Seven-year-old boy was a bright child; he was intellectually superior to all his classmates and even some adults. His mother was always singing his praises to her friends and relatives, and his father, although somewhat subdued in expressing his affection physically, showed his son\'s appreciation by furnishing him with as many toys and gifts as Julian wanted.
Julian had extraordinary blue eyes, peachy cream complexion and pale golden hair, unlike his parents who were both dark haired and olive skinned due to their Mediterranean background. There was a family joke that Julian was not really their child but sent from God to enrich and fill their lives with joy, which he did. Little did they know they weren\'t far wrong just a little bit off course.
Julian had a little secret of his own.
Although Julian was different to other children, it was more a case of how different he was to the rest of the human race. His outer appearance was perfect, in fact too perfect. The only noticeable difference was his eyes. Although a vivid blue, they changed color when no one was around. First from the azure blue to a dark purple and then to a deep glowing red. This normally happened at night, when the family was asleep, and Julian could at last relax and be himself.
They say the eyes are the windows to the soul, and this is very true; for it is through the eyes that Satan can collect the souls of the innocent and punish the damned. Through Julian, Satan decided to use his innocent guise as the ultimate tool in which to collect unwitting souls. So far Julian had collected no less than 40 souls of children from his school by making them promise their souls to the devil in some form of a game so they had no idea that what they had promised was for real.
It was only until 25 of the children in question started falling deathly ill over a period of months that concerned teachers and parents called in doctors and researchers, but when no one could accurately pin point the cause for the children\'s coma-like state, one of the teachers, Rita Bainbridge, who in her free time studied and practiced the various healing methods of Wicca asked a colleague of hers to see the children, as she suspected that the illnesses could not wholly be scientifically explained.
Rita Bainbridge had worked at Julian\'s school for the last 3 years, and in that time she had noticed that Julian had a very profound effect on the other children. Whenever he spoke with them, they listened attentively, not like the normal bustling of seven-year-olds, but a quiet acknowledgement that what he was telling them was completely and utterly important. She would watch as they gathered at recess and huddled into two maybe three groups at a time, almost mirroring the gatherings of Jesus on his many pilgrimages.... yet this was far more sinister.
She had approached Julian one day to ask what it was he was telling them, but the look of sheer distain and refusal to part with any information made her physically back away.
She relayed all this information to her good friend and work colleague John True man, who was a part-time lecturer at the local university into the study of paranormal and psychic phenomena, as well as taking three classes a week in English for the 3rd graders.
Rita told John that the comatose children had no symptoms of illness prior to them falling into a coma. However, it seemed that there was no brain activity, and quite literally the children were just mere husks. Just bodies on life support machines with no hope of recovery. John decided to talk to this Julian kid, as it seemed he knew a lot more than he was letting on.
Julian sat uncomfortably in the leather seat in the headmaster\'s office. Opposite him sat the English teacher, Mr True man and Ms Bainbridge his class teacher. He already knew why they wanted to speak with him, and was already feel highly amused with this turn of events. He didn\'t expect them to connect him with the comas so soon, however he had suspicions that Bainbridge was a white witch and that his recent behaviour was making her antsy. They began questioning him about his odd behaviour with the other children and why the secrecy surrounding the whole situation. Julian politely but pointedly told them that they were only playing games, and there was nothing to tell. Both teachers\' facial expressions proved they didn\'t believe him.
After an hour of grilling Julian, they sent him back to class, none-the-wiser. Rita decided she and John should visit the hospital to see the ill children.
On arrival they knew immediately something was wrong. There were doctors running to and fro from the various wards that the comatose children were in. It seemed all 25 children that were in a coma had suddenly died, but the worst was to come.
On entering one of the wards, Rita and John noticed that one of the children on the bed had their eyes open yet the sockets were empty. All that remained were red weeping caverns where their eyeballs use to be. This appeared to be the case with every single one of the dead children. Rita let out a sob, and John felt suddenly queasy. It was as if someone had plucked their eyes out in the middle of the night!
