Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Two By Two

"She doesn't get many visitors you know." The woman at the front desk said in a hush. "So when she does I like to personally walk them over to her room." The short, stumpy, white woman said as she stood from her desk and adjusted her mandated, colorful scrubs. She smiled with such a sweetness that it almost seemed as if her lips were made out of pure sugar. Even the way they glistened from the the light hitting the red lip moisturizer she used. "Come with me, she's only around the bend."
She walked quick with excitement. How she loved connecting two people that haven't seen each other in many years. What a lovely day this was turning out to be.

She and the young man stood at the doorway of  suite 917, both looking at each other and then back to the woman sitting alone, by the window. The sun Illuminated her in the most peaceful of ways; there almost seemed to be a golden, majestic-like haze surrounding her face.

"You have a guest Mrs. Pritz. An old friend is here to see you. Though he looks like a young one to me." She giggled to herself." Please, go in and enjoy your time together. Just push that blue bottom there if you need anything."

The young man sat down on a chair next to the old woman as the attendant gently shut the door.

"Hi there Mrs. Pritz. It's been a long time.  Do you remember me?"

"I remember all of my children, even the ones that grew up to be doctors." She said as she turned to look at her young visitor. "I remember when you were just a little boy, you were so chubby, and your sister, what a little beauty.  Oh, those were the days." She smiled and clasped her hands tightly.
"You know who I remember, little Derrick. He was so special, my first. Now, in those days, as you must remember, life was more carefree and everyone was so trusting." She laughed "There's no trust today.  People like me could have never served nowadays.  I truly am a dying breed."

She turned to the young man and just looked at him, and once again, smiled. "Do you remember that poem I used to teach all my children? Oh, your sister loved it.  The way she would react was just delicious." She paused for a moment to basque in her memory and thoughts. " I remember how it went:

Two by two the children came,
Twice per day to play a game.
One would sit and one would look,
As Mrs. Pritz cleaned her hook.
She would cry and he would scream,
While Mrs. Pritz would pick them clean.
Two by two more children followed,
Always waiting to be swallowed.

The young man never took his face off of the old, decrepit woman.

"You're sister truly loved that poem. I remember how she would scream. And you Danny, you would just cry and cry and cry."

"Why didn't you ever come after me?"

"My dear, who would have believed you? I was a highly regarded member of the community.  I was you're English teacher for goodness sake. I wasn't going to risk coming after you and getting caught. Now that's just silly Danny.  I will, however say, I was very sad when you escaped that afternoon.  You looked so delicious, all round and plump. I have to admit, I do have a little secret." She paused for a moment, almost waiting to see if he would respond. "I saved some of your sister since I couldn't have you; for special occasions and holidays and such. Of course, fresh is better than frozen but what's a girl to do?"

The room was silent.

"I can only imagine that you've come for some sort of retribution. Well Danny, I've been in this nursing home for years. I'm starving, and they force me to eat food that makes me sick. I'm an old woman now.  Killing me would be a blessing."

She looked deep into his eyes and she realized, at that moment, Danny wasn't there for revenge. His eyes were soft and kind.  They were the eyes she remembered wanting so deeply to taste. They smiled at each other and sat in silence. It was then that Danny pulled a knife out. He held it close to his arm and began to cut away at his flesh.

Mrs. Pritz began to tremble with excitement, her stomach turning. As the blood dripped from his arm Danny brought it close to the old woman's mouth. She moved quickly, pulling his arm Closer to her and began to chew, swallow, and eat. A few moments later, as Mrs. Pritz gnawed away, Danny slid his hand down to the side of the bed and pushed the blue button.

At first the attendant was silent. Then she screamed. Then she ran over to Mrs. Pritz to pry her off of the young mans arm. There was blood everywhere and Danny just sat there quiet. To most he looked like he was in shock when truly he was happy and very well aware of what was happening.

Nurses, followed by security guards came into the room with sedatives and bed straps. They picked the blood soaked woman up off the chair and threw her on the bed. She was like a rabid animal. The blood curdling sounds of Mrs. Pritz laughing and screaming filled the halls of the nursing home. it was a sound no one would ever forget.