I discarded the name tag. There was only one reason I was here. I wanted to see Craig.
“Doris, is that you?”
“You look well,” he lied.
“Can we talk in private?”
He reluctantly followed me into the elevator. When it stopped on the newly renovated hotel floor, Craig followed me out.
He kicked aside a sheet of plastic and glared. “Your family moved while you were still pregnant, and you never even told me when you had the baby. What do you want from me now?”
“I’ve decided that it’s your turn to care for him. Come on out Tony, and meet your father.”
Our child appeared in the deserted hallway, his shadow dancing on the freshly painted walls. Craig gasped. It wasn’t the sunken eyes and frail body that frightened him, it was the slit in Tony’s face where a mouth should have been.
“He’s deformed,” Craig said with revulsion.
“Yes, and he’s been living off my blood since he was born. Now it’s your turn.”
A long thin tube flicked out of the slit in Tony’s face, attached itself to Craig’s wrist, and pierced the skin. Craig made a gurgling sound in his throat and slid down the wall, eyes glazed.
Now that I was free, what would I do next? Anything but return to that boring reunion.
First published in Black Petals in 2001.
K. A. Williams lives in North Carolina and writes speculative, mystery/crime, general fiction, and poetry. She has been published in many magazines including Mystery Tribune, Trembling With Fear, Theme of Absence, Altered Reality, Yellow Mama, and View From Atlantis. Apart from writing, she enjoys rock music and CYOA games.