Bud spit the cereal back into the bowl. He wiped at his mouth and picked up the milk container. He spit again, trying to get the taste out of his mouth.
“Oh god. Eggh.”
He looked at the date on the milk.
“What? I just bought it.”
“I know. It’s not set to expire for a week.”
Cassie frowned as she walked in the kitchen. Bud was still trying to spit the sour milk taste out of his mouth. He’d never actually tasted sour milk before. It was aptly named and he thought he might have to gargle to get rid of it. Possibly with bleach.
“Did you check the fridge?” she said.
“Not yet, I’m trying not to vomit.”
“It’s not that bad.”
“You try it.”
She pushed the milk container away, her face scrunching up in an impressively ugly way for a pretty woman.
She stuck her hand in the fridge. The big metal thing was brand new, not even six months old, and Bud had paid less for cars. It had better not be on the blink or he was going to be pissed. He dumped the remainder of the milk down the drain.
“Fridge is fine,” she said.
“Well, that’s something. I’ll talk to Linda down at the store, make sure she knows.”
“Yeah, that – wait, don’t.”
He dumped the cereal in the garbage. He stopped dead, spoon and bowl over the garbage.
“You just dumped sour milk in the garbage.”
She rolled her eyes.
“As soon as it gets warm, it’s going to start to smell.”
“I think I can scoop it out.”
He started to lean forward but he could actually feel her staring at him. He looked at her. She put a hand on her hip and raised an eyebrow.
“Maybe I should take the garbage out.”
“Maybe you should.”
He looked out the window. Pretty much a solid sheet of snow. Terrific. He looked at his wife. Nope, she was definitely not going to let him out of it. You could probably perform surgery or make microchips in the house. Cassie’s primary hobby seemed to be cleaning, and she had an eye for dirt that was, as far as Bud was concerned, completely invisible. There was absolutely no way that sour milk smell was going to fly. He put on his boots.
He had one hand on the doorknob when a bloody hand slammed against the glass.
“Jesus fucking Christ!”
A face leaned in, looking through the glass. Bud stumbled back, the back of his knees hitting the chair behind him. He sat down hard. The garbage bag slipped out of his hand and spilled on the floor. Cassie turned.
The woman outside slammed her hand against the door again, smearing blood. Bud looked at the face outside the glass.
“Oh, Christ, it’s Becky.”
He opened the door and Becky stepped inside. She was dead pale where she wasn’t covered in blood. She was shaking.
“Becky, what happened?”
She just stared at him. Cassie ran over.
“She needs –“
“She needs to go to the hospital. