Delilah slept on the floorboard of the car, underneath the glovebox, using the seat as a pillow. Perry had driven all night and the sun came up all too quickly. He was exhausted, driving into the sunrise made him even more tired, having to squint his eyes every time the sun broke through the trees, was torturous. His head was a buzz and his stomach was in knots, he felt like he was going to throw up again. He knew it was because he was tired and very hungry. Things had suddenly become very complicated. A girl in his trunk, the supernatural girl asleep on the floorboard. It was only a matter of time before they were around other people. Perry had to at least do something with the girl in the trunk, his victim to be. He needed to get that taken care of before they left the protection of the well-forested terrain. He had looped around in circles all night, trying to decide what to do with both women in his car. If they hit the lowlands, he would lose the ability to just pull over and dump her. Kill her. Perry dazed in and out as he drove, rolling over what to do in his head. His ability to stay focused was slipping. He started to scan the sides of the heavily treed road for an isolated turn-off. Maybe he could kill them both before Delilah woke up? He couldn’t decide if he made the decision to let her come with him, or if she just manipulated him. His mind flashed to the bear ripping his leg open and eating it. Her power was incredible. The way she made him see that cougar and bear eating him alive. What the hell was she? She was as feral a creature, as that cougar she turned into. Perry looked down at her, hunkered under the glovebox, curled up like a cat. She could have killed him easily. He was intrigued by this young, filthy, girl, with barely any clothes on. If he ended up stuck with her, the first thing he would have to do is clean her up and dress her, so she didn’t draw any attention to them. She could be a killer like him. She could help him be a better killer. If he could do what she could do, life would be a fantasy world. Maybe he could befriend her and figure out a way to get her to listen to him? There was a sudden thud in the trunk. Then another. Then screaming.
“Shit.” Perry checked his mirrors to see how alone they were on the road, then scanned the area for a place to pull over. Delilah looked up, awakened by the screams coming from the trunk. She growled and hissed at Perry. He swerved the car side to side, struggling to stay in his lane, startled by her sudden outburst. He didn’t notice she woke up while he was looking for a place to pull over. Delilah sounded exactly like a cougar. Perry’s heart raced when he glanced over at her. She was backed up against the base of the passenger side door. Her blade was in her hand. The snarl on her face was animalistic, she was animalistic. There was no light of recognition in her eyes. All he could see was anger and dirty teeth. She hissed at him then softened, almost like she was saying don’t do that again in cat language. Perry gripped the wheel as tight as he could, readying himself for an attack. He could imagine that little blade going into his temple while was driving. It would be so easy for her.
“Jesus Christ, fuck me,” He muttered to himself, wincing and trying not to look at her. She swallowed hard a couple of times, then eased up into the seat next to him. The banging in the trunk was louder and the woman screamed to be freed.
“Hush!” Delilah screamed at the trunk, she growled low, and again it reminded Perry of the cougar. There wasn’t another sound from the trunk after that. Delilah stretched and yawned, then looked at Perry suspiciously. She turned around in the seat, climbing on her knees to face the trunk. “What ya gonna do wit dat ting back dere.” She laid her cheek on the leather headrest, looking at Perry, “I know what ya goin’ do, maybe its da when, I’s askin bout?” She rubbed her cheek against the leather headrest and yawned again. Perry glanced at her several times while she spoke. He eyed her knife that she returned to her waistband. Even if she didn’t have weird powers, she was still formidable with her little knife.
“We need to get you some clothes. Find a place to clean you up a bit… a lot.” He said focusing his attention on the road.
“What’s wrong wit I look?” She asked sliding down into the seat and sitting properly, hunched over with her arms holding her cold shoulders. Her face became serious as she started to remember the look of disgust on Perry’s face.
“You cold?” Perry asked, he turned the temperature controls to heat her side of the car up more, not waiting for an answer, eager to keep her happy and calm. Delilah mumbled to herself. Perry couldn’t understand what she was saying. She was obviously talking to herself again. Another thing he was going to have to figure out. At least she appeared to be keeping it under wraps.
“You know she want’s ta die Perry? Why you keeps her longuh den dem udders?” Delilah asked rocking slowly in her seat.
“What do you mean?” He asked, “How do you…” he shook his head, “Fuck.” He whispered. Perry wanted so badly to just pull over and go to sleep then let what ever happened happen, he was so tired, “Alright Delilah, tell me. Why does she want me to kill her?”
“She sad. She tink she deserve ya ta kill her. If ya not come fo her when ya did, she goin do it herself.” Delilah looked over at Perry and smiled a filthy smile, “You like dat? You like torture her, e’en if she wants it, huh?” She giggled a wicked laugh as she spoke.
“Yes, I do.” Perry smiled, shaking his head astounded at her accuracy, “You’re fucking nuts, young lady.” It was kind of liberating, hearing her talk so freely about killing, like it was any other hobby.
