She put the last stitch in the hem. Then she stood up & shook the little pieces of fuzz from the yarn out of the rug. The pattern had turned out beautifully. The butterfly almost looked real. She folded it up & put it away in the hall closet. It was late, but she'd had to finish it tonight. It was a birthday gift for Marcie. She'd be 12 tomorrow. Just thinking of how quickly they grew made her even more weary. She went into the bathroom & cleaned up for bed. Once under the blankets, all thoughts of the day were forgotten.
She tossed & turned. She thought she felt something brush her cheek. There! She felt it again... She opened her eyes just in time to catch a glimpse of something fluttering in the air, but it was gone into the hall before she could make it out. Climbing out of bed, she grabbed her robe. She looked down the hall & checked out the livingroom first. She was just entering the kitchen when she heard a shriek from Jamie's room.
"Get it off me!" he yelled. "Mom! It's biting me!"
Marcie beat her into Jamie's room. "Mom! It's huge! Ouww," she screamed painfully. "It's biting me!"
Lizzie stood in the doorway frozen helplessly for what seemed an eternity. It looked just like the butterfly on the rug! Not just the colors, but the size & texture too. How could such a thing be?
It twisted in the air & flew at her, scraping her cheek with its fangs. Fangs? Butterflies don't have fangs...
"Ma!" Jamie screamed again in terror. "Do something! Help me!" The boys face was covered with blood now.
Marcie pulled at the thick wings, blood streaming down her cheek, but it was too late. The fangs had punctured his neck & the blood was running down his throat. Marcie was crying & swinging blindly at the orange & brown mass of life that had been intended as her birthday present.
This can't be real, Lizzie thought.
Now Marcie too was bleeding profusely from bite wounds on her face & hands. She let out a final curdling scream as the fangs pierced her chest & then she dropped to the floor.
Lizzie ran as the creature flew at her. She tried to shut the kitchen door behind her, but it brushed right past. She looked around for a weapon. The only thing she saw was the big fork she'd used on the grill earlier when she had cooked dinner. She snatched it up as she ran out into the livingroom. The closet door was open. How had it gotten out? How had it come alive? Where was Bill? He hadn't come home yet & it had to be late. Sometime after midnight... It's Marcie's birthday, she thought & began to sob. The thing was gouging at her now. She swung blindly in the air & felt the fork connect. The thing was down. The terrible monster that had killed her children! Murdered them! She stabbed it with the fork. She stabbed & stabbed...
"Lizzie?" Bill asked as he shut the door behind him. "What are you doing?"
"I did it! I did it! Dead! Dead...!" She was still stabbing blindly with the fork.
"Liz, where are the kids? Are they asleep?"
"No more... can't hurt no more..." She was remembering the terrible marks the fangs had made on her precious children.
Bill left her & walked down the hall toward the kids rooms.
He heard Lizzie still muttering "I did it" as he entered Jamie's room.
Story © 1978
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