Emma watched, not being able to turn away from the horror, as James helped his mother strip meat from bones. It wouldn’t have been such a disturbing sight but the bones weren’t from an animal, they were of a young girl. Before she could stop herself she heard herself gasped. She covered her mouth quickly and prayed that neither of them heard her but unfortunately for Emma they did.
The sounds on flesh ripping and knifes chopping had stopped just as she tried to ease threw the basement door. She stopped, hoping that they didn’t hear anything.
“James, get her.” Susie said calmly to her son. James hesitated for a moment but he knew that he had to do what his mother asked him to do. He put down his knife and slowly walked to the stairs. Emma closed her eyes and focused on being quite. When she heard the knife hit a bone again she opened them thinking she was safe but what she found was James next to her. She screamed but he covered her mouth. She thought about biting down into his flesh but by the time she thought about it his hand was firmly around her mouth and she was struggling to breath.
“You shut that girl up James or you’ll pay the price.” He turned them around to face his mother. He looked at her with an upset look on his face but he did at his mother said. He turned around and forced Emma to walk up the stairs and back to her bedroom. He opened the door and threw her in where she hit the bed. He walked in as well and closed the door behind him.
Emma knew that she should have run but she didn’t. She just sat there and waited for him to say something, anything. He looked at her but didn’t say a word. He clamped his hands together in a fist and struck the wall with enough force to knock off the small mirror that was above the light switch. She didn’t know what to say or if she should say anything at all.
“You shouldn’t have come here.” He finally said in a low husky voice. He was breathing heavily as he held himself up with one hand on the wall. Emma sat on the bed, frozen in fear. She couldn’t move if she wanted to because the room was pitch black. The only form of light they could have had was from the moon but that was hidden from the tall trees that surrounded the house. She couldn’t see her hand in front of her face let alone anything else.
“James, what’s going on?” she said with fear in her voice. She could feel her body shaking.
“We need to get you out of here, I like you and I don’t want anything to happen to you.” He said as he dragged her out of the room again and this time out the front door. He jumped over a set of cut logs with her hand in his and into the trees.
They ran for what seemed like miles without anything being said between them and the only reason they did stop was because Emma was gasping for air. She grabbed her chest in pain and dropped to the hard ground below her. She lent her head back placing it on the tall oak tree that was behind her. Across from her James sat on a large rock and covered his face with his hands.
Once she caught her breath and crawled over to James on her knees, not getting close enough for him to grab her though. She said his name again but he still didn’t respond. She moved closer and placed her hands on his knees.
“James, please talk to me. What just happened?” she said, practically begging him to talk to her. She lowered her body so that she could attempt to look at his face but it was completely covered by his hands. Emma, who was getting frustrated not knowing what was happening, looked up at the night sky becoming thick with clouds and soon after rain started to fall to the earth.
“I’ve got to go back, I’ll say that you got away but you have to leave Emma to do you understand me?” he said grabbing a hold of her hands.
“No, I don’t understand because you haven’t explained anything too me. What the hell was going on back there at your house?” she snapped at him as she stood up.
“It’s none of your concern. Look, don’t worry about it, the less you know the better.”
“Like hell it isn’t my concern! Were you and your crazy ass mother planning on killing me?” Emma asked as she continued to raise her voice. James stood up next to her and grabbed her arms while looking at her straight into her eyes.
“Emma you have to leave this one alone, got me! I need to get you out of here. If I don’t then bad things are gonna happen and I don’t want those things to happen you.” He said as he grabbed her hand and started to run again.
Jumping over logs and rocks, twisting and turning their way threw the tall timbers with little or not moonlight. Another hour or two later they finally stopped from pure exhaustion. The sun was coming up over the horizon. Emma never felt safer then she did at that moment. At least in the light she would be able to see some crazy homicidal woman with a knife coming towards her. Brushing her hair back with her fingers she sat on a log that was on the ground around what looked like an old fire pit. She picked up a large branch that had been broken off a tree long ago and jammed it into the pit and played with the crushed beer cans and half burnt plastic cup.
On the other side of the pit James collapsed next to the trees and let out a deep breath. He looked at her with sad eyes.
“This is a good spot,’ he said.’ We can stay here for a while.”
“For a while then what?” Emma asked. She was tired, sore and starving since she had barely touched that chili from the night before and with good reason. It looked like she had thrown together random food products and warmed it up.
“Then we get you somewhere where there are people. A few more miles west and we’ll hit Margretville, they’ll be able to help you get a hold of your family and get you going where ever it is you’re going.” James said.
“Why don’t you come with me? They can help you too…you’re not like her.” Emma said gently. She didn’t want to upset him because that was his mother after all no matter, what kind of a monster she was.
“I can’t and you know that. I have to go back; it’s where I belong Emma. I have to take care of my mom and even more Leroy.” He told her. He sounded like he wanted to go but couldn’t force himself too. That was the end of their conversation for a while. Emma finally fell asleep and she needed it badly since she didn’t get any sleep from the night before. She was going on forty eight hours of no sleep. James didn’t sleep; he just sat there and watched Emma breath. Her chest was rising up and down as air entered her lungs. He knew how valuable human life was and he was helping destroy it for his mother. He couldn’t do it anymore but he couldn’t leave Leroy with her. If he did leave he would have to go back.
“Damnit!” he said out loud to himself. He twisted his fingers together and wrapped his hands around his head, brushing them threw his hair. He was completely torn in what he wanted to do. Leave or stay? It was harder to choose then people might think.
His concentration was broken when Emma turned over while she was still sleeping. James stood up and cracked his neck. He licked his pink lips as he walked closer to her. She turned over again but this time she woke up to find James closer to her then she thought he should have been. She jumped when she saw him, to be honest she was a little leery of James just because what she had seen in the basement no more then a few hours before.
“What are you doing?” Emma asked as she scooted back towards the log she had laid by.
“I have to tell you something Emma,’ he stopped and looked down again then back up and straight into her eyes. His eyes were red and had tears forming in the corners of his eyes.’ It was me; I was standing in the middle of the road that night. I made you crash your car and I’m sorry.”
Emma was shocked by what she was hearing. It was all James’ fault that she was in this situation in the first place. She was running for her life from a mad woman because he decided to stand in the middle of the road. She could feel the anger start to rush threw her body as she clinched her hands into fists, so hard that her knuckles were turning white. “It’s your fault that I’ve been going threw hell? That I destroyed my car and nearly killed myself and am having to run for my life? Are you serious James?”
“I wish I hadn’t.”
“Oh well thank you for that.” She said sarcastically.
“We needed food because we had used the last of the meat. I only did what I had to do to help provide for my family.” Emma had a questioning look on her.
“You were planning on killing me weren’t you?”
“The girl you saw, down in the basement. Her name was Teri and she went missing a week and a half ago. The same thing happened to her, I ran her off the road and when I brought her home ma was so happy. You should have seen how proud of me she was. The last of her was used last night in the chili you ate.”
Emma grabbed her stomach and started to gag, finally throwing up as much as she could behind a rock. She didn’t know why she was hiding something so gross. What he had done was worse.
“That’s what we did you for you. I stood in the road and little Leroy made you follow that little green light. He really is a special child and I love him so much. I was going to kill you but I got to know you and I really liked you and wanted to help you but, but...” he stopped talking. Emma was afraid to hear what was coming after the ‘but’.
“But what James?”