A horror short from the maniacal mind of Kate Bowyer
Dexter ripped the covers off of Aubrey's body and ran his hand up her back, pushing her flimsy white nighty up to her shoulders. Moving with just the tips of his fingers he made his way down her long legs, placing kisses every so often. She lay on her stomach watching him in the full length mirror, that stood in the corner of their room. A giggle escaped, in her anticipation of him tickling her feet with those soft cool lips. Taking hold of her ankle, he noticed a large green bruise that bubbled out. “Does this hurt?” he said at the same time poking it with his finger. “Ow! You son of a bitch, you knew that would hurt,” Aubrey yelled at him. He laughed kissing the bruise making up for his mischief.
Gathering her discarded clothes off the floor from their morning fun, Aubrey saw a couple more bruises on her other leg. They were perfect circles and already to the dark green and blue stage. What the hell is going on she thought as she dumped the dirty clothes into the hamper. “Showers all yours,” yelled Dexter. Forgetting the strange marks Aubrey took off for the the water before it turned cold.
Pumping lilac lotion into a puddle in the palm of one hand, Aubrey dipped fingers from her other hand to spread it over her body. Rubbing lotion up and down her left arm she felt some abrasions. Wiping the fog off the mirror with her towel she turned to inspect her arm. Scratches. She counted five and holding up her hand next to the marks she saw that the scratches were made by fingernails. She pulled her towel around herself and sat on the edge of the tub.
Lost in thought Aubrey didn't hear Dexter yell out good bye and slam the front door. How have I not seen these before, she wondered. Going back over the last week she couldn't remember being in any accidents that would cause these injuries.
An overwhelming sadness fell on to Aubrey the longer she sat in the bathroom. Her mind drifted away from the injuries and on to the rest of her life. She was alone now. except for Dexter, since her parents were killed in a car accident a few months before. With the death of her parents Aubrey thought she had some good news to carry her through her grief. She had convinced herself that she was pregnant, but on the day of the funeral, she found out she wasn't. Then last week, she learned her company was moving to another state which meant she needed to start looking for a new job. She needed a break from her life, in fact someone else could live in her place for all she cared. Tears streaked down her cheeks.
The room had cooled and goosebumps popped up over Aubrey's exposed skin bringing her out of her daze. Pulling the soggy towel off she opened the bathroom door standing naked in the doorway. The goosebumps grew in size and a shiver ran up her spine. Her arms crossed over her breasts and she hurried to the bedroom feeling exposed and vulnerable. Straining to hear any noise in the house all she heard was the birds singing outside, yet the tingling on the back of her neck persisted under the weight of her wet hair.
Aubrey pulled items off of hangers not caring if they matched and dressed as fast as she could. Once done she double checked the doors and windows and felt foolish for thinking someone might have been in the house with her.
By the end of her work day she had forgotten the strange morning and was happy that another Monday was over. Saying goodbye to coworkers she climbed into her car and moved the review mirror down so she could touch up her make-up. Once done she took her phone out of her purse and texted Dexter that she would be at the restaurant in five minutes.
Pulling out of the parking lot Aubrey's eyes moved back to the review mirror. She couldn't keep her eyes away from it.
A hard knock hit the window to her left. Startled, Aubrey's hands flew to her chest and she looked at the intruder. Dexter stood there shaking his head and smiling. “Unlock your door,” he yelled through the window. Not recognizing her surroundings, her eyes roamed the empty car. Her brain couldn't process what Dexter was yelling.
Pulling his keys out of his pocket Dexter unlocked the drivers door and swung it open. “What's going on with you?” He wasn't smiling anymore and his voice had taken on a note of anger. “I'm sorry Dexter, I guess I was in my own world,” Aubrey stuttered as she got out of the car. She had no memory of driving to the restaurant after leaving work. “Why aren't you in the restaurant?” she asked. “I was and I put our name in but then I remembered my wallet was in the car. So I came out to get it when I saw you pull in.” The restaurant door swung shut and the darkness of the building hid the look of concern on her face. The music and noise of the other patrons stopped their conversation and she started for the bar.
Every morning for the rest of that week Aubrey snuck out of bed before Dexter stirred. Disrobing in the bathroom under glaring lights she inspected every part of her body. She found new marks, all from her shoulders down. Taking a good look at her reflection in the mirror she sighed seeing the dark circles under her eyes. Keeping these unexplained injuries a secret from Dexter was taking a toll on her relationship with him.
The night before he had pulled her down on to the couch with him and tried to reach up under her shirt. They'd always had a very active sex life but with her secret she was having a hard time keeping him away. She pushed herself away before he could go too far and said she wasn't in the mood. A dark look washed over him and they started arguing over why she was pushing him away. With no reasonable explanation she ended up walking out of the room in a rage and slamming the bedroom door behind her leaving Dexter mad and confused.
Shaking the nights scene out of her head she twisted the knobs of the faucet in the tub and watched the cascade of water hit the drain. A thought crossed her mind as she tested the temperature; maybe she should tell Dexter what was going on. She could stop by the liquor store on the way home from work and fortify herself with some liquid courage, then tell him everything. The thought of divulging her secret made Aubrey feel ten pounds lighter.
Lifting one foot over the side of the tub into the spray of water Aubrey felt a tug on her hair and a hand clamp around her arm. Terror struck her silent and her heart thumped so hard it physically hurt. She tilted her head toward the mirror intensifying the pain, trying to glimpse her attacker. The steam of the shower was settling on the mirror but Aubrey could still see the slow moving ripples that moved through it. Her assailant was climbing out from the mirror. More then half of the body was through it and her body trembled at the sight. Daring to look into the face of this unknown being, she was sickened to see the face was her own.
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