He made it back to his house a few minutes after a stitch formed in his side. He locked the door behind him, and pulled all the shades down and the curtains closed. He tried his cellphone again, but no calls would go through.
He hoped Meg was all right.
In a daze, he checked the back door and made sure it was locked. He checked the front door again: still locked. Luke wanted to turn on all the lights and make sure every room was secure, but thought that turning on all the lights was the surest way to make the place un-secure. He looked into his pantry and pulled out a big box of pop tarts and shut himself in the bathroom.
He lay down in the bathtub, trying to nap. Forty minutes later, he was still there, but no better rested. There were noises, horrible noises.
Gathering bravery, Luke left the bathroom and jogged toward the kitchen. He tried the little drawer next to the stove and found the flashlight. Slowly, he scanned the kitchen; it was clear. The dining room checked out as well. He stepped over to the living room, and slowly shone the flashlight over the old entertainment center, the scratched up coffee table, the new couch, and the duct tape covered chair. Clear. He turned on the TV, but there was nothing but a blank blue screen.
Luke walked down the hall and saw that the bedroom door was still closed. Had Meg been here this whole time? He wanted to call out, but fear stopped him. He cupped his hand to his ear and moved closer to the door. Too close, it pushed open with a creak. Luke whispered a curse.
The room was mostly dark, with a little light from the street coming in through the open window. He saw Meg lying on the bed, her cat Snoodles sprawling across her.
“Thank God you’re safe,” he said, turning the flashlight toward Meg, careful not to shine it directly into her face. The light reflected off the eyes of Snoodles, and Luke saw that the cat’s mouth was dripping pink and red. He noticed that the cat’s belly was bloated before he saw what filled it.