The Last Fuse – A Short Story

Susan had been waiting for this moment her whole life. From playing with dolls as a child to the all-consuming longing as an adult. She looked down at this tiny bundle of joy all wrinkly and red and knew that now she was exactly where she needed to be. After five attempts at IVF, she had finally conceived on the sixth and final attempt. Their marriage had taken a battering over the years but, now everything was going to be OK.

Martin had stayed off work for two days after the birth. He was supposed to be fixing up their old shack. Instead, both of them stayed transfixed by their new addition. They had sat for hours staring into the makeshift plastic crib at this tiny bundle. The conception had been hard, the pregnancy and birth had been easy, to make up for the years of anguish.

Before Martin went to work on Tuesday morning he ensured Susan had everything she needed. He had spent the evening showing her how to reset the electricity if it blew. You have to flip the switch on the fuse, he explained. If that doesn’t work he told her where the spare fuses were to replace it, if needed. It was only for the rest of the week. The electrician had been booked for the weekend.

The baby stirred and wiggled under his blanket. Susan stuck her hand onto the tiny body and almost immediately he calmed and settled again. Susan started running through possible names in her head. Both Martin and herself had been too superstitious to give him a name until he had actually arrived. A sigh of contentment escaped her body and her baby boy smiled. Not smiled she had to remind herself, an involuntary reaction. Still a smile in her heart.

Susan was jerked awake by a noise outside. Coming out of her slumber she couldn’t place what had woken her so she listened to see if she heard it again. At that moment a loud bang came from another part of the house. Susan marvelled at the fact that her baby boy was sleeping through this.

Over the next couple of minutes, the noise inside her house increased. The baby began to stir and Susan lifted him out of the crib and started to feed him. She lay and marvelled at the feeling of having her baby connected to her. All those years of her friends whispering to others they were pregnant so as not to upset. Finally, she was a mum. That was the moment the lights went out and the house was plunged into darkness.

Susan sprang into action, placing the baby down she made her way to the fuse box. In today’s society, you could not be in a house without light. The danger was all around. She fumbled for what seemed to be hours to find the switch. Pushing it up, heart pounding she waited holding her breath. Nothing happened no lights came on. Damn the bloody electric. The house was getting darker as the time ticked by. Susan made her way to the draw to get the spare fuse. A couple more minutes and she would have the lights back on and they would be safe again.

Susan ran to the draw opening it she fumbled in it looking for the fuse. The house was almost completely engulfed in darkness. The fuse was nowhere to be found. She swept the draw several times with her hand, no fuse. That’s when she heard the laugh and her blood turned to ice. It was in the house.

Getting hold of her bundle of joy and gripping him to her chest. Susan had one concern to protect her child no matter the cost. She dived down the hall hoping she could make it to the garage before that sadistic laugh caught up with her.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw her. Short black hair, a shock of pink on the top. The realisation came to Susan all at once. The fangs, the malicious smile and the blood dripping from her mouth. She looked at Susan’s bundle, smiled and started to move. With speed Susan thought she would never have she turned and started to run, holding as tight as she could to her son. Susan ran like a linebacker dodging in and out of furniture until she reached the garage door. Her son clutched to her chest started to whimper. Susan pulled him closer and kept running. She burst through the garage door. There sat in front of her like a mirage was Martin’s van. Susan dived into it placing her baby on the seat as carefully as she could. She closed the back door, picked up her son and placed him in the passenger seat. Praying he would be ok during the drive as she jumped into the driver seat and felt for the keys. She was sure they would be there Martin never took his keys out of the ignition. Her hand went to the ignition and hanging there were the keys. Gripping them with shaking hands she started the van.

Nothing happened not even an attempt to start. Susan tried again, nothing. Looking down she finally saw the wires dangling down. The van would never start. Knowing she would have to run for it, she picked her son up and looked through the front windscreen. Standing in front of her waving was the woman. Smiling she walked up to the passenger door and went to open it. Susan was smarter than that, she locked the doors. They were safe, locked in the van until they could get help. Picking her son up she went to the back of the van and huddled in the corner holding him to her. Waiting for help to arrive.

‘Why don’t you throw the little one out the window and I will let you live. New human flesh is so much tastier. I don’t want you, just him.’ The creature licked its lips as it taunted her.

That was never going to happen although Susan didn’t trust her voice not to portray her fear so she said nothing. The monster outside continued to taunt her rocking the van now and again for effect. Susan stayed rigid on the backseat praying help was close. That’s when she heard it a high pitched squeak from the front of the van. Sneaking a quick look Susan saw the female grouching on the bonnet of the van. She was drawing a circle with her fingernail on the glass. Round and round she went drawing a deeper and deeper groove in the glass.

Susan looked down at her son and knew there was only one thing she could do. He struggled at first but Susan held onto him. Placing her hand over his nose and mouth as tight as she could she cuddled him as life left his small body. How sad he never even had a name she thought. The woman chuckled as the glass broke she stayed their taunting Susan a little more. Throwing from one hand to the other the missing fuse. Susan saw it and thought if only we had called the electrician earlier. A single tear escaped her eye as the monster jumped for her throat. Susan was already dead. Dead from a broken heart.

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