Sitting on the bed Kyle listened to the floorboards creaked and groaned as the woman moved around downstairs. His mind raced trying to come up with a plan of escape. Cracking his knuckles he looked around the room. The teddy bears lining the walls stared at him, their beady eyes picking at his mind, trying to figure him out. A gunshot rung out in the distance, followed by two more. It didn’t sound too far, but he couldn’t tell for sure.
He hurried to the window and looked out. Below them in the streets creatures shuffled around like animals. No growling for the first time and Kyle wasn’t sure why. They seemed at peace as they moved down the deserted street. Not a single one even turned toward the house he occupied.
A knock at the door froze Kyle.
“Kyle?” Anna asked as she opened the door.
He let out a sigh and walked toward her. “You okay?”
“No.” Something’s wrong here. The room I was in was decorated for a girl. Frilly sheets and everything.”
“I know, look at this place.” He said sweeping his hand across the room.
“Kids!” The woman called up. “It’s time for bed.”
They both looked outside. The sun still high in the sky. It had to be no later than noon. When they both turned to each other they had the same look, time to leave.
“How do you want to do this?” She asked him moving away from the door as the woman plodded up the steps.
Kyle braced himself as the doorknob turned.
The door opened and the woman stood in the opening. Her eyes squinted in anger. “What are you two doing in the same room? You know that isn’t allowed. There is no fornicating here.”
Kyle glared at her.
“We weren’t going to do anything, we were just talking.”
“That’s what she said last time.” The woman moved forward with uncanny speed and grabbed Anna’s arm. She pulled Anna close and screamed in her face. “Then you are going to tell me that my wonderful boy got you knocked up. You skanks are always the same.”
Anna tugged against the woman, but her frail body seemed like a vice.
Shaking out of his shock by her speed, Kyle tried to pry the woman’s hands off of Anna.
“Son. Don’t do this. You don’t know what you are doing. This woman is a harlot.” The woman screamed at him. Hot saliva smacking Kyle in the face. Veins bulged at her temples, her breathing sped up and she released Anna.
Anna tumbled against the dresser, knocking the lamp crashing to the floor. She shrieked.
Still flailing, the woman slapped and scratched Kyle across the face. He recoiled and the woman lunged at him. She attacked more relentless than any of the creatures that Kyle had faced. Her nails lashing him numerous times, stinging cuts sprung up. His terror slowly turned to anger as he shoved the woman off of him. She tripped and fell on her butt.
“Tommy, what are you doing?” The woman asked, confusion and sadness lingered in her eyes.
“Who’s Tommy?” Anna asked.
The woman didn’t look at Anna but started to get up. “Tommy, don’t you leave your mommy like this. I love you.”
Unsure of what game she was playing, he stood his ground as she straightened up. The anger had completely faded from her face. Her hair had dropped around her face, framing it like a lion’s mane. She reached out for Kyle. “Tommy. Please don’t leave me again. You’ve been gone so long. I will make your favorite dinner.”
Kyle looked to Anna for help, but she didn’t have any. This crazy woman had turned into a completely different one. The woman’s cold hands caressed Kyle’s face as she cried. “Tommy, will you stay please.”
Kyle nodded and stepped back. “Sure thing Mama.” Hoping to play along to get her to go away.
A grin spread across the woman’s face, her yellow, decaying teeth shining out behind her thin lips. “Thank you. Now will you go say hi to your sister, she’s been wanting to see you since you came home.”
Kyle took the woman’s hand into his. “Where is she?”
“In her room at the end of the hall.” The woman said and began to leave the room. “I’ll show you. Come on.”
Kyle turned to Anna and mouthed. “Get out while I have her distracted.”
Anna shook her head.
The woman turned to Kyle. “Excuse me?”
“Nothing Mama.” He lied and followed her down the hall. At the door, he looked back to the room, and Anna had begun to sneak down the steps. Good.
The woman opened the door for Kyle and the smell almost knocked him out as it slammed him in the face. Before this nightmare had begun he wouldn’t have known what it was. Now he knew for sure. Death.
“Come on Tommy. She’s looking forward to seeing you again.” The woman clutched his hand tight and led him inside.
His eyes and nose revolted and began to run. He wished he could join them, but needed to buy Anna some time.
The room was a typical teenager room of the 80’s. Posters of rock bands lined the walls. A mirror was covered in yellowing pictures of her friends during the time period. The bed was neatly done, like it was made every day. In the corner of the room, looking out the window was a girl, or used to be at least. Her hair has mostly fallen out, leaving only small patches of brown. Her once fair skin had turned to wrinkled, brown sludge.
The woman approached the chair. “Ginger, Tommy’s back.” She turned the chair toward
Kyle and his face must have turned clear as he couldn’t believe what he saw. It was worse than any of the creatures. This girl had been dead for at least a year, maybe more. Her eye sockets were empty, where her lips used to be was a crooked line of lipstick. A golden chain with a cross slid around the decayed flesh. The only thing that moved on her was her snapping jaw.
If Kyle could have bolted he would have, but the woman watched him with a keen eye. He only had to buy a few minutes. “Hi sis.”
The girl snapped at him. When she moved, her silk dress, maybe a prom dress, made a sickening slurping sound like wet paper slapping against wood. She couldn’t see him, otherwise he would have ran. He followed the gaze down to floor and noticed that the girl’s legs were missing.
“What happened to you sis, you used to be such a great dancer.” Kyle’s mind raced for any sort of escape.
“Tommy don’t be rude. You remember the accident.”
Kyle searched the room for an answer and saw it. A newspaper dated last year. He remembered the story. A young girl was going to prom with her drunken boyfriend and they got in an accident, flipping the car into a creek. The boyfriend lived, but the girl died because her legs were pinned underneath the car. She drowned. They assumed because the body vanished before the autopsy could be performed.
Kyle looked at the woman and took a shaky step backwards. “Mama, I’m going to go grab a snack, so me and Ginger can catch up, you mind?”
The woman grinned, oblivious to Kyle as he turned to leave. She played with the girl’s brown tuffs of hair.
Kyle snuck down the hall until he reached the steps then bolted down them in a hurry. He reached the bottom of the steps only to find Anna standing by the door. As he turned the corner, he had begun to ask her what was going on, but found the man had his rifle aimed at her. He hadn’t noticed him yet.
What should Kyle do?