Day Five is upon us! This series is really on the move!
As mentioned in Day Four's Post, I felt like each one was sort of turning out, more or less, like the one before it. So with this one I decided to start to go in a different direction. It's less spooky and creepy from the get-go and instead is paced differently. I hope to change up my style even more so in coming posts. But enjoy this quick read!
My alarm sounded, and just like every other day it was hard to get up. The sun had just started to peek into the windows of our bedroom, and I knew at once by the way I was lying and the pressure of the mattress against my body that my wife had already gotten up, as normal. I opened my eyes - a task in and of itself - and then looked to the alarm clock, which sat there, shouting at me to get up, the numbers 7:05 staring me in the face. I reached one arm forward uselessly and slapped the Snooze button on its top, and then also heard something clatter down in the kitchen. She must’ve dropped a fork or something.
I took a deep breath and then rolled over to look at the ceiling above me, white with a slanted rectangle of golden sunlight swiping across it, from one wall to the opposite corner. I blinked the sleep away, and then rubbed my eyes when it refused to leave. And then, I stopped. Everything was being quiet. Normally by now, on a Saturday morning like this, I’d hear the sound of the television going to no audience, of my son playing with his toys in the living room, or of my wife making breakfast. There was none of that this morning. In fact, other than the dropped fork just moments ago, it almost seemed like I was alone in the house.
“Honey?” I called, my voice wavering with the weakness of waking up. I sat up in bed and grabbed an old Led Zeppelin shirt lying on the night stand, pulling it over my head. I scratched my jaw and swung my feet around, setting them on the cold floor.
Standing, I made my way out of the bedroom and into the upstairs hallway, looking down on the front door and entry way of the house. “Marge?” I called again, and this time got an answer.
“Down here,” she said back, her voice echoing from the kitchen.
“You’re so quiet,” I said.
“Sorry,” she responded.
I smirked, a pang of annoyance hitting me. She wasn’t apologizing for being quiet, she was effectively saying ‘I didn’t know I had to make noise,’ thus making it seem like I was blaming her for something which was otherwise unimportant. I was making an observation, and she was responding defensively. Typical.
I pushed those thoughts out of my head and staggered my way to the upstairs bathroom, where I peed, brushed my teeth, and put on deodorant. I stared at myself in the mirror for a moment, disheveled and unkempt as ever, and then decided I didn’t care. It was Saturday, and I was home all day. No reason to get dressed or comb my hair right now. Not until after breakfast and a shower. If I decided to shower.
I made my way back out of the bathroom, my feet more confidently finding their way as I moved down the stairs and into the foyer. I paused, noticing the front door was slightly open, and then leaned forward and pushed it closed, feeling the sudden rush of cold air as it shut.
“Aaron left the door open again,” I said.
“He’s here,” she responded, her voice still echoing out from the kitchen.
I looked down and saw a couple of dirt spots on the entryway rug, and frowned. “Oh, did Julian come here?”
“Just come in the kitchen, Clark,” she said.
I blinked a bit, and then scraped my foot across the dirt mark. “I just don’t like it when they don’t wipe their feet on the mat. I mean, that’s why we got the mat.”
I turned around and made my way around the corner of the foyer and into the kitchen, where I saw that breakfast had been started, but not finished. The pan was sitting on the stove, but the burner was off, even though the pancake was still mostly just runny batter. I frowned when I saw it, and looked up to see my wife, standing rigid and tense, near the corner of the room.
“Decided to only do half pancakes today?” I asked, poking fun.
She just stared at me, her face a look of distress and dread.
“Honey?” I asked, taking a step towards her. As I did so, I noticed why she was looking the way she did. Standing behind her, half hidden by the edge of the fridge, was another man, a cartoon-like Halloween mask over his face, and a jet black handgun pressed into her lower back.