Florence meets Maggie. Or rather…they’ve already met. And last time Florence checked, Maggie was dead.
Warning: Contains a Graphic Haunting
Chapter 2 – Horrid Sounds
by Rock Kitaro
Florence gets an uneasy four hours of sleep before waking up in a cold sweat. It’s just a few minutes past midnight. Her throat is parched but it’s the discomfort from her drenched blue nightgown that prompts her to open her weary eyes. She doesn’t get up right away. She’s too tired. The AC is set to 70 degrees on an already frigid November evening but her bedroom feels moist and warm. So she lies there, contemplating if she should try and sleep through it.
It isn’t until she raises her knee that her heel drags along the bed. She feels an alarming puddle of fluids as if her foot was sinking into a soggy sponge mattress. She sits up, whipping off her sheets with a frantic gasp before the cracking bones in her back reminds her of her age. Shadow stripes from the window blinds line across her face as she sits on the edge of the bed, planting her balmy feet to the wooden floor.
She wipes the bangs from her forehead with a puzzled look. The beads of perspiration once there was now gone. She reaches over and slides a hand across the sand colored bed sheets. It’s dry. She checks the dent in her pillow. It too is dry.
After a soft confusing chuckle, a relieved Florence lies back down and pulls the sheets over her body. As soon as she does, a thousand fingers rush up from the mattress desperately trying to grip at her flesh from her shoulders down to her ankles in a straight line like a tidal wave approaching the shores of her body. The fingers stay submerged under the bed sheets but violate her with the unnerving strength of a groping maniac trying to peel at her wrinkled skin.
Florence gapes open with a groaning shriek. Entire hands jolt through the sheets to wrap around her legs, slithering, grabbing, closer and closer up her thighs like a determined molester on a mission. In a frantic struggle, Florence’s thrashes herself off the bed.
She lands in a hard thud before crawling to the wall. Her heart’s racing. She’s crazy-eyed and panting like a jarhead in boot camp. The patio light goes dim. She reaches for the lamp on the nightstand. It’s not working. The digital clock says zeros in all slots.
Suddenly, the entire house begins to tremor. Rocks grind with the loud tenacity of a jackhammer on cement. The wooden floorboards crack and splinter as they shift and bend upward of their own volition. The walls contract, popping streams of chalky white plaster like water bursting from a pool. A web of cracks stretch across the windows and the bed sheets bulge as if a monstrous anaconda was emerging, slithering from one corner of her bed to the other, slowly approaching Florence.
The defiant shout comes from the other side of the closed bedroom door. It was a deep bass-heavy voice, hollow and it echoes. Splintering bangs boomed one after another. As if someone was pounding a nail gun into the floor.
“NO! NO! AAHAAYAK!!! OW-HOW-HOW-HOW!!!”
Florence’s imagination takes her to a dark place where murky death invaded and demanded her attention. All of her worst fears consume her at once.
The screams get louder, more desperate, more dire. The hard mechanical pumps of the nail gun were driving sharp metal into someone’s flesh. She hears it, the tearing of tendons, the wet patter of blood splattering on the floor. The harsh guttural cry was from her husband… Her husband! Florence recognized the voice to be that of James Leach crying out in agony.
“JAMES!!!” She screams.
“RUN” James screams back.