Ned (May 2018)

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Ned (May 2018) Empty Ned (May 2018)

Post by SSmith on Thu May 31, 2018 11:30 pm

The accusations were easily dismissed as the product of troubling nightmares, at least until the first bruises began to appear.

In truth, Ned had never raised a hand to his daughter. He had been a good father, of the modern sort who decried spanking as an outmoded symptom of a less enlightened age of parenting. His wife loved him for it, and their two children seemed on track to become model citizens. At least, until the girl, Cynthia, began claiming that her father had changed.

She came to dread the nighttime, as that was when he would visit her in her room, hissing expletives and shaking her violently, demanding answers to questions she didn't know, demanding explanations for things she knew she hadn't done. The father that came to her alone at night was so different from the one she knew by day that, at first, she herself assumed the visitations were nightmares. That was, until he began hitting her.

Counseling failed to heal the rent in the couple's marriage - as far as their trust for one another was concerned, the damage had been done. Ned's daughter feared him, their relationship forever changed. Ned's performance at work began to suffer, his worries about his family following him like a cloud. Even when the episodes seemed to stop for several weeks, the rift between the members of his family only seemed to widen, the unspoken fear and distrust looming over every aspect of their lives.

Finally, one night, Cynthia's screaming woke her mother and brother. Ned was nowhere to be found, though Cynthia swore he had been in her room - that he had turned into a monster. The window stood open, curtains blowing wildly. The real monster - a vampire that called itself Dagon, and had been borrowing Ned's appearance for weeks to terrorize the family - had carefully chosen a night when, driven to drink by the collapse of his life at home, Ned had slipped away to spend a few hours alone at a bar.

Ned returned home that night to find his family - and the things they had hastily packed - missing, without so much as a note left behind.

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