We had a plan. Break in while the Parker couple were at their daughter’s violin recital, take whatever we can throw in the backseat, get the fuck out before they get back. But shit hit the fan, and I was now sitting in the corner of the living room wondering what the hell to do next.
“Oh my god, can someone shut the brat up!?” Justin snapped as he paced around the room, running his hand through his bleach destroyed hair. His ski mask was clutched tightly in his other hand as he gritted his teeth.
Brian didn’t get up from where he was sitting, his eyes were still closed. He was probably trying to seem calm but you could see the rigidness in his shoulders from a mile away. “Justin, yelling isn’t going to help. Sit down, you’re pissing me off.”
“Do you think he’s dead?”
My head jerked over to where Tyler was sitting, his leg bouncing up and down, an anxious habit of his. I sighed and planted my face in my hands. “Tyler. You shot him in the head.”
“Y-yeah, but the TV said he was being rushed to the hospital! Maybe he’s just fine! I don’t wanna go down for murder!” Tyler seemed to grow even paler as he realized he might’ve killed a man.
Justin almost lunged for Tyler, only to have Brian grab him by the back of the shirt and yank him back down to the couch. “Tyler, it’s not looking good, but if you stay calm, I can fix this screw up.” Brian glanced over to the chair, where a six year old girl was handcuffed to the arm. “Besides. We still have leverage.”
“Leverage that is seriously going to make me want to kill myself if she doesn’t stop fucking crying!” Justin glared violently at the kid and I felt my stomach twist. The girl hiccuped before she went back to bawling.
Knowing that if she didn’t shut up she could get us in more trouble, I got up and walked over to the chair, sitting beside the little girl. She whimpered and shied away as I got close, I just gently rested a hand on hers.
“Hey, I’m Miles, what’s your name?” I said quietly.
The little girl sniffled, wiping off her round cheeks with her sleeve. “A… Abigail,” She said quietly.
“Abigail. That’s a nice name. I have a sister about your age named Kaitlyn.” I managed to force a smile to try to look friendly. “Hey, we’ll give you back to your dads, as soon as this is all over. I promise.”
Justin snorted and I nearly got up to punch him in the head, but Abigail gripped my hand so tightly I thought one of my fingers might pop off. Her dark eyes looked up hopefully at me. “I’m really hungry, Mr. Miles,” She whined.
Right. Kids got hungry. I looked around the room. “I’ll check the fridge, do you like pizza?” Judging by how Abigail’s eyes lit up, she was onboard for pizza. I don’t think I’ve ever met a kid who wasn’t onboard for pizza though.
I headed into the kitchen and looked through our almost bare fridge. I swore quietly as I realized the only frozen pizza we had was badly freezer burned. Ick. No way I was giving that to the kid. There wasn’t much else in there either, nothing a kid would like at least, and the fridge only had what was probably molded over refried beans and two beers left out of a six pack. Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen.
I shut the fridge and turned around to see Brian. I nearly jumped out of my skin, the guy could be quieter than death. “Jesus, man! Whatcha want?” I asked.
“Can we put the kid in your room?”
Brian had a very calm way of talking, not much could make him raise his voice. I shrugged. “Don’t really care, why?”
“Justin’s getting pissed off and it’s scaring her. If we shove her in your room, she’ll probably calm down so I don’t get the neighbors asking why they hear a crying kid in the living room. And you seem to have a soft spot for her, so I figured might as well ask you.”
Ah, right. “Hey man, I just don’t see the point of being a dick to kids. Can I make a food run, we got nothin’ and she just complained about being hungry, so…”
“Make it back in an hour.” Brian shoved a twenty dollar bill in my hand. “And get Abigail set up in your room first.”
I mockingly saluted before walking back to the living room, jamming the cash in my pocket. Abigail looked up from her spot, she seemed so tiny. “Hey, Abigail,” I said, attempting to sound cheerful as I pulled out the key and undid the cuffs. “Let’s go chill in my room for a bit, all right? You’re probably tired.”
“Not really, but okay.” She hopped down from the chair and obediently followed me into my bedroom, where I hastily kicked some boxers and a porno magazine under my bed before she could see. I sat her on my bed and patted her back.
“I gotta go get some food real quick, okay? You just stay in here-”
Abigail gripped onto my arm so tight it nearly cut off circulation. I did my best not to yelp as I untangled her from me best I could. She shook her head frantically, looking back to the living room. “That one man in there, he’s super mad! What if he hurts me?”
My blood boiled. Justin was acting pissier by the minute, it wouldn’t surprise me if he lashed out. “If he tries anything, I give you full permission to beat the ever living shit out of him.”
Abigail gasped. “You said a bad word!” She said in the most shocked tone.
Okay, that was cute. I laughed and ruffled her hair. “Sorry, sorry. I give you permission to fight back with all you got, all right? I’ll be back as fast as I can with dinner.”
Something about that sweet smile tugged at my heart strings. What a sweet kid. No wonder her dads were willing to let us have anything we wanted as long as we didn’t hurt her… then Tyler had to be a panicky dumb ass and fire his gun. I’d only seen someone get shot in the movies, but seeing the man’s body hit the floor while a puddle of blood surrounded his form while his husband stood there in shock, unable to even scream… it’d probably haunt my nightmares for the rest of my life.
The convenience store wasn’t a long walk away from our place, and I headed straight to the frozen section in the back. Shit. I didn’t ask if Abigail wanted anything on her pizza. I decided a cheese one would have to do, some kids are picky about their toppings. I grabbed a bottle of fruit punch too, as well as some snacks for me and the guys. I walked up to the front and made small talk with the cashier as she scanned my items.
