The feeling of arriving home is second to none for Luke. Today had been a hectic. The day had required a lot from him. He had a long checklist of things to do and he surprisingly managed to do it all. He is a little pleased with himself for that.
He had a meeting with the board of directors to discuss the financial status of the company, he had to find and send a gift to his parents for their thirtieth anniversary he unfortunately can’t attend, he had to break up with his girlfriend, he had to contact his landlord about the dripping pipes in his apartment and he was supposed to attend a youth meeting at church.
He didn’t do all those things in that order. He left the break up with Lucy for the end. And as he had expected, it had taken a lot out of him. The break up was something he had been procrastinating for quite some time.
Lucy is a slim brunette with pumpkin sized breasts that are her only outstanding feature. He met her on a rare Saturday night of painting the town. She had accidentally spilt her drink on him while he was on the dancefloor showing everyone in the club his awful dance moves.
They had struck up a conversation and quickly became infatuated with one another. That night is still a blur for Luke, one minute he was chatting up this girl with a huge set of breasts on her chest and the next minute he was waking up naked in her apartment. That was five months ago.
Their relationship had lasted longer than what Luke had wanted. This is because when he got to know her, he saw no possible future with Lucy. She hated sports, didn’t go to church, had a twisted sense of humour, and liked horror movies. All these things made him like her less and less.
He even began sleeping with a night light because she used to force him to watch her twisted horror movies. The fact that she was so bossy and pushed him around like a little child aggravated Luke further.
She even tried to bully him into not breaking up with her earlier tonight. She had steered the conversation in her favour and was about to manipulate him into continuing the relationship. That’s when he lost it. He gave her a piece of his mind. He spent about ten minutes on his aggravated tirade. He had planned his exit to be a swift storm-out after his spiel. But when he was heading for the door, Lucy shouted out words that still haunt him up until now, “You are making a mistake, my little brother will make you pay for this!”
Luke has scrambled his mind trying to figure out what she meant. Lucy has no siblings. To give himself a peaceful night, he has concluded that the words were the ramblings of a heart broken woman.
He rummages the fridge for something to quench his thirst. He finds a can of soda that he guzzles in a matter of seconds. He drops down into his black leather couch and browses his 60 inch Samsung TV for something interesting to watch. He stops momentarily on the news channel and it reports that his favourite football team lost again. He shakes his head in disappointment and continues his channel surfing.
When he realises that nothing on TV is worth his time, he goes for a hot shower. He heats up yesterday’s pizza slices and decides on an early night sleep. He sleeps with the night light off hoping the action will completely free him from the Lucy effect.
A firm grip around his ankles hauls him out of his peaceful dreams. At first, Luke thought he was still dreaming until his mind convinced him that he is wide awake.
Shock and fear shoot up and down his whole body like a stimulant drug. The realisation that there is someone in his apartment who is also holding his ankle causes his heart to beat like a boom box in his chest.
The hand that is holding his ankle is rough as sand paper. Luke can feel his skin peel away under the pressure of the indelicate grip. His mind is bombarding him with a thousand speculations.
Is it a thief? Is it his brother, Roger, who is the only person with an extra key to his apartment? Or worse, is it a ghost? Luke has his money on the last guess.
There is no possible way anyone can break into his apartment without him knowing. He has an expensive security system in place. The alarm is loud enough wake up everyone in his ten story apartment building and it alerts the security company of a break in within seconds. Roger is out of town and won’t be back in six weeks which further convinces Luke that whoever or whatever is latching on his ankle is something supernatural.
At first he couldn’t move because he thought fear had paralysed him but he then realises he can’t even scream out for help. He has lost control of his own body. His brain sends numerous messages to his limps to take some form of action but they wouldn’t oblige. Nothing is working, he now can’t even blink.
The hand that is gripping him, tightens. He can feel it bite into his skin. A few seconds later he feels blood flowing from his ankle to his sky blue bedsheets. He wants to scream his tongue out because the pain is unbearable but he can’t.
The hand becomes tighter and tighter and Luke still feels the blood oozing out of his leg like milk being wringed from a cow. It feels like his leg is caught in a bear trap as the grip tears into the bones and flesh of his ankle.
Luke knows the point of separation between his leg and foot is not too far. After several seconds of this punishment, he feels the hand finally let go of him. His first thought is to get up from his bed and run.
When he retains the ability to move his body, he tries to get up but he loses balance and he flops to the hardwood floor. He screams in pain as he stares at his bleeding right leg that has been robbed of its foot. He realises that the hand didn’t let go of his ankle, his foot has been disfigured from his leg.
His eyes dart around the room looking for the culprit. His attention centres on a short figure standing at the foot of his bed. His bedroom is mostly enveloped in darkness but the few streaks of moon light slipping through his pencil pleat curtains aid him in picking out scant features of the short man. Luke soon realises that it’s not a man at all. It looks human but not quite. The humanoid figure is about two feet tall and looks like dwarfs. It has short chubby hands and feet. In one of its fat hands, it is holding Luke’s right foot.
In a state of pure panic, Luke begins frantically dragging his burly body to the door. The dwarf figure slowly walks up to him. It grabs a chunk of his wavy black hair and effortlessly throws him back to his double sized bed. When Luke lands on his bed, he finds the low-set figure already waiting for him there.
It climbs on his chest and showers his oblong face with waves of slaps. Luke remains dazed minutes after it stops assaulting him. It clambers off his chest, ambles to the light switch and flicks it on.
Luke glances at the oval mirror opposite his bed and discovers his face has swollen so fast his head has ballooned like it has been pumped with helium. His cheeks have turned red and the swelling has compressed his eyes to two black slits.
The light also makes the appearances of the dwarf figure more clear. It has dark green skin that is probably permeating the pong that now hangs in the air. The short figure has an ugliness only the flames of hell can inflict. Its face is wizened by a myriad of wrinkles. Below its thick bushy eyebrows, it has two pitch black orbs for eyes. Its floppy ears are akin to that of an elephant. It has two sharp teeth poking out of its chapped mouth like a cyber tooth tiger.
It stomps to a shabby brown knapsack that is in the far left corner of the room. It brings out a plethora of sharp objects from the bag.
Luke is under so much pain from his amputated foot and swollen face he no longer has the power to wail in pain. He only manages to utter out a single question, “What do you want?”
The dwarf’s black eyes look up from its sharp knives and needles. Luke finds out it has the deep voice of growling dog when it says, “I want to make you pay for hurting my sister.”