Copyright ©2016 Kay-lin Kimble
Cover Art by Kay-lin Kimble
Proofreading by Tieckey Niemand
Susanne’s mother had dropped her off at Linda’s house for an afternoon play date.
She presented the child to Linda, “Hello…” She said innocently before running off through the house where she met up with Dean,
“Hello Susie.” He smiled
“Hello!” She said excitedly.
“Come on, let’s go play!” He said before dashing up the staircase like a wild animal.
Susie dropped her backpack and bolted after him, their stomping feet echoed up the stairs and across the hallway to Dean’s room.
“What you wanna do?” Susie asked, with her hands behind her back, swaying slightly from side to side.
Dean had already made himself comfortable on the character superhero themed mat, clanging large building drops together even though they didn’t fit.
“Can I play?” She asked sincerely, watching the boy play on his own.
“But why not?!” She moaned.
Dean glanced under his bed and then back at Susie, “Because this is a boy’s game!”
Susie pouted and sat down in the middle of the doorway, sulking for a moment when she looked back into the hallway trying not to cry.
“Do you wanna see something cool?” She asked him trying to spark his attention even though her arms were still crossed.
“What is it?” He looked up quickly.
“It’s a secret!” She said, pulling her nose up.
“Come on! I wanna see it! Please! Please!” He begged as he tugged on her arms trying to break her will and pose.
“Alright! Alright!” She said as she fought him off, pushing him over backwards onto his toys.
Susie left the room to go downstairs and retrieve her backpack whilst Dean sat half-lying in the corridor anticipating her return when he heard her footsteps drum eagerly up the staircase when he quickly retracted his head into the room as if to bluff that he weren’t in the least bit eager. Susie came in and untangled herself from the backpack, dropping it on the mat before kneeling down behind it and tugging at the straps to shift it closer towards her. Dean promptly scrambled to his knees and drew closer as the excitement grew. Susie unzipped the bag and reached in whilst Dean leaned in eagerly to try and catch a glimpse of whatever it was. After searching in the bag for what felt like an eternity, Susie hauled out a long wooden box, something that resembled a single bottle of wine case. It was nothing fancy to behold, just a weathered brown box, in the middle of fading.
“What is it?” Dean questioned, his eyes widened with enthusiasm.
“It’s a Genie!” Susie replied excitedly.
“You’re lying! It’s just a box.”
“No it’s not!” She yelled back, shaking the box slightly so her companion could hear there was something inside.
“Then open it!”
“What’s so great about a box anyway?” He asked sarcastically before turning his back on Susie to continue to play with his toys.
“Ask it anything!” She called out to him in a last ditch attempt to regain his attention.
Dean looked over his shoulder at her and then the box that was still clutched tightly in her grubby little fingers.
“Huh?” He asked as he dragged his knees around to face her again.
“Ask it anything! It tells the truth! Really, it does!” She said as she set the box down on the floor.
“Okay?” He said as he bent forward to take a closer look at it.
“What’s my name?” Susie called out to the box.
There was a short pause before the box whispered back, “Susanne.”
“Whoa!” Dean said before they both giggled for a short time.
“Okay my turn!” Dean hollered excitedly before grabbing the box and turning it towards him, not knowing which way was the front.
“Okay box, what’s my name!?” He asked with a large smile on his face, bobbing up and down eagerly when the box replied.
The two giggled again.
“Where did you get that?” Dean asked with awe in his voice.
“I don’t know, I just found it.” She shrugged.
“Why is it a Genie?”
“It says it lives in the box.”
“That’s stupid! Genie’s live in lamps.”
“Maybe there’s a lamp inside?” Susie questioned aloud.
“Genie, what is your name?” Dean asked innocently.
There was a pause, it appeared as though the box wasn’t going to answer when Dean asked again, finally it replied, as if it were hesitant to tell.
“Tiki Man.” It said calmly.
“Tiki Man? What does that mean?” Susie asked Dean but he shrugged, pouting his bottom lip and raising his eyebrows momentarily.
Linda knocked on the bedroom door.
“Is everything okay in there?” She asked, pressing her hand against the door.
“Yes!” They replied.
“Who are you talking to?”
“Our toys!” Dean yelled back, sitting up straight.
