Kyd enters the empty house and shuts the door quickly and firmly behind him. He runs upstairs and takes off the dirty clothes in a hurry and hits the shower to wash the terror away. When he finishes and puts on his pajamas (a black shirt and basketball shorts), he runs down to the kitchen and gets some of the plastic bags his parents usually keep between the wall and refrigerator and runs back upstairs. He puts the dirty, piss smelling clothes into the bag then runs downstairs and throws them in the trash. Kyd remembers that Trash day is every Thursday–which is today.
Thank God for Trash day, Kyd thinks when he pulls out the trash bag, takes it around the house to collect other trash, then takes it outside and leaves it out front. Kyd runs upstairs and takes a look at his backpack–some dirty water on it he’ll have to clean but nothing too serious–then takes everything out and runs to the bathroom and washes it down with soap. After ten minutes, he rushes back to his room, puts everything back in his bag and plops down on his bed and falls back–his heart rattling in his chest like a savage prisoner. He breathes in and out–trying to forget today’s horrors–until his heartbeat gradually slows and his eyelids gradually become heavier and before he knows it, his eyelids shut and he’s asleep without a care in the universe.
Six o’clock comes and the door clicks open, Kyd’s eyes shoot open as soon as he hears the sound and he jumps out of bed and rushes to the staircase–almost tripping over his backpack and dirty sneakers–to see who came in. He sees shoulder-length black hair and glimpses of the green pants suit his mother usually wears, he relaxes.
“Kyd! I’m home.” She says.
Kyd goes downstairs and greets his mother, “Hey, mom.”
“How was your day?” Kyd asks.
“Same old, same old,” Maggie says, “angry customers and miserable employees.”
Maggie asks, “how was your day, baby?”
Kyd gives her that patented annoyed look Maggie swears he gets from Curtis and she immediately gets it and laughs.
“Boy,” She pushes him playfully and he grins, “you just like your father,” she adds. “You do your homework?”
“Not yet,” Kyd says, “I knocked out as soon as I hit the bed, just woke up.”
Maggie chuckles, “alright, go ahead and get to it while I change out and get dinner started.”
Kyd rushes toward the stairs and Maggie watches him along, he gets as far as the fifth step when he asks, “hey mom, can I take a karate class?”
She gives him a puzzled look, “Why? Some kids been messing with you?”
“Not really,” Kyd says, trying his best to forget recent events, “It’s just that if I’m not allowed to use my powers I wanna be able to defend myself in some way.”
Maggie considers this, gives him the piercing, school-teacher eye–Kyd holds her gaze and focuses all his energy on keeping his heartbeat normal–then says, “alright, wait till your father gets home and we’ll talk about it then.”
“Alright,” Kyd goes upstairs and tends to his homework, letting out a huge sigh of relief when he gets to his room.
Eight o’clock comes and the door clicks open again, “Honey! Kyd! I’m home.” Curtis says.
Maggie has dinner ready–chicken, Spanish rice with vegetables, broccoli, and biscuits with fudge brownies for dessert–and Kyd comes rushing downstairs at the aroma. He greets his father first then rushes to the kitchen, Curtis laughs at this. Maggie tells Kyd to go wash his hands and he goes to the downstairs bathroom and does so and is back in a flash, ready to devour mamma’s home cooking. Curtis, however, takes his time–knowing the family can’t eat until he’s at the table. When Curtis finally gets to the table–Kyd’s stomach growling up a ten-point-five magnitude earthquake–they all say grace and dig in.
At some point in the dinner, Maggie says, “Kyd wants to take Karate classes.”
Curtis’s eyes shoot to Kyd, “that true, boy?”
Kyd nods nervously.
“Some kids messing with you at school?”
“Tell him what you told me, Kyd,” Maggie says.
“Not, really. I just wanna be able to defend myself in some way that doesn’t include dropping a steel vent on someone’s head.”
Curtis laughs at the idea, “alright, I get that.” He glances at Maggie, “what do you think, hon?”
“I say why not,” she answers, “but under certain conditions.”
Kyd flashes his eyebrows and looks away to suppress his laugh.
“I know that look, Kyd,” Maggie says.
Kyd tries to suppress it but can’t any longer and bursts out laughing. Curtis joins in and eventually, they’re all laughing and having a good time.
“Alright,” Curtis wipes the tears from his eyes and sighs, “you just earned yourself Karate classes for that one.”
“Okay, I suppose I do worry a bit too much,” Maggie says with a genuine smile, “I just don’t want anything to happen to you, is all.”
“I’ll be fine, mom,” Kyd says, “it’s only for self-defense purposes.”
“It better be,” she says, “‘cause if I find out you out here kickin’ people in the head, there’s a nice, thick leather belt waiting for that little butt of yours, you hear me?”
“Yes, ma’am!” Kyd says with a fearful spirit.
“Alright, then I guess that’s that.”
“Mhmm,” Curtis says, and they all finish dinner.
Ten o’clock comes and Kyd is lying in his bed, looking up at the ceiling. That two-hour power nap being a little too powerful. After five minutes of seducing comfort, however, Kyd yawns and his eyelids grow heavy. He tries to fight it, knowing that with this sleep comes nightmare about the creature and those long claws, cannibal teeth and eyes–those dirty, yellow eyes. Another five minutes pass and Kyd can’t fight it anymore, his eyelids close and take him into a dreamless sleep–forgetting the dark alleyway, the shadowy creature’s ghostly body, those long, dripping claws and white cannibal teeth, and dirty yellow eyes.
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