Lizzie wasn’t thinking about what she was doing, she just did it. She attacked. She pushed herself up and in one motion pushed out with her hands. It connected in his chest and she felt his sudden shift as he lost his breath and then his balance. He fell back and she persisted. He hit the counter, keeping him upright but he was dazed, stunned by her blow. She followed up with a knee to his groin and he made an audible gasp as he bent over.
She didn’t stop. She brought her hands together and brought them down on his back. He fell to his knees and the collapsed to the floor. Lizzie stood there, watching him. She was panting, not realizing how much exhaustion went into beating someone up, but she had done it. She had stopped him.
She wasn’t sure how long she stood there feeling proud of herself. It was longer than she should have, she knew that much.
Sarah! She needed to check on her!
Lizzie hurried around the counter hoping to find her friend okay. She saw the blood before she came upon the body. The blood had become a river flowing in the cracks toward the open back door. Then she found that lake of red around her friends head.
Lizzie was sure she would never forget how her hair was all wet and matted in the pool. She couldn’t help but think how upset Sarah would be when she saw herself in the mirror because it was matted and Sarah couldn’t go a second with having her hair not perfect. There were lumps of it that were drenched and had turned her sunlit rays of blond into a dark red mush.
She needed to do Sarah’s hair before she woke up. That’s what she needed to do.
Lizzie lowered herself down, keeping her legs together and staying poised like a lady when she looked at Sarah’s eyes. They were open, looking out into the distance.
They didn’t blink. Not even when a fly landed on them.
Then she noticed that some of the blood was coming out from the side of Sarah’s eye. Half her skull was caved in there making her face not even. That shouldn’t be like that. And her mouth… her jaw was ripped away and there were teeth missing…her smile, she was going to be pissed. Sarah was relentless about using teeth whitener so she had that super sweet, innocent as cherry pie smile that often lured in guys.
She had to get Sarah out of there. She wasn’t going to be happy, but maybe the doctors could do something.
Lizzie reached forward and pushed on Sarah’s shoulder.
“Hey, we gotta get out of here. I need you to get up.”
Sarah didn’t move. Lizzie thought about trying to nudge her friend again, but she didn’t have time for this. Sarah needed help, but Lizzie didn’t think she could carry her. Would she be able to drag her?
So much blood. It was going to get all over her shirt and jeans, but she had to do it.
She reached forward, trying to grab Sarah’s shirt top. She had to adjust her balance while also shifting to not step into the pool of blood. It was tricky, and she didn’t realize until she tasted her own blood that she was biting her lip.
Sarah’s shirt was wet, but Lizzie got a good grip on it and pulled. Sarah slid on the floor, streaking it and allowing more of the red goo to soak into Sarah’s blouse. As she moved across the tile, there was a scraping sound and Lizzie tensed at how loud it sounded in the stillness that had descended on the house since she had knocked the naked man down.
She stopped. She had to as she was losing her balance pulling her friend and feared she would fall on her butt. Then her own jeans would be covered in red.
Damn why hadn’t Dennis come out there with them? Sure, Sarah and Lizzie were friends with Jessica and Dennis was just the boyfriend, but he was useful. When Sarah had needed someone to carry her new mattress up four flights of stairs because the elevator was out in her apartment complex, Dennis had done it. He had complained for the last two flights, and gotten irritated with their giggles and jibes, but he had done it.
Who else would she get to move a dead body when she needed it?
No! Sarah wasn’t dead. She couldn’t think that way. She just needed to get her out of there and go for help. They needed to find the police and get them out there before the man woke back up. He could regain consciousness at any time, any noise could do it.
She listened to her breathing. It sounded loud and raspy to her, and deafening. She tried to control it and breathe easier, but her heart was racing. Her body was betraying her. She wanted to keep quiet, still as the house around her, but every part of her seemed to cry out in betrayal. Her ankle popped as she reached forward to grab Sarah again and pull and she winced.
The man would be waking soon. She pulled on Sarah again and that scraping on tile screamed through the kitchen. Lizzie looked at the man, worried he would be waking up.
He was staring at her. That smile had returned and he was lying there on the ground staring at her. There wasn’t even any sign that he had been passed out. Had he been watching her this whole time?
“Come on Sarah!” Lizzie reached forward and pawed for clothing. “I need you to help me here. Get Up!”
Her hands couldn’t make purchase throwing her balance off. She didn’t fall back though and had been able to push off, standing as she stumbled back until she hit the wall to regain her balance.
The man laughed at her, his cackle echoing off the linoleum. She didn’t turn to look, to see that blood red smile, but it didn’t help as her eyes stayed locked on Sarah.
The cold dead eyes that continued to stare at Lizzie. Lizzie had never seen a dead persons eyes before. She hadn’t thought there would be a change, that the eyes would look the same if someone was alive or dead, but that wasn’t true. No matter how still someone is, there was always some movement to the eye, a twitch or a throb as blood circulated through the corneas.
Only the dead remained still. Sarah wasn’t moving.
She heard something sliding on the floor. She didn’t turn to look. She didn’t have to know that the man was pulling himself towards her. The image of his blood filled mouth, the maggot that slithered from the tip of his penis, all of it was already burned into her memory. Another look in his direction would only be another nightmare she would need to avoid.
Instead she turned from the man, turned from her friend and ran out the kitchen door.