Her friends told her she was glowing, but with only two weeks until the due date, Sharon just felt exhausted.
“Maybe we can grab a bite to eat at El Coyote? Just the four of us. I want to make it an early night.”
When I get to the bottom, I go back to the top of the slide…
Jay was doting, as usual, like a midwife who just happened to be her ex-fiance before Roman swept her off her feet. Was he still in love with her? It felt like something she should ask him about, as uncomfortable a conversation as that might prove to be, but with Roman in Europe at the tail end of her third trimester, Sharon couldn’t bring herself to risk offending Jay. There would be plenty of time to broach the subject privately after her son was delivered.
Where I stop and turn and I go for a ride…
She was glad Abigail and Wojciech had come along. They provided a diversion when Jay would fix her gaze from across the table with that same look he always wore when he used to tell her he loved her more than any woman he had ever known. Wojciech broke the tension from time to time with some good-natured ribbing.
“Looks like you really got a bum deal, Jay. Have you tried scouring the Valley of the Dolls for Sharon’s twin?”
“No, but I did poke around on the set of Mr. Ed. I found a horse’s ass that reminded me of you.”
It had been a nice evening laughing and eating with friends, but Sharon was spent.
“Let’s go back to the house, okay, guys? I hope you’ll all stay with me tonight. I know I’m not much fun lately, but you can stay up as late as you want. I just like knowing you’re there. When Roman’s gone, the house is really lonely.”
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again…
After a few joints, everyone decided to turn in early. Abigail went into the guest room to read while Wojciech had a nightcap and flipped through some of Roman’s magazines in the living room. Jay followed Sharon upstairs and rubbed her feet while she got situated in bed, arranging pillows behind her neck and back in a futile effort to get comfortable.
Do you, don’t you want me to love you? I’m coming down fast but I’m miles above you…
The acoustics of the canyon play tricks on the ears. Sounds from miles away echo off the rocks and permeate the silence of the valley. Four muted pops —
“Did you hear that, Jay?”
“Yeah. Probably kids setting off their leftover fireworks from the 4th.”
Tell me tell me tell me, come on, tell me the answer…
Four black silhouettes skulk through the inky moonless night, shimmering barely-perceptible outlines moving with feline stealth. They sever the phone line, hop the fence, creepy-crawly across the perfectly manicured lawn.
Well, you may be a lover but you ain’t no dancer…
A surgical slice removes the screen; one-two-three they drop through the window and case the mansion.
Upstairs, down the hall, opening every door, one-two-three-four, they coldly gather their quarry at knifepoint. Teenage girls, pretty with lifeless eyes. And him. Shave and a haircut and he’d be the all-American boy. Emotionless, inhuman, they give their orders methodically, robotically.
Corralled into the living room, they watch as the man throws a length of rope over the ceiling rafters and pulls out a pistol while the girls stand motionless, smirking, their knives at the ready. Jay’s protective instinct kicks in, a valiant outburst, “Can’t you see she’s pregnant?!”
He turns to face Jay, advances with slow, measured steps.
Jay is shaking, lip quivering…”Who…who are you?”
The man crouches, eye to eye with the hapless hero.
“I am the Devil. And I’m here to do the Devil’s business.”
Look out! Helter Skelter! Helter Skelter! Helter Skelter!
The canyon is shrouded in silence. Tomorrow, when the sun rises, the world will see the face of evil.