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Time passed. Fred somehow knew it was passing but could do nothing about it. He was a part of the house, his prison, his keeper, his tormentor. The family left, along with the dullard, though the father had apparently had a falling out with the mother and was leaving her upon selling the house.

The house sold to three other families in the next decade as Fred could tell, each one of them selling once they figured out he was there. More priests came, a paranormal show was based on the house, and still nothing happened. Spirits came and went, some nasty, some mundane, and others just as boring as he felt that he’d become. The one attempt he made to possess someone went horribly wrong when he almost killed the middle-aged man. Something had ruptured within the man’s brain apparently, though he couldn’t figure out how it had happened. He knew the man had fought his presence, as he’d expected, but it had been like fighting a child, as Fred had taken over quite easily. The best analogy he could think of was of someone beating their head against a wall for no other reason than because they could. Something had burst in the man’s brain as he’d tried to exert control, and that was it.

After that Fred kind of disappeared for a while, only appearing now and then when a new family came along just to see who they were. Each time he was seen it was time for the family to leave apparently, or not. He didn’t care any longer, especially since he was content to just sit in the shadows and try to imagine what he’d done that was so terrible that karma was kicking his ass in such a fashion. He’d railed at God more than once and cursed the devil, wondering just which one of them had consigned him to this condition. It didn’t matter any longer though, another family had bought the house once again, and it was time to-

“Dad?”

He knew that voice. Fred almost slipped into the shadows near the back of the hallway once again before realizing the light was on, and had dispelled any possible shadows at the moment. When the voice spoke again he registered the voice, the familiar tone that he hadn’t heard in so long, but would never mistake for anything else.

“Dad, is that you?”

(to be continued)

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