It was quiet in the house when I stretched within the sheets. Homer was sleeping soundly beside me in the bed as I looked around for my phone to check the time.
My father sent a picture of Violet sleeping in her new pajamas he bought her and Delilah sent me multiple paragraphs of just stuff.
“I can’t...I just can’t with that,” I sighed as I slowly sat up. I felt nauseous. My head was spinning and I bet it was from those damn drinks. She said they didn’t have any alcohol in them but it was something that made me beyond tipsy, and now sick to my stomach.
I flipped the covers back just as Homer slowly turned over on his side.
I held my hand out, closed my eyes and just focused on not puking right then and there on the bed. Cautiously, I stood up and tried to find my balance.
“What’s wrong?” he asked. “Pia?”
“Be quiet,” I snapped softly, annoyed by his entire presence at the moment as I tried to breathe. Homer yanked the covers up and turned over to go back to sleep as I slowly made my way to the bathroom. “You wanted to be practically on my ass the entire pregnancy, well this is what it's like. Waking up in the middle of the night feeling sick as a dog, and annoyed by everything.”
Suddenly, there was a loud crash, like someone was in the kitchen dropping plates and glasses. Homer’s head popped up, alert but not enough for him to get out of bed until he heard it again.
He flipped the covers back and tied his sweats together to keep from riding his hips because it was obvious he wore no underwear underneath. Desperate attempt to sleep naked in somebody else’s house, but I followed behind him, no longer concerned for my stomach. Even Michael poked his head out of his room.
“What was that? Is that Fowler?” he whispered.
“I’on know but I’m about to find out. Pia, go back to bed–––”
“I’m already here with you. I have my phone just in case I need to call the police or run to the nearest neighbor,” I whispered, keeping close behind him.
It was dark going all the way downstairs but when we finally reached the first level, the kitchen light was on and you could see Fowler rummaging through the cabinets and drawers for something. He was shirtless but his entire backside was soaked like he was sweating. You could barely see his face with his dreads covering the crazed look in his eyes.
“Fowler? What’s...Fowler?” Homer called out as he slammed another drawer shut and started to circle the island counter. He was muttering to himself, refusing to look up but I could see his hands trembling, he was gone off the deep end.
“Aye? Fowler? What the fuck is going on?” he asked again as he slid down against the counter and buried his face between his arms.
“Get her away from me,” he muttered. “I can’t hear shit...I can’t see shit...Just get her away from me…”
“Get who away from you? What are you talking about?”
Homer tiptoed towards Fowler while motioning for me to get Michael but as soon as he touched Fowler on the shoulder, he lashed out.
“GET EM OFF OF MEEEE!” he cried, shooting up from the floor as he swiped crazily at the air, “these spirits! THESE SPIRITS ARE RIDING ME! THEY RIDING ME! SHE’S DOING THIS TO ME!”
“WHO?! WHO IS DOING WHAT?!”
“Get em off! Get em off meeeee!” he choked in tears as I immediately felt a release of my own emotions from watching him literally suffer before my very eyes. He was beating his chest with his fist, coughing up spit as he begged and pleaded for help.
“Go get Michael! NOW!”
“MICHAEL?!” I screamed, wiping my face. Homer tried to pin Fowler down as Michael and Ryan came rushing down the stairs.
Ryan and I stood, mortified at the sight of the two men attempting to pin Fowler down to the floor. He was physically fighting off two men with the strength of a dozen, holding his own as he struggled to keep away from whatever he was seeing and experiencing.
“Make her stop….please!” he cried. “Tell her to leave me alone...I don’t want to do this...I don’t want to DOOO THIISSSS! PLEASE!” he cried, dropping to the floor as Homer pinned his arms behind his back, “she’s making me relive it all over again…”
“Relive what?” Michael asked calmly. “I can’t help you if you won’t talk to me. Who is making you relive what?”
He snatched away from Homer and grabbed the nearest knife he’d pulled out earlier and held it to his neck as I screamed. Homer was struggling to grab the knife that was already drawing blood while Michael continued to try and talk him down.
“Who is it, Fowler? Tell me who it is so I can handle her,” Michael pressed. “What is she doing?”
“She’s telling me to kill myself,” he whispered, tears and snot were draining from his face as he took the knife and attempted to jab it into the side of his neck.
“SHIT!” Michael panicked. “Ryan! Pia! Somebody call Delilah! NOW!”
“GET HER OUT OF MY HEAAAAAD! NOWWWW! I CAN’T HOLD OFF MUCH LONGER!” Fowler cried as the lights flickered. I ran upstairs, tripping on the top step to the point where I fell flat on my face before weakly standing up to find my phone in the bedroom.
“Oh my God, oh my God,” I panicked, sliding through the screen for Delilah’s name until the phone started to ring. When it went straight to voicemail, I tried to call Ben until it went directly to voicemail too. Nobody was picking up. I rushed back out of the room, careful not to fall this time as I ran down the steps and was stopped dead in my tracks at Fowler laying flat on his stomach in a deep...sleep like state. His eyes were open but he was no longer screaming or suffering. Homer tossed the knife back into the sink before collapsing against the coffee table while he and Michael exchanged identical expressions.
“What the fuck just happened?”