This is part 4 of 4, you can find the other parts of this story here. *** Nate jolted awake and flung himself off of his bed. He was
This is part 4 of 4, you can find the other parts of this story here.
Nate jolted awake and flung himself off of his bed. He was stilled clothed.
The room he spent his entire life in didn’t feel like his own, and there was no mistaking that it was a prison created by the ghostly creature haunting his life. Though for how long things would continue this way, there was no telling. The pictures of Dad held his gaze. He searched each of them, then found a picture with him, his sister, and mother, about a year before Dad died. His mother and sister had been consumed by the malevolent being.
Nate crumpled to the floor, nauseous. The room shook and the choir of flies sang again. A knock at the door sent a chill into his very bones.
“Nate, are you okay?” Mary asked from the other side of the door.
“Well, okay. Breakfast is almost done.”
“Be down soon.”
Nate couldn’t hear her footsteps, even though he usually could. She was probably still at the door. His gaze went to the closet, and his thoughts went to the metal bat just beyond the sliding door. The nausea didn’t seem to want to let up, so he laid down and hoped the nightmare would end.
Gradually, the nausea did ease with the scent of food. He despised the idea of going downstairs. There wasn’t any real reason, aside from hunger. Maybe he’d eat in his room.
He rose up from the floor and stood at the door. With any luck it would open up somewhere else, he wished.
It wasn’t to be.
The hallway, devoid of flies, seemed like the path to another trap—or part of his cozy prison. The tension sure didn’t decrease with each step down, but the instinct to eat was equal in measure. Mom and Mary cast concerned gazes at him.
“You look pale, hon,” Mom said.
“I just don’t feel too hot. I’ll take it up to my room.”
Mary held out his plate, and he took it with a shaky hand. She had a baby bump he’d never seen before. It took every bit of his focus to make it back to his room. The tension and twisting in his stomach eased.
He knew the daylight would run its course, and the flies would sing again. He could hear the phantom echoes in his skull.
“Nate?” Mom’s voice came from beyond the door.
“I’m just checking on you. Did you eat?”
“Okay.” There was a pause. “Well, Mary isn’t feeling too good now. Something is definitely going around.”
“It’s that season again.”
A small black dot whizzed around, then landed on the picture frame of all four of them.
“I’ll be making my rounds. Holler if you need anything, okay?”
Nate sat up on his bed and just stared at the fly. It flittered its wings and remained on the frame, still. His gaze shifted from the fly to the window and back. It had to be late afternoon. He shifted, then laid down.
From beyond his scope of vision a fly buzzed around in chaotic spirals before landing on the ceiling. The erratic flittering of its wings broke the silence. Nate was then aware of his heartbeat, which blended with the sound of the fly’s wings.
The sound of breaking glass and clanking metal shook him from his daze. Without a thought, he leapt from his bed and rushed downstairs. Mary clutched her belly as she stood in the shallow puddle of fluid amidst a swarm of flies. Through the gaps he could see pale pink trails of fluid running down her bare legs.
“It’s coming,” she said as she smiled, while supporting herself against the counter.
She let out grunts as she pushed. More fluid seeped from her, down her legs. The flies coalesced at her feet and formed a writhing, buzzing, dark mass.
Mary let out pleasured moans. “Oh, god it’s so close.”
Nate couldn’t move, his nerves frozen solid, but his blood hot with rage and disgust. He walked through the swarm and around Mary to the kitchen counter.
“Get some towels, please,” Mary asked in a mix of pleasure and pain.
His eyes focused on the knives, then above it, where the cleaver was held up on the wall by a magnet. Automatically, he reached into the drawer below where the knife block was, took two handfuls of towels, and held them out for Mary. She shook her head.
“Hold them under me to catch it. You should be the first to hold him.”
