The man turned to walk away. But before he took a single step, he spunaround and leaned forward, hissing at me, “Ssiiixxx HhuunnndrredTthhiirrrttteennn.” The excruciatingly slow pace and awkward enunciationhe placed on the syllables sent a murderous chill through me.I went home.I thought about the number.He had said 613 was prime. I knew what a prime number was – an integer with no divisors except itself and one. I knew what a square was too, andsoon found that 19 = 361. But I had to do a little research on the Internet to
find that 16*(16+1)/2 = 136, a triangular number.Then I made my first mistake.I spoke the number 613 aloud.I was glad my girlfriend wasn’t home.My house started shaking as if an earthquake were bringing it down. I ranto the kitchen and grabbed the table trying to hold myself up. I becamedizzy and fell to the ground. I saw hundreds of ball bearings shooting and bouncing all around the room. I grunted as they slammed into me. Then ared clay pot formed in the next room and began spewing thick green liquidin erratic bursts. The green goo covered my entire body and it smelled likesewage and pond scum.Lying on my back, trying to brush the stuff off and still protect myself, Inoticed a crack form in the wall. A demon with a black crocodile-like headand fierce yellow eyes with a white plume of feathers above them dripping blood burst through the wall and roared at me. I turned my head away fromthe demon and felt total fear assault my mind. But it didn’t do any good.Everywhere I looked and whatever I focused on, the same demon wouldtear out of a crack and scream at me. After shutting my eyes and waiting fora few minutes, the demon disappeared. Out of the walls in its place, animaland human eyes popped out and fell to the ground. Large hands formed outof the floorboards and grabbed my wrists and ankles. Finally somethingshot from the wall – probably a hammer – and struck me in the middle of the forehead.I blacked out.The next thing I remember is my girlfriend shaking me awake.“Are you all right, Max? Are you okay?” she said.