Jason put his finger to his lips, telling his sister to be quiet. Together, they observed the woman outside their door. She was standing lazily under the shadow of the fading day. He could not tell if she was sleeping or awake, but how can someone sleep while standing on their feet.
"Jason, I'm scared." Ashley said. He turned and saw that his sister was very uncomfortable. She looked as if she was about to cry.
"Fine, then cover your eyes." She cupped her hands to her eyes.
The woman outside was swaying. Her arms dangled uselessly as it swayed slowly side to side, reminding him of those snaky vines his uncle used to have climbing over his fence.
Outside, the wind started to pick up again, sending cold winds rattling against his window. He could feel the chill through the glass where he was looking out from. The woman was not bothered by the cold at all, from her silhoulette, she was wearing short sleeved shirt, long pants that to Jason, looked like pajamas, and she stood as casually, unaffected as someone preparing to go to a beach on a hot day. And she has been standing in the middle of the street for half an hour.
He wanted to say something to her, asking if she needed any help. Maybe she was lost.
Half an hour ago, he was in the living room playing video games, not even bothered turning on the lights in the house even though it was getting dark, which turned out to be a blessing. The woman was heard screaming from far away. He had paused the game and ran to the window, looking out with Ashley by his side. She had been chasing something down the road before she lost track and stood there as if hibernating.
"What do we do?" His sister asked. Jason rarely got mad at his sister but he was now slightly annoyed.
"I thought you were closing your eyes." She looked up at him sheepishly and said nothing else. "I'm going to talk to her."
"Jason no!" She pleaded.
"What if she needs help?"
"What if she's crazy. She was screaming..."
He stood up from the window and began unlocking the door, just as the streetlights flicked on. The woman jerked with a loud grunt. She spun around, her hands curved into claws, attacking the air.
"What the hell?" Usually his sister would say something whenever he said "bad" words, but she was too compelled to the scene of the mad woman outside, who continued to slash and punch her invisible enemy.
"Call the police." Jason said. His sister reluctantly left.
A few seconds went by. The woman seemed to not run out of stamina from her excessive attacks at all. He felt his bowel grew cold when he realized how visible he was from the window. If she turned this way surely she would see him, and he wasn't sure what she'd do, or how he would react. He slid his feet under him and crouch lower, so that only the top of his head and his eyes are visible.
"Ashley, are you still calling?" He said.
There was no reply. He turned around, eyes earching for her. His feet grew numb.
"Ashley?" He asked again.
"Yeah?" A tiny voice trailed from the kitchen. He breathed a sigh of relief.
"What are you doing? Are you calling?"
"Uhhh... I think I see someone outside." His heart skipped a beat. He stood up, trying to fight the numbness in his feet.
"I don't know, I just saw..."
Jason heard the window shattered.
It came from the kitchen, his sister started to scream. Jason hobbled to the kitchen as a manly snarl drowned out the silence.
His sister ran from the kitchen, a dark shape looming behind her, trying to catch up. He pulled the tall DVD stack from the wall and threw it in the way of the man. He tripped on the obstacle and fell. Jason noticed in that quick second, the oily, dark hair matted with dirt, as the man look up, he thought he was staring into the face of a demon. His eyes were unnaturally red, almost inorganic in the strangeness of its color, dark red blood streaming from their corners down to his face. There was a certain ferity about the man that he had never seen before on any human, that looking into those wild eyes was like looking into a haunting abyss. Jason took heels and ran.
He took up the stairs where his sister had fled, hearing the feral man getting up behind him. The living room window broke and the woman leapt in, howling. The woman and the Feral man saw each other and charged, their bodies crashing against one another, arms flailing, punching kicking, teeth ripping.
When he came to the top of the stairs, the two assailants stopped fighting and began to ascend the stairs. Jason came face to face with three closed doors. Which one did Ashley ran into? He wanted to shout for her, but there wasn't enough time. He dived into his room and kicked the door shut, quickly regained his feet and locked it, the assailants crashed against the wood, the door bulged with impact and Jason thought for a moment that it would give in. The door held, however, there was a loud "crack" as the assailants charged again.
Fuck! The door won't hold. He could see a thin crack running from the top of the door through the white wood down to near the knob handle. He expected his assailants to burst in, when a cry rose in the frantic air.
Ashley's wail rose up from the other room. He was too afraid that he almost forgot about his sister. She burst into loud tears, and the crazed couple began to attack the other door. He could feel the vibration through the walls of his own room every time the crazies shot their bodies against the door.
"Jason!" Ashley screamed his name amidst her cries. He felt his knees grew weak, his throat tightened as the tears threatened to come up from his eyes.
No, not now, my sister needs help.
He went to the window and lifted up the frame and shutter, and crawled out, facing the thirty feet drop down to the backward. There was a small ledge between all the rooms upstairs. Jason wiggled out from the window and scaled the ledge. There was nothing to hold on to, so he edged himself close to the wall like a reptile and inched his way toward his sister's window, the time bomb ticking in his mind.
He banged on the glass window with his fist.
"Open the window, Ashley!" He screamed out to her. He could hear her from inside the room, still crying while the crazies battered away the thin wooden door, which was giving in one crack at a time.
She didn't open the window.
He cursed and hit the windows again, there was no strength behind his punch as there was no leverage, every time his fist swung, he risked falling from the ledge.
He bent his straddling knees and looked inside. Anger siezed him, the only thing stopping him from trying to bang his head against the wall for his stupidity was his sister's continued plea for his help. The room was empty. His sister had ran into their parents' room.
He kept on scaling the ledge, one inch at a time. His hands are sweating and cold, every gust of wind threatned to throw him off. And it was dark. He navigated his way using the faint, distant light left from the setting sun.
He came to his parents window at last, and banged his fist on it.
"Open the window!" He yelled. The window frame slowly rose up, pushed by Ashley's skinny arms, she reached her hand out to him, which he clutched and held on like a treasure. Inside, he heard the door breaking apart, and the growls came into the room. He tugged hard at her hands, dragging her out from the window, the woman dived after her and fell down to the yard underneath. Ashley's weight tipped him off his balance.
Ashley and he were falling, he reached up instintively with his other hand, and felt the gutter under his grip. There was a loud creak of metal as the long gutter began to bend, then it was still. The gutter held on.
Jason breathed out in relief and strained to pull Ashley to the ledge when the crazy man earlier leaned out from the window and reached for him. Jason saw his face, red eyes, snarling mouth, blue veins ran like agressive tunnels under his skin as his hand came up for him like a terrible talon... there was a piercing sound of gunshot as the man's face jerk once, and slumped. His dead body hanging from the window sill.
Jason turned his head and saw his neighbor, Joe Conti, takes his face from his hunting rifle. There must obvious gratitude in Jason's face, because Joe gave him a bright smile.