The Hunt

The doorbell rang a third time and Eloise picked up her pace as she rushed to greet whoever it was who was calling so early in the morning.  The heel of her shoe caught on a sang in

the rug and she stumbled forward. Catching herself she yelled at the door. “Coming! Just one moment!” Her brow creased. Where in the world was Margaret?! As soon as she reached the door, Margaret was at her side.

Eloise gave her an exasperated glare as she hissed at her, “Where have you been?!”

Margaret pointed towards the back office. “Its Wednesday. The hun–”

Eloise cut her off. “I know what day it is! You are supposed to get the door!”

“Yes ma’am.”

“What in the world am I paying you for?!” The maid curtseyed and reached for the doorknob. Eloise shooed her away before painting on a calm face and pulling the door open.

“Hello, how may I help–” Her words caught in her throat and the color of her face drained down as if sinking into the soles of her shoes.

“Hello, Mother.”

Eloise’s jaw bobbed, no words managed to come. What could she possibly say? It had been 13 years, years that were never supposed to come back and haunt her. Not like this.

Finally gaining her mental equilibrium, Eloise attempted to shut the door in the face of the child, the face that now, full grown at 18, looked exactly like hers.  The girls arm came up like a bar and blocked the large door from slamming closed, her mouth drawn in hard line and her eyes fierce upon Eloise.

Eloise let out a started gasp and took a step backward, her heel catching on the snag on the rug. She fell down hard. The young woman let herself in. There was something ominous about the way she stood over Eloise. Even the darkness of her shadow made Eloise cower.

“I-I am not your mother.” She managed to choke out.  The young woman’s head tilted at an odd angle. Was that confusion or just bottled rage brewing in her face? “I am none of your mothers. Haven’t,” She looked around. Were was her help? It was 7 in the morning. There was only Margaret near the front of the house. By the time anyone heard her scream it would be too late. She brought her eyes back to the young woman. “Haven’t you noticed that you age quite fast, that you look exactly like each other? You look exactly like me?!” Eloise shook her head. “I am not your mother.”

The young woman shook her head and closed the door behind her. “There are no others, Mother.  Only me…now.”

“I am not your mother! You are not my child, you,”  Her nostrils flared. No one was supposed to know. The project was over, the samples were supposed to have been destroyed. “You are a copy.”

Eloise scooted backward but her heel was still caught. She kicked off the shoe, willing to spare it to the young, confused woman’s wrath than have her body destroyed. The woman leaned forward and yanked the heel free. She squeezed the leather in her hands with such angry force that the show seemed to squeal in surrender. Then she positioned it just right, just as if it were a weapon.

Eloise’s breath caught in her lungs. Why didn’t she just get up and run?! And when she ran, where would she go? If the young woman had found her she would find her again. “What are  you going to do?”

The young woman’s mouth dipped down as if she were a toddler on the verge of crying or throwing the worlds worst temper tantrum. Eloise had seen others, like her, go into fits. They never ended well.

The young woman stepped closer, the heel of the shoe raised high in her white knuckles. She was going to kill her. “I am going to put you away then, just like the others. If you are not my mother then you must be a mistake.”

Eloise took in a deep breath preparing to scream bloody murder right before she heard the crack of the double barreled rifle rip through the foyer and the the body of the copy smash against the door in a crimson heap. Her life completely expired.

Eloise froze still. Her ice blue eyes stared hard at the body slumped against the door. She screamed when Margaret’s hand touched her shoulder, the barrel of the gun still smoking.  “Margaret!” She yelled thankfully. “How-how did you know?”

“Today is Wednesday.” She said. “Its the Hunt. I was cleaning the rifles this morning for the occasion.” She tucked the gun under her arm and  helped Eloise to stand. “But in answer to your early question, what do you pay me for, ma’am? You pay me to get the door.”

THE END

So, I didn’t see that coming. Actually the only thing that I did see when I began this freewrite was a woman walking down a hallway with a lovely pair of heels on. This is definitly a shift in creative gears in comparison to the previous freewrites that I have done. The others have leaned towards light and romance (which is NOT my main genre). This however is very dark and far from romantic. I think the feel of it comes from the fact that I am feeling rushed these days. My 15min blocks of creativity are being swamped and washed away by family emergencies and needs. No I am not married nor do I have children (yet )but I do have a large family and things come up and well when one of us needs help, we help.

Sometimes that help comes at the sacrifice of our creative time. I think the copy at the door is my creative voice screaming “ENOUGH ALREADY!!!! GET BACK TO REGULAR BLOGGING AND WRITING AND PAINTING AND WHATEVER ELSE YOU HAVE NEGLECTED!!!!!!!”

I get it. I hear you. My prayer is that come this Saturday evening I will be able to refocus and begin to produce without any further interruptions. I hope you enjoyed reading this story.

Cheers!

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