‘What a horrible nightmare’ was Julia’s first thought as she woke up. The next thought was why she was fully clothed. She always slept naked.
‘wait a minute, I am not in my bed either’ she looked around fully alert.
Then it hit her. Hard.
She scrambled to her feet and to her horror, she saw the disemboweled body still lying splayed on the bed with maggot coming out from every available orifice and flies hovering.
A wave of nausea washed over her and she doubled over and vomited on the carpet.
‘Oh God, this is really happening’
She began to feel panic rising from within and the room seemed to be closing in on her and suffocating.
She turned and ran out of the room and into the hallway. Her breathing came in short gasps and tears burned at the back of her eyes.
She leaned on the wall to her right and allowed the tears to flow freely. When her legs became too weak to support her, she slumped to the ground and curled up against the wall and cried softly in the dark.
The night air was shattered by the ringing of her phone. She jumped at the sound before relaxing and fishing for the phone on the floor where she had dropped it.
One look at the screen and her blood curdled with fright. She stared unblinking at the name and image on the screen. It was Tony calling.
Several thoughts rushed through her brain in the space of the minute it took for the call to be diverted to her voice mail. Could it be that the person she had seen in the room wasn’t Tony? She felt a flicker of hope at the thought. It had been dark, her eyes could had played a trick on her.
But if that was so, who then was lying dead in Tony’s room? The relief she felt dissipated as the other alternative hit. Maybe Tony had murdered someone and that was why he had been refusing to pick his calls. He had gone into hiding.
The phone started to ring again. She contemplated answering but thought the better of it. She needed to think things through.
She stared at the face smiling up at her, the innocence of the features and she knew he was not capable of murder.
‘That means you are accepting that it really is him lying there…’ she couldn’t bring herself to finish the thought.
‘so if he is really dead, who then is calling me?’
The phone was ringing again. She suppressed the urge to slide her hands across the green button on the screen. Not yet.
Was this a robbery turned brutal? It couldn’t be, nothing had been amiss in the living room. Whoever heard of a robber killing over a Samsung Galaxy S3?
Was Tony in a cult? Did he have an altercation with someone who decided to kill him? Is his assassin laying in wait for her? Maybe they had been stalking the house and waiting to see who would find the body….too many maybes!
The phone rang the fourth time. She sighed and decided to pick the call. She needed to know, she would go bonkers trying to figure it out in her head.
“Hello” she said into the phone, her was tentative.
“Hello Julia, why are you running away from me?” it was that voice again, like blowing air through a lead pipe.
An image of a maggot ridden face, with a grimace on, and head dangling held by skin and tiny muscle came flashing into her mind’s eye.