My feet stepped light and quick and I was at the bed and I raised the bat and I started down with it. Mama’s eyes popped open.
“Shasta!” Mama threw up her arms, and the bat hit them and not her head. I raised the bat again, but before I could bring it down, Mama reached up and grabbed it and yanked it out of my hands. Then, quick as a cat, she scrabbled up on her knees. Her arms straight and stiff, she held the bat out between us like it was a cross and I was a vampire or something. “What are you doing?”
I had to get it back. I had to stop her. I had to kill her!
I lunged for the bat, but Mama jerked it aside. I fell flat on my face into a cloud of bedcovers that smelled like lavender bath salts. And then the smell was all around me as Mama rolled me and wrapped me and I could hear her crying and saying my name over and over again. I couldn’t move my arms or my legs. I could barely breathe.
Then over the sucking noises I was making and the sniffling noises Mama was making, I heard Joey. Crying.
Mama went dead quiet like she was holding her breath. I felt the bed jiggle, then go still. Then from a ways off—I think out in the hall–“Joey…”
I felt a sharp tug and I rolled and rolled, out of the bedclothes and onto the floor. Tock loomed over me, a frown pulling down the corners of her mouth, allowing only two long fangs to poke out. Boy, did she look mad. Continue reading