David came into the house bloody. A man had attacked him out by the horses, bit him on the neck. He'd fought him off, maybe killed him.
Faye was scared. Should they call the sheriff? Jed, her brother, was a deputy. David argued with her. "Too dark. Let's wait until morning."
He grew sick during the night. By morning his fever was extreme, his dementia maddening. Faye tried to keep him cool. She phoned the doctor.
The doctor drove in from town that afternoon. By then David was unresponsive. Weak pulse, no movement. And then, a few hours later, nothing.
Faye left David's body in the bed. She cried at the kitchen table, a photograph of David catching her tears. She waited on the coroner.
An hour passed. The coroner called. He'd be late. Said something about a bad virus going around. Two stops to make first. Then he'd come.
Faye phoned her daughter. David wasn't her father- the two hadn't gotten along- but Faye needed to talk to someone. Leah deserved to know.
Faye put the phone down as the sun set. She tried to eat, but a wave of nausea crashed over her. She spit up in the sink. Then she heard it.
A low, raspy groaning- from the bedroom. A chill ran down Faye's spine. She hesitated, then walked down the hall and pushed the door open.
A figure stood before her in darkness, unstable, wobbling. Tears streamed down her face. "David?" Another groan- then it moved toward her.