“What dat mean?” she asked, sitting up straight and tall, so quickly, she startled Perry, “It means you’re crazy, insane!” Melissa said pointing at her own head, spinning her finger around her ear. Delilah hunched over again then glanced over at Perry, “You bein’ mean ta me, Perry?” Perry felt his adrenaline spike, he couldn’t defend himself from her if she lost it on him again. An off the cuff comment like that would get him killed if he didn’t sharpen up, “I feels ya scareds, Perry.” She settled back in her seat, relaxing, then looked out the window. “I ain’t gonna hurt ya none, not yet. Least not til ya come fo me, I giya til den.” She surveyed the area they were driving through. “Ya wants a spot ta Michael… Michel… aingel her?”
“Michelangelo?” he asked.
“Dat ya call it?” she asked watching the trees go bye, “He gonna kills ya girl, first chance he gets. Ain’t none can kill me now, momma!” She switched from the woman of the woods back to Delilah in one breath. Delilah sat up in her seat, angry, then looked over at Perry yelling, “Dat right, Perry?”
“Jesus Christ,” Perry said shaking his head, trying to look at the road and not antagonize her. This girl was going to kill him. He had to stay calm. Perry watched her switch personalities so quickly, then yell at him. It was torture waiting to get stabbed. He thought she was going to stab him in the neck with that little knife, when she rose up in her seat and yelled at him. Even if she seemed ok, for a short time, her different personalities clearly had it in for him.
“Pull over dere!” Delilah jumped to the dashboard and pressed her finger against the windshield, “Right dere! Right dere, Perry!” Perry pulled over slowly, to where Delilah pointed. She hopped out of the car before it came to a full stop. Her bare feet stumbled in the dirt and rocks, but she kept her balance and ran ahead, off to the side of the road then behind a large tree. Perry sat in the car watching the tree. He considered driving off, leaving her in the woods. So much potential in that girl for him to harness made think better of it. Perry opened his door and got out of the car with a deep exhale. He looked around for other cars on the road, more importantly, witnesses. He checked his watch. It was only six a.m. Very bright and sunny for six a.m. he thought. Perry shut the driver’s side door and leaned against it a moment, wiping his face with both hands. He yawned long and looked back at the trunk.
“How are you doing, Lisa?” Perry whispered. He reached back into the car and took the keys out of the ignition, then grabbed his bag of tricks from the backseat. It was nice to stretch his legs after driving all night. He made his way to the trunk, setting his bag on it, then opening the bag. Inside, were his needles and tranquilizers. Perry wondered if he could find a way to tranquilize Delilah. She could read his mind. How could he pull that off on her?
“Perry,” He spun around and there stood Delilah, right behind him, “Open it.” She ordered. Perry looked at her a moment wondering how long she was there and if she knew what he was thinking. He was so very tired. What would she do to him if she did hear his thoughts? Perry turned back to the trunk and unlocked it. He kept his weight on it to stop any burst Lisa might attempt to escape. “She not goin’ nowheres, Perry. She want’s ta be right here, right now.” Delilah said putting her hand on Perry’s lower back, urging him to step back and let the trunk lid up. Perry stepped away and the lid of the trunk creaked up on its own. A woman with black hair in a negligee slowly sat up. Her face was red, her eyes were tearful and puffy. Her eyes darted around, her breath was spasmed and panicked, with a whimper. Delilah stepped between Perry and the edge of the trunk then extended her hand to the woman in the trunk. Delilah was enamored with the beautiful woman. All her personalities agreed she was beautiful. Delilah could understand why Perry looked at her with such disgust. The woman in the trunk began to cry and grabbed Delilah’s hand.
“How is this possible?” She whimpered, “You’re, you’re dead?” She climbed out of the trunk still holding Delilah’s hand. She stumbled, but Delilah caught and steadied her. They locked eyes, “I love you, I never stopped loving you, Ethan, I’m so sorry.” She cried embracing Delilah.
“Shh, baby, shh, it’s not your fault. I know it wasn’t your fault.” Delilah’s voice had changed. Perry stepped back a few more steps, bag in hand, watching, amazed at Delilah going to work on this girl. Delilah hugged the woman and stood her up, putting both hands on her cheeks, caressing her face. The woman collapsed back into Delilah, hugging her, and crying. Delilah rocked her slowly, “It’s time to go baby. I’ve come back for you. We’re going to be together forever. Come with me, Lisa.” Delilah stood the woman up and walked her around the side of the car.
