The sun was high in the sky and the farm was quiet. It was the perfect time for a nap, so Earl was lying on a hard wooden bench on the porch, a nice soft pillow under his head.
His shirt was unbuttoned. He had gained some weight recently, but that did not matter at all, there was nobody to judge him out here. Besides, a farm owner could have a tummy that sticks out. A real man gut.
He was drifting into sleep when he heard a car. It came in trough the open gate and stopped somewhere close to the house, so Earl got up to see who it was. He felt a little cranky because his brain was refused the nap.
The car door opened and a movie-style long-legged blonde got out. She was wearing a red dress and a pair of pretty shades. A boy of eight got out too, he was wearing a black jacket, white shirt and a bow tie.
“Canna’ help ya?” said Earl, faking a farm accent.
“Yes, I was wondering if this is where I could find Earl Flannigan, the writer?” she said, removing the shades.
“Now, I ain’t never heard of no one of such name in my’ntire life,” he replied.
“It’s him, mom,” said the little boy.
“Are you sure?” she asked.
Earl did not wait for a reply, he turned around and started running. Over the fence, across the corn field, into the tool shed. He stormed in, and ducked right under the workbench. He removed the piece of carpet, opened the hatch, and got the shotgun out.
When he raised his head, the woman and the child were in the door, blocking the way out.
The shotgun was loaded. Earl shot at them. Their bodies flew to the sides, ripped mercilessly by the tiny metal scraps. He lunged forward to get out, and then ran again. Now towards his pickup truck.
The farm cover was blown, but he could get into town, get some clothes, steal a car, drive away. It would take them a few months to find him again.
The boy was up again. So the mother was a regular human after all, easy to put down.
Earl got to the car. Grabbed the door handle. The kid was running towards him screaming, his little mouth wide open revealing several lines of crooked baby teeth.
Earl raised the shotgun again but it was too late. The kid threw him to the ground and landed on top of him. The shotgun slid away in the gravel, useless now.
The tiny hands were hard as steel, the sharp fingers wrapped around Earl’s neck. Earl closed his eyes, but he managed to catch a glimpse of that shark mask face. No human emotion, just the vast emptiness of space.
“Fuck off, you fucking demon,” Earl screamed, pounding the little head with his fists. No use. Might as well be punching a stone statue.
The kid opened his mouth wide over Earl’s face, the smell of hell filled the air between them. Then Earl felt a piece of his soul leave the body and with it, one story he did not manage to write down yet.
He passed out.
When he woke up, the boy and the car were gone. He whispered to himself, “Damn it. They managed to get another one out of me.”