Rosa went upstairs to check on Karen to find her on her knees in her bedroom apparently playing with someone who wasn’t actually there. Having been a nanny for many years Rosa didn’t see any harm in the fact that a nine-year-old had an imaginary friend, it has been something she had seen on a number of occasions and if no good ever came from it before then Rosa was unaware of that no good.
Karen’s father had passed away a year earlier after having lost a battle with illness, and her mother spent most of her time running the business that she had built with her husband, so Rosa most definitely saw nothing with Karen’s friend, if anything maybe it was something to be encouraged.
In a town she had been living in less than eighteen months, a town not known for its racial diversity or being racially friendly, Rosa was a Hispanic nanny in her mid-forties who for close to a year took care of a little girl named Karen three days a week while also doing some chores about the house Karen and her mother lived in.
The lack of friendliness shown to her was never as prevalent as it was whenever Rosa was out and about with Karen. The questioning looks she received for being in the company of such a childlike Karen were looks she never let affect her in any way. Karen of course, had no idea what those looks were all about.
‘Your mum will be late getting home tonight Karen, so I need you to get ready for bed soon honey,’ spoke Rosa as she went about what she was doing out in the upstairs hallway.
‘But I am not tired yet.’
‘I know sweetheart but maybe you and your friend might get ready for bed together anyway.’
Rosa received one heck of a fright when she turned around while in that upstairs hallway to find Karen standing directly before her. When Karen had been speaking, she had been in her own room and Rosa had not heard any movement so for Karen to all of a sudden be right behind or now in front of Rosa, well, it did make Rosa take a step backwards.
‘Her name is Cynthia, and she isn’t tired either,’ said Karen attempting to sound cross while also crossing her arms.
‘Well, I have plenty more work to do so maybe you guys can play a little while longer than you must really get ready for bed, okay?’
‘No, that is not okay,’ Karen put both her hands on her hips.
Rosa became frightened once again, in a different way than before, to a point where it remains with her and such a thing is quite odd for Rosa is more than able to deal with any crap that adults try to throw her way … this, however, is not … normal. When Karen spoke that last sentence, it sounded out as if two voices had spoken in unison, one being Karen’s and the other being a deeper female voice sounding older and raspy, almost demonic in nature. Karen had never been any trouble before, not with children and not like this for this, this is something more.
‘We do not want to go to bed,’ spoke that double-barreled voice again.
Rosa’s eyes opened wide in shock and her face drained of all colour.
Before she could react any further, Rosa felt a push and couldn’t tell who or what it was that pushed her as it came from behind and Karen was still in front of her. Rosa felt a second push and this one had more force to it, and it also came at her from the side. Whatever was doing this couldn’t be seen.
A third push came, one more powerful than either of the previous two and Karen watched as Rosa fell down the stairs coming to a contorted halt at the bottom soon after which Karen began humming as if no wrong had occurred at all. She then began to skip her way back into her room to play some more.
Tina, Karen’s mom, arrived home close to half-past in the evening and screamed before she even had to chance to close the front door.
‘What’s wrong mommy?’ asked a tired looking Karen appearing at the top of the stairs in her pajamas and rubbing her eyes.
‘It’s alright baby, go back into bed and mommy will be up to you in a moment,’ spoke Tina standing in front of Rosa in an attempt to block the view of the lifeless body from her daughter.
It wasn’t long before Tina was sitting cuddling her daughter on her daughter’s bed. They rocked backwards and forwards and Karen would inquire about her nanny.
‘Is Rosa going to be alright?’
‘I don’t think so honey,’ was the reply as a tear rolled down Tina’s face. ‘Do you know what happened to her?’
‘No mommy, did she have an accident?’
Moments later the police arrived and with their inquiry, they would want to speak to Karen.
Karen had been asked by arriving officers, if she knew what happened to Rosa and she replied that she didn’t. Again, she was asked if she was sure that she didn’t hear or see Rosa fall and Karen would reply that she was sure, before suggesting that maybe Cynthia had. When Karen was asked who Cynthia is, she didn’t reply. Her mother asked her if she could tell the nice policeman who Cynthia was and Karen answered that she couldn’t, saying that it would only make Cynthia angry.
Tina took some time off from work, there are people who can run the business without her presence, Karen still went to school as usual, and Tina found herself being invited to the school to visit Karen’s teacher on account of Karen’s behaviour. In recent days the nine-year-old had been getting more than a little aggressive.
The incident that saw to Tina’s invitation began when Karen’s teacher had used her blackboard duster to clean chalk off from the blackboard before laying the duster on the ledge of the board. A moment or so after doing this, the duster went flying having been thrown in the direction of the teacher only just missing her and hitting the blackboard with a very loud thud.
Some of the children in the classroom sniggered while others seemed to be shocked by what had happened. When asked about what had just happened, Karen replied that it was Cynthia who had thrown the wooden based piece. The teacher had no idea how the duster could have come away from the board only for it to come right back at her, still, this was an odd moment and a frightening one too.
