Happy Birthday, Baby! by ajsbaby
Story Notes:
This is for this month's challenge. It is my first attempt at a horror/suspense so let me know what you think. I hope I did it well. Constructive criticism is always welcome.
Chapter 1 by ajsbaby
I should have known something was going down today. You know that feeling you get when something terribly wrong is about to happen? But you don't know what it is, or why you feel it. A sort of premonition, a warning that things are just not right? Well, I don't claim to be psychic or anything like that but I was having one of those moments today. I recognized it the second I woke up this morning. My better senses were telling me that I never should have woken up, never should have gotten out of bed. But like always I went against my better judgment.

There was nothing I could really do about it. It's not like I could stay in bed all day anyway. Not with a headache as bad as the one I had. I crawled out of bed in search of some aspirin or something, didn't really matter as long as it got rid of this throbbing pain.

Now where did I put that damn bottle? Medicine cabinet that's right. That's where I normally put them, no telling if they were still there. Okay so I suffer from chronic headaches and I pop aspirin like there's no tomorrow, a pill popper I guess you could call me that,If you'd like. But I'm not about to defend that right now, that's the least of my worries right now.

I found the nearly empty bottle just where I'd hoped to find it. Great now I'm out. I growled as I washed down my last two pills with tap water. Just great Alex. I slammed the cabinet shut, startled at how hard I had done so. I hadn't meant to put that much force behind it but what alarmed me more was my reflection in the mirror. I didn't look so good. Dark circles under my eyes, slightly pale. As I examined myself I felt my stomach rise to my throat.

Thank God I was already in the bathroom. I probably would not have made it had I still been in bed. I dropped before the toilet bowl and poured out nothing but clear liquid. I leaned back against the tub and analyzed the evidence before me. Pounding headache, the dark circles, the nausea, no recollection of last night's events, this was spelling out a night of partying alcohol, drugs and God forbid...

Could I have? I mean I had sworn to my new wife that I'd never touch that stuff again, but was it possible that last night...I lost control. I guess so, it's not like I hadn't before, but I was always able to remember it the following day, not being able to remember a damn thing was killing me. The possible scenarios where endless. The drinking and the drugs I'm quite sure happened but I prayed that I didn't do something that may have devastating consequences on my marriage. No I couldn't have possibly cheated on her last night, could I? Did I? Shit, leave it to me to screw things up after only three months of reciting my vows. Damn could I be any more of a fool? Speaking of my marriage, where was my wife.

I had to see her, to speak with her, to explain to her...what? What the hell was I going to explain to her? I couldn't remember a single thing last night. What was I going to say to her? I'm sorry about last night, I don't remember a thing. I may have cheated on you, but I can't be sure. Honestly I had no idea what I'd say but I knew I had to find her.

Last thing I remember was going to bed with her. She had been so excited about my birthday party which was today. It was the first one she would celebrate with me so I let her do all the planning. She said it would be one I'd never forget. I know, I know, I hadn't known her long before getting married. We'd only met a month prior to putting a ring on her finger but she was such a sweet girl. All my friends thought I was nuts. Yeah, I know, I already ready got heaps of shit for that one so spare me. Did I mention she was hot too?

Well this is a fine way to start out my birthday now ain't it. With a fucking hang over. Shit. What was last night anyway some freaking pre-party party? Hell and here I thought I'd changed my ways.

I searched the room high and low for my keys but to no success. Fuck it. Then I saw a pair of jeans laying on the floor that I could only figure I had worn the night before. Searched its pockets but only came up with my phone. I sighed and just put on my new pair of shades and headed out.

I was desperate to know what had happened, so I called the only other person I knew who just might be able to enlighten me. My partner in crime. Nick.

I reached to the bottom steps when I noticed my car wasn't there. Well ain't this some shit .As I waited for Nick to pick up I thought I had just walked into Dude, where's my car?

"Hey this is Nick, leave a message."

I let out a sigh. "Great. Hey Nick answer you damn phone. What the hell happened last night? Come on buddy help me out here."

There goes my hope for a ride. Howie and Brian weren't flying in until later today so I couldn't ask them for a lift. Guess I'm gonna have to walk or find a taxi somewhere, bus even. I had to get to Nick before I found I my wife.

I was baffled when I set out to Nick's place. The busy of these streets, the hustlin' and bustlin' was dead. Nothing. It was quiet, no one on the streets but me. Okay is it just me or is does this whole thing seem a bit odd? Erie, strange definitely strange. If this was Nick's idea of a practical joke, I was going to kill him. He'd gone too far this time...but...how in the world could he have all the city closed down? I don't know but if anybody could do it, it would be him. Only Nick would think of such an insane thing to do. It did seem a bit much though?

I felt like I'd just walked into a scene of some creepy B list horror movie, and I'm wasn't sure I'd like how it ended. I reached for my phone and tried Nick one more time. As I pushed the buttons I thought I could have sworn I saw something through the corner of my eye pass between two apartment buildings.

I ran following the direction only to end up in an empty dead end. Guess my mind was beginning to play tricks on me. Once again my buddy's voicemail greeting picked up. I shook my head and made back to the street when I hear a clanging noise. I jumped in my tracks. Now normally I'm not such a pussy but you gotta admit this was some weird shit.

