“It is here,” croaked the grizzled woman with a voice as dry as sand.
The feeling of a cold talon squeezing about her chest caused Betty to clench her jaw. A shallow exhale whistled through her teeth like the last gasp from a deflated balloon. She turned her head ever so slightly. There, she could see from the corner of her eye, in the corner of the room, was a tall figure covered in black. It could have been a giant smudge of soot smeared across the wallpaper. Except for the eyes, which glowed bright red, like burning coals of fire.
The figure had haunted her since she was a child. Mr. Lonely she had named it. Any happiness had been fleeting. Mr. Lonely had seen to that. Betty could always feel its presence. She’d been to psychiatrists, taken every kind of pill, self medicated, tried religion, everything.
“Yes,” Betty hissed, “in the corner.”
A strange buzzing sound skittered about the room, rising in pitch until it turned into an intense squeal. Betty was about to raise her hands to cover her ears when it stopped.
“It is done. You are free.”
With that the old woman rose, and left.
Betty smiled, and then stopped, jutting her head about the room. Mr. Lonely was gone. A strange lightness of being seemed to bubble up from inside her. She could feel it all the way down to her bones. For the first time since she was a child, Betty was happy.