“Okay well keep the door open.” She said as she turned the handle, peaked inside at the two awkward kids and left the door half-way open before leaving.
“You can’t tell anyone about the Tiki Man.” Susie threatened Dean.
“Okay, let’s play some more!”
Susie smiled; she enjoyed the company of this box, more so being able to share the joy with her friend. Until she showed Dean, the box has been kept a secret for roughly a week which felt like forever for a elementary school child.
“What’s my favourite colour?” Dean asked, tossing himself around like a monkey.
He giggled, holding his hands to his mouth before gasping childishly. Dean asked another question, getting drunk on excitement.
“Is there a monster under my bed?”
There was a long anticipated wait before the box responded.
“Okay, okay! Is there a monster under my bed?” Susie asked, just as a joke.
The box paused as if it seemed to be calculating the answer.
“That’s not funny!” She yelled, backing up, with the look of fear apparent on her face.
“Hooooh!” Dean giggled, waving his fingers in the air like a ghost.
“It’s not funny Dean!” She whined pushing him over onto his back.
“Ow Susie! That hurt!” He yelled back, holding his arm as his eyes began to mist up.
“Tiki Man, is Dean a baby?”
The box replied with, “No.”
Dean quickly took it upon himself to show his distaste in the question by pulling a tongue at her, still clutching his arm.
After some commotion, Linda came in and confiscated the box as it had caused a great deal of distress and tension between the two kids. It was almost certain she had to pry them off of each other with a crowbar. After a great deal of scolding, Linda left the two unaccompanied in Dean’s room once again.
She went downstairs and placed the box on the kitchen counter and began inspecting it to see what all the excitement was about.
“It’s a wine box…” She whispered to herself as she fiddled with it.
Suddenly she heard a noise from the front door like someone kicking it in, the sudden sound startled her, causing her to accidentally knock the box off the counter. The box plummeted to the ground and split open like a peanut allowing something to roll out along the floor. As Linda made her way to the front door, Dean and Susie crept down the stairs, intrigued by the loud bang of the door.
The two stood in awe of a dark, elongated figure, placed half way between the door and the broken wine case. As Dean clutched the banister in fear, Susie yelled out as if she recognised the being.
“Tiki Man!” She called out in joy when the creature turned its attention towards the kids, its flaming red eyes locked on them like a bird of prey locking onto its target before taking the plunge.
It was mere moments later when the police arrived on the scene. Some neighbour informed them of some form of domestic disturbance. The red and blue lights lit up the white walls and lush lawn as a man climbed out the driver’s seat, followed by a woman with tied back hair.
“I got a domestic disturbance over on Pearce Street.” He said calmly into the radio before spitting his faded pink bubblegum on the lawn and approaching the entrance.
His partner rolled her eyes at him before fixing her gaze on the front door which had been just about shattered.
“Forced entry.” She said glancing over at him as they both drew their weapons and entered slowly.
“Hello? It’s the police! We got a call about domestic disturbance!” He yelled out shifting his shoulder from side to side, ultimately swinging his gun too.
His partner noticed the mess as she inadvertently stepped in something clear yet sticky. She lifted her foot and groaned as the snotty substance stretched from the floor, clinging to the underside of her foot.
“Hey Jane! Check this out!” He yelled from within the kitchen.
Jane quickly forgot about the gunk below her boot, slipping as she stepped forward but managing to regain her footing before following the call of her partner. The call lead her into the kitchen which was decorated in bright ribbons of blood.
“Oh my God…” She whispered in disgust and astonishment as she gazed up the tiled walls and along the ceiling.
A drop of blood slid off one of the light fixtures, slapping Jane in the face, staining her cheek.
“Ergh!” She groaned, wiping it off and then continuing to wipe her fingers on her pants.
“Piss off Will.”
Will laughed sadistically before his eyes fell on the smashed case lying wide open upon the kitchen floor.
He kicked the case lightly, spreading the pieces, unveiling a small statue.
“Hey Jane!” Will called out childishly to Jane who was halfway up the staircase, still pointing her weapon.
“Hey Jane!” He hollered again.
“Shut up!” She screamed back before poking her head into the kids’ rooms and then making her way back to the banister to see what Will was going on about.
