Marie happily ignored the doorbell as she played with her Nintendo DS. Her mom and dad called to her to answer it, but she pretended not to hear and then threw on her headphones so it would look like she couldn’t have possibly heard them over her game.
If she’d only kept them off, she would have heard the screaming.
After another half hour or so of taking care of her virtual dog, her stomach growled so she threw the game onto her bed and ran to the kitchen for a snack. She grabbed a banana and jar of peanut butter before she noticed the odd crunching sound coming from the foyer by the front door of her family ranch home.
As she stopped and listened to the odd sound curiosity got the better of her and she went into the living room for a quick investigation. She saw Grover, her dog, hiding under the couch, his little tail sticking out, and a muffled whimpering coming from the little guy. As she turned into the foyer, she dropped the banana to the marble floor.
Her parents were both attacking the mailman, tearing at his flesh and apparently eating it. Her father had his severed arm and was biting a finger off when he noticed her. He froze for a moment, like a kid caught eating sweets right before dinner, and then growled.
“Dad? Mom?” They both turned on the ten-year-old and lunged for her, causing her to fall backward onto the floor. Her mom’s bloody hand grabbed onto her foot and yanked but Marie wiggled her foot out of the sock and tried to pull back. Her dad was too quick for her and gripped her ankle. As his teeth neared her flesh Grover jumped out from the couch to protect her and started barking. He bit her dad’s hand, forcing him to let Marie go. She jumped up and backed away toward her room as both of her parents grabbed Grover and started tearing him apart.
Marie screamed and ran to her bedroom as fast as she could, shutting and locking the door behind her. Her bed seemed the safest place, so she jumped into it and hid under the covers, waiting. After a few minutes of silence, scratching started at the door, followed by banging. She screamed again and realized she would have to come up with a better plan.
She ran to the window and saw her best friend and neighbor, Joey, walking into his home with his dad. She slammed her hands against the window, and Joey looked over for a second before his dad pulled him inside. Her screams went unnoticed as the neighbors’ front door slammed. She was on her own, and the hammering on the door intensified. She ran to her dresser and tried to push it in front of the door, but her small body couldn’t make it budge so she gave up and threw on a new sock and her sneakers. The banging continued at the door and she screamed at it. “Go away!” The other side was quiet for a second or two before it started again with renewed violence.
As Marie threw some things in her backpack a crack appeared in the door, which grew larger with each slam. Eventually her father could see her and started making a sound that made her blood run cold. She was out of time and ran to the window again, leaving the bag behind.
That’s when she saw Joey run out, a little blood splattered on his t-shirt. She watched him look at some nearby neighbors who clearly resembled her parents and he ran around his house to the deck between her window and his. He climbed under it and disappeared. She knew she had to go there as well. She turned and looked as the door splintered from its hinges. She yanked the window open, jumped out, and ran straight for the deck where her best friend was hiding. Maybe he would know what to do.