Resuba (excerpt) | Horror | 865 words
Riley could see the violence play out in shadows across her bedroom wall. Though she was away from the clamor and tucked safely in bed, the raised voices and vicious movements reached into her room and grabbed her so her breath caught in her throat and her heart to thudded painfully in her chest.
Her mother was in trouble. To pull the blankets off her was like peeling thick blocks of lead from atop her body. She threw herself over the side of her bed and had intended to stand, to run through her bedroom door and down the hall, but instead she crumpled to the floor. Something was wrong. She was so heavy. The air felt like molasses. Her body was weighted with stone. She couldn’t raise herself up off the ground. Her mom called to her. She cried for help. She called to her daughter, begging, pleading to be rescued. The cruel shadows played out across the floor. They flickered across Riley’s face. She couldn’t see what was happening directly, but she didn’t have to see to know.
She gripped the rough brown carpet in front of her and pulled, dragging herself across her bedroom floor and into the hallway in slow motion, unable to make her body react with the urgency she felt tearing at her insides. Her mom screamed and plead. Riley could hear the vines’ sickening smacks and squelches as they gained purchase on their target. The idea that it was her mother’s body absorbing those blows, that the vines were wrapping around her delicate body so harshly that the noise would reverberate out through the house caused Riley’s stomach to turn.
“I’m coming!” Riley tried to shout, but her voice wasn’t there. In rasps and whispers only she could hear, she reassured her mom as tears streamed down her face. She couldn’t get there fast enough. Why couldn’t she go any faster? She dragged herself across the floor in inches, willing her body to rise up, to move. She plead with her dad and screamed promises to her mom in a voice that wouldn’t come. She would be too late.
The shadows were distorted by the long walls of the hallway. Black, undulating vines appeared to spread across the space and laid across Riley’s trembling body. She saw the silhouette of her mother, under assault from the thick, shadowy tendrils, elongated and warped as they crashed down across the narrow corridor Riley dragged herself through too slowly. So painfully. Why couldn’t she just get up?
She saw her mom’s shadow assaulted, violently grabbed and raised in the air. She heard her mother's cries cut short. She saw the shadow-body fall limp, then, released from the poisonous ropes and coils that had engulfed it, finally crumple and lie still. Riley hadn’t gotten there in time. The realization knocked the wind from her body. She couldn’t breathe in the reality of it. What she had dreaded every day had finally happened right in front of her. Her world had just ended in and a new one had been born: A world without her mom. A world where the monster had won.
She let out a scream, and this time her voice worked. She was screaming for her mother’s lifeless body. She was screaming for the horrors that she knew would now always come. She screamed because she knew she was powerless.
She screamed because she knew she was next.
Her bellows crashed against the nearby walls. They ripped at her throat and made her eyes water. She couldn’t stop. Her cries raked at her from deep within her stomach all the way out her mouth and scraped their way along the hallway and out into the lit room where her mother’s body lay and her father—her father stood, monstrous and horrible, ready to rend Riley apart with as little regard as he had for Riley’s one savior: Her mother. The only person who had understood and who was now gone forever. Riley always knew they would either save each other or they would fail together. The reality choked her. The beast had won. It was finally happening.
She watched as his shadow moved across the floor. Her throat stung with fire as she expressed all the pain and fear she had kept within herself all these years. She cried for her mother’s suffering too, now at an end in the worst possible way. She couldn’t make herself move. All she could do was scream and feel the hot tears run down her face as she accepted that she was totally and completely alone. Conquered. Lost. And soon to be destroyed.
He was upon her before she could react, his great, horrible vines reaching out from below his neck and where his face should be—where some awful, indescribable maw existed underneath. Like rough, hateful hands all over her body, she felt the vines grab her and clutch and tear at her skin before violently pulling her forward. The vines gripped her and coiled around her, sending searing pain like lightning throughout her body, and lifted her up, wresting her closer and closer to the monster’s awful, stinking mouth…