The spell should have lasted until the ends of the Earth, until the sun burned out and life ceased to exist on this planet, but seven-year-old Tamara didn't know that. All Tamara knew was that she had found a book of witch's spells hidden in the backyard of their new home. Tamara's father was installing a pool into their hundred year old plot, and excavation dug up a box with an worn out, leather-bound book inside.
"Dad, can I have it?" Tamara asked with excitement when her father was about to throw it into the garbage can.
"Are you sure," her father said. "It looks like it’s about to fall apart."
"It looks so cool."
When Tamara took the book from her father she felt a surge of power run through her fingers. Something had changed, instantly, and she practically floated to her room with the book in hand. Her fingers traced the circular emblem etched into the leather cover. She opened to the first few pages and came across a series of drawings and poems that sounded like spells. Tamara was fascinated.
She took the book everywhere with her. She took it to school, to the breakfast table, out to the backyard, and to the playground - the same playground where Jeremiah was buried.
Tamara didn't understand the phrases as she read the words out loud, but she said them with pure conviction, as if it meant something true to her. Although she was only pretending to be a witch, the spell she recited that released soul snatchers from their captivity was all too real. Jeremiah was about to come out and play.
Upon mouthing the last word, as Tamara sat crisscross at the corner of the swings section, she felt the playground floor begin to rumble. In a blur of torn-up rubber and concrete, in the scramble of parents and children running and screaming for their lives, up from the playground floor, a creature was rising slowly into the air.
It was a skinny little boy, not older than ten, dressed in raggedy black clothing, with jet black hair and red glowing eyes. Blood and dirt covered his face. He was floating supernaturally above ground with his knees slightly bent and his arms up and out sideways. His eyes scanned the crowd of parents and children who were frozen in a state of shock. His face was angry, bitter, and when he opened his mouth to speak everyone took a step backwards.
“Which one of you read the spell?” he said slowly, carefully, and loudly for everyone to hear.
Jeremiah heard Tamara gasp behind him. In a heartbeat, he aimed his body towards her and darted in her direction. When his hands reached Tamara’s chest, he disappeared and Tamara fainted onto the playground floor.
Later, the police arrived and the accounts of the witnesses were all similar. Everyone felt a loud rumbling, like a small earthquake, and then the playground floor cracked open. That’s all. No one remembers Jeremiah, or what he said, or that he attacked Tamara and made her faint.
Ever since the day of the Playground Sink Hole, as the news reporters called the event, Tamara’s father noticed a solemnness befall his daughter. Tamara was less exuberant, less talkative, and no longer played in her room, at the playground, or with her toys. In fact, she did nothing but stare out the window of her bedroom. He thought the change was due to the drama from the deadly playground incident, so he ignored it and hoped time would heal her emotional wounds.
But it wasn't the drama in the playground that changed Tamara’s demeanor. In fact, Tamara was no longer in control of her mind. Jeremiah now lived in Tamara’s body, planning, waiting, looking for the opportunity to begin his reign of terror. The soul snatcher has returned with an unquenchable hunger for the souls of innocent children.
And this time, no witch is going to stop him.