“So, the Parkers got robbed last night,” She said.
I tried to seem casual as I passed her the bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. “Yeah, think I heard something about that on the local news. They all right?” I asked.
The cashier, her name tag said Gillian, clicked her tongue and shook her head. “Landon Parker got shot in the head, got rushed to the hospital. Somehow he’s still alive, I didn’t think it was possible to survive that.” She lifted her fingers to her head and mocked shooting herself, I somehow didn’t flinch. “Pow! Your brain matter gets blown out and that’s all she wrote.”
“Eh, miracles happen. I’ve heard of it.” I shrugged as I took the plastic bag she handed me.
“That’ll be eighteen dollars and forty eight cents, please.”
I walked back home with a little change in my pocket and frozen pizza in tow. I nearly broke out into nervous sweats when I saw a cop car pass by, but they didn’t even slow down. Paranoia was already getting to me.
I walked in one minute to the hour limit to find hell had broken loose.
Tyler was screaming and sobbing while holding his neck which was currently dripping blood down the front of his shirt. I swore and dropped the food, the fruit punch bottle bursting when it slammed against the floor.
“Shit! What the fuck happened!?” I ran to his side, carefully peeling back his hand to take a look. It looked way worse than it probably was, but I still took off my jacket to press against his neck. I looked up at Brian, who was just… standing there. He wasn’t moving. He just had this expression I’d never seen on him before.
I think it was fear.
Tyler was too hysterical to talk, but Brian just looked in the direction of my bedroom. I saw that the door was cracked open… and I saw blood on the wall.
Oh god no.
I bolted to the room, I think I heard Brian mumble something but I don’t know what. I slammed open my door the rest of the way and nearly slipped on the blood.
It was everywhere. The floors, the walls, even the fucking ceiling was soaked in blood. I gagged as I caught my balance before I looked in the center of the room.
It didn’t even look like a body anymore. I saw the ripped open torso, the ribs spread open as the organs slid out onto my floor. Legs that had been bent in so many jarring ways it was hard to even see them as legs.
And Justin’s head was cradled in Abigail’s hands as she licked at his neck, her entire body soaked in blood.
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. Abigail sucked on one of the arteries hanging from his neck and a bubble of blood exploded on her face. She immediately began to giggle before she bit into Justin’s cheek and tore away, chewing happily on the skin and flesh before she caught sight of me.
She looked ashamed as she dropped the head and backed away, guilt filling her blood stained face. “I’m sorry, Mr. Miles… I… I got too hungry… oh, I’m sorry!” She hid her face behind her hands, acting more like a child who got caught with their hand in the cookie jar than one who was caught eating a fucking person.
I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t make my mouth work. I just looked around the room again, expecting for Justin to pop out like ‘you’ve been pranked, boy!’ He always did like his pranks.
“I… Abigail, what happened?” My voice cracked. I was shaking. I couldn’t make myself step inside the room any further than I already had.
Abigail lowered her hands to suck on one of her fingers, sighing as she stared at the corpse on the floor. “Justin got mad and came in saying I was being a bad word and that he wasn’t putting up with me anymore. He… he hit me…” She sniffled before picking up his head, cradling it in her arms. “And I just couldn’t stop myself, I was soooo hungry!”
Oh dear god. She really was eating Justin. I opened my mouth only to bolt from the room and run into the bathroom to puke. Last night’s dinner splattered across the grungy floor tile and the toilet seat as I fell to my knees.
I could still smell the blood.
I got up and stumbled to the living room. Tyler was now laying on the couch, pale but he’d calmed down. Brian was still standing in the living room. I could now see blood on his hands. “… Tyler… tried to help him, I swear, but that kid… she nearly ripped out Tyler’s throat. She had fangs probably big as my finger. I had to pick between him and Justin and Justin looked already too far gone to save.” He shivered and wrapped his arms around himself. “… What the fuck are we going to do?”
I looked back to the bedroom.
“What we should’ve done at the beginning of this bull shit.”’
I opened the door, somehow expecting to see my room miraculously back to the way it was, not soaked in blood. Abigail was now sitting on my bed, looking like she was about to fall into a food coma. I carefully watched my step as I approached her.
“Hey, Abigail?” I kept my voice carefully level, god knew if she was pissed at me.
Abigail looked up at me, her eyes tired. She was ready for a nap. “Yeah?” She asked quietly.
“… How about we go for a drive, after you take a shower. I think it might make you feel better.”
Back when I still lived with my family, I’d used to take my little sister out on car drives to help her fall asleep. I’d redressed Abigail in an old t-shirt of mine, it was practically a dress on her. She’d konked out before we were on the road for more than ten minutes.
I knew where to go.
It was late, but I saw a few families playing on the swingset, enjoying the peaceful sunset. I looked out at them almost longingly before turning around. Abigail was fast asleep, curled up in a little ball in the backseat.
Quietly, so not to disturb her, I crawled back there and picked her up. She murmured quietly but didn’t stir, so I carried her out to a park bench and laid her there. I sighed and smoothed the hair from her face.
Time to go.
I hurried to the car and after honking twice, I sped out of there, fast as I could. I got back to the house and slept on the couch that night, Brian was in my room scrubbing the place up and down. By the time I woke up it was like none of it had ever happened, except now everything reeked of lemon cleaner. We told our landlord that Justin had moved out back to his parent’s place, and we tossed mostly everything he owned.
A few weeks later our local news station covered the miraculous return of Abigail Parker, who was found left on a park bench asleep after her abduction. Her dad had made a miraculous recovery, he was comatose for a week before waking up and asking for his daughter.
The three all posed for the pictures and Abigail was smiling ever so brightly.
I hope what I did what the right thing.