A little piece I wrote for the prompt: You are what you eat.
|Waving goodbye to her husband, Lucy thought of all the tasks she had to do for the day. There was washing and ironing, making the beds and cleaning the rooms. None of them appealed to her though. From where she stood on the veranda she could see for miles. Without thinking, Lucy grabbed her bonnet and headed towards the barn. As she saddled the horse, she could picture the green grass by the cool inviting pool. Already feeling the caress of the warm water against her skin, she set off at a break-neck pace as though she did not have a care in the world.
Lucy hardly waited for the horse to stop before she was off and stripping. Running into the pool she didn’t seem to take a breath until she was lying on her back, looking up to a crystal blue sky. She lost all track of time and it was only when a subtle hint of something burning tickled her nose that she snapped out of her reverie. Looking around, she noticed a long column of smoke. It took a few moments for Lucy to realise it was coming from the direction of the homestead. Never had she dressed more quickly than at that moment.
Racing up to the house yard it was like the whole world was on fire. Looking around, Lucy couldn’t find the maid or the baby. Panic started rising in her throat. Where was her baby? A growl came from the back of the house. Running around there, Lucy spotted something moving. Her mind went blank. She was unable to comprehend the sight before her.
Something was moving her way. While it looked human shaped, it was unlike any man she had ever seen. It almost looked like the thing was thicker in some places than others. The top of its head was ten times taller than any normal human being. Its hands were so big the fingers could barely bend and the talons coming out of the end made her blood run cold. An unusually red tongue darts out of its mouth as the creature moved towards her. A scream tore through the air. The creature turned towards it, but Lucy knew she could not let it get her child.
With smoke burning her throat and her eyes streaming, Lucy ran to the woodpile. She grabbed the axe, and ran toward the creature. Taking a swing at it she missed and over-balanced. Before she could recover, the creature was upon her. Lucy rolled and dodged, avoiding the razor sharp talons that ripped at her clothing like they were made of paper. Fighting with every ounce of strength, she pushed her hands up over its face. Lucy let out a gasp as she scraped her fingers across its jagged teeth. As she felt the foul-smelling breath on her, Lucy scratched frantically at its eyes. Howling with animal pain, the creature slashed at her with all the ferocity of hell.
As the thing reared back, Lucy could see it was abnormal. The flesh of other beings covered it in a grotesque patchwork. Rolling over Lucy got one finger on the axe handle, then another. Feeling the searing pain of the creature’s talons penetrating her back, she used the last bit of strength she had and roll over with a scream, swinging the axe. It bit into the creature’s grossly misshapen head. The creature spasmed and it slumped to the ground.
Scrambling backwards, Lucy gasped for air and just sat for a moment, until another scream rent the air. Lucy tried to place where it was coming from. Half stumbling, half crawling, she followed the trail of bloody footprints that led to the barn. Opening the doors, she nearly passed out. Blood covered the walls and floor. A few scraps of calico and some bloody hair was all that remained of the maid. The creature had devoured her.
She heard the scream again, this time louder. Lucy climbed the rickety ladder up to the hay-loft, her hands slipping on the remains of the maid. There she found her baby wrapped up and safe. The maid had hidden the baby there to protect him, before the creature had taken hold of her. Taking him gently into her arms, Lucy wondered how she was going to explain this to her husband.