“When I feel good I play under warm distress. Pass it up on a better day. Well you got whatcha want you never knew. Perfect gift from me to you.”
Opening Theme: ‘Houdini’ by Foster The People.
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The earth shook with the two pairs of feet, breathless panting mixing with the faint, oblivious sounds of crickets and birds, and the river down the bay that separated the woodland from the opposite city.
Green, neon sneakers squashed against the wet saps and leaves, a long black ponytail whipping forwards then back as a face, twisted in fear and desperation darted to and fro.
She could feel him closer. Too close now. Her heart slammed against the cage of her chest as her soft whimpers rang out through the moistened air. Sweat was pouring down the length of her back, darkening the light pink shade of her tube top and jogging pants, and she clutched her frantic heart, feeling her feet tangling and threatening to buckle underneath her.
“Please!” Her voice bled out, hoarse and soft as she forced herself on. Her shoulders rolled forward as she lost breath. “Please, I am so sorry!”
His panting grew heavier and heavier like that of a wild boar, surrounding her as his cold body temperature loomed near behind.
She could feel him now.
“Oh, God, please!” She trembled desperately. “Please, oh God!”
Her voice broke in her throat as a rough hand grabbed the base of her neck and yanked her backwards, plunging her frail body against the moist earth. Her vision blurred into two foggy images as the figure towered above her.
Small gasps and pleas fell off her pale lips as he lowered himself to her reclined body, his face becoming clearer as he broke out of the cloak of tears blocking her sight.
“I am sorry…” She wept, spittle clustering at the corners of her mouth, “I am so sorry.”
Above her wails, a croaky voice asked softly:
“Where are they?”
Her lower lip quivered, thick tears cascading down the corners of her face. She couldn’t form words, the look in his eyes stealing all the air from her lungs.
“Where are they?”
She gulped, shaking her head desperately. “I-I didn’t know what to do. I-I didn’t know what was happening to me...I am so sorry.”
The air grew still as though time had somehow frozen. The trees stopped moving, the distant birds were quiet. As though they knew. Oh, it was trouble now.
She watched as his jaw coiled tight. His eyes shut as he took in a deep, soundless breath. In then out. Her head started shaking again, her mud-stained hands coming up to rub together. “Please, please. I-I didn’t mean to. I was so scared. I was so scared; I didn’t mean to. I thought I was going to die.”
“WHERE THE FUCK—!” She flinched at his voice before he lowered it an octave again. More calm and relaxed. But she knew it was only the calm before the storm. “Where the...fuck...are my babies?”
His pale face hardened like stone, like all the blood had been drained from his body. His nostrils were flared, eyes red-rimmed and wild.
She shook her head again. “I am so sorry. I-I didn’t mean to—” Snot dribbled down her nose and into her mouth. “I-I threw them away...I threw them away; I’m so sorry. I didn’t understand...I-I didn’t…”
He put his head into his hands, black and green veins crawling up along his white knuckles. His broad shoulders rose as his back shook. “I have to wait...SIX FUCKING MONTHS AGAIN! SIX! Six months...” He was almost weeping, a disturbingly squeaky croak filling the secluded forest. The birds grew unsettled at the odd sound, and goosebumps flared upon her ice-cold skin.
Her breathing increased as she crawled back on her elbows, wide desperate eyes watching him as he chirped and clicked his tongue in an animalistic way.
But his head snapped up before she could register anything else and his hand grabbed onto her throat again, shoving her back against the ground. His big fingers squashed her windpipe, as her pink tongue slipped through her lips, fingers clawing at his mighty grip.
“I want them back. I want them back!”
She shook her head.
“I want them back!” He released her roughly, but not in good favour, as the first slash of her stomach forced a raw cry from the base of her throat. She gasped, her head slowly dropping forwards to see the opened layer of fat carved along her stomach. Blood poured out of the wound like water from a burst pipe, and her eyes widened in horror.
Before she could react, another slash was delivered, then another, as sharp claws pawed and ripped at her flesh repeatedly. She screamed and thrashed, her face bathing in splashes of red.
“THEY WERE MINE, mine!” He was digging and sieving through the opened cluster of tissues like searching through mud. Only it was flesh, and his fingers were covered in nothing but red as she watched him through dim eyes, her lips parting as she trembled in shock.
“They were mine! Mine!” He yelled frantically, ripping and ripping until nothing was left of her stomach. Birds flew overhead, scavengers waiting for the body to be left behind.
Two breaths from her became one, and one became none. He fell back on his haunches, using his bloody hands to shove his damp hair back from his forehead, inhaling the raw scent of her blood.