The little baby moved in its crib and drooled.
Arthur reached out affectionately to tuck her little curl in behind that tiny ear he always tickled.
Maia giggled in her sleep. Probably a dream about babies playing with angels.
Drawing the old parchment from his top suit pocket he placed it carefully under her pillow. Someone was sure to find it there.
So long as it was someone from the light.
There was a scraping sound in the hallway.
Arthur’s heart skipped a beat.
They must never find it.
He crossed the room to the doorway and took one last long look at his granddaughter. So peaceful. So innocent and unaware of what was in store for her.
Then he turned the handle.
To certain death.
He slipped out the door and locked it with the spare key Maia’s father had given him before he had disappeared, leaving the little baby in Arthur’s tender care.
And now they had come for him.
He slid the key under the small gap between the door and the floor.
He murmured the safe words of protection.
Then he heard it.
The hiss of demons, the scratching of wolves, the wail of ghosts.
His blood froze.
Just as a knife sliced across his neck and blood spurted from his jugular vein.
The baby in the locked room awoke and began to cry.
The crying grew into a scream.
The creature’s eyes bore into his brain just before Arthur took his last breath and hissed
“You first.... now...the baby”.