I sit on the hearth, smoking a cigarette from a pack I’d stashed in the back of a drawer in one of the many times Rhonda tried to make me quit. It’s doing fuck all to calm my nerves. Even hard whiskey wouldn’t be up to that task. But it’s something to occupy me while I wait Rhonda to rise again.
“It’ll be great.” I told her. “Just some quality time between big bro and baby sis.”
That hadn’t warranted even the ghost of smile. Fuck! Whoever this asshole was he’d really done a number on her.
“Come on, Rhonda! We can play Trivial Pursuit, while eating those huge licoricie ropes from that little store in town. And you know what? You are FINALLY old enough to partake in some of my special Mixed Iced Teas.”
I gave a conspirital wink at that, like we were partners in crime, hoodlums getting one over on the man. All she gave me was a twitch of a smile. God! Why she always end up having it so bad for these goddamn meatheads?
“Jesus woman! You’re killing me! You know how long you’ve been begining me to let you try one of my special iced teas? And now, finally, FINALLY, you can have one, as many as you want in fact, and it’s not even worth a smile? It’s official, whoever these jerk is I’m going to have to beat his ass, because if you don’t care about that, he’s absolutely fucked you up.”
“Don’t do that.” She said. “And another thing, don’t fucking curse so much.”
“A joke! And a smile! My favorite litte spit fire is still in there somewhere! Hallejuah!”
Rhonda rolled her eyes and looked back at the window, but there was a smile, however fragile, on her lips. Yes, a weekend away from the world and endless rounds of Trivial Pursuit and Risk, and a few fortified iced teas, and she’d be right as rain.
The cabin was a small affair, with a big main den and fireplace, and a small kitchen and a three bed rooms off from there. In the closet of what had been mom and dad’s bedroom we kept the ancient assortment of board games. Rhonda was getting Trivial Pursuit, her favorite and the one she almost always beat me at, while I dropped the bags by the moldy hide-away couch.
“How about some of those world famous iced teas Rick?” She said, as she started pulling board and pieces from the box. Already, being here and among all the passed times was helping to aleviate her heart ache.
“Coming right up!”
I went into the kitchen, grabbing a couple of bottles from dad’s old liquor cabinet, and started to mix our drinks. I was begining to feel postive about the whole trip. Rhonda was begining to come out of her funk, we were going to be spending some time together, something we hardly ever got to do since we’d grown-up and started living our own lives. All in all, I should have known everything was getting ready to turn to shit.
I put the thought out of my mind. I picked up the glasses and walked back into the den. Rhonda already had the game all set up. However, their was in evil grin on her face that told me whatever it was she was thinking I wasn’t going to like.
“You know what we have to do…..”
“No Rhonda, I’m not going to…”
“….it’s not a trip to the cabin until we dance to ‘The Witch Jam'”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake, do we have to?”
“Yes, we have to! It’s tradition!”
“These things are great!”
“Don’t let them fool you; they’ve got a kick to them. And the last thing I need is you puking up all the colors of the rainbow, and then moaning under the covers all day tomorrow because you’re head feels like it’s going to split and a Greek goddess is going to come flying out.”
“I’m not as lightweight as you think!”
“Well, we’ll see.” I said. She stuck her tongue out at me. Real mature Rhonda!
“What the fuck was that!” Rhonda said, almost spilling her drink on the game board. From somewhere out in the night the most hideous, tormented howl had emerged. The night was still and silent. We both sat frozen, our hearts beating tendrils of ice through our blood.
“I don’t know Rhonda.” Was all I could manage.
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!”
I grabbed the nearest weapon, a large scrap piece of wood that was probably meant to be used as a piece of firewood, and raised it back over my head like a baseball player at bat. The whole cabin was filled with that hideous noise, as those things cried in the night. What the fuck was going on!
It lumbered towards us, it’s scream never ceasing. I swung at it, grazing it’s face, knocking of it’s bulbous nose. Unfortunately, I over extended my swing and landed face first in the stereo. That was all the opening the thing needed.
I head Rhodna’s scream even before I’d returned to my feet. I saw the grotesque fiend take a big chunk of meat out of Rhonda’s neck. She screamed in horror and pain as the thing knocked her down, a necromantic lover with his unwilling bride.
I raised the timber up again, and swung with all my might. The timber crunched the thing’s skull, but I kept on hitting it over and over until it was still. I pulled it off the top of Rhonda, shivering as I touched it’s disgusting skin. Rhonda was going into shock, her blood was everywhere. The oily and fetid contents of the thing’s skull were spilled all over her shirt.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck! FUCK!
What in the name of hell where the’s things?
I decided not to risk it. I remembered that dad had his old army sleeping bag stashed in his bedroom closet. I grabbed it, and not really thinking about what it was I was doing, still numbed with horror, I stuffed her body into it.
Then, somehow, I realized I need to make sure she wouldn’t get out of it. Improvising, I grabbed the roll of duct tape from the junk drawer in the kitchen and bound her tight in the sleeping bag.
She starting flailing around in the sleeping bag, the same hungry, inconsolabe crying scream emiting from her mouth that had come from the fiends that had attacked us. Numb, on automatic, I grabbed the timber and beat he skull in.