Drip, Drip, Drip…
The sound filled Xavier’s head as he slowly woke to find himself on the ground in his backyard. The closer he came back into reality, the more his body filled with dread. He opened his eyes and instantly his head ached like nothing he had ever felt before. He shut his eyes quickly and welcomed the darkness yet again. He dared not move knowing that if just opening his eyes hurt that badly, he most likely wouldn’t want to try anything drastic like standing.
The dripping, more ominous than just a leaky faucet, served a constant reminder that whatever terrible thing had put Xavier in this situation was nearby and yet just out his mental reach. Struggling to bring any memories to the forefront, Xavier squeezed his eyes tighter and hoped that a glimmer of hope would find its way through. The harder he tried, the blurrier the memories got.
He remembered running out to the store to get his pregnant wife a pint of Ben & Jerry’s©. He remembered buying three different flavors at the convenience store. He remembered driving like a maniac with the AC blasting to get back to his house in order to prevent the ice cream from melting in the sweltering heat. He remembered seeing the front door of his house ajar when he returned. OH, GOD!
Xavier bolted up causing his head to spin and as he took a few steps towards the house and under the willow tree he stumbled and then slid landing hard on his elbow. He heard a pop and then the pain in his head seemed to disappear as a whole new level of pain seared through his right arm. He attempted to push himself up with his left arm but the second he placed his hand on the ground he felt it slip away in a warm liquid. With the full moon, it was not dark enough to conceal the fact that he had landed in a pool of blood.
Grimacing, Xavier crawled onto a dry part of the grass and struggled to his feet. They only thing that mattered now was finding Molly. He ran into the house,
“MOLLY? MOLLY?” There was no answer. He began tearing the house apart and running from room to room. Nothing looked out of place, but Molly was nowhere to be found. It seemed impossible to panic any more than he had been, but he was definitely reaching his limit. His head hurt, his arm hurt, and his chest hurt. He tried to think of why his chest hurt when he saw the ice cream sitting on the counter. He had to have been in the house already. “MOLLY? WHERE ARE YOU?” Still no answer and his chest began to throb. He pulled his shirt down and saw four deep claw marks. “What the fuck?” This was most definitely his limit.
Xavier ran out the back door looking for some clue as to how he ended up back there and where Molly was. He stepped onto the patio and looked up at the willow tree to see the most terrifying sight he had ever seen. His neighbor was hanging from the tree with his entrails weeping out of him. He doubled over and threw up. Just as he wiped his mouth with the back of his left hand he heard someone behind him. He straightened up and looked at the face of his wife. She smiled and showed a mouthful of fangs and said,
“Hey, Babe. Dinner’s ready.”
© Autumn Siders 2015