Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Blurred Edges Chapter Four

Spinning around, Claire clutched at the tub behind her as she stared at the darker recesses in the bathroom, the path leading to the main bedchamber where Martin would soon be. Standing in the shadows opposite the door, Claire could just make out a figure… a nude figure. Old sagging flesh and wrinkles marred its dark body as it stared at her from the corner, breathing heavily. Eyes darting about, she saw that one of its hands was missing; the scratching in the tub reminded her of where it could possibly be.

“Martin?” She whispered, hoping she could keep the figure from moving.
It remained still, save for the labored breathing. Obese and greasy looking, the creature was mostly hairless and had squinted, slitted eyes that looked as if they were slices from a razor rather than proper eye sockets. Its mouth opened, slick black goo spilling out onto its chest, thick as well mixed cake batter but dark, with large chunks of… something floating within the mix.
“Martin?” Claire called out, a little louder. The scrabbling in the bathtub was growing louder, as if the hand was finding enough purchase to clamber up the side. Claire took a moment to peer down into the tub.
The fat man was upon her, one hand clasping her wrists in a vice-like grip as it pressed it’s meaty stump into her throat, pulling on her arm enough to cause her to fall back from the pressure on her throat. Slamming the back of her head on the bathtub, she cried out in pain as she saw stars and felt the thick, sausage-like fingers holding her mutilated hand up to its piggish snout. She writhed in pain as a long tongue, thick and wet, slid out from the man’s mouth and into the wound, pushing the damaged muscle around as it sought something within her. Flailing about with her legs and arm to try and find purchase, she planted a foot on one of his thick legs, her arm going over the edge of the tub enough for her to lift herself up into a sitting position. Her vision blurry, her glasses askew, Claire could only see the dark figure over her as it forced its tongue into the hole of her hand, black blood bubbling up from the wound as it was forced out.
“Martin!” Claire screamed, kicking the man in the leg as hard as she could. It grunted and pulled its tongue free from her bleeding hole, looking down at her with lightless eyes. In a child’s voice, the old man whispered harsh words.
“Five rooms to contain the sixth, Winthrop praying to the Lord for guidance…” He hissed, slinking back into the corner before his body began to dissolve into the shadows. The scrabbling in the tub ceased as Claire lay on the ground, gasping for air as she cradled her injured hand, the sharp throbbing coming from the wound enough to bring tears to her eyes. Martin rushed into the room just as the last fragments of the man disappeared into the shadows.
“Claire, are you okay? Here, come on, let’s get you up.” Martin said, gripping her by the forearm, tugging her up to her feet shakily.
“Did you see him? Where is he?” Claire slurred, trying her best to stay conscious. She reached up with her good hand and set her glasses straight on her face before looking in the corner.
Martin half carried her out of the bathroom and into the darkened bedroom, the few rays of sunlight spilling in through the windows illuminating the area enough for them to see. Martin led Claire over to the bed, where he flopped her down, dust rising into the air causing them both to cough and hack for a moment. Martin recovered first, kneeling down to grab the first aid kit, lying it down on the bed next to Claire’s injured hand.
The next few minutes passed by in a blur for Claire, her mind reeling from the strange experience she’d just had. She winced as Martin doused her injured hand in alcohol before he smeared anti-bacterial cream over it. She rolled her head to the side to watch him wrap her hand in gauze, the brown linen quickly staining a deeper shade of red as he continued to apply pressure to her wound.
“Geez Claire, what were you doing in there?” Martin asked as he continued rolling the gauze around her hand. “Your hand is almost split in half. If I didn’t know how, I’d say we would need to get you to a doctor to stitch you up.”
“Just stitch me up then and be done with it,” Claire moaned, already dreading the idea of feeling a needle pass through her skin.
“Well I’m going to keep it wrapped for now and have you packed in ice, to reduce the swelling and numb it a bit. We’ll crack open a few beers and let you get a decent buzz before I start sewing you up. It’s the only anesthetic we have besides some of our heavier pain killers, and I’d rather save those in case you have anything else happen to you.”
“Why would something else happen to me?” Claire asked, giving Martin a look.
“We’ve been on the property not thirty minutes and you’ve been bitten by a spider and managed to tear open the wound on your hand even more while trying to clean it. You also banged your head, if the blood on the tub was any indication.”
Martin pulled Claire up slowly, bringing a hand behind her head. Claire winced as she felt his fingers probe a heavy knot forming near the back of her head, his fingers coming away bloody.
“Just as I thought,” Martin said, wiping his fingers on a some gauze. “We’re going to have to wrap your head a little. And you can’t go to sleep for a while, just in case you have a concussion.”
“I feel fine,” Claire said, waving away Martin’s probing hands. He pressed on and began dabbing an alcohol soaked cloth at the back of her head, her blue hair making it easy to find the source of the blood flow. “Just put some ice on it and we’ll be good to go.”
“Some ice would be helpful,” Martin said, bringing away the cloth and setting it down on the first aid kit. “For now I’m just going to wrap it. Undo your ponytail, will you?”
Claire reluctantly pulled away at her ponytail, her mind drifting to what she’d seen in the bathroom. As Martin lifted her hair and began wrapping gauze around her head, she thought of the one-handed blubbery man. Was that a figment of her imagination, something she’d concocted after hitting her head? A dull throb in her hand told her that whatever she’d seen was real.

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