Lucy was having the same dream again, one of those weird, embarrassing ones that nobody could ever figure out. She heard a knock at the front door and went to answer it, lamenting that she was still in her pajamas. Throwing open the portal, she saw a young man wearing a tight blue shirt. He flashed her a perfect, toothy smile that made her forget what she was even doing. His cologne reminded her of an ex, one of the few who ended things on good terms. “Hi,” he said, holding out a hand.
A voice rumbled out from below, “GIVE HIM TO ME.” The deep tones shook the ground she stood on, rattling the pictures on the walls and the teeth in her skull. If the man noticed, he made no sign of showing it.
He did, however, see Lucy change her expression. “Is everything okay?” he asked, putting another hand on hers.
Somehow, Lucy felt the cold metal of a wrench in her free hand. “I think I have to do this,” she said apologetically, sorry for something she didn’t fully understand. Bringing up the wrench, she swung it down hard on the man’s head, opening his skull. She pulled him inside and shut the door behind him.
“GIVE HIM TO ME,” the voice commanded, this time rumbling just enough to open the door to her basement. Lucy dragged her victim, his hands still grasping hers, towards the dark chamber.
Awaking with a scream, Lucy sat straight up. Her heart felt like she’d just run a marathon, and her pillow felt like it had been completely soaked. “Strange,” she said, lifting it up. Her sheets weren’t wet, but she saw a dark spot on the wall behind her headboard. Pushing on the drywall, she heard a squishing noise. “No!” she screamed. A pipe must have busted in the wall.
Frantically she darted out of bed and ran around the corner to a utility closet. Dragging out a toolbox, she tossed hammers and screwdrivers out until she laid hands on a hefty wrench. She ran into the bathroom and threw open the cabinet underneath her sink. Her house was over a century old, and she had to toss out all the crap she kept under the sink to get at the old cutoff valve. Throwing the wrench onto the valve head, she threw her entire weight into twisting it closed. With a creaky protest, the valve turned and she couldn’t hear the sound of any water. “Perfect,” she said, angry that she’d have to call a plumber again. Whatever gremlins haunted this place, they struck again.
Downstairs, Lucy heard a knock at her front door. “Oh shit,” she said. Of course she’d get a visitor right now while she was still in pajamas. Lucy took a deep breath and marched down the stairs to the door, throwing it wide open. She saw a young man wearing a tight blue shirt that read, “Howard & Sons, plumbers.”
“Hi,” he said, flashing a perfect smile with perfect white teeth. “You called us about a leaking kitchen faucet?”
“Yes!” Lucy said, completely forgetting that she already had someone coming today. “While you’re here, could you also take a look at a busted pipe?”
The man laughed. “I came at the right time,” he said. He held out a hand. Lucy took it, and felt something dreadfully familiar. Her dream came flooding into her mind, and the man’s hand felt exactly the same. She froze, dreading what usually happened next. He seemed to notice her change in demeanor, and he reached out with his other hand.
Underneath her bare feet, Lucy felt a low rumble shake her house. Almost imperceptibly, the pictures on the walls clattered, and a vase she kept near the front door tipped over and shattered. The plumber looked to his right in curiosity. Behind her, she heard the door to the basement creak open.
“I think I have to do this,” she said apologetically, sorry for something she didn’t fully understand. Lucy brought up her wrench and swung as hard as she could.