“Why don’t you brush your teeth?” I asked him.
Why did I need to have these kinds of conversations with a 50-year-old man, I asked myself.
In response, he trembled until his body transformed into impenetrable black smoke.
Swiftly the toxic cloud filled the downstairs of our house.
I begged him to return into his corporeal form.
Instead, he swirled around the marble column in the entryway and slithered up the stairs — constantly expanding.
He filled every crevice in our house.
There was no escape.
I gasped, I couldn’t breathe. I tried to run outside.
Each time I got the door open it slammed shut.
I was trapped. My inhaler was upstairs. I couldn’t get to it.
I felt like a goldfish that had jumped from its tank.
I lay on the floor gulping for air. I felt my life slipping away.
He finally noticed. I was dying.
He snapped back into his body.
He offered my inhaler and opened the door so the remnants of his darkness could dissipate.
I looked into his icy blue eyes.
His pupils were pinpoints darting back and forth rapidly.
He wasn’t completely back. These were the scariest times.
The wind picked up and the doors slammed shut.
“There are parts of me I keep locked in cages. If they ever get out, horror will unfold,” he said.
As I looked into those cold dead eyes, I believed him.
I slowly lifted myself from the floor.
I breathed in deeply to bring up my oxygen level.
He began to weep.
“You’re too much for me, I have to go,” he said.
“Yes, yes, you do.”
I usually begged him to stay, but today was different.
I needed his darkness to exit my life.
There was danger — if he stayed.
I am safe again.
Laughter fills the crevices of my home, instead of suffocating darkness.
I can breathe.