Man! I’m itchin’ like crazy and this rat-hole is runnin’ out of toilet paper. I musta bout used it all up makin’ these little squares. Dang, my arms look like hell, with all these red spots holdin’ the paper on ‘em. Makes ‘em look like Daddy’s face when he shaves, or like my legs when I started learnin’ how. This ugly vanity light ain’t helpin’ any either. Looks like I got some places on my legs too, dang. What the hell is wrong with me? I can’t even remember when these spots started poppin’ up, but they’re all over me now — arms, legs, boobs…everywhere. What if I’m sick? Like, really sick with somethin’ bad? I’ll have to go to the doctor after I find Momma. Momma would want me to anyway.
Ain’t there no ashtray in this place? Guess I’ll just use the sink. There, had it ’bout down to the filter anyway. At least the boy at the desk let me bum one off him, whatever his name was. Whew…let me just lay down for a minute and think. Guess I can lay over the bedspread on the end of the bed here and keep the blood off the sheets. Like that piece-a-shit bedspread has even been washed. God knows what’s on it. Oh…feels good to lay down in just my undies, I’m sure the maid won’t mind I wadded my clothes up in the floor. Where did I put that business card? Oh right, on the nightstand. That lamp is god-awful, just like everything else in here. Where’d they get all this stuff, Goodwill? I wonder if Daddy knows his gun is gone yet? He prob’ly thinks Momma took it when she run off with that new man of hers. He wouldn’t ever think I’d take it. Prob’ly never. Well, anyway when Momma and that man get here, that ain’t all that’s gonna be gone. She shoulda known better than to leave that card in her purse for me to find. She knows I swipe her smokes. They even wrote the room number on it. Piece of luck this room butts right up to it. They’ll be here soon, they gotta be. Hope I loaded this thing right.
God, I’m so beat. That window unit is purrin’ me to sleep. Don’t wanna sleep through Momma gettin’ here. Don’t want any more of those dreams. Can’t believe how crazy, those messed up…dreams. Crazy…Momma…
Momma. Momma! Where are you?!
Girl, I told you not to follow after me. You don’t listen. You never did listen.
Momma, where are you?! I can hear you but I can’t find you! It’s so dark here!
I didn’t want you to find me. Tried to tell you not to follow after me. You think I wanted you here?
Momma why’d you leave Daddy?! He needs you! We – I need you!
A dog needs his bone too, till he gets tired of it. Buries it in the backyard. Forgets about it. I told you not to follow me. I wanted better for you. You get some rest now, rest while you can, baby. Go on now, just like when you was a little girl.
Good night…sleep tight…
Oh…fell asleep. It’s so cold in here…freezin’. Where’s my shirt? Oh, yeah, the floor. Shit! Look at my arms. My chest! Oh no, oh no, where are these comin’ from? Oh Jesus, what is wrong with me?! Maybe I got the hives or somethin’? Maybe I’m allergic to that nasty bedspread. I don’t care if I do bleed on them sheets, I can’t sleep on top of the covers, I’ll be froze to death. I’ll just…put my shirt and britches on. Let them soak up the blood spots, at least I’ll be warm. Momma will be here soon. Just tired. So tired, gotta lay down. Momma’ll be here soon…
Ha, ha! That tickles! Stop ticklin’ me! Ow! What the? Quit bitin’ me! I’ll tell Momma on you! OW! Son-of-a-bitch! Get off of me! What are you…what…are you?
I told you not to follow after me.
Momma! Somethin’s bitin’ me! What are these things? Look at ‘em! Look at ‘em up close…See! Look there! Just like a little bitty…man! A little man with a bloody mouth! He looks just like your boyfriend! Ow! He bit me! He did it again! Ow! OW! Momma, it hurts make him stop! Make them stop! There’s…more of them…men, women…that one looks like you! There’s lots more! Oh my god, there’s little people crawlin’ all over me! They’re bitin’! It hurts! Momma!! Momma where are you?! What’s that moanin’, Momma? I hear you moanin’! Gotta wake up! Please wake UP! WAKE UP!!
