The school day went by faster than I thought it would. There weren't many students here, the teacher had to noticed, but no one spoke of it. It as if Maci and I were the only ones who noticed. When school was over, I exited the building and returned to the bus. Jeremy, already on the bus, sat in the back in the same seat he sat in before. I sat in the same empty seat that I had this morning and played music from my cell phone all the way home. I wondered what Nick was doing. I texted him earlier, still, I didn't get a response. There was a posibility that he was still camping, rather he was or wasn't, I was starting to worry about my friend.
Our stop was the first coming from the school. I stepped off the bus when it stopped in front of our half-rusted mailbox and Jeremy followed. He saw Pa's truck in the driveway and dashed pass me, toward the front door. With haste, he unlocked the door with his key and ran into the house, obviously, he wanted to hear the news about the baby Ma was going to give birth to.
"We're home!" Jeremy bubbled.
"We're in the kitchen!" Ma exclaimed. Jeremy jogged to the kitchen and I followed him, walking at my own pace. When I entered the kitchen the first thing I notice was Ma's foot. A white bandage was wrapped tight around it, from her ankle to her toes. There was large dark red spot which started from her ankle and stretched to the middle of her foot, not to mention, her rocking her leg up and down as if she was still feeling pain.
"What happened?" I asserted, dropping my backpack on the floor, then peering at Pa. Pa hadn't noticed my angry stare, since his eyes were focused on Ma, nonetheless, he is Ma's protector. No one should've been able to hurt her without going through him.
"Calm down, Justin. Don't get all fired up," Ma replied. She spoke soft with a low tone, attempting to keep me calm. "Well your brother or sister is okay, but while I was at the hospital a man fell from his stretcher and bit me."
"Son of a bitch was crazy," Pa cursed. "He kept trying to bite everyone! Doctors, nurses, and other patients. They tried to sedate his dumbass but it didn't work. They just strapped him to a stretcher and he bit all those damn idiots."
"Are you okay?" Jeremy asked.
"Yeah, it's just a little cut," Ma replied, with her loving smile. "I'm just as tough as the men in here. Don't worry about me. Let's talk about your day at school."
"It was fun, but a lot of kids didn't come. I guess they thought we started tomorrow," Jeremy said, as he examined her foot. I was surprised he noticed and hadn't say anything to me. There was something happening that we weren't aware of? This was another reason why I didn't like living in the country, we were the last to find out about anything. I would have to watch the news later or something.
"They might be on vacation," Ma replied. "How was school for you Justin?"
"It was ok, I guess. Just another day."
"Well did you learn something?" Ma asked.
"Yeah. I learned not to go back to school after the first day of break."
"Ha ha, funny guy. Go out back, to the basement, and get the deer meat out the freezer," she instructed, as her face cringed from pain in her foot. Seeing her like this, hurt and angered me. If I were with Pa, we both would've beat that guy's ass. Instead of causing more of a fuss, I nodded and did as Ma asked, exiting the kitchen and heading toward the front door. When I stepped outside, I stood on the porch for a brief second, to enjoy the cool breeze. The weather helped calm my enraged emotions. I wished it was this beautiful every day.
Facing the Brantley's brown home, I walked to the edge of the porched and peered at their house. Unsure because the sound was faint, I believe I heard someone scream from that direction, unless I was hearing things. Since I wasn't sure i didn't give it much thought. Continuing to the basement and it's the old brown wooden double doors, I grabbed the right door knob and pulled the door open. I ambled down the brown wooden basement stairs, toward the freezer. There was a plenty of food in the basement, mostly meats and can goods. It was cleaner down here now than it was before we went on our hunting trip. Ma must've made her way down here also. After grabbing the frozen deer meat, which Pa had poorly wrapped, I returned to the kitchen.
"Here, put some ice on it," Pa insisted, handing Ma a plastic bag filled with ice.
"Okay, but it's not that bad. This bandage is enough," Ma stated, being modest, as she always had.
"Well, I just want to make sure."
Taking her time, Ma got up from her chair. "It's alright, I'm just going to go upstairs to elevate it. That should be enough to bring the swelling down."
"I'll help you upstairs Ma," Jeremy volunteered, as he stepped to her.
"Thank you, I need a young man's help."