Perry watched them head for the tree Delilah disappeared behind when they first arrived. It was as if he wasn’t even there. He opened his bag quickly and retrieved a syringe and a vial of tranquilizer. Perry was masterful in the speed with which he prepared the syringe. He tossed his bag in the trunk, then slammed it shut, knowing his prey would not be going back in. Perry palmed the syringe and followed the two women as they rekindled their love, slowly walking to the tree. Delilah had become Ethan to Lisa. They rounded the tree and were quiet. Perry picked up his pace to catch up, scanning the area constantly to ensure they were still alone on the side of the road. As he rounded the tree, he spotted them on their knees facing one another in the dirt, kissing passionately. Perry watched the two women kissing and thought about how bad Delilah smelled. With that in mind he became disgusted by the sight of the two of them kissing. Something that would usually be so erotic, grossed him out making his face crinkle. The way Delilah looked, he couldn’t imagine that she ever brushed her teeth, and the snot that was still smeared across her face, ugh. The woman, Lisa, was crying as she gave herself to Ethan. Delilah pushed Lisa back with one hand and pulled her other hand across Lisa’s throat with her paring knife with lightning speed.
“Come home with me, Lisa. Forever.” Lisa didn’t even flinch, or notice the blood that streamed down her chest, covering her breast and spraying from her neck all over Delilah. It happened so fast it was like Delilah missed her, but the blood told the truth of it. Lisa smiled, reaching for Delilah’s hand as the light went out in her eyes. She fell forward, dead. Delilah wiped the blood all over her breasts and stomach giggling. It was just like she saw Perry do in his mind. Perry was instantly jealous and aroused at the same time. That was his kill. That was his blood. It should be covering him, as he made love to Lisa, one last time. She stole his ritual from him. One humiliation after another, since he came upon that filthy backwoods bitch! He had enough humiliation and rage fueled Perry to action. He moved on Delilah faster than he had ever moved in his life. He snatched her by her hair, hard and fast, jerking her head to the side then plunged the syringe into her neck so hard it was a hammer fisted punch. He could feel the needle hit bone. Perry depressed the plunger fast, filling her small body with a deadly dose of tranquilizer.
“That was mine, you fucking crazy bitch!” he whispered into her ear. Perry let go of her hair and grabbed her neck with both hands. He turned her so she could look him in his eyes while he squeezed the life out of her. She laughed at him from a few feet away. Delilah stood on the other side of Lisa’s dead body. Perry looked at her confused, then realized he held the syringe, depressed at his own neck. He pulled the syringe out and looked at it, shocked, his mouth hung open, then he fell forward, no longer able to stand. Delilah walked over to Perry, picking his head up then looking into his eyes. They were rolling around, unable to see clearly.
“Ain’t nuttin can snatch me up. Not e’en you, Mista Snake! See momma, ya scareds fo nuttin!” Delilah let go of his head, letting it hit the dirt. She went back to the car and got in. Delilah was reminded of her hunger and remembered Perry had a bag with snacks in it in the back seat. She saw it flash in his mind when she told him she was hungry. The longer she was around him the easier it was to hear his thoughts, without even trying. She was starting to be able to control all of it, without the devastation it caused from going inside. It made her smile that she was getting so much stronger. Delilah could feel rabbits somewhere in the distance and it made Hummingbird happy just knowing they were nearby. She put her hand to her mouth and giggled when she remembered the first one that survived her, years ago. Delilah took control before Hummingbird could start calling rabbits to her feet. In the back seat, she found the bag with Perry’s snacks in it. “Don’t eat none dat, girl, liable ta be poison.” The woman of the woods warned as Delilah climbed over the center console between the seats, smearing blood everywhere. She laid across the back seat while she fished through the bag on the floorboard, “I’m sure it’ll be fine, eat the beef jerky and the chips together.” Melissa recommended, excited to eat, “What it taste like? Jerky?” Delilah asked, “It isn’t a Big Mac, but I’m starving. I’m sure it’ll be a long time before we ever get to a McDonalds.” Melissa giggled. Delilah let the others speak freely. It made her feel like she wasn’t alone. After all, it was her momma that heard Perry’s thoughts of betrayal, while Delilah was busy with Lisa. Melissa had the idea to make him think he got her, but instead put the needle in his own neck, so they could see what it would have done to her. “Eat it. It’s fine,” Delilah ripped the bag open and grabbed a piece of the jerky, her eyes rolled back in her head as the flavor of the seasoned beef spread through her mouth. She started to laugh at how flavorful it was, “Momma ya should be shame uh ya self, ain’t eva made none like dis wit dem we kill on da mountain,” Delilah giggled, “Stop ya meanness lessen I make ya bite ya own lip, girl!” The woman of the woods cursed, “I put ya away ya do dat. Maybe fo e’er?” Delilah asked, then started to smile at the delicious flavors swirling in her mouth. “Get some chips,” Melissa advised talking as she chewed, then she reached into the grocery bag and grabbed the bag of chips. The flavored treats were like nothing Delilah had ever tasted before, even over the taste of blood on her fingers, it was strong. Melissa was right, their food was gross in comparison. Delilah ate everything in the bag and fell asleep in the car. She didn’t care she was a bloody mess; she was tired and needed a nap.