The house was quiet and still. Now that the move was nearly done, Ricky stood in the doorway watching the blue Sunshine Movers truck as it rumbled off down the neighborhood street. All he had left to move were five small, nondescript, brown boxes. They, and the treasures they contained, were downstairs and couldn’t be entrusted to anyone else.
As he ran his fingers along the cool, textured wall, the memories flooded back. Ricky relived everything in his mind, remembering the smells of the house and the family that lived in it. He strolled aimlessly through the house, reliving every one. The whimpers of his step-son as he cried in his sleep, or the snores of his wife in the room they shared.
The moments bleed together now. Try as he might to forget them, no span of time could be enough.
When he reached the basement, his eyes were drawn to the boxes stacked neatly in a corner, sitting next to a razor thin crack in the plaster molded against one wall. It was a poor attempt to cover his mistake.
Staring at the crack in the plaster, he remembered well the horror hidden behind it. Ricky wanted to run from this horror, but felt powerless to leave it behind him. Now, he had no choice but to leave his home and the body hidden in there, yet his eyes remained glued to the crack in the wall.
It seemed like yesterday when he was looking into the eyes of the boy. He could remember the terror shining in them as he approached the child so late at night. When he’d steal the child from his bed, ignore his pathetic whimpers and pleas…Ricky Marshall shook his head. It wouldn’t do any good to remember him now. He’d killed the boy. His stepson, one night when his passions had escaped him and he’d lost control. Ricky breathing hard, sated on the bed, while the boy lay motionless next to him, his body cooling in the night air.
A soft scratching sound interrupted Ricky’s thoughts. Where was that coming from?
The scratching got louder and Ricky’s head jerked around, his fear soaked eyes settling on that damn crack in the plaster as the scratching gave way to crumbling. A small, bone white hand clawed away at the plaster from the inside as Ricky watched in horror, unable to move. The odor of rotting flesh permeated the air and gradually became stronger as the crack became wider.
When the reflection of the light in the window caught the eyes on the other side of the wall, Ricky’s bladder gave way. The smell of urine joined that of rot and decay, painting the air with a unique, fetid odor.
Enough plaster was scratched away to reveal the ghastly mask of the child. Decaying, bone white fingers continued to dig until the hole was big enough for the child to worm his way through. The bloated face broke into a ghastly smile as the small body finally extracted itself from the chasm in the wall and entered the room.
“It’s time to play, Daddy. I’m going to use you to make me feel goooood.”
Ricky’s screams were muffled by thick walls and a building windstorm outside. A passerby out for a walk with his dog looked at the house, shook his head, and mumbled to himself.
“Damn kids and their rock music. They’re going to scream themselves to death.”
© 2016, Tim Hillebrant. All rights reserved.
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