Grabbing a handful of the boy’s hair I pull him off; he feels weightless. I’m able easily to hold him straight out at arm’s length. Bits of fabric and bloody flesh hang from his mouth. He no longer has the face of an angel, he looks mad. Not angry that someone has taken his favorite toy, mad like a rabid dog wanting to tear out my throat. I spin to put my back to the door to better protect myself, I see the old woman coming at me so fast it appears she is flying. While holding the growling boy in one outstretched fist, I’m able to punch her in face with the other to knock her back. I feel and hear the bones break in her face, I know I broke her nose but there is no blood. Her face has a perfect imprint of my fist imbedded into it. I’m shocked as I see her take a step back, shake her head, and watch in disbelief her face repairs itself. Expanding like a piñata of a Halloween witch with a balloon inside it. I momentarily forget about the child in my hand.
The boy contracts into a fetal position, and abruptly juts out his arms and legs freeing himself by leaving a wad of hair and dry chunk of flesh in my hand. Without ever touching the floor he chomps down on my leg in the same spot as before. Like a beaver trying to fell a tree, he’s attempting to weaken my support. Grandma has completed re-inflating and is coming back at me.
Reaching straight down, palm out, I jam my fingers into the boy’s eye sockets and pull him off my bleeding leg. I fell and hear them pop into his skull; the sound reminds me of a cork exploding out of a champagne bottle. Because of his incredible lightness, it’s as though he’s hollow, I easily swing him at the charging woman. Letting go just before she reaches me, I smash him into her throwing them both all the way back into the kitchen at Julio’s feet.
He jumps just before they crash into him. Although normal gravity should have pulled him down just over the two clamoring to regain their footing, he never touches the ground. Instead he soars over them towards me from the point he leapt from a standing position easily 15 feet from the door. Ignoring the pain in my leg, I reach out and catch him by the throat and easily hold him up off the floor. He feels as if he weighs the same as the boy did when I swung him into the hag.
“Gimme the key you freaks!” I scream into his face.
He laughs as he opens his mouth to expose rows of jagged teeth; it’s like looking into the mouth of a man shaped shark. Unexpectedly I feel the individual vertebrae in his neck snapping as his head rises from my grip; it turns at an impossible angle for any normal human, and then I scream in pain as the open maw of razor teeth bites into my forearm.
“Ow fuck! God-dammit let go!” I yell at him.
I will myself to keep my grip on his throat, now no bigger around than a beer can as I spin and slam his feather-light body against the door; his head continues to shake and tear at my arm, I’m losing my grip. With my free hand I grab the only weapon at my disposal, the Papermate retractable pen in my shirt pocket. I plunge the pen into his skull; I hear the bone crack easily beneath my fist. His mouth snaps open, the pain is almost unbearable in my arm, he continues to shake and twist in my weakening hand. I pull the pen from his head, again as with the broken face of the old woman and sheared off scalp of the buy, there is no blood or ooze of any kind. It’s as if their bodies are empty.
In desperation I try the only other means of killing supernatural monsters from the fiction of my youth available to me:
One: To kill a zombie; puncture its brain. Check, didn’t work.
Two: Silver bullets kill werewolves; I have no gun and certainly no silver bullets even if I had one, although I would have tried anyway if I had been carrying a firearm.
Three: Stake through the heart for vampires; I seem to have left my wooden spikes at home but since the pen seemed to work as a puncturing device I decide what the hell.
I stab Dad in the chest and I hit something solid. The hole in his skull has already begun healing, I can hear his teeth gnashing as they snap inches from my face. His neck now feels like an uncontrolled garden hose wildly flailing in my clenched fist. His hands begin raking at my arm, the fingernails like claws ripping at my jacket; tearing the cloth to get to my arm beneath.
I push harder on the pen now firmly stuck above where a human’s heart would be. I feel it moving. Sensing I only need a tiny bit more to break through I begin wildly clicking the button to extend the stainless steel ballpoint. I feel the pen’s solid click as the extended tip pushes through the final mm of bone and then feel a slight puff of air past my fingers holding the pen. His hands drop from my arm to the object firmly stuck into his chest. I brace myself, expecting his talons into my hand but instead he tries to cover the leak around the pen hole. His neck starts to retract as he draws his head back to a more natural position. Holding his hand around the shaft seems to be stopping the flow, but with his hands holding his chest and his head too far to be a threat, he starts kicking at me.
Suddenly I’m hit from behind; Erica has joined the fight and has jumped onto my back; she’s trying to bite my neck. I’ll have to let go of Dad to fight her off, if I do I know he’ll pull out the pen and heal. Holding him tightly and gripping the pen as hard as I can, I spin towards Erica and smash her into the wall by the door. It knocks her off of me but I know it will only be a moment before she’s back. The arm holding Julio’s neck is getting weaker, light as he is I can’t hold him up anymore, I only have one shot at ending this.
Using everything I have left I slam him back into the door with both hands. Letting go of his neck I stick my shoulder into him knowing this puts my head dangerously close to those razor teeth. Holding the lower part of the pen firmly in the hole it made in his chest, I unscrew the mechanism removing the plunger and cartridge from the hollow end stuck firmly into his upper body. The pressure inside him suddenly begins releasing in earnest. The pen’s top is too far embedded for him to grip, his bony fingers too thin to block the hole. He loses all interest in me as he wildly tries to stop the flow.
I don’t have time to enjoy my victory. I’m knocked hard in the head; one of the others hit me with something solid. I feel myself falling but have no control as I fall to the floor. Reaching out, I swing weakly, unable to focus.
Someone is on top of me; very light but straddling my chest. I can barely make out blonde curls of hair. Erica, that siren that lured me into this nightmare is sitting on my chest. But she’s not attacking me; she’s just sitting on there staring at me. I see her beauty again; I forget the fight for my life. I close my eyes to dream of her and everything goes black.