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Red Winged Black Bird on a fence post in a field.

Morty 2

2004-04-22

Category: prose
Read Part One here.

His head crashed against the far wall of the hallway. The knock sound resounded through the night. Brilliant violet spots flared against his eyes while jagged metal reached from the impact into his brain.

He collapsed on his side and made a soft moan. He curled and rolled onto his back. The motion continued till he fell on his other side. Reaching up, he felt the knot on his head. There was no blood, no puncture, just a lump slowly and painfully growing on his scalp.

Still a little dizzy, he pushed himself onto his hands and knees. His stomach lurched but he pushed it back down. The purple spots still danced before him, even if dimmer. He crawled down the hall.

The moonlight dimmed as he moved further from the window. At first, this made it more difficult to see. Then his eyes adjusted to the reduced light. Still not great light, but he could make out the other hall table and the walls. He could also see the edge of the stairs.

He lowered himself to his belly. Squeezing his eyes together to wring up courage, he tried to still his breath and wild heart. As quietly as he could, he slithered toward the edge of the stairs.

The stairwell opened up into the living room. Very little light came in through the windows. Silhouettes showed the locations of the furniture. He could see little else. Focus turned to his ears. The wind outside knocked trees together and whistled around pipes and edges. Gone were the familiar sounds of the house. No refrigerator hum, no radio or television, not even ticking of the hall clock sounded.

He took a few more soft breaths to calm himself. Carefully, he turned around so he could go down the stairs feet first. He felt more comfortable crawling down and didn?t want to make a silhouette of his own.

The stairs made soft creaks as his weight shifted from tread to tread. He winced each time. A crime story he read when he was a kid told of a thief who walked on the edges of the stairs to minimize noise. It seemed reasonable so he moved his feet and hands out to the edges as best he could. Creak, creak, creak, he went down the stairs.

At the bottom, he stopped. Moving his hands further down the steps, he lowered into a crouch.

Light came through the kitchen door. The largest kitchen windows faced the moon. By contrast with the living room, the kitchen might as well have been in full daylight. It wasn?t.

He looked down and closed his eyes to readjust them to the dark. The kitchen wouldn?t be safe. Would the front porch? He wasn?t sure. He wasn?t sure of anything.

He slid off the stairs and onto the floor. Staying as low and quiet as he could, he crawled along the baseboard toward the kitchen.


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