Sam was in her bedroom. She was playing with her dolls. Some of the Barbies were trying to explain to the others why the existence of humanity and a life sustaining earth were clear indicators of a superior intelligence, whether that intelligence was the judeo-christian god or not was certainly up for debate, but physics and biology clearly pointed to an intelligent designer. The other Barbies would not listen to such nonsense. They felt that in our modern understanding of science and reason it was clear that we had evolved intellectually beyond archaic ideas of gods and spirits.
Sam was eleven. She was not a typical eleven-year-old girl. She had questions. Burning questions about God and life and it didn’t seem that her Sunday School teacher, Mrs. Shorburn, had much to say about any of it. In fact Mrs. Shorburn kindly informed Sam that she needn’t return to Sunday School class because she was confusing her classmates. She could certainly return once she overcame her doubts and learned to have faith.
Since Sam was no longer welcome in Sunday School, she began to do some reading. She read a bunch of her dad’s books. He was into theology and philosophy and stuff, but it seemed like he just did it for fun. When he talked with Sam about these things, she felt like, although he was very proud of her, he didn’t really care about finding the answers. Sam wanted to find the answers and it seemed like her dad’s books just created more questions.
As she pondered the meaning of existence with her Barbies she heard banging downstairs. It sounded like the commotion was coming from the kitchen. Sam went to the railing. A man was attacking her mother! Sam was terrified. She screamed before she knew what she was doing. The man snapped his head up immediately. His face looked terrible. It was covered in her mother’s blood, but something else was wrong with it. It appeared that the man had severe wounds on his face. Pieces of flesh had been ripped off his cheeks and there was an enormous gaping wound in his neck. This man was not alright.
As the man began to cross the room toward the stairs, knocking down anything in his way, as if it were not there at all, Sam ran back to her bedroom. She was crying and afraid. She was clear-minded enough to think to lock the door behind her. She did it just in time. As she turned the lock the man slammed into her door. She screamed “go away, please go away!” but the man kept trying to break through by brute force. The door was starting to splinter at the lock. Sam knew it wasn’t going to hold much longer. She couldn’t fight this man. He was a man, and she was just a little girl.
Sam ran to her closet, she knew that once he got in her room, it was only a matter of time before the man would find her and hurt her like he hurt her mom. She had no choice though. She couldn’t climb out the window, she was too high up. There was no way out of the room except by the man, the man who reminded her of a possessed man, like in the Bible, like the ones Jesus would cast the demons out of. Sam ran and shut herself in the closet just as the man broke open the door. She could hear him grunting and pacing around the room. She couldn’t move, couldn’t breath. She heard the man coming toward the closet. She let out a little yelp as she exhaled the breathe that she had been holding, and she knew he heard and she knew this would be the end. She would find out, very soon, the answers to all her burning questions, but at this moment she was actually quite content not to get these answers right away.
Then she heard a very loud sound. It sounded like an explosion and it hurt her ears. She didn’t know what it was, but then she heard her dad yelling for her, “Sam, Sammy baby, where are you?! Sam are you here?! It’s Daddy, I’m here, please Samantha tell me you’re here, tell me you’re ok!” Sam was in shock, she was afraid to open the door, afraid that this wasn’t her dad, maybe just a delusion her mind had manifested to help her deal with her fear. She tried to speak, but she couldn’t. She tried to stand but she couldn’t. She mustered all the courage within herself, reasoning that if this were a delusion she was going to die anyway, and she shot her leg forward.
Sam’s dad heard a small thud from the closet. He ran over. He didn’t know what was in there, if it were Sam or someone or something else. He called out to Sam again, “Sammy baby, are you in there? is that you?” Sam still couldn’t speak. She was too shocked by everything that had happened in the last, what was it, only five minutes maybe. Sam’s dad knew he heard the thud from the closet. He considered drawing his rifle, but worried that if Sam were in there he could never live with drawing his weapon on his precious baby girl. He held the gun at his side, loaded, with the safety off. He knew if it weren’t Sam he wouldn’t have time to draw it before he was attacked. He slowly opened the door, and there on the floor of the closet curled into a ball, was his little Samantha.