Mia 3: Child Cannibalism

Mia’s hair is rolled into a bun at the nape of her neck. Sitting in the driver’s seat, she’s wired stiff, her back rigid and straight as a pole. Her jaw is quivering, and she’s clutching the steering wheel so tightly that her knuckles are white. The crescents of her nails bite into her palms.

Mia’s eyes stay fixed to the road, and she blurts out, “I am never going back there again!” Mia’s voice carries in staccato pulses over the Billie Eilish playlist pumping from the car’s stereo.

“… so you’re a tough guy…”

Lisa lifts her head, glances at Mia and nods sheepishly, sweeps her long blond hair back behind her neck, and then lowers her gaze back to the blue glow of her phone, continues mouthing along with Billie.

Mia’s voice is like a hammer smashing a pane of glass, shattering the friends’ uncomfortable silence. Mia had been giving the cold shoulder to Lisa. She’d been gruff, evasive, quiet as dead air since they’d left, abruptly, following dinner.

Mia wishes to drive 5 hours back to campus, rather than stay the night in the house. She abhors that house more than anything. The house, to her, the gothic creepy thing, is no longer a structure. It is alive. It is a living, cruel reminder, exuding evil.

Leaving the house, she imagined the whole building could grow legs the size of the Eiffel Tower and chase after her as she drove off, like a giant spider or like one of the hideous aliens from War of the Worlds.

She’d been a rational being her whole life. Never did she feel a paranormal presence. Never did she entertain the thought of sinister, “evil spirits.”

But there was… something… something menacing in that place. Lisa, as crazy as she seems, perhaps is right. Maybe ghosts are real…

And now Mia wants only to flee. Getting the fuck out of there, it was the only thing she could think of during dinner.

During dinner… The terror remained. The baby was still there. She could sense it. She knew it was staring at her, through the walls. Or perhaps it was under the floor.

Maybe it could bash open a hole and crash down through the ceiling, land on the table. The living dead infant, the horrific little being rising with its solid red eyes and canine mouth. The toddler growling and pouncing on her, having its vengeance. The phantom, the undead infant morphing into a monster and eating her face like Travis the Chimp…

After all, it was her fault, right? The guilt crept back, fogging over her. It was her doing. Her demon. The baby had been sucked from her stomach. The baby squished, made into red mucus in a tube. The baby pulled from between her legs, as she sniffled and closed her eyes.

She’d felt a part of herself die on that awful table, when her legs were spread, forced apart, in those cold metal stirrups. She’d never forget the antiseptic smell of the room, the mechanical nature of the procedure, and the singing whir of the vacuum hose, that metallic snake, with its icy mouth jabbed inside her, drinking her blood…

The baby sucked from her stomach, red mucus in a tube…

She wondered what happened to it, if they’d flung the fetus into a dumpster, if it was eaten by bugs and rats.

Or worse. The baby, her baby, might have been eaten by a creepy businessman in Asia. She’d read about that somewhere, how there are creepy businessmen in China who eat “fetus soup,” a broth cooked with aborted fetuses. They believe the fetus soup gives them superhuman power…

Whatever happened, whether or not the fetus vacuumed out of her stomach ended up on a plate in China, whether or not that was true, and, please God, she hoped it wasn’t, what she knew for sure was that the energy she’d created was real. It wouldn’t die. It would never die. And she feared it would find her. That it was after her now.

So she’d run. She’d leave that house and never return. She’d pray the spirit stayed there. Maybe she’d find a way to let the spirit rest and find its way to God…

The salmon-amber glow of streetlights blackens, and on the highway, they speed through gushing rain. Howling winds batter at Mia’s Mercedes coupe, nudging the vehicle. The drumbeat of the hard rain raps at the car’s hood, and the car’s roof rattles from the deluge. The sudden rainstorm is hitting like a fist.

Lisa hangs her face to her phone, and mumbles something about how ghosts can attach themselves to people, inanimate objects. Against Lisa’s better judgment, she jokingly mentions that she’d pocketed the phone Mia had left behind at the house.

Mia’s eyes bulge, grow big as saucers, and she shouts, “YOU WHAT?!”

Mia gasps. Fear seizes her, braces her like a straitjacket. Her heart races and her limbs numb. She draws in a series of deep yoga breaths to calm herself.

It’s difficult to see the lines on the highway. The car’s windshield is a misty shadow, its wipers struggling to push away the sheets of rain. The car’s headlights are like two feeble flashlights, disappearing into darkness.

Everything is blurry, wet with black water, dark as coal. But between the sloshing pools of water on the windshield, Mia spots a mortifying sight. Chills run through her body; her heart thumps harder. Her mouth then fills with a fluid that has the salty, iron taste of blood. But she can’t open her mouth, nor can she swallow. Her breathing failing, she blinks, flutters her eyes, hoping what she saw would disappear.

But no. The horrific sight remains.

On her car’s black hood, just above the Benz decal, an infant is perched on all fours. It looks like a savage beast, ready to pounce.

It’s… Hers… Her demon… The baby from the house. It’s returned. It’s back for blood.

Choking, Mia’s eyes bulge. Then Lisa lifts her head up from her phone, spots the baby too, and shrieks, a piercing, horror movie type of howl.

Mia struggles to swallow the salty liquid in her mouth. The liquid then boils inside her mouth. Burning her tongue, her gums, her teeth, scalding her like she was guzzling water straight from a boiling kettle.

Mia’s lips remained sealed. Try as she might, she can’t open them. It’s as if her lips have been stitched together.

The baby has beady little eyes that are pure red, like dots from a laser. The baby, the savage creature, stares cruelly, accusingly, at the both of them. Lisa screams again as the infant inches up closer, crawling up the hood, twisting its tiny mouth and smiling devilishly. The baby, glowing sickly white in the pouring rain, opens its jowls to reveal a mouth full of sharp teeth, like a piranha.

Mia, in a panic, feels dizzy from a lack of oxygen and jerks the wheel to the right, hoping to pull over to the breakdown lane.

But she neglects to notice the semi-truck.

Mia’s cute black Mercedes coupe then plows into the adjacent lane and slashes underneath the bottom of the semi-truck, instantly decapitating the girls, and causing the semi-truck to jackknife into a concrete median, killing the portly young truck driver, and overturning and blockading the highway in a wall of wreckage, a mangled mass of steel, shattered glass, loose tires, bloodied bodies and severed parts. Heavy rain then dimples in puddles around the carnage.

In the blinding rain and fog, oncoming cars surge and smash head-on, joining into the wreck.

Another semi-truck, honking up a high-pitched foghorn shriek, shoots forth, like a cruise missile, this 18-wheeler containing a payload of pigs being brought to slaughter.

The truck grinds its wailing brakes, twists, and slams on its side. Several of the pigs escape the truck’s back hatch and run off squealing, galloping frantically down the dark highway…

A piece of trash