I opened the window long before sunrise. Then I walked through the whole house, looking for anything that they might use against me in the light. A piece of hard candy on the floor could be a fatal mistake.
I had to placate them.
Even though I hadn’t told them anything, my children were on edge. They knew something was wrong. Kids are good at reading their parents.
A small sound in the hallway made me jump. But it was only my youngest daughter, in her footie pajamas, her face screwed up in childish misery.
“Mommy,” she said. “What is that smell?”
“Quiet, baby. It’s just the Visitors. Go back to sleep. I love you.” I held her close so she wouldn’t see my tears. I love you.
By the time she went back to sleep, the daylight was upon us in full force. I hadn’t begun the sacrifice. I hadn’t done enough. It didn’t matter; no matter how much I did, it was never enough.
I hurried to the kitchen and got out the eggs, the bacon, the butter for the sacrifice. They must be appeased.
A fatty thumping on the stairs.
Oh my god oh my god.
And there in the kitchen archway stood a harbinger of the apocalypse, my mother in law, cigarette in hand. She wore a puffy pink robe, which had fallen open, exposing her grotesque choices in underwear and in self-care.
“Where’s breakfast,” she snarled.
The other one would be down any minute. Soon our home would become a hellscape.