Photo by HASTYWORDS
Liv stepped up onto the porch and saw her father was waiting in the doorway. She turned to look at Brian. “Thanks, I’ll take it from here.”
Brian waved at her as he placed her bike down at the end of the driveway and walked off into the night.
“I tried to call you! Where were the hell you? Who was that boy?”
“Dad, my phone died, and I got a flat tire! That was Brian, Henry’s brother, he walked me home, so I wouldn’t have to alone. That is all.”
Ray doubted she was lying she never was very good at it. “Get in the house and go straight to your room. Wait there’s pizza if you are hungry.” He struggled to turn in his place with his crutches almost losing his balance and then he sighed looking at Liv who looked terrified now.
“It’s fine. Just be mindful next time. You girls know I worry and it’s not easy. What do you think I would do if something happened to you?”
“I know dad, I’m sorry.”
Ray nodded and that was the end of it.
The next weekend was homecoming and so Mia was preparing herself for the homecoming dance with Henry. Henry was so sweet on Mia that he took off the Thursday and Friday before her homecoming to ensure that he had his tuxedo, and everything prepared.
That night Ray shaved his head nearly bald and found a nice polo shirt and some khaki pants to put on. He made sure to look nice for when Henry picked Mia up so that when Aunt Cecily took photos of him with her he wouldn’t look so unkept.
Liv smiled at her sister and noticed how pretty Mia looked with her dark brown hair up in an Audrey Hepburn style from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. She wore a black dress with silver and blue lace at the bottom that bunched up just above her knees. The midnight blue complimented her dark eyes. Liv never realized how much her sister looked like their father until that moment. They both had the same kind brown eyes. Henry brought out the kindness in Mia instead of the misplaced rebellious anger that once lived there in her eyes full time.
Ray smiled sweetly in their photos and tears found themselves glazing his eyes. Mia kissed her dad on the cheek while balancing on one leg and in another stuck her tongue out at Liv while giving bunny ears behind her head. Liv looked at her sister and they both laughed sharing a happy moment.
Mia went on to her Homecoming dance in a limo furnished by Henry’s parents and inside were Mia’s two friends Elle and Daniella. They all had dates but only Mia had the college boy.
When they got to their Homecoming dance the school gym was decorated so that it was unrecognizable as some sweaty and smelly place. It had midnight blue and purple balloons all over with wall to colored wall sheets of paper and stars made of glitter painted on them all.
Mia couldn’t wait to get to the restroom to touch up her nose that she worried was not shiny from the abnormal humidity that had hit the Ohio air that night. October was upon them soon but for now she had to make sure she didn’t appear greasy or ugly for her date.
“I can’t believe you snagged a college freshman.” Said Daniella to Mia.
“I know. Anyone is better than my last boyfriend, but Henry is so completely perfect. Did you see the flowers he bought me?”
“Yes, now if only my date could be half as romantic.” Daniella said rolling her eyes.
“How is my lipstick?” asked Elle.
“It looks red and perfect as usual.” Daniella said rolling her eyes again and straightening her long green dress out. “You two always look perfect!”
“Hardly, I feel so nervous because Henry and I only recently started going out and he has only kissed me on the cheek!” Mia whined pinching her cheeks in the mirror to add a little more color to them.
“Oh my gosh that is my favorite song! We have to go dance!”
Daniella dragged Mia and Elle out to the dance floor and the three of them danced together laughing as their dates watched on from the punch bowl.
Mia spent the entire night so proud of herself for getting Henry to go on a date with her finally and to Homecoming at that. This precious night was beginning to be a tremendous senior year she thought all night as she slow danced the night away with Henry in her small arms.
Mia had grown up to be so beautiful Ray thought sitting on the sofa admiring the photos on his cellular taken earlier that evening. He sighed as he listened to the quiet of the house for once on a Friday night Ray could watch whatever he wanted without the girls complaining. Mia was at her dance with her new boyfriend and Ray wondered what he would do to Henry if he broke Mia’s heart. Liv was with her friends Nina and Becky attending the Homecoming game and then spending the night with Becky.
Ray sighed to himself deep in thought when he heard it. There was a large knocking sound coming from the basement door. It sounded as though maybe one of the cats had gotten locked down there and was trying to get out. He managed to get up quickly as he was getting better at this one leg thing now. He moved closer to the door when he got closer Ray began to hear the same knocking on the wall behind him and he thought it was strange.
“Raaaayyyyyyyyyy_____” he heard a light whisper.
He turned and there behind him was the pale woman in white glaring at him with those dark eyes. Ray turned to move and fell to the floor hitting his head knocking himself out.
The night wore on and when it was time to go home Henry walked Mia to her door and planted a long-awaited first kiss upon her lips.
As Mia went inside her home she noticed all the lights were out inside but didn’t think much of it at first. She went to turn on the light in the living room but saw that the power was out.
“Dad? Hello?” she called out into the darkness as she checked the lamp on the side table next to the couch. It wouldn’t click on either, so she opened the drawer and pulled out a flashlight that her dad had put there for emergencies.
No sound came from the room and she looked around barely noticing the shadow behind her. She walked through the living room down the hall into the kitchen and the floor squeaked. Mia figuring her father had went to bed bent over to take off her shoes and then rubbing her ankles proceeded toward the refrigerator.
“Maybe there is something in here I can snack on before it all goes bad. Typical dad having no clue. Probably didn’t pay the electric bill.” Mia mumbled under her breath as she used the flashlight to sort through and found some string cheese to satisfy her hunger.
She placed the flashlight under her armpit as she worked on the wrapper pulling it apart as best she could. She pulled and pulled and finally the package jerked open causing the flashlight to fall from her armpit to the kitchen floor. It spun in an unnatural circle on the tile floor and as she bent down to pick it up she saw them.
Eyes on the floor stared up at her a foot or so in front of her. She couldn’t process it at first but there was a glimmer of the flashlight shining upon them that let her know these were human. The two eyes glared at her and then she saw teeth appear into a wicked grin and a cackle came out of them.
Tears fell from Mia’s eyes and she remained immobilized in the dark just few feet away from this thing that met her with a menacing void of white teeth that had a familiarity to them. It wasn’t until it spoke she recognized the cold calculating voice that came from its mouth.
“Mia——– my sweet——- sweet——– Mia..” it slithered on the floor toward her and she fell backward.
“Dad? Dad stop this isn’t funny!” she screamed.
He moved slowly taking a great deal of pleasure from the act of scaring her to death. This thing calling her sweet was not her sweet father. This thing was dark and menacing and Mia managed to stand up and run towards the basement door. Without thinking that this may be even worse she opened the door and closed it behind her. As she did this she fell the 12 stairs onto the basement floor skinning her right knee and left elbow. Her cell phone remained gripped tightly in her hand screaming in pain. Her eyes focused on the door at the top of the stairs as it began to slowly creek open. The only light that came into view was from her tightly clutched cellular phone as she watched the creature descend into the stairs toward her.
…..to be continued