Chapter 7

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I clasped my neck with both hands. Hot liquid flowed out of me. That was as clear as I could put the situation in my panicked state. Hot liquid. Flowed. Out of me.

And Darla sobbed. No matter how hard I pressed on my neck, more hot liquid kept flowing out. I could smell it: the thick, ferrous fog that blurred my vision. So I stopped pressing—at which the liquid simply kept flowing out of me onto the floor. When the next lightning struck, I could see red everywhere: on the floor, on my shoes, on my hands, Darla, even on the white gown of the idiot husband.

He cackled madly. He’d slashed me where it’d do the most damage. To think that this guy had devoted his life to the field of medicine to use that particular information on me infuriated me deeply. But what could I do? I collapsed on the floor. Darla crawled toward me. I had to make the most of the idiot husband’s delirious state of bliss.

“Darla…” I said. More blood gurgled out. “Closet…”

Darla’s eyes got wide. She shook her head quickly.

“Don’t… be… scared…”

She shook her head more fiercely.

That drew the idiot husband’s attention to her. He raised the dagger high once more. He aimed for Darla.

With all the power in me, I jumped and pushed him to the ground. He didn’t let go of the dagger. He brandished it in every which way. Sometimes it sliced me on the arm. At other times, on the leg. Then he managed to stick it in my nape. I groaned. He pulled the thing out. That hurt.

Meanwhile, Darla crawled like a little beetle toward the closet. It was shaking more furiously than I’d ever seen Jangmi make anything shake. The vibrations emanating from the thing were pretty much visible in the form of waves. I felt the hair on my arms stand on end.

The idiot husband noticed where I was looking.

“What’s she doing?!”

“Jangmi…” I whimpered.

Darla reached the closet at that moment. She screamed, “JANGMI!!!!!”

Then she threw the doors open. From it, a gust blew. The stench of rotten meat filled the room. The curtains fluttered. The bed creaked; it even moved back an inch. Darla should’ve flown against the opposite wall, but didn’t.

This was no normal gust.

“Get… in… closet…” I said, blood still flooding the floor.

“No!” Darla said. Her short hair fluttered, stinging her eyes. The stench was getting worse. “Jangmi, help him!”

“In… and… close…”

“No! You promised you’d never leave me alone again!”

Then it happened. The mice stormed out.

© 2022 Ithaka O.

All rights reserved.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
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