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August 23, 2013
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(Contains: violence/gore)
            Appearance

Roderigo gazed up at the small child standing on the stairway. Her eyes took on a sinister gleam, and her smile widened into a sadistic sneer. It was beyond unsettling. Something about Twitch seemed to stir up a primal terror, something beyond her appearance. The air thickened with dread as she began to descend, one hand sliding down the railing as she displayed an almost casual attitude. Even Ash, who moments ago had refused to believe it, was visibly frightened.
    “I eat people.... that's not really fair. I eat a lot of things. Humans are just... my favorite.” She paused at the foot of the stairs, turning her head toward Roderigo. “Do you know why?”
    Roderigo moved to position himself between her and Ash. “Tell me,” he said, reaching into his pocket for his revolver. He knew it wouldn't do him any good, but what other option did he have?
    “Well, humans think they're so special. Hybrids too, but they are unique in their own way. But really, both are animals. Nothing more, nothing less. They act on instinct, have predetermined behavioral patterns... even mental illness is predictable in many ways. But they are, by far, the smartest animals. Chimps make tools, but humans make guns. They are capable of such complex abstract thought that they are to an extent able to ignore their biological programming. Which makes them special in my favorite way--no two humans or hybrids taste the same.” She turned to face her father, who flinched. “Daddy, I bet you'll taste like strawberries.”
    Then she turned away, as if what she had said was completely normal. Heading over to the radio, she laid one hand on its side, and with a spark it turned on. It seemed to randomly shuffle between stations, finally settling on a depressing and familiar piece of progressive metal, Darkness in the Heart by the Blacklights. Roderigo felt a wave of conflicting emotions, anger, disgust, nostalgia, shock and sadness. The single had never been very popular--it was an indie song released by Princess' old band. Had Twitch been playing them the whole time?
    Twitch began singing along with the lyrics, her voice seeming split in three, each every so slightly different in pitch and just barely out of sync. It gave Roderigo the impression of three individuals trying to sound like one, but missing the mark by a almost unnoticeable amount.
        “Then a crack of thunder, and the dead I see
        Are whisked away from this travesty
        So cries the one who is born upon this door
        They can never take me, what are they waiting for
        Now I fight for their lives as the sky does fall
        And in the dead of night I can hear their calls
        And that unholy light has been cut down
        What a dreadful fate for me
        Darkness in my heart don't let me down....”

    As she turned back, Roderigo aimed his Bulldog at her, his hand shaking madly. She stared into his eyes, but it felt to him like her gaze went far deeper, piercing his soul. Lifting her hand from the radio, it spewed smoke and died. “Such a beautiful song,” Twitch said. “I'd have loved to taste her, but unfortunately she evaded me.”
Roderigo froze. What did that mean? Was she implying that Princess somehow escaped from the gods? If so, that would mean that the voice that Fiona and Carlton heard in their radios wasn't Twitch after all, but how? Twister seemed to imply that being devoured was inevitable. Without thinking, he pulled the trigger, but the .44 caliber bullet seemed to pass through Twitch as if she were intangible. Figured it wouldn't be so simple, he thought.
    Twitch began to move toward him, her stare breaking from his eyes and going past his body. She was looking through him, looking at her father. As she approached, a strange glint filled her eye, and Roderigo imagine a drop of drool forming at the corner of her mouth. There was really nothing he could do. He stood no chance.
    “Twitch.” Sabbath's voice echoed through the living room. Both Roderigo and Ash glanced at the top of the stare, where Sabbath was eying her sister warily.
    Twitch recoiled at the sound of her voice, but only barely, and gazed up at her with that same crooked smile. “Well, sis, you caught me at a bad time.”
    “What are you doing?” Sabbath asked. She moved down the stairs, her eyes boring holes in Twitch's skull.
    “I was just going to grab a bite to eat,” Twitch said. Roderigo knew she wasn't lying. Still, she shrugged. “I guess I should probably eat out,” she said.
    What happened next tested Roderigo's confidence in his sanity. Twitch's body broke apart, dissolving into the air. A black smoke-like mist covered what remained, and in less than a second it seemed to be blown away by an unfelt wind, leaving nothing behind but the floor Twitch had been standing on.
    Sabbath stared in a strange mixture of apathy and disbelief. It was almost as if she knew Twitch was capable of that, but clearly hadn't expected her to be so bold. Still,         Roderigo reached for her hand and beckoned her to follow. She briefly looked up at him, and then followed the two of them out of the house.
    No one said a word the entire drive back. Ash and Roderigo sat in silence, an air of collective horror welling inside them. Sabbath meanwhile just leaned into the front seat and fiddled with the radio. To their surprise, they heard that same song, still playing as if it had waited.
        “But the night arrives and in its depths I see
        A false light, a lying prophecy
        And so cries the one who dies upon the door
        Don't let them take me, I'm not ready for
        But still I fight my way, though the sky may fall
        And though the darkness cries outside I do not hear its call
        And night's unholy light takes the town
        I must face my coming fate
        Darkness in my heart don't let me down
        Darkness in the Heart, don't let me down....”
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