Perry carefully opened the door to his daughter’s bedroom and snuck inside on tiptoes. He moved to the window and opened the blinds to let the sunlight in. “Good morning!” he bellowed happily as he turned around. His gaze fell upon the bed and his smile faded as the colour drained from his face.
The sheets were crumpled and stained crimson.
He stepped forward, staring at the bump beneath the blankets. Carefully, he lifted the fabric.
No Sandra, only her plushies and shredded pyjamas.
And more blood.
He folded the blankets aside, nostrils flaring at the intense smell, and poked something a little too firm to be coagulated blood.
He jolted back and yelled, “Veronica!”
His wife appeared in the doorway faster than expected, especially considering how she was still rubbing the sleep from her eyes.
“I’m up, I’m up.” She yawned. “I had to pee so…” She fell silent as she noticed her husband staring at the bed. “What’s wrong?” She clicked on the light, illuminating the room further. Slowly, she moved to stand beside Perry. “What the…” She pulled the covers all the way off the bed.
More chunks of bloody meat and skin were revealed, along with a patch of brown, matted hair with a piece of scalp attached to it.
“How…” Perry started. “How is this possible?”
“Where’s Sandra?” Veronica turned to look around the room. “The window was closed, right?”
Perry nodded, his eyes still fixed on the gore-filled bed. The ceiling light made the carnage all the more visible, the early morning sun having hidden the worst of it in shadows. A pink bunny lay in the middle of the bed, limbs soaked and dark red while streaks of drying blood stained the rest a shade closer to brown. Something that looked like a human ear was partially tucked below the plush’s head.
“Sandra, sweety, where are you?” Veronica looked under the bed, then rose and turned to the closet. “Sandra…?” Slowly, she opened the door.
Hidden between shirts and dresses was a small, naked creature, purple skin covered with coagulated blood and bits of skin. Long, thin fingers held a strip of flesh, which it chewed happily. Noticing Veronica, it gazed up with big black eyes from the half-shadow and emitted a shrill squeak. It dropped its meal, which landed with a sickening squelch onto its leg before it slid onto the wood below.
“Oh, baby…” Veronica reached into the closet and picked the creature up, sullying her nightgown with gore. “You know you shouldn’t eat your own flesh after a changing—it’ll upset your stomach.”
Perry appeared beside his wife and sighed. “You scared your dad, you little rascal.” He jabbed a finger into his daughter’s side, getting a high-pitched giggle in reply. “I love you.” He planted a kiss on Sandra’s bloodied forehead.
“I love you too, daddy,” the little monster girl squealed back.