This is actually a sort-of prequel to my story "Elisha." Check that out too, but this still stands alone as a work.


The Birthday Party

Invaded

By A

Shark


My name was Lucille Parkinson.

Stop laughing. I'm in no mood to take crap from anyone.

Say nothing of why I sit back on my heels, not daring to breathe. Say nothing of the hot blood burning its way down from my ruined eye to seep into the cotton of my already bloody T-shirt.

There really is nothing much to say about something as horrific and incomprehensible as what has just occurred, and what I'm sure is about to occur, judging by the quick but calm footsteps going in the direction my cousins—or at least my cousin Sherry—were running. All I can do is pray she has managed to escape through a window.

My uncle had gone mad.

...

It's always the happier days, the days where it seems like it's going to be all right, when something goes wrong.

That day was my birthday, and it was just after I'd blown out the candles and wished that I could somehow obtain a hot pink flying car (yes, I was that kind of girl).

It was just after my youngest aunt Noelle came late, but still welcome (for no one could begrudge her anything), with newborn in tow, that we realized all was not well with my dear, peculiar Uncle Mike – who, despite his need for quiet space, had gritted his teeth and joined the party scene, if only for my sake.

It was then, after my flying car wish was supposedly dissipating into the air with the smoke, that Uncle Mike tried to eat the baby.

He had eased his way up, slowly pushing his way through friends and family alike, to go and see the child cradled in Noelle's fleshy arms. "He's beautiful!" he gushed, and held his hands out to take it. "Has your eyes."

Noelle cautiously put the quiet, wispy-haired child in his arms. The child stared up at Uncle Mike with his enormous brown eyes. Nothing unusual there: little James usually just silently stared at everybody. He wasn't even crying, despite the volume of people talking reaching airplane decibels that usually irritated a newborn, not to mention all the cheek-pinching. He rarely ever cried, and that was all right with everyone.

Everyone loves a well-behaved child that just sits and poops. We all had thought the same with Uncle Mike, smiled dully and thought we understood the look in his eyes and then turned away. Except for me.

I had recognized it rather than explained the thought away.

It was a look any hungry man had as he ripped into a feast…and it did not belong on the face of a person staring down at their tiny nephew. But I was still processing what else I saw, as he spoke.

A flash of his teeth. Rows of whitish needles, peeking over his lip.

I must be seeing things, I told myself. Uncle Mike did not have shark-like needle teeth.

Then he spoke again:

"Oh, but he has Johnny's hair," he said absently.

Noelle's smile disappeared.

You did not mention him around her. You. Did. Not.

Uncle Mike took no notice of what he had done, silencing the room with those six words.

His eyes sparkled as he stared down at his new nephew; it was this adoring, ravenous twinkle in his eye…and he licked his chops hungrily. The teeth poked out again, glinting white and real and out there for everyone to see.

Then he leaned in and took a bite out of the baby.

...

Maybe I'm supposed to tell you what else happened that night.

And maybe you'll just as soon see me give birth to flying pigs than willingly relive it.

My name is no longer Lucille. Lucille was a stupid girl who didn't know there were THINGS that could look and sound like your Uncle Mike, smile your uncle's tight-lipped smile.

Then your Uncle Mike would open his mouth and reveal a monster's maw.

No, what walked out of the house that day was no longer Lucille Parkinson.

I was REBORN in a screaming, sobbing, bloody breech birth as I fell from the window, still sporting my knife.

Lucille would never have found herself staring into Uncle Mike's frozen, disembodied face.

Lucille was no more.

My name is Renata.


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