Slivers of light filtered in through slits in Marissa's eyelids, and she was suddenly aware that she could move her body. She didn't know how long she'd been asleep, and it had been that sort of sleep where one forgets they even exist. Slowly floating back to her own body, Marissa tried to fully open her eyes. The light was unforgiving. Confusion rushed over her in waves as she realized her eyes were crusted closed. Reaching up to rub the crust from her eyelashes, her arms felt tired and immensely sore. None of this made sense, and flashes of things that didn't quite connect kept shooting in and out of her head. Fully opening her eyes, she could see that she was laying on the tile floor of her bathroom; no, a bathroom. She didn't know whose bathroom it was, but the tile pattern was unfamiliar. Trying to lift her head, the skin on the left side of her face made an ominous peeling sound, and she realized her head had been stuck to the floor by her own blood.
Marissa's heart started pounding. The flashes of memory came faster, more in sync with one another. Lifting up her hands, she could see they were covered in blood, bruised, cut to ribbons. She started shaking as she looked around the room. The bathroom was dirty and cockroaches flittered in and out of wall cracks and near the sink and toilet. Blood was everywhere, smeared on the walls, in splatters over the sink, and in a puddle under where her head had solemnly laid itself to die. Marissa looked down, noticing she was completely naked, stabbed several times in her thighs, arms, and torso. She looked around for clues, crawling on all fours like a drugged cat.
And there she was, tucked halfway behind the toilet. Marissa's four-year-old daughter, Melanie, lay dead, stripped naked, legs wide open. Marissa hastily crawled to her baby, feeling the tears press against the back of her eyes like fire, shaking in an almost epileptic fashion. She pulled her baby out from her hiding spot and cradled her, tears creating soft rivulets through the blood on her face. It was only when she looked down that she realized that Melanie's eyes had been plucked out, her eyelids removed, and her mouth carved into a look of eternal confusion and sadness.
Marissa shook with horror, her head darting around for something familiar or concrete to hold on to. She felt dizzy, nauseous. Something caught her eye suddenly; it was Melanie's eyes, bobbing absent mindedly in a toilet full of blood. Marissa wanted to cry out, but instead dropped her daughter and crawled through the mess of blood to the shower stall, stained with rust and crawling with spiders and roaches. She vomited into the shower and the roaches rushed to it like it had been their only meal in months.
Every horror movie that Marissa had ever seen came back to her. She knew not to try to crawl out the door. Looking up, she could see there was no handle on the inside anyway. No windows, no means of escape. Should she scream? Would that alert someone? Maybe the wrong people. As she lay there, sobbing to herself, trying to keep as quiet as possible, her daughter's body started to convulse, vibrate. Marissa recoiled in horror as she heard the Spongebob Squarepants ringtone her daughter had downloaded onto her phone the day before echo through Melanie's abdomen. Marissa rushed over to her daughter, and for the first time noticed that her cell phone was sticking out of the toddler's belly. Sobbing wildly, she pulled it out and wiped the screen. A blocked number, but better than nothing, she thought, and she pressed the button to answer.
"Hello?" Marissa said, half whispering, half pleading. There was static and the person sounded far away. It was garbled and she tried hard to understand. "Hello?! I can't understand you! The reception here isn't…"
Hoarse distorted laughter erupted from the phone. "Do you remember this?" the voice rumbled. He was playing a recording, and Marissa recognized at once the little voice on the other end.
"Mommy, why is the man driving us into the woods?"