Squinting into the dark road ahead of her, Myla O’Brian slowed down the car. There was something sitting there in the middle of the road and the headlights were reflecting off something, turning whatever it was into an eerie, glowing red. Suddenly frightened, Myla punched her foot onto the accelerator, unwilling to risk herself on anything for the sake of morbid curiosity.
As her car passed beside the object on the road, she could barely see a crouching figure. It was just a glimpse, but it was something huge and it had red eyes. In the background, she heard a low thumping sound and before she knew it, it began to mimic the pace of her heartbeat. As her fear intensified, so did her heart rate speed up and the steady thumping increased its speed, making her even more petrified.
Looking into the rearview mirror, she saw the thing had disappeared, but curiously, she could still hear that thumping, beating sound. Pressing her foot harder on the accelerator, she quickly drove through the dark and empty road. Car speed increasing by the minute, she felt her heart rate speed up just as fast, the pumping, stronger. Soon, Myla saw her house ahead and she quickly yanked her steering wheel to the right, directing her car to rush into the driveway, hitting several pots that lined it. Fearful she was experiencing another panic attack, she moved quickly and slamming the door shut as she got out. She focused on her front door visible under the light she kept on when she was not at home. Walking quickly, she nervously looked behind her she but did not see anything beyond the dark avenue that led to her street. The other houses were dark with only their front porch lights left on.
She breathed a sigh of relief when she finally got the front door open and closed it behind her. Panting, breathing harshly, she turned and locked the door, peering into the eyehole to see if that thing, anything, had followed her. When she saw there was nothing in the darkness beyond the broken pots in her driveway, she closed her eyes and leaned her forehead on the door. Straightening, she walked into her house, switching the lights on in every room that she passed. Soon, all the lights in and outside of the house were lit, but she did not feel safe. For some reason, the thumping sound was still there, in her head. She put her hand to her chest and massaged it a bit, feeling her heart thump against her ribcage. As she sat at her kitchen table, she took out her cell to call her husband.
On the third ring, he answered. “Hey sweetheart, it’s late. Are you all right?”
“Jim, I’m scared. I’m really scared. And my heart, I can’t seem to relax and the thumping. It just won’t stop!” she could hear the panic in her voice.
“Honey, what happened? Try to breathe, you know the drill. Breathe in, breathe out. Just listen to my voice. Breathe in, and breathe out.” her husband knew how to calm her, but this
time, somehow, his voice was not helping. The thumping increased even more and now she was developing a headache and she could see red spots whichever she looked.
She was just about to answer her husband, trying to calm herself and keep on breathing when suddenly, the thumping stopped. She could imagine hearing the silence it was overwhelming .
“Myla? Myla? Answer me!” she heard Jim’s voice through the line and hastened to assure him. “Jim? The thumping, it’s stopped.”
“What thumping? Never mind, I am going home right now. Go upstairs and take a bath, which should relax you. Give me fifteen minutes and I’ll be home. Remember, you need to relax. It’s not good for you or the baby.” Jims sounded as if he were moving and before long, Myla heard his car alarm beep.
“I know, I’m sorry Jim. But it was just so strange and I could not control myself. I was so scared.” Myla answered, her hand cradling her swollen belly.
“It’s alright honey, I’ll be home soon. Go upstairs, relax. I will see you in fifteen, okay?”
“Okay. Thank you, Jim. I love you,” she said, smiling as she thought of her husband.
Ending the call, Myla stood and made sure all the windows were locked. She checked outside their home once more through the peephole and windows before going upstairs. As she walked into their bedroom on the second floor, her heart thumped hard suddenly and she paused. Not hearing anything, she shrugged it off as delayed reaction to her mini-panic attack.
Walking into their bathroom, she plugged the tub and ran hot and cold water at the same time, tempering it. She looked at herself in the mirror and proceeded to slather cleansing cream to clear off her make-up before taking off her clothes. Checking the tub, she sprinkled bath crystals and immediately a citrusy scent filled the air. She checked the temperature of the water before turning back to her bedroom. Seeing the window open, she hastened to close it. Looking out into the driveway one last time and seeing it empty, she closed the bSeb sharply with finality before heading back to the bathroom.
Myla sighed as her baby moved within her. Six more weeks, more or less, her doctor had advised. This was their first baby and both she and her husband were very excited to finally meet their baby girl. Running her hand over the stretched skin, she felt the baby give a nice, determined kick. It was painful. Laughing softly and rubbing her belly lightly, she saw the tub had finally filled up. She shut off the water before she settled in, leaning her neck on the folded towel by the edge of the tub and closed her eyes to relax.
* * * *
“Myla? Honey? I’m home!” Jim called as he opened the front door. He had seen the broken pots on the driveway and the crooked way his wife’s car had parked. He shook his head, Myla must have been very stressed, she was usually so meticulous with the care of her home and car.
When no answer came from his wife, he assumed she was still in the bath. Making sure the front door was locked, he checked over the whole of downstairs before finally going up the stairs to their room. It was quiet and empty when he walked in. He saw the bathroom door was slightly open so he walked over and tapped three times on it to warn his wife he was coming in.
* * * *
Across the street, Mrs. O’Neal was startled out of her sleep when she heard a blood-curdling scream coming from outside. Quickly getting out of bed as fast as she could, she roughly pushed at her husband awake beside her, “Scott, call 911. I can hear screaming.”
“What? What?” he sputtered confused at the rough way he been woken from a deep sleep.
“Just call 911 you idiot!” she said sharply, quickly walking to her bedroom window and looking out. Her eyes locked into the house in front of theirs and her heart suddenly beat faster in fear.
“Oh, my God. It’s the O’Brian’s. Myla, oh my God. Scott. Hurry!” she quickly picked up her robe and rushed downstairs. She was through the front door and garden in no time. Not bothering to knock, she opened the O’Brian’s door and rushed up the stairs, following the horrible screams. She was thinking it was Jim. Oh, poor boy!
Scott O’Neal hurriedly picked up his phone and was trying to connect with 911 but was put on hold when it finally connected. “Fuck! Fuck!” he said to no one growing scared by the loud screams coming from across the street. His hand was trembling as he held his phone. He hurried to put on his slippers and slip into his robe, moving to follow his dear wife who was friends with their neighbors. He knew the O’Brian’s, they were a beautiful young couple and expecting their first baby.
Just as he reached his front door, he heard another scream, which sounded much like his wife’s, join the first one. Now two people were screaming and he noted absently the other houses’ lights go on and some of their neighbors were running outside in their robes, some in their skivvies, trying to see where the screams were coming from.
“911, what is your emergency?”
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