Marissa's mouth hung open. She wanted to scream, but no sound came out. She wanted to slam the window shut, but her arm wouldn't move. She wanted to turn and run, as far away from her room as possible. But she didn't know where to go. The thing would be in the room and upon her before she reached the door. Besides, her feet wouldn't have been able to move if she tried. She was frozen in fear.
Marissa swallowed hard. “H-how do you know my name?”
“Oh, we've met many times before. In your dreams, night after night. It's good to finally meet you in person.”
As she stared at the beast, with saliva dripping off its fangs, she suddenly knew who it was. “Marty? Is that you?”
The thing threw its head back and emitted a deep, slow laugh. “Marty is the name your subconscious gave me, child. My name is Ciz'que.”
Although still frightened, Marissa was beginning to regain her senses somewhat. She knew this creature from her dreams, although she knew him as Marty. He was frightening then, but not overtly hostile, and she felt that if she could defeat him in her sleep, she could defeat him here, in the real world.
“What do you want?” she asked.
“My name, child—my true name—means 'Bringer of Souls'. I want your soul.”
Marissa thought about this a moment, then snapped, “Well, you can't have it!”
Ciz'que seemed to take a step back, apparently shocked at the audacity of this child. After a moment, he brought his head through the open window, stopping centimetres from Marissa's face. Marissa's gaze met his, and she found herself unable to move or speak, transfixed by the creature's glowing yellow eyes.
The beast opened its gigantic maw and breathed hot, fetid breath into Marissa's face. The stench was terrible, unlike anything Marissa had ever experienced before. But as she was no longer entranced by Ciz'que's eyes, Marissa was able to think quickly. She reached out her left hand and felt for the letter opener that she knew lay on her writing desk. Finding it just within arm's reach, she grabbed it and plunged it into Ciz'que's open maw.
The creature screamed and stepped back. It swiped out at Marissa's face with a heavy claw, running three deep gashes along her cheek, causing her to crash to the floor. Ciz'que reached into his mouth, removed the letter opener and examined it. Blood dripped off the blade. He tossed it away, and leapt all the way through into the room.
Ciz’que's massive frame covered Marissa on the floor, and once again she found herself unable to move.
“And now,” he said, “your soul.”
Ciz’que’s yellow orb-eyes filled Marissa's consciousness. Nothing else existed for her. She opened her mouth to scream—a whooshing sound came out instead. And with it, out streamed a long, black trail.
Marissa felt a sensation not unlike a string of mucus being pulled from her nostrils, leaving her empty inside.
An instant later, she was the stream. She looked back at the empty shell that was her body, and at the demon standing before it. She looked ahead, and saw nothing but blackness; blackness that she was rushing towards at an incredible pace. She didn't feel afraid, but she didn't feel peace, either. As she felt herself, her soul, leaving her body, Marissa felt... nothing.