Subcutaneous Magazine Issue 1 - Page 48

stopped heaving, I attempted to release of the fear, now tingling through me. What had happened to those people? What if something similar had happened to my mother, or worse? Still feeling nauseous, I used the adrenaline from my fear and walked briskly toward home, realizing that it would just be dusk when I arrived, and I was right. Leaving the road for the long driveway, I passed through a patch of thick trees, where there was not a sound to be heard. There were no birds chirping, and no sounds of animals fleeing through the leaves. There was something very unsettling about it. Exodus from the darkness of the trees didn’t help release that feeling. I could see my childhood home, covered in the same dust as everything else. Picking up my pace, I quickly reached a full run, and stumbled up the steps to the front porch. All was quiet. The front door was open, but the screen door was closed. I called into the darkness of my mother’s home. “Mom? Are you there, mom?” Something inside made a crashing sound. I opened the screen door and entered like a toddler looking for the comfort of his mother’s arms. It didn’t take long to find the source of the sound. My mother lay on the floor of the kitchen, having fallen over a chair. She looked up at me with cloudy, recessed eyes, and pale skin. “Mom?” I asked. “Are you ok?” She got up slowly, as if all of her muscles were cramping. Releasing an awful moan, she stumbled forward, reaching for me. Her skin seemed to be coming off of her bones, loose and sagging. Teeth chomping, she continued toward me. I backed toward the front door, but ran into something, or as it turned out, someone. A young woman in jeans and a t-shirt stood behind me, holding a metal softball bat. “Move,” she told me. I stood there for a moment and looked deep into her eyes, surrounded by beautiful ebony