Condensation clung to the window, occasionally releasing a surge that cleared a path making the outside world visible. The cold white light refracted in the tiny water droplets. It was pretty, Shannon thought, as her breath spread across the cold window.
She checked her phone, the bright screen dazzling her. Her eyes darted to the mirror. The baby didn’t stir, still sound asleep in his comfortable car seat. She checked the time, the numbers read 23:46. There was no message.
She slipped it back into her coat pocket, wrapping her fingers around each other in an attempt to bring them back to life.
The CD stopped playing, the story finished. She pressed replay. The kid would no doubt wake up if it went silent. The story started up from the beginning. It was one she had listened to herself as a child. The narrator had a soothing voice, Shannon felt calm despite her predicament.
She checked her phone again. Still no message. Her eyes darted back to the boy, his blond hair showing underneath his fluffy hat. His cheeks pink. His blue eyes hidden beneath heavy eyelids.
A gloved hand rapped against the window. Shannon jumped, she quickly rolled down the window.
A clean shaven man ducked his head down to look at her.
“You have the package?”
His eyes glanced around the car, resting a few moments on the sleeping boy before returning to her face.
She nodded, her heart hammering in her chest. This was the first time she had done something like this.
She removed the key from the ignition and opened her door, the man stepped out of the way. She was not surprised to measure up as shorter than him. She fumbled with the key in her hand. She found it hard to swallow.
“How many times do I have to do this?”
Her voice shook. She wrapped her arms around herself, giving her hands something to grip onto.
“Until you’ve paid what you owe.”
His voice clawed at her insides. He stepped closer, a hungry look in his eye.
Shannon shivered. She was mentally kicking herself for getting into debt. But there was only one thing she could do now.
The man took another step closer. She could now almost feel his heavy yet surprisingly minted breath on her forehead. She mustered enough courage and placed a hand on his chest, halting his progress.
"Not out here." She said, struggling to keep her state of calm.
The man smiled, a hint of satisfaction showing in his eyes. "I knew you were a smart girl."
He stepped back, allowing Shannon the chance to lead the way. But she remained standing, arms folded around herself again.
"Having doubts...?" The man asked, grinning mischievously. "It isn't good for you baby, those doubts."
Shannon nodded slightly, then turned around and opened the door to the back of the car. The heat from the air conditioner inside hit her instantly, reminding her of home, of comfort, of being debt free.
She stooped and stepped inside, carefully making sure not to disturb the child yet going in enough to give room for the man to come in. But he didn't. He stared at her suspiciously from the open door, his eyes darting from her to the child, and back.
"Let me see the package first." He ordered.
Shannon feigned disinterest in what he said. She knew she had little time left. Instead she began to undo the buttons of her blouse, revealing well rounded cleavage that she knew from experience had never failed to distract men.
The man stood for only a couple more moments. Then he gave a slight shrug, stepped into the car, and closed the door.
"I guess the package can wait." He said, as he half lifted Shannon onto his laps, pulling her skirts up in the process.
Shannon steeled herself. His hands on her bare skin felt like spider's tentacles. She closed her eyes, she could hear the narrator round up. Any moment now...
The man was already engrossed in his desire to peel off every piece of clothing on Shannon. He tore off the rest of the buttons on her blouse, and in one movement, pulled her breasts free from her bra...
As he bit into one nipple, he didn't notice the CD stop playing, or the slight creak of the modified car seat as the baby stirred, beautiful blue eyes opening.
By the time he noticed the movement beside him, and turned to see, it was too late. Blue eyes had become red, claws and sharp teeth an inch away from him.
Shannon leaned back as the blood splashed and splattered. She stayed that way, her eyes closed, until the boy was done.
When she heard his childlike cry again, she opened her eyes. The view was gruesome, but the boy was once more, a tender little bundle. Shannon pushed the dismembered body to one side, lifted the boy, and made her way out of the car.
Outside, she took in the cold air of the night. Her nerves still shook, but even in the absence of the soothing voice of the narrator, she was truly at peace now.
She knew her debts were paid in full...
This one was a prompt that sent my thoughts flying, grasping for something, everything, yet reaching none...
Eventually I tired, and settled on the baby, with his cute blue eyes and pink cheeks.
The rest they say...