This is After The End: King’s Kid

I’ve always wondered what the Devil is like, and I know that’s a weird thing for a twelve-year-old kid to think about, but the only reason such thoughts occupy my mind is because I have a crazy suspicion that I live with the person who taught Lucifer all he knows. Like, if the Devil was the Karate Kid, then Tate King would be Mr. Miyagi.

My cousin Tate came to live with us about eight months ago. At first glance, she’s a sweet little golden haired thirteen-year-old who’s had to deal with a lot of things in her short life, and once you know how she grew up, you’ll be filled with nothing else but empathy for her for what she’s had to go through. Her thoughtful silverish-gray eyes are enough to win anyone over, and she has a face that would fit into any of Leonardo Da Vinci’s paintings as one of the little angels, surrounding Mary and disciples and all them. But the moment my parents and any other elders leave, that angel face of hers, although not physically, counter morphs into a devilish one, and her mind is drenched with nothing but malevolence.

“Whatcha doing?” She asks as she enters my room. She can clearly see that my little brother Halley and I are playing video games, but that only means that she’s going to find a way to make us not be playing video games before long.

“Oh nothing, just working on a rocket to send you to Saturn,” I say to her with a sarcastic smile, before turning back to Arckion 4. I know I shouldn’t be starting her this early in the morning, but it really doesn’t make a difference if I or she goes first. It never ends well. For me.

“Okay, that’s cool,” she replies, and then leaves the room. It’s only after like ten seconds when I realize there is no multi-purpose cleaner in my eyes or fire ants in my hair that it strikes me. She came to my room and left without doing anything.


Not at all? She’s probably – no; she’s indubitably up to something. I can feel it. I put down my joystick and start heading towards the door. I’m gonna find out what it is she’s scheming, and thwart it before it can get fully blown.

“Ummm…….dude? Are you forgetting the rules? You can’t just….leave in the middle of a game! Where are you even going?” My naïve, eleven-year-old little brother asks.

“Tate’s up to something. I can feel it,” I start looking around at the walls with a distorted expression on my face as if they are soon gonna be crawling with maggots.

“You’re letting her get in your head, man. Let it go so that we can finish this level and go on to the next one.” My brother can be a little too trusting at times, but I know better. I’m going to be a step ahead of Tate this time. I won’t let her soak my underpants in hot pepper like she did last week. I went through the whole school day feeling like there was lava around my…..tenders. And then I should sit back while she does something worse this time? Oh no, not on my watch.

“Just…..just stay here and stand guard, will you?” I say. I tip-toe through the corridor to her room, doing my best not to make a sound. I then slowly open the door and take a peek. After a quick inspection, I see that she isn’t there, but I listen a little closer for a few seconds, just to listen for her breathing. She’s a sneaky one, that. She could be concocting a potion under her bed or something……okay maybe I am being a little paranoid, but I wouldn’t rule out her drifting into the dark arts, just to make my life a little more miserable. Sure, her room maybe mushily embellished with a sweet pink smokescreen, randomly dashed with flowers and posters of princesses, and finished with all the adorable-yes, I said adorable-teddies that she has so meticulously arranged on her bed. It’s all part of the façade. Behind all of it, behind the girly shoes, glittering tiaras and glamorous Barbie houses, is evil. Pure evil. I’ll be damned if I let her latest plot come to fruition; even angels fear what would happen if she was allowed to roam unrestrained.

After searching each room of the house, twice, rather than be reassured that nothing could be wrong, I am only more certain. Where could she be? What could she possibly be up to? I’ve come out as far as the street, and I look in both directions examining each house. Maybe she’s spreading her tyranny to the rest of the neighborhood. Good. The more people know how crazy she is, the less crazy I’ll sound when I try to tell my parents for the umpteenth time that she’s far less than a saint.

Unfortunately, my resolve has faltered; I’ve gone up and down the road, inspecting each house (without invading anyone’s privacy, of course) and there’s no sign of her. There’s no smoke anywhere and there aren’t any kids squealing in pain. I’ll just have to admit that she could simply have gone for extra lessons or something………not! I can only brace myself for what horror it’s going to be now. I start making my way back to the house when I see my brother walking to me. Oh no! The deed has already been done!

“Kyre, what’s up?” He asks, “I’ve been looking everywhere for you. Where’s the wood?”

“What wood?” I ask, raising my hands to my mouth and getting more alarmed each instant.

“For the doghouse…….? Tate told me-“

“Oh no! Dude! Duuuuuuude!!!! I told you to stand guard! What – we don’t even have a-“ I can’t finish my sentence. There’s not a moment to lose. I start running back to the house, every moment that passes each with its own picture of what Tate could have done, and after a short while, I don’t even want to contemplate it anymore. I burst into the lounge and make a beeline for our room, just hoping and praying that nothing is wrong. I swing the door open and take a quick stock check, then I see it. A dust free patch on the table in front of the TV.

My gaming console is gone.




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