Sunday, 1 July 2012
Glancing up at Lucas as he inched his way closer, him and Daniel both leaning in, attempting to sneak a look at what was inside the safe. I looked back down at the fairly sized, black velvet draw string bag as it sat there, holding whatever it was gramps left to me for safe keeping. Grabbing the bag out from its home and clutching it to my chest like a life line, I stood with an amused smile as I saw the mirrored looks of confusion on both boys’ faces.
“We can go now.” I said to them both, still holding onto my smile and the bag as I walked past Daniel and Lucas, to lead the way back through the house.
“Wait, that’s it?” I heard Lucas ask behind me as I kept walking.
Within moments of stepping out into the hallway, my senses were bombarded by the heavy scent of rotten eggs and decay. Mixing with the lingering smell of ash and cinder in the air, I raised a hand to cover my mouth and nose at the unbearable odor, so strong I felt I could almost taste it on my tongue. Walking as the boys came to join me, we were almost through the hallway before I felt the horrible stench clouding around me.
“And what may I ask, are you kids doing here?” said a voice from behind us “Besides trespassing on private property.”
Stopping in our tracks we turned towards the voice and were greeted by the stern face of a patrolling officer, standing in the shade less than a foot away. He was tall and in full uniform from the hat that covered his crew cut, to the aviator sunglasses that covered his eyes. He was decent looking, with a sharp angled nose and wide set jaw, he would have even been hot if the lower buttons on his shirt weren’t being pulled taunt by his developing potbelly.
Lowering my hand from my face, I plastered on a warm smile before answering his question.
“Well officer, it’s hardly trespassing if it’s my house now isn’t it?” I said to him in a sugary tone as I felt both boys subtly position themselves on either side of me.
“Your house?” he asked, the corners of his mouth turning up “and what did you say your name was again Ms. ?”
“October. My granddad owns this house.” The words flew out my mouth before I felt Daniel’s hand on my waist squeezing in protest, not to answer.
“Well I’m sorry Ms. but the owner of this house died in the fire. He didn’t have any relatives or known family.” He replied with amusement “either way, you and your friends shouldn’t be here. Come on I’ll walk you out.” He said as he stepped out of the shadow and into the light, towards us.
“It’s ok Sir, we can find our own way out.” I heard Lucas say to the officer.
I felt him grip my upper arm and pull, trying to lead me away from the officer so we could leave but I couldn’t. For the second time, standing in my house I saw something that shocked me frozen.
As the officer stepped out of the shadows and into the evening light, I watched as it streamed across the right side of his face, altering him completely. Where the parts of him I could still see in the shadows were the same as when I first saw the officer, the parts of him that were in the light were beyond human. Where he had pale brown skin and perfect white teeth sandwiched between an average looking mouth on the left of his face, the light exposed his skin as a dark shade of reddish brown, covering his right. No lips, just two rows of sharp jagged teeth, tinted yellow.
“You alright Ms. ?” I heard the officer ask me, his eyebrow furrowing in unease as my eyes stayed fixated on his face.
Reaching his hand forward to pull down his shades, I stared as horror dawned over me black and violent, the same as his eyes. Taking an involuntary step back, I stumbled into the boys right beside me.
“October? What’s wrong?” Lucas whispered to me in question.
“His face. His Eyes.” Was all I could manage to say.
He must have heard me, the officer, because within second the blackness that encompassed his iris and the white in his eyes shifted from concern to realization to fierce resolve.
“You can see me!” he roared as he crouched down on all fours and lunged towards to me like a panther.
It all happened at once as Lucas, whose hand still gripped my arm, wretched me back tossing me to Daniel. Reaching behind him, Lucas pulled out a hand gun and fired two quick shots at the officer hitting him right between the eyes.
Slumping to the floor, the officer laid face down in a life less heap at Lucas’ feet. Never taking his eyes off the body, Lucas returned his gun to the small of his back as he turned to where he threw his duffel to the ground. Opening it he drew out a machete, long and thin, he tightly gripped the handle of the curved blade as he walked over to the body.
Pulling me back into him, Daniel snaked an arm around my shoulders as the other tried to cover my eyes from the gruesome scene about to unfold.
“Don’t look.” Daniel said to me as he struggled to turn me away.
Ripping his hand off my eyes, I pushed away from him in time to see Lucas bring the whistling vane down in one swift move, severing the head. Wiping the black blood off the machete on the officer’s clothes, Lucas dropped it back in his duffel as he pulled out lighter fluid and matches. Dousing the surely dead body in it, he stepped back and struck a match.
I felt like I was watching something burn in fast forward. Seconds was all it took for the body to start to melt, even less for it to disintegrate until the fire burnt out, leaving nothing behind but scorch marks on the already singed floor.