her lips.
Shamir felt the beast grow heavy she could not hold the thing anymore. It fell to the floor writhing, growing bigger and changing form by the second. The startled girl stepped back never taking her eyes from the creature that increased in front of her. A washing machine from the next room came to life humming and vibrating breaking her concentration, the lights went out.
An ungodly roar nearly split her head in two so loud was the inhuman howl.
The lights flickered the atmosphere became heavy, reality changed.
A tremendous force threw her upwards to the ceiling and back down to the table. Light still flickering the girl’s stomach smashed against the hard table, knocking all the wind from her. She felt her arms pulled and stretched out in front of her head. Shamir’s legs were forced apart. A scream started in her brain but no sound came forth. Looking forward, squinting between her sobs of desperation she caught the reflection from the window. In that split second a monstrosity of insect and man stood behind her. Violently the predator tore at her clothes, trousers and underwear were ripped down. The helpless girl felt agony as the locust drove its inhuman phallus into her vagina.
The thing brutalised Shamir. After it was spent, the man beast disappeared to dust amidst the blinking light.
An overwhelming pain in her loins triggered Shamir to lose consciousness, she fell lifelessly to the ground. Her head smashed against the hard tiled floor, she died instantly from the trauma.
The dead body stirred, the demon that possessed the carcass of Shamir Aram glanced around its surroundings. It arose, excrement and urine dripped from the corpse to the floor.
The entity inside the woman remembered its name.
“I am Zaphan! I live.” The beast crowed aloud.
The demon Zaphan had a mission, and there was not much time. The monster’s master had commanded loyalty. The creature dare not fail; the human’s hide would not last long.
Time was of the essence!