Cadence got home late from work. She entered through the back door by the kitchen. It was dark, but immediately she could tell something was wrong. There was a putrid smell in the air that reminded her of rotting fish.
She turned on the kitchen light. Everything was awash in red. Several of her best knives were in pools on the counter. It was splashed on the cabinets. Red liquid dripped off the counter top onto the floor. Red footprints led a trail down the hallway.
Immediately her thoughts turned to her three boys. Her chest tightened.
Cadence grabbed a kitchen knife and crept forward. She tiptoed along, careful not to smudge the evidence. In the living room she heard moans and screams.
Shadows flashed across the wall in the hall. She forced herself forward, wincing as a floorboard creaked beneath her feet.
She reached the living room and peered around the corner. The only illumination came from the flickering TV screen. There was movement on the couch. Slowly, she reached for the light switch. The suddenness of the light was blinding.
“Aw, mom! Turn off the lights,” complained Bruce, her youngest son.
“What’s going on here?” demanded Cadence.
“We made pizza for supper and are watching scary movies,” explained Aiden, her oldest son.
“Anchovy pizza,” added Ken, her middle son.
“The only scary thing I see is the mess you left in the kitchen,” said Cadence.
“We’ll clean it up, just after the movie. Okay?” asked Aiden.
“Please?” begged Bruce.
Cadence breathed a sigh of relief. “Okay. The moment it’s over.”
Ken raised an eyebrow. “Uh, mom? Why are you carrying a knife?”