Flash Frenzy, round 2

Prompt: http://theangryhourglass.wordpress.com/2014/01/11/flash-frenzy-round-2/

Rachel reached up to turn on the ceiling fan and froze. Up, up, down. The first two switches controlled the lights in the living room, but they should have been off. Someone else had to be in the apartment. She listened as closely as she could, hoping to pick up the sound of movement, or breathing – something to tell her what was going on – but despite her carefully trained hearing, there was nothing. The seconds ticked by on the grandfather clock her parents had left her, but outside of the whirring of the gears and her own breathing, the apartment was silent.

Convincing herself that there had to be another explanation – perhaps the landlord had left the lights on – Rachel flipped off the lights and headed for the kitchen. On the way, she ran her fingers over the heavy wood of the clock. She’d never seen its face, but she loved it anyway. There was something about the permanence of this device that had been in her family for generations that grounded her to a world where she was alone. Her fingers moved smoothly over the wood, feeling the minute imperfections which said this was something made by hand, and froze again when they touched something wet and sticky.

She yanked her hand away from the clock, clapping it over her mouth to stifle a scream. The feel of the wetness on her skin made her cringe, but she’d trained for this, and she let her training take over. The apartment was still nearly silent, but standing here closer to the kitchen, she could smell something she’d never smelled before.

She’d heard it described a thousand times, however.

“They’ll come for you, Rachel, just like they came for your mom, and just like they’ll come for me. I could say I was sorry, but it’s just the way it is.” Her dad repeated this lesson every night for years, until he was proven right, at least in part, describing the ones who would come and what they would do.

And now it was her turn. But she wasn’t going to follow her parents. Rachel had something different in mind.

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