“I found your mother!” He smiled, holding a small statue of a man sitting on his haunches, above his head and making it dance around.
“Keep looking, you might find your manhood somewhere in there!” Jane barked before searching the rest of the house.
“Everything’s clean!” She called out to him as she ran her hand along the banister on her way down.
“There’s nobody here, signs of forced entry… It’s like a scene from a horror movie in here sir…” He reported back to his superior.
“What are you doing!?” Jane complained, finding Will still clutching the statue in one hand as he spoke over the radio.
“You do realise you’re tampering with a crime scene right? That’s evidence you getting your paw prints all over.”
“Ahh, don’t be jealous, rub his belly!” He giggled shoving the small wooden statue in her face.
“I’m going to shoot you!” She complained, backing away from her partner as he made dog-like barking noises as he shook the statue violently.
“That looks like some religious or cultural item.” Jane pointed out.
“This? This is a little man carved out of chunk of wood…badly, I might add…” He said, frowning, as the statue cradled in his cut gloves.
“That’s like some kind of a Totem, like Aztec or something!”
“More like ass-tech.” He laughed before placing it upright on the kitchen counter.
“Well I don’t know about you but I don’t want to stand in this Petri dish for blood borne diseases… I’ll be outside so long.” She confirmed before tapping her right boot twice to make sure it was secure.
It was a nervous tick for Jane, whenever she felt uncomfortable in a situation, she never expressed it on her face or even verbally; she’s just tap part of her body twice as if she were checking herself.
“Yeah, go outside! All the cows belong on the grass!”
“Har Har!” She said sarcastically before heading out on the lawn trying to shake the smell of fresh blood and wiping her feet off on the lawn.
“That is vile…” Jane murmured to herself, bending forward, resting her hands on her knees as the neighbours trickled out of their houses.
Will fled the home, pushing Jane over, as she was already doubled over before getting into the vehicle and placing something under the passenger seat.
“You’re a real piece of work!” Jane groaned, trying to see him through the glare of the window shield.
“I think you mean a work of art!” He responded, slamming the door and letting his arm rest out the window.
“What are you doing in my seat?”
“I called shotgun.”
“When?” She questioned as she frowned in disbelief.
“When I got in the car.”
“Oh that’s rich…Get out.”
“No.” He smiled, pressing the manual lock down even though his arm was hanging out the window.
“Geez! I going to kill you!” She roared as she gripped his jacket with both hands and shook his brains until they were mush.
“Do we have a problem here?” Said another officer who had just arrived on the scene.
“No. She’s on her period.” He assured the officer.
Jane, rolled her eyes and got in the driver’s seat, slamming the door after herself.
“I got something to show you.” Will whispered as he leaned over to Jane who was resting her head on her hand as she watched the detectives enter the house.
“Go away!” She moaned as she battered him with her free arm.
“Come, let’s go have a drink and I’ll show you what I found.”
“Haa! But he’s interested in you!”
“Not another hook up!”
She finally turned around to face Will who slowly bent down and retrieved something from under his seat. He peered out the passenger side window and then back up at Jane before partially revealing it.
“You gotta be kidding!”
“Yup! I got crazy Buddha.”
“No. No. No! You can’t take that! That’s stealing evidence. That’s tampering with a crime scene, hindering an investigation… Withholding of evidence.” She stressed below her voice.
“Oh please…I had to take it, it spoke to me.”
“Oh yeah? What did it say?”
“He asked me if you’re always a tight ass and I told him only in those jeans! Hahaha!”
“This is serious Will, you might be a kleptomaniac!”
“You know what you need?”
“No! What? What do I need?”
“To rub his belly!” He said childishly, nodding the wooden statue that was partially visible from the seat.
“Well I didn’t see anything okay? But you owe me one, big time!”
“Yeah, sure. Whatever.” He replied, kicking the statue under the seat again, holding it in place with the heels of his boots.
Jane turned the keys to the ignition and backed up off the front lawn, making sure that there was no oncoming traffic. Will sat patiently, in silence as if he finally ran out of things to say, as if the river of irrelevance had finally dried up.
“Are we going to stop at a drive through for some supper?” He asked.
“Only if you’re paying.” Jane smiled.
