By: Kira Lulko

Fiction, 2019

The locket gleamed enticingly through the clear glass case. It seemed to speak to the boy, as if it was calling out, “Dawson, Dawson,” in a singsong manner. He asked the sales clerk to see it.

“That locket doesn’t open,” the clerk stated. Dawson didn’t care, it reminded him of Maisie- his happiness, his own personal heaven. He wanted to surprise her tonight, with this small heart shaped locket, to show his affection for her. He paid for the locket, and exited the store.

They walked together, through the barren park, stopping at a fountain, embracing and suddenly the boy pulled a small, worn, black box out of his jacket, handing it to the girl. She opened the jewelry box to see a beautiful locket, silver in color. As she opened the box, a dark cloud hid the sun behind its shadow creating an eerie feeling in the air.

“I love it, Dawson, I’ll never take it off!” Maisie exclaimed. He smiled to himself, then repeated what the clerk had told him. The two lovers parted ways, and both headed home to get some rest. As Maisie fell into her slumber, she felt a coldness sweep over her. She thought nothing of it, but she didn’t yet understand the power of what hid in the thing wrapped around her neck. As she slept, a dense, dark fog wafted from the open locket, filling her, and not being exhaled. The cross in her room slowly turned on its nail until it was completely upside down.

Over the next few days, Dawson noticed small changes about Maisie. She ordered her coffee black, instead of with three creams and sugars. She had taken all the crosses in her house down, much to her parents’ annoyment. She had become more outspoken, when she used to blush when called upon in class; now she confidently answered the questions without being told to do so. She used to wear conservative outfits; now everyday she was becoming more and more provocative. Dawson noticed, like he noticed everything about her; her eyes were a sparkling lake clear of any flora or fauna. Her hair was a field of wheat, billowing in the wind. Dawson liked this change, he knew she had always had this self inside of her, and now that it had emerged he didn’t want it to go back into hiding; the new attitude only made her more attractive.

“Mase?  You here? I thought we were going out tonight?” he said.

“Yeah, babe, we are. I’m almost done getting ready,” she called out. He watched his girlfriend descend the stairs.  She wore a tight black dress, with heavy makeup; he watched her, enamored with the way she slithered down the stairs, the way she looked at him, a gaze burning with desire. The way the short dress showed her body off took his breath away. This was the girl he wanted, the rebellious version of Maisie.

¨Mase, are you sure you want to wear that out? We’re just going to a movie, and that dress is a little fancy don’t you think? I really like it though,¨ he said. She nodded saying nothing to him, and moved past him briskly to get to the door. She opened the door to her house, not bothering to pick up her keys.

¨Babe, aren’t you going to lock the door? Your parents are home, but you know they keep the door locked,¨ Dawson reminded his girlfriend.

As she spoke, a sickly sweet smile came across her face, ¨My parents won’t be an issue anymore, at least for a while¨.  His stomach turned, he didn’t know whether it was nerves or fear, the latter resonating with him. He was worried now, more so than before. She had changed, but now he was questioning why she had so suddenly. He realized that he shouldn’t be concerned with the changes, after all this was the kind of girl he had always wished Maisie would be. They got into Dawson’s car and drove to the movies, the sound of the wind outside whipping at the car, and the rainfall hitting the car, the deafening blows becoming louder and louder.  She suddenly grabbed the wheel and pulled it hard to the right-jerking the car off the small town’s road- Dawson countered her action, correcting the car’s path.

“What the hell was that, Mase? Are you trying to kill us?” he said. She smirked, answering his question with the action. He turned the car around, and drove her home. He didn’t get out to help her at all; she entered the house as Dawson sped out of the driveway.  As she entered the house, he drove to the only place he thought could help her.

“Father, I need your help, my girlfriend-if she’s even still here- is possessed, or at least I think she is,” Dawson spoke, his words rushed and his face full of concern.

“How do you know this? Are you positive? God works in mysterious ways, maybe she is just changing to fit His plan for her,” the priest responded.

“She tried to kill us! She has been acting like a completely different person, ever since I gave her this stupid gift. She’s been weird, and not the good kind!”

“You say this happened after you gave her a gift? Yes?”

“Yes, I did. It was this dumb, broken locket,” Dawson replied, frustrated with the priest. The locket shouldn’t matter, this is about Mase, he thought. 

“This locket was,” the priest paused, “ broken, you say? Broken open or locked shut?”

“The locket doesn’t open. Father, please help me; I know that this isn’t her, and I have nowhere else to turn.” As Dawson pleaded with the priest, Maisie was planning how to kill him. The demon in her wanted him to die. It wanted pain, suffering, chaos, and most of all, death. The demon yearned for the adrenaline rush that killing gave it. It needed death, more than a baby needs it mother. 

The next morning, the priest and Dawson drove to Maisie’s house. The morning was bright, but filled with fog that locked out the sun’s bright rays.  They walked to the door, a united front against this evil, and as they went to knock the door swung open, much like she had known they had arrived.

“Oh, what a surprise! I can’t imagine why you brought a man of his nature here,” Maise growled out, proving Dawson’s thoughts correct. She looked nothing like the girl he once knew, her hair a tangled mess of ropes, her eyes darker than than the night sky. She was paler than before, looking much like a corpse.

“Mase, I’m just trying to help you, and so is he,” Dawson replied to the body that surely wasn’t his girlfriend anymore. She held a kitchen knife menacingly towards him. He stepped forward, advancing towards the evil in front of him.  The priest tried to stop him, but it was too late; he had gotten too close. The priest had already started the exorcism. She suddenly lurched at him, using the knife to separate her boyfriend’s head from his body. The blood sprayed out, covering the walls, ceiling and tiled flooring. The eyes that seemed to hold love for the girl, even though she had killed him, were now cold and dead. The priest continued on, unafraid of this monster in front of him.

“Dei conditis ac pretioso divini Agni sanguini redemptis,” the priest finished the Latin prayer. The girl’s body shook, a dense, dark fog coming from her mouth and nose. She sank to the ground, lying in a puddle of her boyfriend’s blood, dead. As the priest checked her for signs of life, the fog began to disappear, or so the priest believed. He left the house, calling 911, to report a murder. The fog, expelled from the girl’s body, returned to its hiding place, the locket.

When the police arrived, they found the bodies of Maisie, Dawson, and Maisie’s parents, all violently mangled, except Maisie, who appeared to show signs of a poison. All signs led to her being the murderer, but no one could understand how a girl of her size and state could do the things she had done.

Days passed, and the priest had an uneasy feeling. That wasn’t just her, I performed an exorcism on her. She didn’t do that, the demon inside her did,  the priest thought, the belongings of the girl must be burned, it’s needed.

And so he did, lighting the house on fire, then walking away into the night. The smoke cleared and all that was left was ash. Everyone failed to notice the shiny object, unharmed by the flames.

As an unknown man walked by, he saw the object. He picked it up, deciding that today was his lucky day, and took it to the nearest pawn shop. There, he sold the necklace for a small amount of money and went on his way, unaware of the chaos he just unleashed.

The locket gleamed enticingly through the clear glass case. The gentleman said to the sales clerk, “I’d like that one, please,” as he pointed to the beautiful, silver, heart locket.