Monday, November 16, 2009

The Accident

I guess it was a quarter to two when the power went out. I don't really know how long ago that was, because the little red numbers on the alarm clock died with the lights. The sun hasn't come up yet. Not that I could see it from the closet, but some instinctive part of me knows.

He's out there still. I can hear the meat tenderizer finishing off the last pieces of glass from the medicine cabinet mirror. He's been at it forever. You know that sound when someone drags the tines of their fork across a plate? Imagine that sound in short, succinct bursts. That and the sound of splintering glass had chilled me straight through, sticking needles in my skin.

I can barely remember the accident, although it was only two days ago. I guess calling it an accident isn't entirely correct. It was a strange sound, like pressure building and mounting until... until... In this case, until water trickled under the front door. I stared at it for the longest time, before the door caved in under a wall of water and darkness crawled across the carpet to drench my socks and creep up my jeans. I ran up the stairs- No, I flew up the stairs, holding onto the handrail but barely touching the floor as the water rose slowly to cover the first step, and then the second. The water stopped about a foot above the top of the stairs, opaque and swimming with leaves.

I sat atop my dad's oak desk until he found the metal mallet with the spikes that my mom used on last night's chicken. He'd put holes in the walls trying to find us, but most of us managed to get away. I haven't seen either of my sisters, but I'd been close enough to watch my little brother race across the wading pool that used to be the second floor landing. He hadn't made it. After he disappeared under the leaves, I shut the closet door.

I've been here, watching that alarm clock for almost two days, even after the power went out. I don't think I'll be waiting much longer.

The mallet is on the bedroom door.