Prior to what happened with Rosa, Tina had been unaware that Karen had an imaginary friend but then again, she had not been home much in quite a while and when she had been home there had not been much time spent with her daughter in her waking hours.
The past year had been a difficult year for Tina. With the death of her husband just that one year earlier, Tina just immersed herself in her work, in the business she had built. It gave her a reason not to move on and not to allow herself the time to truly mourn the loss of her husband. Being so busy, it was easier not to dwell so much on the past, but this also meant she was spending less and less time with her only child.
Having brought Karen home from school it was time for Tina to have a chat with her little girl. Tina began by apologizing for spending so much time at work and she told Karen that things would be different now, but Tina did not yet know just how different things would really get.
Usually, when a child has an imaginary friend, it is a good thing, and probably best left unconfronted but not in this instance. Tina shifted the conversation from her work to Cynthia, but Karen wasn’t having any of it, telling her mum that Cynthia is real. Tina became cross and began to raise her voice in the hopes of getting through to Karen for she herself cannot be aggressive in the classroom.
The unthinkable would occur in this moment. Tina would feel fear for the first time in the presence of her daughter. Karen did not want the current conversation with mum to continue and the conversation would alter when things in the home began to move by themselves starting with a vase falling from the ledge over the fireplace onto its heart and smashing into quite a few pieces.
If she could contain herself and really consider things as they are, Tina would have to rethink the existence of Cynthia, though as it is... This smashing of the vase made Tina jump, but she quickly gathered herself. Wooden drink coasters lifted seemingly by themselves up off a coffee table and began to fly around the room without hitting either Tina or Karen.
With a menacing look on her face, Karen said, ‘you made Cynthia angry mommy.’
The large mirror over the fireplace cracked while Tina dodged the coasters which were still flying around the room.
‘What is going on?’ Tina shrieked while beginning to make her way to the hallway door.
Karen began to laugh, a laugh which soon took on a duality, two laughs laughing together and in tandem. Karen’s laugh had been joined by a much deeper, almost demonic sounding laugh. Tina froze and her bottom lip began to quiver. Looking at her daughter Tina started to move again. She felt as if she were moving in slow motion as she just couldn’t get to the door quick enough.
Whatever was happening to her daughter or possibly because of her daughter, it seriously scared Tina. She would believe any of this if she didn’t see it for herself. All she could do now was to wait out in the garden, once she got there that is. A call to the emergency services had police and ambulances with EMTs arrive at Tina’s home.
‘Can I help you madam?’ one of the EMTs asked.
How could Tina explain what was happening? All she could answer was ‘that is my daughter in there’ as things continued to crash and smash within the home.
It wasn’t until that very EMT officer entered the home that he got more of an idea of what was going on, for he would soon quickly retreat from where he entered. His superior asked him for a report to which he could only reply, ‘We may need a priest.’
Oddly and quickly enough, or perhaps not so quick enough, the local parish priest had been sent for, though what he saw when he arrived was unlike anything he had ever seen or witnessed before.
It was clear at this point that Cynthia was more than just an imaginary friend. What was going on had all the symptoms of full-on demonic possession so claimed the priest with the exception that it seems of the girl and separate to her too. The elderly parish priest felt that he neither had the strength nor the ability to do anything about it. The police were left to attempt to contain the situation and that would not be an easy thing to do.
An arriving Swat team made an approach to the living room window, yeah it got to that and they arrived with force. With Karen being on the inside just beyond the living room window, a battle would begin. The earlier duality in Karen had now become a singularity. What began as an imaginary friend had now shown its demonic tendencies and had completely taken possession of Karen’s body. Her voice now sounding exceptionally raspy and ancient, her power becoming immense and even her size had increased.
‘Scum,’ she shouts and with a wave of her arm, those who had approached the window are sent flying through the air.
Standing in clear view through the window, numerous guns were trained on the demon. Tina ran towards the window crying and shouting, ‘That is my daughter in there, please don’t shoot…’
Raising her hand, whatever it was the held power over Karen had the ability to lift Tina high into the air without physically touching her. A dart was shot into the house catching the back of Karen’s neck. Being so occupied with what was going on out front, the demon did not notice that access to the house had been gained via the other side and the demon had not noticed anyone approach from behind.
Tina fell to the ground and Karen turned to face the man who fired the dart. Again, with the wave of her hand, she lifted the would-be intruder in the air, but before any damage could be done to him, Karen collapsed.
The demon, as many went on to call it, spent three days in a straitjacket and in a padded cell before vacating Karen’s body. It had been nothing that the priest had able to do that forced the demon to move on, but quite possibly the fact that it was not getting anywhere and that the body it occupied had become severely weakened that inspired its departure.
Karen spent a further seven days in hospital recovering from all that she had been through. Her mother took her home. Karen had no recent memory of anything which had happened and that included Rosa’s death and a presence of anyone called Cynthia. It was only a matter of days until a recurrence seemed to be on the cards. Karen had a new imaginary friend, and this new friend’s name so happening to be Jacinta…