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Free Flash Fiction:

Jennifer's Home

By: Jae El Foster

March 3, 2019

“Jennifer’s home,” little Benny Wilson told his parents as he read his comic book while eating his cereal.

“Well, it’s about time,” Father said, standing from his seat with an angry, venomous expression. “She was due home at eleven last night.”

“Don’t be too hard on her, Harold,” Mother replied, watching as he left the table and marched to the front door. “She’s a teenager. They’re going to be disobedient.”

“She’d better at least have a good excuse,” he responded. Benny could sense the anger in his father’s voice and was thankful that he was not the one in trouble. There was nothing worse than angry parents.

The front door opened and Jennifer stepped inside. Benny caught a glimpse of her and thought she looked like she’d been through the wringer. Her hair was matted. Her skin was white, and the area around her eyes was so dark that the boy wasn’t sure she still had any.

“Where have you been, young lady?” Father began, digging into Jennifer with his most parental tone. Benny hated that tone. “Do you have any idea what time it is?”

Jennifer did not respond. Instead, she walked right past Father and began to ascend up the stairs to her room. She disappeared completely from Benny’s vision.

“Where are you going?” Father continued. “I’m not done with you.”

Father, too, began up the stairs. Benny cringed at his heavy footsteps as they ascended. He heard Jennifer’s door open, and a moment later, he heard it shut.

All of this commotion… there was no way he could focus on his new comic book, and he’d hoped to have it read before his favorite cartoon came on television.

Mother fidgeted in her seat. Benny looked at her with a touch of concern. She looked a little panicked… worried. Still, Benny knew Father well. He wouldn’t hit Jennifer. He’d never hit anyone – children or wife. But he would yell and scream and make Jennifer cry, and Mother hated that kind of confrontation.

She stood from her seat and Benny cringed. He knew what she was going to do. She was going to go upstairs into Jennifer’s room, try to control the situation, and be the cause of it becoming an even more heated fight. That was what happened every time Jennifer acted out. Benny wished his sister would be obedient just once, so that he could have a day of peace.

“I’m going up there,” Mother said as they heard Father yell Jennifer’s name from behind her closed door. “Maybe I can calm things down.”

Benny watched Mother walk around the table and step into the foyer. He didn’t watch her go up the stairs, but he could hear her feet as they made as soft steps upward as possible. Eventually, the sounds of her footsteps disappeared and that of the door opening and shutting took their place.

“Now,” Benny whispered, turning the page of his comic, “at least I can focus.”

He heard his mother scream and his head snapped upward in shock. He’d heard her cry, yell, and mediate before, but he’d never heard her scream. Something was wrong. As a moment of fearing the worst slithered into Benny, he stood and walked to the foyer, looking up the stairs. He hoped everything was okay with Jennifer. Perhaps Father had snapped… perhaps he’d had enough. Did he strike her?

Benny couldn’t imagine his father doing such a thing. He was a firm father, but not an abusive one.

He heard another scream, but he couldn’t tell if this one was Mother or Jennifer. Only that it was female. Hesitantly, he put a foot on the bottom step, unsure if he should intervene – check on the situation – but he felt he needed to. He had to make sure his sister was okay. She was a rebellious teenager, but she was his big sister and he loved her.

One by one, albeit slowly, he took the steps upward until he’d reached the second floor landing. There, he crossed down to Jennifer’s bedroom and pressed his ear against the door to listen. He could hear nothing except a shuffling followed by a sloppy, wet sound.

Nervously, he gripped the doorknob and turned it. With a gentle push, the door creaked open.

Stepping inside, Benny’s eyes grew so wide they were sure to pop out of their sockets. There, on the floor, his sister was crouched over their parents, eating their flesh by the mouthful.

She looked up at Benny and growled at him through bloody teeth. Petrified as he watched her stand, Benny’s reaction was delayed. He wanted to scream; he wanted to turn around and run away. He wanted to run up to Jennifer and push her away from their parents in hopes that they might have still been alive.

Yet, when he finally subsided the shock enough to regain control of his body – as he turned to leave and run away in search for help – Jennifer grabbed him by the back of his shirt and pulled him to her. Then, she slammed the bedroom door shut, sealing him in the room with her and the mutilated bodies of their parents. Benny then opened his mouth to scream, but the scream was cut short as his big sister’s teeth bit into his jugular and ripped it from his neck.

End

Copyright Jae El Foster, 2019