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Holes in the Heart

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Danny lived alone now. Through the years of hardship, he now understood he lived alone... Except for one little thing. The day before her, his wife's birthday, he'd decided to get her the small dalmatian pup. The same day, she told him of her nightmare of the creature crouching in the corner of their bedroom, looking at her through the black holes that had replaced its eyes. Its hair was tangled and messy, and was drawn back.

It bore no mouth or nose, just the soulless black eyes. Its body was mangled, and instead of hands, it had a crescent-shaped claw. It looked at her, she told him. It'd looked so real... But of course nothing of that sort of thing existed.

Then she died. No signs of death, just laying there next to him, cold. The coldness that meant she had been dead for a while.

Danny lived outside of Oklahoma, in the quiet country. His house was surrounded with forests and wildlife. The old road that no one usually took was a short walk outside. The cracks in the pavement finished the painting that, through the strokes of the brush, he could see a dark, lonely place in the middle of nowhere.

Danny loved the pup, though. He took care of it. He fed it, bathed it, and played with it. They were best three years he'd had in ages since she'd died. He'd even named the pup after his wife, Reyna.

And Reyna always threw hissy-fits. She'd roll around, groaning and moaning playfully, and Danny would turn away from his TV to watch her, grinning at her silly behavior. He'd go lay down, mimicking her howls and would scratch her where she enjoyed, right next to her front right leg. Reyna was the last good thing of Danny's life in awhile. She was the bright spot, filling the holes in his heart. Holes that had been stripped from their patches.

And then, a night came. He thought it was a dream, but he couldn't be sure. He was something that extremely resembled the thing that his wife had seen, the black, empty holes looking into him.

The next day when he awoke from his slumber, slightly paranoid of the... What was a dream? It was a dream, no way could something like that truly exist. "I'm gonna grab us lunch. Want anything?" Danny asked Reyna. She just looked at him with her brown eyes. "Salami it is," he said. He walked into his kitchen.

Danny's kitchen had a table right in the middle with a little pathway around it. The sink was in front of a window that showcased his backyard, with Reyna's toys scattered around everywhere. It normally would've been a beautiful sight to his eyes, but not today. For as he walked in there, there stood the creature behind the counter.

It stared at him, as if expecting him. The two just stood there, looking at each other for a few moments. Then, it crouched down, praying mantis style. And almost like a cartoon character trying to tiptoe quietly, scurried behind the counter toward him. Danny thought he was dead as it sprang up, but then he heard a growl, and Reyna slammed into it.

Danny fell back, watching Reyna and the creature fight. Reyna was on top of it, her jaws snapping wildly at its neck. Reyna was clearly winning, but not for much longer. He went and ran for his room, looking for his saw. He searched, and finally found it under his bed. He raced back over to the kitchen, and his breath was lost for a moment as he saw the horrible scene.

It'd stuck its claws into her leg, and it was studying her, twitching its head in every other direction. He revved up the saw, and at the sense of sound it snapped its head in his direction almost instantly. It set its head to a side, staring at him. Then, it sprang toward him, its claws ready to slash. Danny met its charge.

He stuck the saw blade into its abdomen, and jostled the saw so it was pointing upward. He began to saw, with a blue liquid spurting on the walls and all over him. He sawed through its stomach and through its neck, and split its head into two. It collapsed to its knees, the bluish blood spilling everywhere, and with a disturbing shudder, fell to the ground.

Danny raced over to Reyna. It'd also had punctured her abdomen. He thought of anything that he could treat her with, but there was nothing except for him to clean the wounds. He grabbed a clean rag, wet it under the sink, and cleaned the wounds as best he could. She whined softly in pain.

But he long realized it was a lost cause. Tears welled into his eyes. He picked her up, cradling her in his arms. He thought of things she'd liked, his Reyna. She'd always loved that old song...

He began to hum it softly, his voice cracked with his devastation and sobbing.

"I'm sitting... On top... Of the world...

I'm rolling along... Just rolling along..."

He sang the song, Reyna looking up at him as he looked down at her. He sang, and at the very end of the last chorus, her eyes closed for the last time.

Danny lived alone now. Through the hardship, he finally realized... He was alone.

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