“I’ll see if I got some spare change here…”
He pushed his pelvis forward, digging in his right pocket, trying to get the fat wallet out but the corners were hooking in his pocket. He grunted and cursed until the wallet finally came out. Will threw his body back into the seat, causing the cars suspension to activate.
“Finally!” He stated as he opened the wallet and Jane’s eyes darted over to him.
“Oh hell! Look at all the spider webs and bats!” She said jokingly.
“What are you on about? It’s full.”
“It might be full but it’s the first time you’ve opened it so everything trapped inside can finally come out. You probably have the black plague in there somewhere!” She said, fixing her gaze back on the road.
“I think you’re right… I see your dignity in here.”
“Geez, it’s been long last since I seen that…”
“Since you were like twelve years old hey?”
“No, since I was forced to be your partner.” She grumbled.
“Aww, you love me!” He teased in return.
“That’s wishful thinking!” She chirped as she swerved into the parking lot of the drive through in order for Will to be flung half way out the open window.
After ordering some cheese burgers and fries they parked in the lot, facing the street. Jane had a lot on her mind; the smell of fresh blood still hadn’t left her, nor the lump in her throat. She sat facing the window, holding the small packet of fries in her free hand.
“Aren’t you gonna eat that?” He mumbled to break the deafening silence.
Jane glanced at Will, then at the chips and in a brief moment of insanity flung the packet at him. He shuddered and coiled up in defense as the fries scattered across the car; he batted some of them away, sprinkling crumbs down his shirt. He stared at her with wide eyes before barking back.
“What the hell was that for!?”
“You’re getting on my nerves!” She said as she turned further away from him.
“What’s eating you?” He questioned gently.
“Nothing.” Jane replied bluntly.
“Hmm…Tastes even better.” He claimed as he pushed fries in his mouth that he had picked up off his uniform and had found down the side of the car seat.
“Hey! Hey! Look at this!” Will begged.
“Look! He’s got a moustache!”
Jane glanced over her shoulder to find will had mashed a French fry under the nose of the idol and began rubbing its belly oddly.
“You and that thing… Is that your new toy?”
He first ate the fry off the sculptures face before attempting to compute her question.
“Huh?” He stared blankly at her.
“Put that thing away. It’s creepy as hell!” Jane complained before shaking off a cold shiver.
Will wiped the dust off the dashboard and placed the idol on top and turned it to face him. He stared at its indented eyes, then at its rigid teeth; Will’s eyes followed the blood red lines until they came to a stop at what appeared to be a box, ensnaring the person’s hands. It was chiselled so carefully for something made from wood, something so small, something that would then be placed in a plain wine box.
“You know, on second thought, it is kind of creepy.” He stated, staring at the gems along its arms.
“It’s probably some occult thing!” Jane warned, turning her attention towards the idol.
“Why couldn’t you just steal an antique spoon or something?”
“I don’t know…It’s like this thing called me, like I was meant to find it.” He replied, zoning out into space.
“That statement is creepier than the idol…” Jane replied as she turned the key to the ignition then fixed her hands on the steering wheel.
“So we’re heading back?”
“Yeah, why? You wanna drive?” She asked over her arm.
“Nah, you can take us back.”
“Suit yourself.” She said as she peered over her shoulder to reverse out the parking.
Jane pulled out the parking lot when they received a call for a reported break in over the radio. Will looked at Jane who seemed irritated by the call.
“We’re in the area.” Will said hesitantly.
“Okay, call it in.”
Jane spun the steering wheel around, forcing them in the opposite direction. The loose papers, trash and also the idol was flung around the vehicle as they turned abruptly on the main road. Will called it in and placed the siren on before buckling up and dusting the salt and pepper off his pants when he noticed the idol had rolled off the dashboard and onto the mat. He bent down innocently to retrieve it when suddenly there was a deafening crash; the sound of metal being twisted filled the air when Will’s ears began to ring. The high pitched noise drowned all the sounds out except for his heartbeat which overrode the hum. His body became numb as he was flung to the side, being bashed up against the window and ricocheted back. The sound of car tyres screeching against the tar took over as the vehicle was flung out of control; burning rubber polluted the atmosphere around the car when it suddenly rolled and Jane was mercilessly flung from the vehicle and suddenly crushed by it. The sky liquefied as Will’s vision blurred and he blacked out.
