Her eyelids fluttered and opened. Bright sunlight in the east cast shadows sideways through the fading evening mist. She felt the cool breath of the desert night evaporate as the vengeful sun cast his accusing eye over the rim of the mountains.
You Can’t Quit Me, Baby by Queens of the Stone Age
She lied on her back in the damp grass, and her tongue hurt.
It tasted like fresh blood in her mouth, as well as old, raw meat. She could use floss and a toothbrush, she thought.
Emeralda rolled over onto her side and her body felt like a sack of wet sand. It was very heavy, with a lot of inertia. It resisted change in position. She would soon learn that it would also resist change in its motion.
She inhabited the body of a large, heavy man with powerful musculature. His hair was matted with the dried blood of his victims.
She saw two long tracks across the dewy grass, and they led to her vehicle, the one with the smashed-open rear end. That eyeless bastard was going for her baby.
Emeralda got up onto her knees and felt a bit dizzy. Her jaw throbbed and her brain hurt. She probably had shoe-sole prints on her chin as well. She didn’t care. She knew that this was a temporary vehicle for her soul now. She was a Walk-In, according to her teachings. She could find a new body to inhabit if something happened to this one.
But her baby. The mother bear instinct in her soul rose to ire.
It rose to rage.
She got up on her feet and looked down. She was wearing large, cheap dress shoes. They were slick soled and they slipped on the wet grass. She followed the two slug trails to the cement walkway and saw the blind man down on his knees, trudging along with his hands out front, waving them about. What a pitiful manner to navigate the world.
Emeralda walked up behind him and kicked him in the back. He fell forward and smacked his face on the concrete. His front teeth skittered across the walkway, making a sound like tiny dice.
She knelt down with one knee upon his spine and pulled the closer arm up behind his back. He screamed out a gurgling word, which was this: “AGH.”
She pulled his arm up high to the sky until the shoulder became tensed to the point of popping out of socket. She whispered to him in English. She said, “That is not your child.” Her voice sounded like the one from behind the door that had invited her into this home a few moments before. In her head, it grumbled deep and low. The odor of feces sprang forth.
The eyeless man beneath her answered. He said, “I will not touch the child.” He added, in Armedmenian, “Just leave me the body of the bitch who blinded me.”
She relaxed her grip on his arm. This threw her for a loop. What was going on here?
She knew from her teachings that when a Walk-In kills someone, if he eats a part of the victim before they die, then he can gain their life-long knowledge. But what was this all-out feasting? The carrying forth of knowledge was meant as honor to the life of the victim, for she understood that every life to be a precious gift from the creator.
She had been taught that Walk-Ins bided their time in the darkness of the eternal plane, awaiting the next moment they should enter a body and effect a change, or, very rarely, take a life. In doing so, the dead one would become a Walk-In. There were not very many of them at all in the whole chain of the timeline of the human plane.
She tasted the flavor of the blood in her mouth and it made her stomach grumble. It made her hungry.
Was this some part of the Walk-In principles that she had not been taught? Hunger for blood? Blood lust?
She did not want to kill the animal-man beneath her knee. That would only free him to search for a new, fresh body to inhabit. No, she would need to incapacitate him, to make him weak, but able to survive. A Walk-In commits suicide at his eternal demise. Just needed to give herself time to get away from him. He was deranged, and she did not think it would be good to turn him into a Walk-In. If he passed away from starvation, then he would not turn.
She did not know that he was already a Walk-In, and a cannibal one at that, but her instincts were correct. She slid her knee up further along his spine and grabbed his other arm. She said, “I’m not going to kill you. I’m just going to damper you.”
She pressed down with her meaty thigh and pulled his arms up, close to her. The spine make a loud “POP” noise at the vertebrae between the shoulder blades, and his arms came out of their sockets. He screamed a bit and then passed out in shock.
She dragged him to the rear of the house, to place him in the cellar.
Out in the rear yard, the grass was covered in blood and piles of red, chewed meat, and bones. There were many bodies there. She dropped the broken man down on the ground and ran from one body to the next, to look for her daughter. None of the bodies were children. She held her tears back; tears of worry, of horror, of relief flooded just below the rim of her eyelids. She held those tears at bay.
Now was the time to find her daughter. Her friends were here, she found them among the other bodies. These two men had been very busy. They had used this home as a base. Somehow they understood that it was reinforced against attack with metal plates inside the walls.
The broken man had spoken Armedmenian to her. What did this mean? In her panicked state, she saw the pieces of a puzzle, and she understood that they bore great significance, so she filed them in her mind for later. She also understood that she was in no frame of mind to put it all together.
Once she found her daughter, she would take the time, make the effort to understand what was going on.
She was too panicked to realize that if she put the pieces together, only then would she find her daughter.
God Help You.
God help Us All.