They never talked about what they did in the shadows, after dark when the house was still. Their quiet voices would float through my slightly open door, but it was only a wordless murmur. Once I tried to follow them, but my mother saw me and whisked me back to bed. I knew it must be something important, something forbidden, maybe even something sinister. After their door closed, I would sneak out of bed, creeping on bare feet to inspect where they had been, but they were too sly to leave any evidence.
So, one night I pulled the blankets up to my chin and pretended to be asleep. My parents whispered beside my bed, my mother feeling my forehead and cheek with the back of her hand, but I kept my eyes tight shut and waited. The next thing I knew, my father was kissing my forehead to wake me up, and I realized I had done my job too well.
The next night, I tried again, only this time I pinched my arm to stay awake. Finally, my door creaked shut, and their voices faded down the hall. I slid out of bed and crept after them. They were sitting together in the shadows, faces close, my mother’s hand on my father’s cheek. She lifted herself over him, bending her face to his neck. He grabbed a handful of her hair and tugged at her clothing, but she didn’t let him go.
I had read a book once I wasn’t supposed to about creatures of the night and what they did in the dark. It had given me nightmares, but now I understood why my mother had been so upset when she caught me with it. She was trying to hide the evidence. I backed away in horror. The floor creaked under my feet, and she straightened up, whirling to face the shadows.
I sprinted back to my room, diving into bed. Footsteps followed me, and my heart pounded as my door creaked open. Whoever it was eventually left, and I lay there, terrified, until I fell asleep from sheer exhaustion.
I woke to my mother bending over me and scrambled away with a shriek. My father burst through the door a moment later. I tried to tell him, tried to let him know that I knew my mother was a monster, but he just laughed and said I had a nightmare.
“But she bit you!” I wailed. “I can see the bruise.”
He whirled on my mother, eyes wide, clutching a hand to his neck, and she burst out laughing. I wrapped my arms around his waist, hiding behind him. Now he knew the truth. He sighed, his shoulders sagging, before shaking his head at my mother who was still laughing.
“Well…” he said, sitting on the edge of the bed and holding out a hand to her. “We were going to have to do this eventually.”
I learned several things that day, but surprisingly, none of them involved vampires.
The writing prompt for today’s story was from www.writerswrite.com: “They never talked about what they did in the shadows.”
~R. E. Rule
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