If you haven’t read the earlier scenes please do so here:
. . .
Max only allowed himself to get out of bed when the sunlight in his room was blinding. All he could do was mull over how stupid and gullible he had been last night. He was asleep when he was attacked and hadn’t seen the person clearly. And to be honest, he was a little drunk. That woman he had met obviously belonged to some weird neighborhood watch type cult. He had been so disoriented he couldn’t make sense of what was going on and just let himself get carried away. He was a police officer, for god’s sake, how could he have allowed himself to be taken to a second location by a complete stranger? And then given that same stranger his address?
I’ll definitely change the locks today, he thought to himself. He had the day off and was glad for it. He decided that when he did get back into the station he’d look up similar descriptions of assailants to see if there were any matches. He checked his phone on his nightstand and saw that he had a text from Jules. He was really starting to like her. He had met her at an outdoor concert in Bryant Park two months earlier and she wasn’t like any of the girls he was used to back home in Staten Island with their bleached blonde hair and fake boobs. She wore her mousy brown hair down with straight bangs across her forehead and large thickly framed glasses. She always wore red lipstick. He liked that she was quirky. He knew his friends from back home would make fun of him for dating a hipster but he didn’t care. Jules was easy going, she didn’t care for the fancy dinners and elaborate dates Max was used to planning when first courting a girl — she loved staying in to watch old movies and ordering take out. It had only been a few weeks but he already felt so comfortable with her.
She said she was no longer vegan, an experiment that didn’t last very long. He felt guilty for not inviting her out last night but he knew she wouldn’t feel comfortable surrounded by his coworkers. He glanced at the clock, 11:30am was still a perfectly acceptable brunch hour, plus Jules was a freelance graphic designer and made her own schedule. He called her back hoping she hadn’t bailed on him yet. She picked up on the fifth ring and sounded groggy.
“Hey, I got your message. Still on for brunch?” Max asked hopefully.
There was a moment of silence on the other end and then she replied with a gruff “Yes.” He had obviously just awoken her.
Did you still want to come over?”
“Yes.” She sounded as if she had a head cold.
Max confirmed their plans and bounded out of bed as soon as she hung up. Jules didn’t live very far so he had only half an hour to clean his place up. He turned the shower on to let the water warm up and grabbed his toothbrush before looking in the mirror. He gasped at his reflection, staring back was a pale tired face with angry red scars in the shape of a three fingered hand etched into his skin. He had forgotten about that and now was cursing himself for throwing away the aloe vera bottle the woman had given him. He’d have to come up with an excuse for Jules since he didn’t want to scare her. Thankfully, he had suggested they stay in and he would cook for them.
He quickly bathed and decided to wipe down his tiny kitchen. After washing the dishes he let pile up over the week, he rummaged through his fridge to make sure he had the ingredients to make an edible breakfast. As he was checking the expiration date on the eggs when he heard a tiny squeak come from behind him. He froze. It couldn’t be, he thought, Jules will be here any minute. He turned around slowly and sure enough, a rat was peaking its head out from under the stove. Max yelped and almost threw the eggs in the air. The noise made the rat recede back under the stove. Before he could do anything, the doorbell rang and his heart sank. He couldn’t make Jules eat here now, he’d have to take her out. Perhaps she’d think it endearing when he asked her to put makeup on his bruises?
Max opened the door and Jules entered his apartment without invitation. She looked a little disheveled, her trademark lipstick a little crooked. She seemed a little confused which was not out of the ordinary.
“Why don’t you sit down and I’ll put go get my shoes? How about that place we went to last week?” Max proposed.
Jules nodded and was about to take a seat on his couch when two rats zoomed out from underneath, ran to the door, and underneath the cracks into the outside hallway. Max yelled as Jules toppled over on to the floor. He helped her up off the ground.
“I’m so sorry, I saw one in the kitchen this morning. Let’s just go out and we’ll go back to your place after.” Max secretly didn’t want to ever come back to his apartment, he didn’t know how many more rats were hiding here.
“No, it doesn’t matter.” Jules said in the same gruff voice. It was like she hadn’t spoken in years.
“What do you mean?” Was she breaking up with him? Things had been going so well. “Jules, I’m sorry about the rats, really –”
Jules wasn’t listening to him. In fact, Max wasn’t sure she could hear him because her eyes rolled back into her head, suddenly, she began convulsing, her mouth opened and grew large as if she had unhinged her jaw, and then Max saw something that made him scream with such force he didn’t think he’d every stop screaming. Another face was emerging from Jules’s mouth, the same sightless face he saw last night on the tracks, and this face also had its mouth open as well, revealing a long protruding tube.
Max reeled back, falling into the shelves behind him, his DVD collection cascading around him. Jules stumbled toward him but before she could reach him, his front door flung open with a crash. Andie stepped into the tiny apartment, the room seem to fill with her fury, as she swung the sword she had in her hand down onto Jules cutting off her arm.
Black blood spurted out from the stump spraying the den. Max was rooted to the spot. Jules, or whatever it was, hissed at Andie and lunged at her. Andie swung her blade again cutting off the other arm. The Moledaemon fell back on the couch struggling to move, hampered by Jules’s molting skin.
“Max, open the blinds.” Andie commanded without taking her eyes off of the creature.
“Ungh,” was all Max could muster.
“OPEN THE BLINDS.” Andie yelled as the creature began emerging from its host. Max forced his legs to move, ran to the window, and ripped the blinds off its hinge, sunlight streamed in.
The creature had now cast off Jules’s body. It shrieked as it tried find a dark place to hide, its own skin began to smoke. Andie reached into her pocket, and instead of pulling out another weapon, took out her phone and snapped a few pictures of the scene.
“That’s for Jack.”
She shoved her phone back into her pocket, raised her sword, and lay one last crushing blow to the Moledaemon. Its mangled body fell to the floor and quickly dissipated in the sunlight leaving just a smoky black patch on Max’s living room rug.
“Get what you need. You’re coming with me.”
Max didn’t need to be told twice as he ran back into his bedroom to pack.
. . .