I watch my baby sister from across the lawn. She has her back to me, soft breeze lilting the tips of her yellow hair. I want to creep closer, but I cannot. A shiver is tracing the contours of my spine as I worry my raw lower lip.
She sits so beautifully still.
My breath is held. My fingers tighten around the knife in my hand, blood silently trickling from where there is too much flesh pressed to the blade. It slides down into the grass causing an almost black splatter in the warm sunlight.
Mother and father are lying in the kitchen. Their throats are cut and their eyes wide with preserved screams. My hand is not shaking.
There are no noises in the neighbourhood. Those frequent heard sounds of children laughing, birds chirping and mowers running are dead and gone. The slight air moves the wisps that hang low by my ears.
Still, she is. Unmoving.
My heart beats a thousand times in my chest. A thousand beats that a thousand bodies will not feel. I swallow down my remorse and speak her name.
Nothing yet the wind toys with her yellow hair. Blue denim and a small, dinosaur print t-shirt is nearly all I can see of her now. The edges begin to blur with the threat of tears.
Her little head shifts, scraping a pivot on her small shoulders until wild, dead eyes find me. I swallow as her lips form a lop-sided smile and she rushes me on small toddler feet. The only feeling that will come is the sense that I too am going to die.
My eyes snap open in the dark of the room. Cold sweat stains my forehead as Erik shifts lazily beside me. Heart running at a thousand beats a second, I creep carefully from our shared hammock and trace over to the window.
Cool air meets my skin with welcome relief through the glassless frame. The stars twinkle softly as I catch my breath. It is still dark by the window, but I raise my hand and trace the small scar line that decorates my palm.
Yesterday was her birthday. The morning that will soon dawn is the anniversary of her death. And her second death.
For a long time, I stare out at the motionless landscape. It is peaceful in a way but disturbing in so many others. I close my eyes only to hear a rustling behind me.
I bite my lip and close a fist on the scar of my palm. The old hammock creaks, but there are no footsteps on the ground. His eyes burn my back.
“Did you see something out there?”
“No.” Sighs tug my lips. “I just couldn’t sleep. Thought I’d get some air.”
“Oh… okay.” I stiffen, almost expecting him to pursue it. Then he utters, “When you’re done, come back to bed, huh?” The creaks indicate a turn in his position.
I stare back out at the same spot on the hill. He expects me to bear his child. He thinks I want to.
But I don’t.
I still remember their crazed faces as they attacked Kyra and then turned to devour me. And I wonder if I would do the same to one of my own.
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