The idol rolled out the window and circled the loose gravel from the road before coming to a halt, exposing a seal beneath it. Will came to as fluorescent roof lights passed over him, hypnotising him as he felt a jerk as the bottom of the bed burst the swinging doors wide open.
At the scene of the accident, the young man that had reported it to the ambulance but decided he too would be taking a souvenir; and that happened to be the idol. He noticed it roll out the car window along broken glass, revealing some assembly of symbols beneath it, he reached for it when he was startled by Will’s arm that had inconveniently flopped out the car. The movement startled the young man, prompting him to grab the totem and bolt down a side street where he ran endlessly as the bottom of his shoes slapped against the small puddles until he could run no further.
“What the hell is that?” He questioned, turning the carved item over to reveal a symbol that seemed distinctly occult related. He put the item down before kneeling in front of it, pulling his backpack off his shoulders he undid the flap and stuffed the totem inside, glancing around suspiciously before throwing it over his shoulder and walking off. The short, thick, black hair masked his face as he walked out the alley and across the street to the sidewalk, with his head down, in order not to attract any form of attention to himself.
He reached into his pants pocket, retrieving a set of keys, which he searched through before trying the door on a rundown house in a bad neighbourhood. Upon unlocking the door, he peered over his shoulder yet again, as if he were worried someone was following him. He slammed the door and latched it behind him when he slinked back to his room. The room door had a child like decorative appearance to it, covered with a ‘keep out’ out sign, followed by several symbols and amidst the chaos, the name ‘Kyle’ in black on white card. He promptly entered and threw his bag on the bed, tossing it as if it were rubbish. Kyle turned the radio on and the volume up, he was trying to drown something out, something deep in his head, becoming more aggressive as he twisted the antenna around to stop the hissing. Along the walls were rock bands and horror movie posters but besides his bed, on the make shift wooden desk was a pile of scratchy pencil drawings of broken hearts and fast cars. After managing to find a clear station he childishly kicked the door closed, causing some of the smaller magazine posters to fall off the wall and the ceiling, littering around his room.
Kyle sat beside his bed and pulled the backpack by the strap, down onto the floor in front of him. He flipped the top open and hauled the prized steal from its hiding place. On closer inspection the piece appeared to be an antique, kept in mint condition but on second thought, it wasn’t weathered at all as if it had just been made. It was smooth to the touch as he ran his finger over it until he reached the red lines that made a dip as if they had been carved into grooves and the grooves had been painted carefully. Kyle shook the idol to see if anything were inside but it was to no avail; he then knocked on the back but it sounded like a solid piece of wood. He was hoping there’d be something more valuable inside like jewels or drugs but unfortunately not. Flipping the idol over he noticed an odd symbol taking up the whole base of the item, it wasn’t part of the design as it was burnt into the wood as if someone had used a soldering iron. Kyle grabbed one of his doodles and a pencil as he began to shuffle onto his stomach. Amazed by his new finding, he scribbled it down quickly before comparing the two.
“Seems about right…” He claimed to himself as his eyes darted back and forth between the idol and the sketch.
Overtime Kyle became obsessed with the idol, sketching it, talking to it and even sleeping next to it until one day he took it way too far. The one morning Kyle was scratching around crazily in his drawers, overturning the papers and permanent markers until he found a black pastel crayon. He shot up unto his bed with the pastel poised between his lips like a cigarette as he desperately ripped away at the posters, tearing some of the corners and some in half. Satisfied, Kyle continued picking away at prestic as if he were picking at scabs, pulling ribbons of flaccid remaining paper with it. The prestic left small grey circular marks in some places and other places it managed to eat away at the wall, making his room appear even more decayed. He groaned and grunted like a sick animal as he wiped the wall down with his hands, spreading his arms in circles as his long sleeve shirt collected white particles. He ran his hand through his hair before beginning to draw along the wall in deep black pastel.