Uh! Oh my god! Oh! Look at all the blood! Soaked right through my shirt, soaked the sheets! Oh the sheets are rurnt…Ow! Sore…somethin’…bit me. Oh shit. Somethin’ bit me all over! I ain’t allergic to nothin,’ somethin’s been bitin’ me this whole time while I been sleepin’! Oh my god this place has bugs. I knew it! I bet there’s some in the bed right now, some up under this mattress…lemme…just…pull it back…Yeah, prob’ly some right up in the corner here…need more light, c’mere ugly-ass lamp…yeah…there’s dried up blood all along the seams on the matt– wait. Oh, ew! No, no, no! It just crawled right out of there! Shit, pulled the plug out of the wall! Where’d it go? Gotta get my shoes, where my shoes at? Ugh! Shower. Get me to the shower! Get these bloody clothes off – gotta get the bugs off…C’mon, c’mon, heat up! There we go…Oh, damn that’s gonna make ‘em bleed worse. Holy shit, look at the size of these sores! Those things musta bit a plug outta me. Oh, they itch! Dammit!
Wait a minute. That didn’t look like no bug on the mattress. That looked like… No, that’s crazy. You’re goin’ crazy, girl. Two or three nights of bad sleep and you done lost your mind. But it wasn’t….a bug. You know what you seen…You know what you seen. Oh God, what if there are more of them? How many more of them are they?!
What was…sound like someone moanin’? Where is that comin’ from? The room next door? Sounded like Momma! I bet she’s in there with that man-whore of hers!
Oh wait, I can’t run outside, someone will see me like this…Wait, I think -yeah! This door here without a knob goes to their room… Dammit locked! Let me in! You hear me?! Momma, I know you’re in there! Open the door! I’ve got a gun! Open this door or I’m shootin’ the lock off! Momma?! Alright, I warned you…Shit! Left the safety on. Okay, now – Ah! Loud! Gotta keep at it! Momma?! I’m comin’ in there, Momma! Ah! Ah! One! More! Shot! There we go, now… gotta shove it hard – HUNH!
Oh, shit, my shoulder…worked though. Told you I’d…shoot the lock…turn on the lights you floozy! I know what you’re doin’ in here, I can smell – uh, smell…oh God, what is that? Smells like iron in here. Sounds like moanin’ again. Momma stop that moanin’! Stop it you two! Can’t you stop it for one second, I’m right here, don’t you smell that? Don’t you hear that? That scratchin’ and scribblin’ like little buh-bugs…Ah! Momma is that your hand! It’s bloody! Oh god, I stepped on– Momma! Momma is that you?! They’re everywhere. Momma, we have to get out of here! Momma please stop that moanin’, where is he? Where’s your man? Is that him?! I’ll stop that moanin’… Ah! There! I saw in the flash –they were all over him! Uh! Uh! N-no! Outta bullets! He was still twitchin’! Momma we have to g-UH! Tripped! Oh! My leg! Sorry, Momma, I didn’t mean to step on your – ow! Ow! Oh no, they’re crawlin’ on me, they’re on me! Get them off! Let’s see how you like my nails you little shits! Got you! Where’s the light? Uh! There! Oh…God…
There’s blood everywhere…Oh no…I can see your…insides…the little people…Little men on you. Little men…in you. Oh! The floor is crawlin’ with them! So many…they’re all over me…they’re gettin’ inside me!
Momma, they’re eatin’ into me! Can’t get ‘em off. Help me, Momma!
Told you not to follow after me, girl. Never. Listen…Sleep tight…
Mikey Hope has lived in and around Atlanta, Georgia for many years, whilst waiting for the rest of his clones to be activated so that each can fully pursue one of his interests, which include writing genre fiction, tabletop RPG gaming, creating digital art, teaching and performing massage, and making music.