Roderigo gazed up at the child standing on the stairway. Her eyes held a sinister gleam as her smile widened. There was something sadistic about the look on her face–something that seemed to stir a primal terror inside him. As the air thickened, she began to descend the stairs toward them, her fingers sliding along the railing in a manner that seemed more sinister than it should have. Even Ash, who moments ago had refused to believe him, was visibly frightened.
“I eat people… well, that’s not really fair. I eat a lot of things. Humans are just my current favorite.” She paused at the foot of the stairs, turning to face Roderigo. “Do you know why?”
Roderigo positioned himself between her and Ash. “Tell me,” he said, as he surreptitiously slid his hand into his pocket to grab his revolver. He knew it wouldn’t do him any good, but he felt it was better than nothing.
“Humans think they’re special. They’re not. They’re just animals–instinctive, predictable animals. But they are, by far, the smartest animals. And they pull things off that no living organism has ever done before. A chimpanzee will grab a stick and use it to gather termites to eat. Humans carve wood and mold steel into guns. Termites build mounds on the Sahara. Humans? They build skyscrapers. Your species is capable of such complex and independent thought that you can outright ignore your biological imperatives. In a sense, nothing is truly normal for you–given enough time and distance from where you stand, what one man consider to be abhorrent would be downright honorable for somewhat else. That’s why I like you–no two humans taste the same.” She turned to face her father, who flinched. “Daddy, I bet you’ll taste like berries and cream.”
Then she turned away. Heading over to the radio, she laid one hand on its side, and with a spark it turned on. It seemed to randomly shuffle between stations, finally settling on a depressing piece of ambient rock. The sound was almost like clockwork–precise, repetitive, almost ticking along with real time. Both of them recognized the band as Princess’ old garage band, which she had disbanded back in college.
You bitch, Roderigo thought. You sadistic bitch–it was you. This whole time, it was you…. Roderigo quickly drew his revolver and aimed it at her skull.
Twitch turned to him and stared into his eyes, her gaze piercing through flesh and bone to penetrate his soul. As she lifted her hand from the radio, it spewed smoke and died. “Such a beautiful song,” Twitch said. “I would have loved to taste her, but she escaped me.”
Roderigo froze. She escaped? he thought. Then what was all that for? Without thinking, he pulled the trigger, but the bullet seemed to pass through Twitch as if she weren’t even there. Figured it wouldn’t be so simple, he thought.
Twitch began to move toward him, her eyes cutting through him, focusing instead on her father. As she approached, a strange glint filled her eye, and Roderigo imagined a drop of drool forming at the corner of her mouth. There was really nothing he could do. They stood no chance.
“Twitch?” Sabbath’s voice echoed through the living room. Both Roderigo and Ash glanced at the top of the stair, where Sabbath was stared down at them with shock. Twitch almost seemed to recoil at the sound of her voice, and her head snapped up in response. She flashed that same cold smile as before and said, “Well, sis, you caught me at a bad time.”
“What are you guys doing?” Sabbath asked. She moved down the stairs, her eyes shifting from Twitch to Roderigo, seemingly boring holes into each of their skulls.
“I was just going to grab a bite to eat,” Twitch said. “I guess I should eat out instead.”
What happened next tested Roderigo’s confidence in his sanity. Twitch’s body seemed to lose focus. Her outline began to distort. Her features collapsed into themselves, as if her body was being drawn through an opening in space; particles began to separate from her as they were drawn in, until finally nothing was left, not even a hair.
The entire process had taken less than a second.
Sabbath stared at the spot where her sister once stood. An odd expression of apathy crossed her face. Roderigo reached for her hand and beckoned her to follow. She looked up at him, and then followed him out of the house, her father following after her.
As they entered Roderigo’s car, an air of collective horror began to take hold. Sabbath, however seemed remarkably calm, and took the silence as a cue to begin fiddling with the stereo. one said a word the entire drive back. Ash and Roderigo sat in silence, an air of collective horror welling inside them. To Roderigo’s astonishment, that same song began to play, picking up where it had previously left off.