Meat's Birthday: Part 2

Meat's Birthday
Part II

Need to catch up? Part 1 can be read here: Part I

She gasped for breath as she wrapped her arms around her swollen belly, the carpet coarse against her back as her shirt rode up while Mrs. Franklin pulled her towards her. The old woman smacked her lips in anticipation, which in other circumstance would have been a comical sight, as her dentures had been knocked loose and lay on the floor in the kitchen.

The look in Mrs. Franklin's eyes was anything but comical. Her features were wrinkled by an animal like snarl that twisted her once grandmotherly face into a caricature of its former self. Her bare gums snapped together with a sound like that of someone being slapped in the face by an open palm. She pulled Denise’s foot to her mouth, those bony gums clamping down on her Tom’s leather slip on's that she’d bought at Nordstroms for nearly seventy bucks.

The pain from Mrs. Franklin gnawing on her foot brought her back to the reality of the situation. She was in trouble, the why didn’t matter at the moment, there would be time enough for that later. For now she had to concentrate on surviving. If she could make it to the street, Marvin had better be waiting there for her if he valued his life.

As Mrs. Franklin gnawed on the toe of her foot, Denise raised her other foot and brought it down on Mrs. Franklin’s face with as much savagery as she could muster, considering her condition. There was movement in her belly as Mrs. Franklin released her grip and Denise scrambled to get back to her feet.

She rolled over onto her belly, the baby inside kicking viciously against the side of her womb as it was compressed beneath her weight, and she tried to push herself up onto all fours so she could crawl away from the threat that was even now pulling itself across the floor towards her. She felt like she was moving in slow motion, the distance between her and the chair appearing to grow instead of shrinking.

Reaching the chair in the living room she managed to pull herself to her knees as Mrs. Franklin clawed her way after her. She was panting, out of breath from the exertion, nearly out of strength, but fear had a way of helping one dig deep when it was needed, and all the motivation Denise needed to make that final push was to glance over her shoulder to see just how close Mrs. Franklin had gotten to her.

Making it to her feet amid the pain of an approaching contraction that came like the sound of a freight train bearing down upon her, Denise crossed to the open door, and staggered into the hallway beyond. She felt her panties getting wet and knew her water was about to break. The baby was coming and here she was trying to escape some crazy old woman bent on chewing her to death.

She whimpered as Mrs. Franklin clawed her way after her and she tried to pull the door shut only to have it catch on Mrs. Franklin’s fingers that she'd managed to slip into the crack. Denise leaned into the door as Mrs. Franklin howled on the other side and Denise looked left and right down the vacant hallway, surprised that no one had come out to see what all the commotion was about.

She put her weight into it, which with the baby was considerable, and felt the gore rising to the back of her throat when she heard the audible click of Mrs. Franklins fingers being severed.

She giggled uncontrollably as she watched the four individual fingers squirm across the carpeted floor towards her feet. On the other side of the door Mrs. Franklin flailed against the door like a mad woman, screaming in a guttural voice that was more a growl than a cry, slapping the door with what Denise believed was her arms.

She took several steps back, alone for now in the hallway, as the door rattled in its frame. She was afraid that if she turned Mrs. Franklin would manage to get the door open and chase her down the hallway. When she was several steps away she turned and ran as best she could towards the doors of the elevator at the end of the hall, her hands cradling her belly as she ran, the baby within sharing its displeasure with being mistreated as it had over the past half hour.

If she could get to the street, if Marvin was there waiting for her, she could go to the hospital, get the baby out, and move on with the life ten grand would buy her.

“I wouldn’t go out here.” A man’s voice came from her right and she stopped to look at the occupant of seven C who watched her from the shadowy recesses of his apartment.

“What do you know about anything,” she said with a dismissive wave.

“More than you obviously,” The man said before closing the door softly.

Another contraction hit her as she stood in the elevator, amniotic fluid ran down her leg, staining her leather shoes as it leaked into a puddle on the floor around her. She squatted with her back against the wall of the elevator, breathing rapidly as she struggled to get control of the waves of pain washing over her.

Once she got to the lobby everything would be fine, someone would help her to Marvin’s old Cutlass and they would be on their way to the hospital. By this time next week she’d be in New York preparing for her first of many auditions.

The elevator stopped, a bell dinging above the door, and she looked up from where she was squatting as the doors slid open. The first thing that assailed her ears was the screaming, followed shortly by the overwhelming stench of rotting flesh that turned her stomach as hot gore burned the back of her throat. She put her hand over her nose.

On the other side of the narrow lobby a group of six people were kneeling on the floor around someone who was screaming in a high pitched voice. Blood spurted in an arc over one of the men’s shoulder, splattering onto the polished tile floor, staining it crimson. The screams became resigned whimpers as the sound of something tearing came from within the knot of people.

Denise screamed and one of the people turned to look in her direction. Their face had the same appearance as Mrs. Franklin's, the flesh gray with dark splotches, the eyes silvery discs that watched her with a predatory interest. The only difference being the piece of bloody flesh that hung from the man’s mouth at he absently chewed on it.

The man pushed himself to his feet and staggered towards her as she reached up and pushed the up button, her other hand wrapped around her belly where they baby moved around in preparation to being born.

She kept pushing at the button as the man staggered towards her, the doors refusing to budge as the distance between them narrowed.

Twenty feet, fifteen, ten, five.

To be continued!

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