Fiction that explores the monsters and strangers among us.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hags Episode 2


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Cold, wet grass tickled his bare feet as he ran to the end of the yard. In the darkness he couldn’t find a gate. Feeling with his hands, he realized he had purchased a home with a fenced in yard and no gate.

Can’t jump over in my bare feet and underwear. Break an ankle. Scratch my legs. Slip and do much worse. Not using the family jewels for anything anyway. Still the pain would be insufferable.

Micah turned the lights on in the kitchen where the apparition continued chewing her raw meat. He screamed. After a frozen moment, he ran to the downstairs hallway where he threw the light switches on for the downstairs entrance area and the upstairs hall. He also turned on the light in his back bedroom.

He slipped on a pair of faded blue jeans and sneakers without the socks. He checked the time on his cell phone. Two-thirty-eight. He ran back downstairs, out the front door, around to the alley and the parking lot.

At the dumpster with the damaged lid, he touched the wrist of the arm hanging out. It was cold, feminine, and petite. He hesitated before taking the cell phone out of his pocket. Not certain his Arizona phone number would connect to a local nine-one-one line, he punched four-one-one and asked the operator for the police.

If I phone, they’ll respect that I called. Like that means anything in DuPage County. At least, I’m not hallucinating.

In less than a minute, a police car pulled up close to the dumpster with its lights flashing. A uniformed officer stepped out of the car and shined a flashlight into Micah’s face. The sudden brightness flooded Micah with a litany of bad memories.

“You the one who called?” The officer kept the light in Micah’s face.

Micah raised his hand to shade his eyes. “Yeah. See?” He pointed to the dumpster with his finger about two inches from the girl’s dead hand.

The officer touched the girl’s wrist.

“I… I… couldn’t find a pulse.” Micah backed away to make more room for the officer.

“You touched her?”

“To check for a pulse.”

The officer opened the lid. Micah hit the ground butt first and hard. The intense pain shooting through his posterior kept him from passing out.

The officer shined his light down on Micah. “You okay?”

“Didn’t expect that.” Micah swiped at the puddle soaking his bottom. He stood up.

“Sorry. I wasn’t either. Guess you didn’t find a pulse.” The officer punched a button on his communicator and spoke to his dispatch in the language of authority.

Micah leaned down to pet a black cat snuggled against him. The cat smelled of damp fur and blood.

Micah waited. He backed away a distance to avoid the police chatter, but he couldn’t escape the hideous noise. Nor could he explain the huge puddle of blood flowing like a river from under the dumpster with red cat paw prints leading away from it.

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