I saw Mischa in his front yard shooting hoops. I’ve fancied him since I first saw him six months ago. My name is Samuel and I’m thirteen. His family have lived here for years and everyone in town seems to know Mischa and nobody seems to have a bad word to say about him. I think that’s why my parents don’t have a problem with us being friends.
I walked down to his place. “Morning Mischa.”
“Good Morning Samuel.” I love his Russian accent; I think it was either that or his pale violet eyes that I fell in love with first.
“What’s happening Mischa? You got family visiting?” I looked at all the cars parked in the drive and on the street. I’d seen people arriving since yesterday, and they were all greeted so friendly by Mischa’s parents.
“Yah, something like that.”
Another car arrived and a very large burly guy got out. Mischa’s dad ran over to him and greeted him in what I presume to be his native Russian. They kissed each other on the cheek and hugged briefly.
The large guy was being escorted into the house when he looked at Mischa. If I didn’t know better, I’d swear I saw fear in the man’s eyes; but how can that be? He was at least eight inches taller than Mischa and a hundred plus pounds of solid muscle heavier.
Mischa smiled at me and that was enough to distract me from what I was thinking; I just shrugged it off as me being me. We played around for a couple of hours before mum called me in for dinner.
“Bye, Mischa. See you tomorrow.”
“Good bye Samuel.” Mischa smiled and thought to himself, “And I will see you sooner that you think my friend.”
I was just getting to sleep, when I heard a tap on my window. I looked out and saw Mischa. I wondered not only why he was tapping on my window, but tapping on it at nearly midnight. I opened my window to find out what he wanted, and was shocked when the burly guy I had seen earlier dragged me through my window and stuck me in a sack.
I was unceremoniously dropped out of the sack a few minutes later. I saw I was in a large room, surrounded by many of the people I had seen arriving over the past day.
“Ah, the guest of honour has arrived. We can begin.” I looked around to try and find the source of the thick Russian accent, and saw someone wearing dark robes standing behind an altar. I only had time to think about why Mischa’s family would have an altar, before I was roughly grabbed around the neck, dragged over to the altar and chained in front of it.
“On this day ninety-five years ago, the greatest man who ever lived was assassinated. We, the loyal followers of Rasputin, are here today to honour him and his living spirit here on Earth.” The hooded figure turned to face Mischa and bowed. Everyone in the room turned to Mischa, dropped to one knee and began muttering, again in what I presumed was their native Russian.
Mischa walked over to me and placed a hand on my head. “Samuel, my friend. You are here to play a most vital role in today’s ceremony. Shortly before the body I was in died on December 29th in the Year of our Lord 1916, I left it and entered the body of a near-by child. The closest you can come to understanding what I am is a soul. I have now been in this body for those ninety-five years, and it is now dying. It is time for me to move on to a new body. I have chosen to move on to yours.”
I looked on at the boy I loved in sheer terror at what he had just said. The thoughts whirled through my head as fast as the speed of light.
Mischa’s wrist was cuffed to my own. The hooded figure cut each of us on our palms, and Mischa clasped my hand in his own. The hooded figure began chanting, and he was then joined by the rest of the assembly.
As our blood mingled, I could feel something passing into my body; a feeling of pure evil, of malice, of insanity. It began suppressing every thought I had, every feeling of self. It was like being wrapped in a cloak which had its own identity.
The boy I had known as ‘Mischa’ turned to me. “I beg your forgiveness. I could not fight it, nor stop it. I . . . am . . . tru . . . ly . . . .”
The last thoughts that were my own, were forgiveness for the boy who had played host to this demonic being for nearly a century, sorrow for myself (wondering what damage, what carnage, what acts I will be forced to commit against my will over the hundred years to come), but most disturbingly of all was how much of the boy I knew and loved was really Mischa, and how much was this ghost . . . this soul . . . just trying to bait its next host.
In the house down the lane lives a boy everyone seems to know and love. However the house hides a secret and the boy is the key. What is going on?