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The Exorcist Arrives by K. A. Webb

Jessica was the one who answered the door. She’d been waiting for the exorcist for what felt like years, when it had only been three days. The two of them looked at each other and then she stepped back to let him in. “You know how this works?”

Nodding, Jessica smiled. “We don’t tell you anything. You need to learn whether or not there’s something here for yourself.”

“Exactly.” He smiled back. “There are some people who say that something like this, a poltergeist, might well be caused by having an emotional teenager in the house.”

“Yes, I’d read that myself.”

“That is good to hear. I like people who do their research.” Their eyes met for a moment. “Your parents told me your bedroom is the site for the majority of the problems.” He studied her. “You don’t seem like one of the more typical emotional teenagers I’ve come across. How have you been feeling?”

“Until we came here I was fine. It’s being here that’s made things… I don’t want to say difficult, even though it is. I hate what’s happening. I hate the fact my brothers don’t feel safe here. I hate seeing my parents so conflicted. They love this house. I think I’d love this house myself if it wasn’t for the problems we’ve been having.”

“You’re not angry?”

“Why would I be?” She brushed a hand through her hair. “This isn’t anyone’s fault. I don’t think there’s any reason for me to be angry at something that isn’t anyone’s fault.”

Smiling, he shook his head. “Yeah, definitely not your typical emotional teenager. Would you show me to your room, Jessica?”

“Of course.”

After what had happened before Jessica hadn’t been in there again. Sleeping in her parents’ room wasn’t the easiest thing it the world, but it was something she could cope with. Breathing deeply, trying not to let her fear get the better of her, she stepped into the room and just stared. Everything was everywhere. On the wall someone had scrawled in her favourite lipstick ‘get out of my house’. Unable to believe how strong the girl had become.

“Poltergeists, if that is what’s here, often get stronger when there’s someone they hate in the house. Your parents said an attack on you was the reason I was called in.”

Before Jessica could answer a sound caught her attention. She ducked and the book flew over her head. “It was.” She didn’t know how much detail to go into. “How much can I tell you about that?”

“It’s fine for you to tell me exactly what happened now.”

“Right, I was unable to sleep that night, because I was trying to work out what I should do about the poltergeist.” The girl switched from books to pens, which was slightly less worrying, although she did toss an entire cup full of pens… and then the cup. Jessica sighed when she heard it smash against the wall. “Would you stop that? I get you don’t want me to be here. Surely it would be better for you if you were somewhere else.”

No! This is my house.

“Keep talking.”

For a moment Jessica stared at the exorcist before carrying on. “I know it’s your house. I’ve never once doubted that. Can’t we share? Until you tried to kill me that was what I was trying to do.”

You’re taking my place.

“Taking your place?”

Just like she did. I got rid of her. I’ll get rid of you too.

“Don’t you want to be friends?” When another book flew at her head Jessica took that as a no. “Can we go now?”

“Is she trapped in this room?”

“No, it’s just the room she chooses not to leave, most of the time, so I think it was hers when she was alive.”

“I hate to say this, but she’s not going to be easy to convince to move on and it might be best for you to move out.”

“My parents aren’t going to want to do that.”

“In that case I think I’m going to have to start my research into who she is.”

“So you don’t think it’s me being an emotionally overactive teenager?”

“That’s still a possibility, but most emotionally overactive teenagers don’t throw books at their own heads. I think the most likely reason for this happening is a poltergeist.” He looked around the room. “She’s a particularly strong one, so she’s either been here for a while or she has a very strong connection to this house.”

Just before Jessica closed the door a knife flew at her. If she hadn’t closed the door there was a chance it would have hit her, but instead it hit the door.

“As she keeps trying to kill you it might be an idea for you to find somewhere else to live for a little while, Jessica. I’ll talk to your parents. Maybe I can convince them you should all stay at a friend’s for a little while.”

“I really hope you can.” Jessica bit her lip. “Do you think you will be able to get rid of her?”

“Right now that’s a question I can’t answer. There is a chance no one will be able to get rid of her unless they demolish the house. It all depends on why she’s still here.”

“But in the meantime, hide your knives.”

“That wasn’t our knife…”

“We are in bigger trouble than I thought.” Said the exorcist in what is likely the biggest understatement ever.