The words echoed in his skull. Numbness set in, and he moved without thinking. The only thoughts that remained were dulled. Nate unfolded several towels and held them under Mary. The fluid was darker. Mary hiked up her dress: part of the gray sphere protruded from her. Her hand came down and touched the top of what was coming from her.
“Grab. . . grab the head,” she said.
Nate reached out with a clothed hand, grasped the thing, and pulled.
It came out without much effort. Nate caught it before it struck the mass of flies on the floor. Mary collapsed, breathing heavily.
He smiled and laughed as he gazed at the writhing, gray semi-human creature in his arms. It had a human head and face, arms, but there were no legs. The lower half was a wiggling, segmented appendage.
“Call…Mom,” Mary said, breathless.
Nate couldn’t help but stare at the thing in his arms and smile. He saw so much of himself in the gray, writhing thing. After a moment, he placed it on the mass of flies, stood up and went to the counter. His hand reached out and grasped the meat cleaver. He laughed.
The heat of rage pulsated in his veins; his head pounded with each beat of his heart. This phantom’s game needed to end. He didn’t know what was real any longer.
Mary shook her head. “No, don’t. Please?”
He stood above her, raised the cleaver over his head and swung down. The blade cut through the flesh of her arm and scraped against the bone. The cleaver’s blade blurred with each swing. Mary’s arms couldn’t support her as she tried to crawl away.
Kill the bitch, he thought.
Nate dropped the cleaver, took the umbilical cord in hand, straddled her, and wrapped the cord around her neck.
She went limp and silent, a string of saliva dangled from the corner of her mouth. A few flies landed on her face.
A scream overcame the buzzing flies. Mom stood in the middle of the family room, a plastic bag at her feet. Nate took the cleaver and rushed to her. He cut through her shirt and into her skin, scrapping the bone beneath. She fell to the floor in a heap. The blade cut into the side of her neck. Nate snatched her hair, pulled, and slashed her throat. Mom clenched her neck, then collapsed face down.
Nate stared at the cleaver, somewhat satisfied. His belly jiggled, and he laughed. The flies wasted no time swarming over the new corpse. He sauntered over to Mary, raised the blade over his head, and swung it down on her head. Half of the blade stuck into her skull. He tried to pull out the blade but met with resistance. He used his foot to hold her down and pulled the blade out.
Then his focus shifted to the larva-like thing. He wanted to run. Her wanted to burn the whole fucking house down. All he could do was laugh. Nate raised his foot and stomped down on the creature. Its body gave way with a crunch. Chunks of green, slimy strings sprayed all over the floor, and gushed between his toes.
There was enjoyment in the wet sound. But even more in the thought of that thing burning to nothing but ashes.
Plenty of cardboard in the basement. Matches in the cabinet above the sink.
He rushed into the basement, gathered the boxes from under the stairs, scurried back to the kitchen, and placed them all around.
His gaze shifted to the outlets on the walls. Nate took several of the boxes and put them under the socket. Then he took the matches from the cabinet and struck two at a time until the cardboard caught flame.
The medicine cabinet has alcohol in it, he thought. Nate found three bottles of rubbing alcohol, one opened. He splashed the liquid on the flames, which thanked him with a roar and by spreading to the cabinets.
The sound of sparks was a bit tricky to hear, but they were there. Several flies got caught in the small but growing fire. The socket sputtered and sparks shot out in all directions. The cabinets were then slowly but surely consumed.
Smoke filled the room, and Nate moved into family room, but he kept his gaze on the thing when the flames took it. He laughed and jumped; adrenaline pumped through him.
It wasn’t long before the flames took Mary.
The carpet took to the flames like a lover. He rushed out of the house. The sound of breaking glass pierced the wintry silence; black smoke billowed out and upward. Through the window he watched the flames eat and grow.
Eventually, the second floor caught fire. The glass shattered from the heat, and smoke gushed out of the openings. He couldn’t make sense of the scent, though he imagined it was those three things burning away. A few moments later, ash fell from above. Nate extended his arms outward.