Eu El has a taste of what his maturing power can do. However, he does not realize this is just the beginning of a journey filled with humor, romance, and a hidden, new horror.
The comfort of the bed was not enough. The story his father shared gave the feeling he was about to fall over a deep cliff, where its darkness could never reveal the depth, nor hint to whatever awaited below.
Everything that was now El's world, supplemented with the confusion of adolescence, had transformed his life into a unfathomable, perplexing equation.
His present circumstance was not of choice. It was more like arriving at that stage of life in which the powers of the universe decided he was ready to face his destiny on his own. This challenge arrived like the beginning of a long, perilous journey made for the movies. However, ready or not, he had no choice but to accept the challenge, and the shadows welcomed him as the sun began disappearing behind the horizon.
Some would call his gift an opportunity. Others, ironically, would see it as a tragedy waiting to happen. There was no telling which of the two he had. It didn't matter. Nobody, not even Eu El, knew he possessed something special. His own parents could never accept the fact that his older brother once bit off a piece of his right shoulder off during an argument over dinner when he was six years old. Eventually, when the time arrived his gift, a glow and the powers that came with it, would assist Eu El's light of acceptance in a world meant for the darkness to thrive.
But, it would not be this night.
Somehow, moments ago, this gift transported him into a different reality, blurry with no tangible references existing beyond the outline of his hallway, where the darkness swallows every crevice, every angle of perception and truth behind the familiar; a place where only few are able to visit. One could relate this scene to be a poorly transmitted fuzziness of a late night television signal barely materializing into a perceivable picture.
Invited, or not, he arrived to the other side of the shadows, a world ruled by depression, hunger, and darkness,
"H-How'd I get here?" he wonders, realizing moments ago under the warmth of his bedsheets he was staring at the ceiling.
"I fell asleep! I'm dreaming...
The texture of the soft, thick carpet hugging his bare feet is the only evidence of what familiarity existed in the emptiness of what is becoming the prelude to a nightmare, the kind that no one, not even his family, would believe is real unless they saw it for themselves.
He was all alone.
Logic, his only companion in a place where his own shadows abandoned him, reminds him how dreams normally do not involve tangible sensations. Yet, the eerie cold touch of the steel doorknob to his parent's room, where his newborn sister slept, was the entrance to a pitfall of evil which he never imagined he would encounter.
Walking to the door, El hears the pounding of his rapid heartbeat suggesting caution to the realization that his mother's lamp, which usually illuminated from inside, was now absent.
Deep within the convincing illusion of his parent's room, an unfamiliar figure echoes across the hollowness that steers his thoughts toward a direction of confusion. He pauses before bringing himself to look between the door's gap, hoping that whatever he could understand would somehow be excused as a creation of his imagination.
He begins reasoning with his fear, wishing that soon he would wake to the familiarity of eating the pancakes his mother prepared every school morning; or watching the Saturday morning cartoons while enjoying the sugary pleasantness of a bowl of Honey Smacks, and later setting time aside for reading his Spider-Man comics during the rainy nights with his 'Green Lantern' lantern under his bed.
Squinting into the dark, his eyes makes out a vague shadowy outline of a broken woman floating in the middle of a vast emptiness like an astronaut drifting within the mercy of space. He blinks before concluding, with wide and convinced eyes, the woman is not an illusion.
Standing besides a hot, bubbling cauldron with no fire, the shadow, heavily breathing, glances over to her side where, inside a crib, cries his infant sister.
The logic inside Eu El screams a warning to run away, but the lessons he took to heart from superhero stories conditioned a rare principle that convince him from retreating to the light at the end of the hallway.
Unexpectedly, a frightening, hungry cackle welcomes Eu El.
"I can hear the fear in your heart, boy."
There is silence between him and the shadowy figure that seemingly is afloat in his parent's room. Again, the mysterious shadow glances over to the crib where she places a pale, crooked hand to the forehead of his sister, who is crying at the discomforting touch of the woman's ice-cold fingers.
The shadow hisses.
"What a delicious sound."