“Go kill things! Now!” She looked at her new pet with anticipation.
“Yes, Mother.” Eleven-year-old Cordelia smiled as she headed toward the shed. She squeezed the hammer’s handle. It felt strong and heavy.
Cordelia kicked at the dead leaves as she walked. She remembered how Mother showed her how to use the hammer the night she saved her from the nasty man who pretended to be her uncle during the day and crawled into bed beside her at night. Cordelia’s pupils grew as she thought of the wicked man’s toes. Mother kept him silent and seated while she slammed the hammer against each little piggie at least twice. Mother could make anyone stay still.
Cordelia gripped her hammer tighter. She liked the feel of its wooden handle.
Eleven-year-old Maggie skipped into the alley. Her braids bounced against her bubblegum-pink hoodie as she hopped over the puddles from last night’s rain. She opened the ugly paint-chipped metal door that stood against the large brick wall on her right. It swung out easily and she disappeared inside.
The balding middle-aged man stalked behind her. He opened the door slowly and peered into darkness. He stepped inside and wrinkled his nose to the cool, musty scent. He heard the girl’s humming echoing from the corner of the room. He slinked toward his prey in the cobweb-covered basement. She was standing in the far corner with her back to him. As he walked closer he could see she was brushing a dirty, worn doll’s hair with a small plastic brush. She was still humming. A grin danced across his stubbly face as sweat collected on his forehead and temples. He pushed up his thick glasses and licked his lips. He clutched one of her braids and softly stroked it down to the tip.
Maggie turned calmly and smiled back at her stalker.
“You shouldn’t touch little girls.”
Her mouth contorted into something larger as her teeth began to point in all directions. Her body elongated and turned to an inky black. Her stalker was now looking up at a dark towering figure with large yellow eyes. Its mouth was filled with extremely white, sharp teeth. Its grin widened as it looked down at the pitiful human in front of it. It struck out with leathery claws and snapped the man in half. The creature stepped over the bloody mess in front of it and walked toward the brick column in the middle of the room.
Each time its foot hit the floor it looked more and more like Maggie again. Once again her braids hung against her pink hoodie as she stood in front of the pillar. She brought her little forefinger up to the brick. The black ooze on her fingertip added another tally mark to the dark streaks in front of her. Nine. She got rid of nine now.
Maggie glanced back at her dead stalker and smiled. She skipped out the big metal door back into the alley.