“Not with hips like those you don’t.”
Anja retreated a step for every step of the tall lady’s approach. Each step lured her out of the narrow hallway into a better battlefield: the spacious living room.
“Do you want to have children?”
At the end of the hall, too far from the flashing light in the bathroom and blocked from what little sunlight remained of the evening, darkness veiled the tall lady’s features. As a black shadow, she towered over Anja. The top of Anja’s head reached the tall lady’s bosom. Anja calculated that all her punctures would have to be below the breasts. Any higher and the tall lady would see the dagger coming. Thigh, abdomen, or in the tricep if possible.
“You do want to be a mother,” the tall lady whispered from the dark.
Anja held her breath. Fight response triggered. Blood pumped to her limbs.
“Then I’ll cut out your parts so you can’t!”
The tall lady lunged out at Anja, slashing with the steak knife. Anja reflexively ducked and punctured the tall lady in the stomach.
That’s a handprint, Anja thought.
Oblivious to her wound, the ghost stabbed down at Anja. Anja grabbed the tall lady’s wrist and stopped the knife before penetration. The tall lady stacked one hand on top of the other to drill the knife into Anja’s face. Anja groaned as she resisted the ghost’s strength, “aaaAAH-HUH!” Anja kicked the tall lady in the gut. They separated. The tall lady slammed back into the living room wall. Growling and snapping, she thrust herself at Anja. Slash right, slash left. Anja retreated, dodged the first slash, blocked the second with her dagger, blocked a surprise kick with her dagger to the femoral artery. A puncture that also went unnoticed by the tall lady.
Anja’s conscience had unknowingly registered it before. What the blood stains on the tall lady’s dress really were. Having drawn her out into the dimming light of dusk, Anja saw the blood stains more clearly as tiny handprints that glided down into a pool of blood.
The tiniest plea produced the grandest devastation. Those three-year-old twins were really dead. The tall lady had slit her own children’s throats with a steak knife. Even in death, they had reached for the one person who was supposed to protect them.