The color of her eyes, the stench protruding from her pores, her voice when she spoke was raspy and monotone. This was not the same woman she saw managing the grocery store almost daily. She backed away from the truck, made a pivot, and started toward home as fast as her legs could go.
The rain wasn’t the slightest bother to her; water streaming down her face, clothes soaked and her hair heavy. The argument between her parents that she walked out from seemed like a safe place in the back of her mind now; silently hoping they were still home and for once, still arguing. Maybe she could break it up by telling them about the people she saw in town, the lady from the grocery store and asking if they could help in any way.
When she got back to her house and opened the front door, it was quiet inside. Really quiet. She called out for her mom and dad, but they weren’t responding. Her mind started racing and she started running through the house; up the stairs, through the hallways, looking in every room and around the entire perimeter of the outside. Where did they go? She thought of all the possibilities. Then one last place came to mind. She went upstairs quietly, making sure not to make any accidental creaking sounds and walked slowly along the wall of the hallway, to her parents’ bedroom. The door was cracked, so she had to open it in just a way for the door to stay silent…she walked slowly into the room, making sure to tiptoe with every step; got down on her knees, lifted the bed skirt and saw her parents both laying there on their stomachs, frozen in fear. Her mother spoke softly, leaning into her husband and not taking her eyes off their daughter.
“Our hiding place didn’t work too well…we were found by the Devil herself.”