Jeremy placed Ma's arm over his shoulder and helped her walk upstairs, even though he wasn't helping. Since she's taller than him, Ma limped up the stairs while Jeremy walked casually beside her. Once Jeremy and Ma were upstairs I focused my attentions on Pa and smirked at him.
"So, it looks like you're cooking tonight Pa."
"No, it looks like a pizza night," he grinned. "Pass me my phone so I can order it now. It'll take them forever to get out here." I handed Pa his cellphone and watched him call the pizza restaurant. He rolled his eye and shook his head as the phone rang. "No one is picking up. I'm know they're not busy. They're just being lazy bums." He sounded aggravated. Jeremey returned right after Pa hung up the phone, sitting right next to him, and asking the same question I asked earlier.
"Pa, what are you cooking tonight?"
"I'm trying to order pizza, but it doesn't seem like that's going to happen. I'll try it again," he said, as he dialed the restaurant's number. I heard the phone as it rang repeatedly, no one picked up. "Wow, still no answer. I guess that's what happens when you hire a whole bunch of bums. Oh, Justin you left your hatchet and gear on the counter last night. Make sure you take it upstairs when you leave this kitchen. Don't make me say it again."
"Good, now how about we go get the pizza instead of waiting for those bums to come here. We'll be faster than them anyway. Those bums don't wan—"
Pa paused, then he tilted his head to the left, to look outside of the kitchen and into the hallway. My eyes followed him as he stepped out the kitchen and into the hallway. He looked as if he saw something suspicious. I turned my head to see what he was leering at and saw Ma. She stood in the hallway, closest to the front door, with her head tilted forward, as if she was staring at the ground. Her skin appeared to be gray, it looked as if it was beginning to wrinkle and her blue veins could be seen through her skin. Her eye color had changed also, the sclera was red, but her iris was still brown and they illuminated through her brown hair. Seeing her like this startled me, she'd never looked this sick before. Ma continued to stand in the hallway, panting heavily and shaking, slightly jerking her head and shoulders in different directions. We knew something was wrong with her and soon my worriedness became fear.
"Liz, what are you doing?" Pa quiered. "You should be in bed elevating your foot."
She didn't speak, but her head continued to twitch, now, along with arms, while her glowing eyes faced the ground. Jeremy got up from his chair and gazed into the hallway with Pa and me. As Jeremy moved, Ma creep toward us, unhurried, one step at a time with her head still tilted forward. Pa sauntered toward her. The couple met halfway in the hallway, between the stairs and the kitchen. Putting his hands on her shoulders, Pa gazed at her from head to toe, examining her face and body.
"Liz, are you ok?" Pa asked. She didn't respond, but her head continued to twitch from side to side. "Liz, maybe we should call the hospital."
With extreme speed, Ma lifted her head, grabbed Pa's right arm, squeeze it and forced her teeth through his skin and into the flesh of his arm.
"AHHHH!" Pa agonized. As her teeth penetrated his arm, she jerked her head from side to side until she yanked a mouth full of flesh from his arm. Pa punched her face as hard as he could, then throw her onto the floor. Distraught from being attacked, Pa stepped away from her and covered his wound with his hand, even though blood continued to pour from his wound and drip onto the floor. "Damn it woman! What the hell is wrong with you?!"
Ma got up just as quick as he threw, ran to him, then sunk her teeth into his left arm. Her robust attacked forced them both to fall onto the floor. Punching and kicking her with all his might, Pa fought with her as if he planned to kill her, but she endured every strike, it was as if she was invulnerable Pa's thrustful hits. I never saw Ma move so fast and I never thought she was strong enough to beat Pa. She bit him repeatedly, yanking flesh each time her teeth touch his skin. His arms, fist, wrist, whatever limb her mouth could get to, her teeth tore. Pa's face was filled with terror as he fought with her, this was my first time seeing him like this.
Jeremy and I watched Pa struggle to save himself. In my heart, I wanted to help him, but I couldn't because my body was as stiff as an iron board, due to my shocked and petrified feelings. Never had I saw my parents fight before and I never saw my mom like this. As I watched her dominate Pa, my heart pounded against my chest. My incessent hands shook nonstop and tears of fear filled my eyes. The only thought that came to mind was that my mother was going to kill my father in front of Jeremy and me.