Police milled around the beds, and a few of the nurses were bordering on hysteria. Their main concern was how they were going to explain to the parents what could have happened.
Rita decided to make a visit to Julian\'s parents.
Rita told Julian\'s parents that she was visiting all the parents at the school to see if any of the remaining children were showing signs of illness. Of course, she knew there was nothing wrong with Julian, but it was the only excuse she could think of to ask the questions she was going to ask.
Mrs. Luca was happy to answer anything Rita asked. However, Mr. Luca was not so forthcoming; it was as if he were hiding something. Rita discovered that Julian was actually born in Rome, and that on the night of his birth there was an eclipse with an alignment of planets not seen since the birth of Christ. Mrs. Luca was very religious and took this as a sign from God. However, Rita took it more as a sign from the devil.
She also learned that even when the Lucas immigrated to England when Julian was four, he immediately learnt the English language fluently, even though Mr. & Mrs. Luca\'s English was very limited at the time. There was also the child\'s appearance. Fair skin which caused a few raised eyebrows amongst the family. Rita asked Mrs. Luca if she could see Julian\'s room in case he may have brought something home that might cause him to become ill (another lie but she had to find out more).
Rita entered the room cautiously. It had a foreboding feel about it and didn\'t look like a child\'s room at all. Everything was in its place, neat tidy and almost unlived in, like he rarely spent time in here at all. There were no pictures on the wall, no toys, just books and books on every conceivable subject from ancient history to scientific journals.
She also noticed that there was a black rectangular box upon his night table, which when she tried to open it, was firmly locked. Mrs. Luca had never seen the box and didn\'t have a key, and when they both went in search of a screwdriver to wrench it open, Mr. Luca refused to comply.
That was another thing Rita found odd. Although the Lucas\' lived very comfortably, it seemed neither worked or had any business interests to explain their prosperous lifestyle. Could it be Mr. Luca was given certain perks in order to raise the son of Satan?
It was whilst Mrs. Luca and Rita were trying to open the black box with a stainless steel nail file that Julian appeared. Rita hadn\'t realized how long she had been at the Lucas\' home and was quite surprised when he pushed both Rita and his Mother away from the box. The situation was looking mighty dangerous, and by the color of Julian\'s eyes (which were changing from their bright blue to a dark glowing red) it seemed something was liable to kick off any second.
Before Rita knew it there was a hot blast of air as Julian\'s mouth gaped open to expel a searing blast of fiery flames from his mouth. Mrs. Lucas screamed, as the flames engulfed her, her body writhing in agony as her flesh melted before their very eyes. First her skin turned pink then livid red, then a putrid bubbly yellow, eventually turning to a crisp black. Her body slumped to the floor, twitching in its last throes of life.
Rita screamed and made a run for the door, but Julian was quicker and literally rushed ahead to the doorway blocking her path, again opening his mouth to release another deadly wave of deathly flames. Rita quickly ducked down, avoiding the sheet of flames, which jetted across the room then dispersed just as quickly.
Julian paused and then walked towards Rita who was crouching on the floor. He raised his hand in the direction of the crouching woman, and in doing so, raised Rita\'s body into an upright position. An invisible force kept Rita in a tight grip, unable to move her arms or legs. It was like a pair of giant hands was gripping her shoulders and upper legs, holding her directly in front of him. Rita closed her eyes expecting another wave of fire to engulf her and burn her to pulp like poor Mrs. Luca, but nothing came.
Julian had moved to the far corner of the room and picked up the black box. With a little smile on his lips he brought the box over to Rita\'s rigid body and began to open the lid in front of her face. There was a loud scream, piercing and horrific and it took Rita a moment to realize that it was her screams, her voice she heard - yet her mind was slipping into a darkness, her very being was slowly ebbing away. The last images she saw was the dozens of bloodied eye balls, congealed together in the dark wooden box, the eyes of the children, their souls gathered and stored, to be collected by Satan.
Rita slipped into unconsciousness but not before seeing Julian pick up the stainless steel nail file that was lying on the floor and begin to cut into her lovely eyes.