Hi, friends! Sigh…Well, so much for catching up. 😦 I mean, I’m glad I’ve got the extra teaching work to support my family, but still. It’d be nice to have a few free days to catch up with you on YOUR sites.
Writing Music: Ennio Morricone, The Thing
The man’s hands were curled as talons, saliva flying from his mouth when he screams for Chloe’s life.
Chloe thrusts her book bundle in front of her face just in time, blocking his first swipe as she staggers back, losing her shield, tripping on a small table in this room of eyes and crows, not knowing where to run—
Thomas Watchman cut in front of his daughter, fist damp with the man’s spit. The man’s glasses flew across the room and nearly hit the floor, if not for Sal.
The man shook like a struck dog, wavering on all fours. The firelight couldn’t reach the floor beyond the couch, robbing his shape of anything human. He panted, moaned, “Aaaaang”
“I’m here, Reg.” Angela ran past her husband, pulled away from his own clawed plea, “Stay back, Ang, he’s dangerous,” and Chloe’s plea, “Mom he tried to kill me!”
But Angela did not stay back. “No, he didn’t.” She ran her fingers through the crumpled man’s hair. “Get Reg some ice, Thomas.”
“Thomas.” Angela undid her coat and folded it to lay upon the floor. “Please.” She looked at him, at Chloe. “Please,” she said again.
The crumpled Reg turned his face up to Angela’s, his eyes darting, constantly darting. Chloe hugged the back of father tight to stay as hidden from those eyes as she could.
Sal gave a little cough near Thomas’ ear, and nodded towards the sliding doors out. Chloe didn’t want her dad to back away, to leave space for that crazy Reg to grab her mom, but…but the guy was just crying on her coat-turned-pillow now, thumb near his mouth like some little kid. Angela kept right on stroking his hair, humming the same melody chimed by the grandfather clock back home.
Thomas reached around and felt Chloe’s body shake against him. “Okay.” Not that it was actually okay, not with that growl beneath it. “Chloe and I will be right back.”
Sal walked with them to the sliding door and paused. “I’m so sorry you’re seeing Reg like this first.” He held the glasses in his palms like a child holds a butterfly. “He’s usually the gentlest of us, setting spiders free outside and rescuing rabbits from Mother’s traps, that sort of thing.”
Chloe scoffed. “That doesn’t explain why he called me a fake, or why he tried to strangle me.” Damn, her books were scattered on the floor with her blanket from home, a real home with family photos, and laundry, and records not put away, and sketches of old machines’ insides, and piles of history books all cracked open to different pages with notes stuck in every one of them.
Sal turned towards the fireplace, looking at a dark corner beyond it where a dented bucket sat, covered with old soot. “This place…Mother. She liked to scare us, you see. Keep us here with stories of, of monsters out to eat us.” He laughed nervously and lay Reg’s glasses to rest on a shelf next to the door. “They could take any shape, the monsters, and…anyway, together we three could handle it all right, especially because of Angela. But when Mother’d catch us alone…” A beastly sound warbled in Sal’s throat. “Well. You see what she did to Reg in just one hour.”
“One hour?” Thomas asks. His growl was gone.
“Yeah.” Even Sal sounded like he couldn’t believe it, “Doctor says I arrived just an hour after Reg. One hour alone with that woman…” Sal shook his head, and wandered away from Thomas and Chloe to stand and stare at the fire, hands and thoughts to himself.
Word Count: 608 Total Count: 5359
I wasn’t planning on going THIS slow here, but I do like how the next scene can focus on the “outsiders” Chloe and her father Thomas…plus maybe get Sumac and the mysterious doctor into the mix.