Balthazar

Balthazar is a scary story about a single mother who notices that something is very wrong with her children.

Balthazar

I’m a single mother. My husband left me a few years ago for another woman. Ever since then, I have been raising our two sons alone. Eric is 8 years old and Andrew is just 6.

The other day, I was in the kitchen preparing dinner. I saw Andrew in the backyard. He was playing football with someone, but I couldn’t see who it was. All I could see was Andrew kicking the ball and someone else was kicking it back to him. I assumed it was his brother Eric.

I was startled when I heard footsteps coming down the stairs and Eric came in and sat down at the table. I wondered who Andrew was playing with. My children are not allowed to invite anyone into the house without my permission, so I called Andrew to come in for dinner.

Annoyed, I asked him, “What were you doing?”

“I was playing with my friend,” he replied.

“What friend?” I asked. “You know you are not allowed to invite anyone over without permission…”

“No Mom, my friend from the tree,” he said. “He likes to fly…”

Irritated, I told him to stop making things up. Andrew insisted it was true. He said his friend didn’t want to come inside the house, because he might scare me. I realized he must have an imaginary friend, so I started asking questions.

“What’s your friend’s name?” I asked.

“Balthazar, Mom.”

“And where does he live?”

“I don’t know,” he replied, “but he always comes to play…”

“What kind of games do you play?”

“All sorts of games. He always comes down from the tree and he asks me if I want to fly like him.”

At that moment I felt a shiver run through my body. I heard the sound of laughter coming from the backyard. I got up to see who it was, but when I peered out the window, I couldn’t see anyone.

“It’s him, Mom,” said Andrew. “He’s waiting for me to come out and play.”

For some reason, this unnerved me. I suppose I wanted to prove to myself that this Balthazar wasn’t real, so I told Andrew to invite him in to have dinner with us.

Without saying anything, Andrew got up and walked over to the door. He beckoned with his hand, then came back and sat down at the table again.

I looked at the doorway, helf-expecting to see someone come in, but there was no one.

“Stop staring at the door, Mom,” Andrew said. “He’s already here.”

I told Andrew to stop playing around and started to scold him. Eric began to chuckle. Then, the chuckling got louder and turned into cackling laughter. It sent a chill down my spine.

I scolded Eric, but he wouldn’t stop. His cackling just grew louder and louder. It sounded evil and malicious.

“I told you not to play with Eric,” said Andrew.

Eric could not stop laughing and Andrew just sat there calmly eating his dinner. I shouted at Eric and told him to stop playing around.

All of a sudden, he stopped laughing and grabbed my hand. Then, in a deep, rasping voice, he said, “You also want to fly?” Then, he burst into that ghoulish laughter again.

I was so disturbed by his behavior that I left the room and went upstairs to calm down. I don’t know why, but his laughter sent chills down my spine. It was unsettling. I could still hear it coming from the kitchen.

After a while, everything was silent. When I went downstairs again, the boys were back to normal, playing video games on the TV.

The next day, I left work early. By the time the children returned home from school, I was already preparing dinner. Everything seemed normal. I told the boys to wash their hands and when they sat down at the table, I served their meals. Every seemed normal… until I asked my sons what had happened the day before.

Eric’s face was blank. He didn’t seem to remember anything about it.

“Balthazar was eating with us,” Andrew said casually.

“But Balthazar never came to sit at the table,” I said.

“He did, Mom,” Andrew insisted.

“Are you sure?” I asked. “Why didn’t I see him?”

“Mom, you told me to invite Balthazar to dinner and I did what you said…”

“What do you and Balthazar do together?” I asked.

“When Balthazar comes to play with me, he flies down from the tree,” he said. “We play games, but sometimes he gets angry because he doesn’t like losing. That’s when he lets me fly and he just stays on the ground, playing alone…”

When I heard those words, my skin began to crawl.

Then I asked Andrew about what happened yesterday when his brother started laughing…

“Balthazar came into the house yesterday, but he was angry because he doesn’t like Eric… So he let Eric fly and he ate with us…”

“And do you remember flying, Eric?” I asked.

“No Mom,” Eric replied. “I just remember I was eating and you were sitting at the table. Then, I closed my eyes and when I opened them, you were upstairs in your room…”

I felt sick to my stomach. I was finally beginning to understand what he was saying. This Balthazar had possessed my son Eric right in front of my eyes…

“Andrew, who is this Balthazar?” I demanded.

“Mom… Remember those two children who were burned up in the fire?”

When he said that, the blood ran cold in my veins.

“Yes,” I answered hoarsely.

Years ago, in a house not far from where we lived, a whole family had been killed. The house had been set on fire and it burned to the ground. All they found afterwards were charred remains. But that all happened a long time ago, before my sons were even born. How could they know about it?

“Well, the boy is Balthazar,” Andrew said.

“Who told you about that fire?” I demanded. “Was it the other children in school?”

“No, it was Balthazar,” Andrew said. “Sometimes at night, he comes down from the trees and he just stands there very still, watching you while you sleep. I keep telling him you don’t like being stared at, but he doesn’t listen…”

My stomach was churning and I felt like I was going to throw up.

“What did he tell you about the fire?” I managed to croak.

“He told me one night he heard noises in his house and they woke him up. And when he peeked out the door of his room he saw his dad lying dead on the ground. And then he heard a scream and he saw two men cutting his mother’s throat. He said he and his sister ran and hid in the closet and they were really scared. After a while they didn’t hear anything outside, but they were still afraid to leave. Then they smelled smoke and they couldn’t see and it started getting really hot… And the last thing he remembered before he fell asleep, was that his whole body was on fire…”

After hearing this, I was speechless… I’ve never been so scared in my life… And the worst thing is, my children don’t know what is happening… Since then, I haven’t been able to sleep a wink… I don’t know what to do… I need help… My children are being possessed and how can I sleep knowing that a dead child is watching intently at my bedside?

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