I noticed it a few days ago. At first I didn’t understand, but then, it hit me.
Today was the worst it has ever been. Mom came home late again. Like really late. Like the next morning late. She often left the house lately when we were sleeping, and then she was back home before we awoke. Mostly.
Today she came home at about 9 a.m. She was tired. Really tired. And she had headed straight for the bathroom. She was in there for hours. Screaming, making weird noises and throwing things around. My brother and I knew it was best not to disturb her when she was like that. Dad was still away at his business trip. He had been away for 14 days. When mom started to disappear, I got scared. But I never asked her why. She had been doing it everyday for 3 days.
She came out of the bathroom and headed downstairs. I was at the table eating my cereal, I almost choked, she had got me so edgy lately.
“Hi honey,” she said and kissed me in the hair. She smelled nice. Her hair was braided and she was dressed very nicely.
“Where we’re you?” I asked carefully, expecting to be yelled at. Mom just smiled and took the juice out of the fridge.
“I don’t know what you mean dear.” And then she walked away with a glass of juice in her hands.
I could feel the hair in the back of my neck stand up. Mom was so weird today. What did she do when she left the house? And then my heart stopped. The juice carton had blood marks on it. Was it mom? Was she hurt? I jumped down from the chair to find her, but she wasn’t any were to be found.
At dinnertime I found mom in the kitchen. She acted like everything was perfectly fine. It made my skin crawl. My brother, that was a few years younger than me, seemed to have forgotten mom was gone. He acted like nothing was wrong. Mom seemed her normal self, but I was not fooled, all through dinner I watched her without saying a word. Mom didn’t talk much to me either, but she looked very tired.
When we all went to bed, I was watching the night outside. The moon was still full this night as it had been for the past 3 days. It was beautiful. And then it hit me. Could mom? Was it possible?
I heard the door click. As if someone closed it and didn’t wanted to be noticed.
I jumped out of bed, ran barefoot out the back door. Moms nightgown was on the lawn. Torn up. I choked back a scream and kept running. “Mom.” I screamed silently in my head. Frantically looking for her. Then I saw her slippers. They were ripped open. My heart almost jumped out of my chest. It was pounding so hard, that I got scared someone could hear it. I was in the woods now. The woods just opposite our house. I had to find mom.
I walked slowly, deeper into the woods, listening for her. My feet hurt from the branches and rocks.
I couldn’t see her.
Then a branch cracked behind me, and then a deep growling sound. I turned around. There was the wolf. Bigger than I could have ever imagined. And it had its deep yellow eyes straight at me, and it’s teeth fully exposed. Its face looked furious. As if I had done something to it. It looked ready to kill. I turned around and began to run. I heard the wolf setting off towards me.