Day 6 of the Coffin Hop.
by Lisa McCourt Hollar
Jenny ran down the street, terror keeping her going more than anything. Behind her, Jason, her husband followed, matching her step for step. Reaching inside, she summoned her second wind, forcing her tired legs to speed up. It wouldn't matter long if she kept going or fell, he would have caught up and then whatever had happened to him, would happen to her.
What had happened to him? She'd come home from work and the house smelled as though raw sewage had exploded all over the living room. Looked like it to and she thought maybe the toilet upstairs had backed up or something. Then Jason had come into the room and she realized he was covered in black sludge.
"Honey, what the hell happened?"
He hadn't answered. Just came at her, holding his arms out. If she hadn't fallen backwards, he would have been on her.
"Sweetie," she had laughed, "I know that technically we should still be on our honeymoon, but you aren't getting any sugar from me until you shower. What the hell happened anyway?"
When he didn't answer, Jenny began to worry that something was wrong with him. If the toilet had exploded and sewage had landed on him, would it effect the way he behaved? She wasn't a doctor, but something was wrong here.
"Honey," she said, moving closer, no longer worried about the sludge touching her, "are you alright."
That's when she saw his eyes. She had always loved the shade of blue that glinted in there, and the touch of laughter he couldn't hide, even when he did become upset. The blue was gone though, replaced by something dark and beneath his skin, she saw a ripple of movement.
"Oh my God." Jenny backed up, retracing her steps to the front door. "Jason, what...what happened to you?"
"Please," Jason held out his hand, ichor dripping from the fingertips, "join me."
That is when Jenny turned and ran full speed out of the house. What she saw terrified her to the core. Her best friend and neighbor, Cindy Lawson was laying on the ground, covered with whatever was on Jason. It had started at her feet and was working its way up her body.
Jenny rushed to her. Grabbing her hand, she tried to pull Cindy away from whatever this shit was, but the thing pulled back on Cindy's legs even harder with a huge sucking sound. Then it spread out a bit, reaching for Jenny.
"Run." Cindy screamed. "It took the children. Run!"
What was she talking about, took the children. They were right there, standing in the doorway. Jenny glanced up at Lacy, the youngest and just about shit herself. Lacy’s once blond hair was black, something thick and slimy dripping from the ends. Then it disappeared and her hair was blond again.
“What is going on,” Jenny asked.
“Come with me Aunt Jenny,” Lacy said, holding out her hand. Jenny stared at it. The hand was only partially formed, with two fingers missing.
“Look at your hands Lacy. Tell me what happened.”
Lacy looked at her hand and then smiled. “Oh, I see, there should be five. That’s different from what we’ve experienced before.” Next thing Jenny knew, two more fingers had popped out of the little girls hand and she waved it at Jenny, as though showing her what an awesome thing she had done. “Is that better Aunt Jenny?”
Jeny turned and ran then, dodging Jason and kicking Mr. Jenson’s poodle when it came running at her. She always hated his constant yapping.
Now she was running down Main street and running out of wind. She stopped for a moment to catch her breath. Bending over, she gasped, trying to get in enough air to keep going. She glanced at Jason, who was walking towards her, his hand held out to show her he meant her no harm. She didn’t believe him.
Thick, black wet dropps hit the pavement. Was this stuff falling from the sky? Looking up, she saw it dripping from the orange and red leaves of a tree. Its branches were reaching for her, stretching and growing before her eyes. Screaming she ran.
“Jenny, come back,” Jason called. The tree groaned as well, sounding like it was trying to speak. Jenny was sure if she turned around she would find that it had formed a mouth in its trunk and feet to chase her with.
Turning the corner, she cried out, frustration bringing tears to her eyes. The Frank & Stein Halloween Shop was just ahead and the parking lot was filled with people. Judging from the way the were ambling about and the ichor dripping from some of their bodies, she didn’t think they were going to help her. And now she was trapped. She couldn’t turn back, Jason was there and further behind him Lacy and her sister and who knew who else. In front of her, a mass mob of whatever these things were, because she knew they were not the people that made up this small town.
Looking back and forth between her two options, Jenny considered running through the yard of the house across from her, but the grass, which once had been green, was now black. Screaming, she turned a full circle, her hands held up in the air, begging for some sanity to this day. And then the crowd at the Frank & Stein Halloween Shop parted and a powder blue Fiesta came into view, it’s engine roaring and knocking bodies that moved to slow, out of the way.
The car sped forward, heading straight for Jenny and would have hit her, if she hadn’t jumped out of the way. Falling to the ground, Jenny hit her head. Groaning, she sat up and watched as the car started to speed forward, but then the driver seemed to change her mind and backed up.
The driver was Melinda Jones. She was one of Jenny’s student’s. Next to her was the her boyfriend< Wayne and in the back seat the owner of the Frank & Stein Halloween shop and a little girl that looked vaguely familiar. Jenny thought it was one of Lacy’s friends.
“Get in,” Melinda said.
Jenny wasn’t sure if it was a good idea or not, but Jason was almost there and the crowd at the party shop was heading their way as well.
“Where are we going,” Jenny asked Melinda, climbing in and sitting next to the little girl.
“To kill some alien slime.”
Then they took off, running over Jason in the process.