Jack Panama had
always been a fast kid. His mother just hoped he wasn’t fast enough to outrun a
Mary had her thirty-year old Smith & Wesson .357
Revolver locked, loaded, and pointed right at her five-year old son’s face.
Her dead son. Her walking, talking, laughing, dead son.
He stood there, a good couple of feet shorter than her,
slouched forward and leaning slightly to the right from an injury he took
chasing after her down the stairs.
His face was practically sliding off his skull, a black eye
still visible from when his father had thrown him down onto his train set. The
bite marks from that altercation Mary had walked in on were rotting away in
what was left of his shoulder. The brain matter from his father’s
bullet-pierced head decorated Jack’s Iron Man pajamas, splattered all over that
trademark red and gold mask.
“Jack-” Mary choked out, fresh tears rolling down
her dry salty cheeks.
It was not her name he spoke. It was her title, what he
called her hours ago just when she laid him down for bed and he wanted to read
the Caterpillar book again. What used to make her swell with love, happiness
and pride now made her heart feel too heavy to carry.
When Mary choked out back a sob in response, Jack threw his
head back and laughed from his throat, his skin tearing at the bend. A
disgusting sound, like moist wood snapping, boomed in Mary’s ears.
“Mommy, please don’t. I just want to kiss you.”
He lunged forward, shrieking so loud it muffled the sound of
the gun as Mary screamed and pulled the trigger.
Jack was on top of her before the bullet even hit the wall
behind him, tearing at her flesh and sinking his teeth into her throat.