He’d always been a logical man.
It started out as something of a coping mechanism. When his mother went off on her schizophrenic rants, he retreated by analyzing just where her arguments failed. When his wife’s bipolar disorder led to increasingly irrational decisions, he handled out by pointing out the flaws and bringing her back to Earth.
It didn’t always work on his teenage daughter, but he could deal with that.
When his wife began to speak of The Tall Man, he discarded her ramblings as just a product of overexposure to Lovecraft and bad horror movies.
When she didn’t stop speaking of it, his logic failed him.
Such a being could not exist. All known laws of reality said it was impossible. This could not be real.
He continued to say that as the abomination plunged its tentacles into his mind.
And he realized he’d been wrong.
Now, there was only one logical course of action. Contain his wife, dispose of his daughter, and be another servant of Him.
When his daughter escaped, taking his wife with her, he felt a little part of him break. He’d failed. Beaten by an 18-year-old girl and her sick mother. This was intolerable.
So he set out to find them.
It wasn’t that hard, when he tried. The network of souls enslaved to Him allowed him to track them down quickly enough. He felt no fear, no doubt, nothing but cold logic and allegiance to Him. What more did he need?
His daughter barely put up a fight.
He returned successful, his wife nearly out of her already-fragile mind with terror, his daughter bloody and unconscious in the back seat of the car. She was locked into her room, while his wife was turned over to Him. Some distant piece in the back of his mind quivered at what He would do to his wife, but that was not for him to know. His wife didn’t even scream as she faced Him, only stood there with face set in stone. He didn’t stay to watch.
The hours passed as he stood watch outside his daughter’s door, waiting for new orders. They came as a whisper in his thoughts. she may have the same. bring her.
He opened his daughter’s door.
And there she was. Staring at him. Brown eyes wide and eerily calm.
“Are you going to kill me, Daddy?”
“Dad, I know…I know you’re a proxy, I know you can’t help me, but I still love you anyway. And I know that something in you still loves me.”
It was like coming out of a fog.
“Hurry.” She blinked once, then nodded and grabbed her backpack. He led her down the stairs, each step like leaping across a canyon. Whispers were filling his mind, his breath hurt, anger pulsed around him like the heartbeat of a god. He stumbled as he made his way to his desk, where her wallet and keys were locked in a drawer. Words tumbled out of his mouth, something about transferring money and getting out of town. They made it outside before he shuddered to a stop.
There was fire.
Burning, death, terror, screaming, his daughter racing back to him, him pushing her away, yelling at her to go, run, don’t look back, don’t look back, you’ll die, it’s too late for me, go. She hesitated, and he shouted it again. She was crying, but she ran.
And He was here.
As His rage slammed into him with the force of a sun and the pain tore his body to pieces, one free thought lingered in his mind.
It was the logical thing to do.