His arm went over his head as he dragged the crayon along the wall, the point degraded into the paper and still he didn’t stop, he continued until the rest of the crayon ripped through the paper like a rhino through rice paper. Finally it dawned on Kyle that he should peel the paper off the crayon and he did whilst breathing heavily and continued to breathe shallow as he completed his almost perfect black ring. Kyle was swaying back and forth as if to contemplate his fate but unable to win against his demons, so in a feeble attempt he went to the drawer and grabbed two permanent markers and began filling the circle with lines and symbols until they ran dry. He threw them behind him carelessly before diving into the drawer again, grabbing a thick pencil and in pure desperation, finished the drawing.
Kyle stood back and marvelled at his creation, his feet sinking into the bed. He climbed off and grabbed hold of one of the bed posts, pulling it towards himself, pulling it further and further away from his wall, exposing his masterpiece. He stood motionless like a mad scientist, devoid of all reason, admiring his plagiarised work until something drew him in. He gave into the strong sensation without struggle as he reached out and placed his hand on the oversized symbol, stroking it with his palm, inadvertently smudging the pencil. Kyle glanced back at the idol as if to ask for its confirmation on his work only to lose his mind completely, something whispered to him, something that sounded like it was inside his head.
“What?” He said, placing his pencil stained hand on his face, spreading the lead.
The voice multiplied into many, whispering endlessly and calmly to no end when visions filled his head of strangers’ untimely fate up to this present day. Centuries of bloodshed filled Kyle’s head as he tried to fight the premonitions off, thrashing his head in his hands from side to side like a burning man. His legs buckled under him as they folded up and he plummeted to the floor, still clutching his head.
“Don’t make any sudden moves.” A voice hissed, its words overlapping each other.
Kyle finally lifted his head to reveal the Tiki sitting moments away from him.
“Wha- What do you want?” He stuttered.
“I want exactly what you want…Freedom.”
The voices were coming from behind him, from the wall, from the pentacle but the answers came from the wood carving. The smell of sulphur filled Kyle’s nose when he heard hissing beside his ears like that of running sand. He jump forward kicking the Tiki across the room as he watched the pentacle suddenly set alight, igniting the lines as it burnt a hole into another dimension. The smoke blacked out his only tiny bedroom window when the drawings blew around the room in a small hurricane; the papers flapped as they passed him like startled birds until one slapped him across the face, causing a nasty paper cut. The blood raced down his face as he felt the warmth kiss his cheek, a single droplet lunged onto the head of the Tiki, finding its way into the grooves, somehow managing to be enough to fill all the red grooves with a thin layer of fresh blood.
Finally through the chaos, Kyle could see into the pentacle as if it were a window to somewhere else, someplace he could never imagine in his wildest of dreams. Slowly his hearing faded as he made his way up to the portal when he was ripped towards it violently by an invisible force. It whipped his body around like a rag caught in a storm.
When he came to he found himself on the other side of the portal, looking into his room. Kyle freaked and banged his fists against the clear window when a creature formed from the Tiki. A dark, long and stringy figure unfolded, revealing its length. Only then, as it bent its body forward as to accommodate its height, did it gain features. Two tiny red eyes emerged, one at a time upon its smooth face when its body was set alight like the pentacle, forming the red markings. The markings appeared to be alive and moving like that of flowing blood.
“Let me out!” Kyle screamed as his eyes misted up.
The beast turned to him and unzipped a sinister smile that took up approximately half its face as it gently made its way to him amidst the blowing papers.
“All these centuries locked away…You freed me…” It stated as it rolled its eyes around robotically.
“Ergh! Who are you?!” He shuddered.
“The Tiki Man. I tell no lies.” It replied as it clicked its neck, spilling the living blood from its grooves.
“Let me out!”
“You will remain here, in the In-between until you manage to escape like I did after so many life times… You must become one of them to survive…”
“One of who?!”
“I am the Tiki Man, I tell you the truth.”
“There’s something moving in here!” He screeched as he clawed at the portal.
“Kyle…” It whispered after rotating its head until it was upside down.
Kyle glanced ahead of him, straight into the teeth of the beast when it uttered to him before leaving forever.
“Don’t make any sudden moves.”
Kyle roared and screamed as the portal grew smaller until it sealed him away and as the beast ducked under the door frame to exit, the totem changed its appearance to resemble Kyle as the sulphur burnt away, leaving no traces behind except a few drops of blood and a mess of papers.