I walked over to examine what had triggered that noise. That's when I found a dark hair woman, sitting there, hiding behind a dumpster, trembling. I couldn't tell if she was homeless or not but she did look like she was in dire need of a bath. I reached out for her.

"Um..Miss."

She jumped to her feet screaming. In the position she had been crouched I hadn't noticed she had a beer bottle clutched in her hand, until she swung at me and crushed it on my head. I hit the ground. Now I'm no bitch but that shit hurts. As if I needed something else to make my head hurt.

"Ouch, what the fuck. Why'd you do that for you crazy ass bitch." I yelled at her. Serves me right for trying to help someone. I caught a glimpse of her as she ran away.

What the...that couldn't have been...could it? That looked like my wife.

I felt my stomach turn again and threw up again before regaining my composure. Remind me never to drink with Nick again. Which reminded me my task at hand to get to him.

I walk the street that lead to Nick neighborhood with my hand on head. Something was not right I felt I was getting sicker by the minute. Could have been the hangover and the drugs, or maybe the sudden blood loss, damn she got me good, but either way I had to get to a hospital now.

Blood was dripping down my head and I still need about another half mile before I got to Nick's house. I passed by a magazine stand and help myself to today's paper. The owner wasn't there and there was plenty, I'm sure he wouldn't mind. I took out whatever change I had in my pocket and placed it on the counter. Hey, I maybe an alcoholic but I ain't no thief.

I opened up the paper, taking a section out letting the rest fall down, and place it firmly against the gash on the side of my head. Wincing in pain and I was about to curse that woman again when something took the words right out of my mouth.

I stared at the paper on the ground. It was dated January 12. That couldn't be right. Today was my birthday. I rummaged through every newspaper and they all confirmed it. Okay now this is really beginning to freak out. First I can't remember last night, I got a hangover, the city's dead, I'm feeling increasingly sick, a woman that looked just like my wife attacked me, and now I find that I can't remember the last four days. Shit must be a really bad trip.

I gotta find Nick, maybe he can help me make sense of all this. Damn him for living half way across town. The sun was already beginning to set and If I didn't get to a hospital soon I was going to pass out.

 

I pounded on his front door screaming his name. When I got no answer, I went out back. The sliding door had been open wide so I let myself in. I continued to call out to him.

I saw the banner on the wall that read Happy Birthday Alex. The cake lay smashed on the floor and there was broken glass everywhere. It look like a party gone wrong.

"Nick! Nick...please...I..need help. I need to..." I felt a little woozy. The ground began to spin. "need to get to a hospi..." I hit the ground and passed out right there in his living room face flat on the ground.

 When I came to, barely able to move, I lifted my head up to come face to face with Nick. There he was laying on the floor in a bloody mess. Lifeless. His crystal blue eyes staring at me. I felt my insides threatening to purge. My friend, my partner in crime. Dead. His throat had been ripped out, his head was barely attached to the rest of his body. I brushed my hand against his eyes and gently closed his lids.

On all fours, I took looked around and noted that Nick was not the only body laying there. Howie, Brian, my mom...God my mom...I cried. The Leighs, everyone, they were all dead and all in the same manner. The room was covered in crimson. They'd been slaughtered. A fuckin' massacre. I sobbed more when I saw little Bailey there, it looked like he had been reaching out for his mother. What kind of a monster would do this? To a child? To anybody?

A cry filled the room that was not my own. I stood up and turned around. There stood my wife, in a bloody mess holding baby James in her arms.

"Put him down." I yelled.

"No!"

"You put him down now. You fucking bitch!"

She tried to make a run for the door but I lunged at her, throwing myself on her. James was shielded by her arms. I rolled her over and I yanked him away from her. Placing him out of harms way, oh no, I wasn't going to let her go, not after what she did to my friends and family, to Bailey. No. She was not going to get away with it. I was going to kill that bitch.

I followed her into the kitchen where she had already armed herself with a knife. She had a crazed and deranged look on her face. My wife...a murderer. How could I have let this happen? My friends had all warned me. I know I hadn't known her well but I never would have taken her for a coldblooded murder. Now my friends were all dead and it was all my fault. Shit. Bailey. I'm so sorry and now she was going to kill me. I should have let her. I deserve this for bringing this upon them but then that would mean she would live, and there still was James. If anything I'd save him.

She came at me, running with knife in hand. I counter her, grabbing her wrist tight and twist it out of her hand. Now the tables had turned and I had the knife in my hand. She was going to pay for what she did. I took hold of her and dragged her back to the living room. I threw her on the floor face first.

"Look at them. LOOK AT THEM!" I shouted. "How could you? How could you do this?"

She wiggled and scream underneath me, crying and trying to get away. She was able to loosen the grip I had on her and rolled onto her back, but that was as far as she got. I stabbed that bitch straight through the heart. Ain't that ironic, huh. Shit I'd laugh myself except for that fact that this was nothing funny.

Gargling sounds came from her throat. She spat out a large amount of blood that hit me it the face.

"You fucking monster." I cried.

She swayed her head weakly and tired to speak. Her words barely came out but I heard them loud and clear. "Alex...I...I...di-didn't...do this..." She coughed up more blood. "...you did...."



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