Cliché




A family moves into a new house, and the horrors follow.
Reading time: 4 minutes.

XTales.net xtalesnet beastboysuraj Suraj Singh Sisodia

Cliché


“Honey, did you hear?” she asked, whispering.

“About what?” he inquired with his mouth full of toast. They were sitting at the table in the kitchen having breakfast.

“The kid of the new couple across the street went missing. Poor guys. They’d just moved into their new house.”

He couldn’t understand her need to whisper. “I’m sure they’ll find the kid,” he said rather coldly. “Do you know if the police said anything?” he asked.

“Same old bullshit! ‘We are doing our best' blah blah—”

He finished his breakfast and grabbed his case. “I should head out. See you in the evening, hon.”

They kissed each other and walked towards the door.

“Do you think I should go see them?” she asked.

“Yeah, sure,” he quickly replied without even thinking. “Okay, bye.”

It almost seemed to her as if he didn’t care. She shrugged her shoulders and went in.

Later that afternoon, she went to see the couple across the street.

“This was the least that I could do,” she said, handing over the packed lunch. “I know you guys are in no condition to cook.”

The wife never stopped crying. It was the husband she talked to.

“I’m sure they’ll find your kid. If you need anything, please let me know.”

“I—I don’t know what to say—or do.”

“Is there anyplace my husband and I could go look? You know, like at a relative’s or something?”

“We already called everyone we know. I—I don’t have any idea where else—”

“IT WAS THE CAT!” the wife spoke.

“What?”

The wife mumbled some words while crying.

“I’m sorry. What?” she asked.

“Our cat went missing the day we arrived,” the husband replied. “I guess she didn’t like it here and went in search of the old place."

“My child must have gone to look for her,” the wife cried.

The husband leaned in and sat next to her. He put his hands on her shoulder, trying to calm her down.



She left soon after. That evening her husband got home a little later than usual.

“What took you so long, dear?” she asked him as soon as he stepped in.

“Ugh! The work. You know,” he replied exhaustingly.

She was just about to open her mouth to tell him about the visit to the couple across the street, but she saw something.

Her husband had put the case on the floor, thrown his jacket on the couch, and begun to unbutton his shirt. There was a red mark on one of the cuffs.

“What’s that?” she asked.

“What? Where?”

She grabbed his wrist and twisted it to reveal the mark. That’s when she took a good look at it. “Wait,” she said. “Is that—?”

“Blood,” he quickly replied. “Yeah, one of my subordinates nicked himself while punching holes in a paper. Can you believe that?”

"Oh," she sighed. "For a second, I thought—uh—it doesn't matter—"

And she went on to tell him about the couple and the story of their cat. He did hear all of it, but he wasn’t listening. It was almost as though his mind was at someplace else.

A few days passed. The police kept looking for the kid. All the neighbours formed search parties and looked everywhere they could. Some distant relatives arrived too, but her husband didn’t, not even once. She did not think too much of it at first. It was when he kept on making excuses, she got worried.

He always claimed to have been stuck in the office with an overload of work. Eventually, she called his office one evening, and as anyone could’ve guessed, he wasn’t there. The person at the reception further informed her that he had not once stayed late to do overtime. She couldn’t believe her ears.

That night, he arrived later than ever. He had no idea what awaited him. He stepped in and—

“Where were you?” she asked, enraged. She could smell it from across the living room.

"You know, hon. Work. Why are you up so late? I told you to go to bed.”

“Tell me the truth. Where were you?”

“What do you mean? I am telling the truth. What’s happening to you?”

“I called your office, you son of a bitch!” she said rather calmly while walking forward, slowly, her hands behind her back.

He knew that he was in trouble. A man should know better to brace himself when one of these two things happen: one, when your wife charges at you, enraged and clapping her hands, pronouncing each word separately; two, when she speaks calmly like herself and has her hands behind her back.

“I know you are lying to me,” she said. “I knew it that day too. I knew it wasn’t blood on your shirt. I know what blood smells like.” She was now a few inches away from him.

“Okay, okay. I wasn’t at the offic—wait! What do you mean—how do you know what blood smells like?”

“That’s how,” she said.

He began to choke as a meat cleaver dug a hole in his throat.

“You lying piece of shit! You are having an affair with that secretary of yours, aren’t you? I know that. I could smell that skanky bitch all over you!”

He had nothing but horror on his face when his lifeless body spread on the floor.

About half an hour later, she sat down at a table in her basement and put three things on a pentagram enclosed within a circle drawn with chalk across the wood: a cat skull, a small femur, and an ancient-looking chalice filled with blood. She threw a quick look at her husband one last time. He laid in a corner along with a small garbage bag. She spat.

"Ugh! Having an affair with your secretary," she said, disgusted at him. “Such a cliché!”



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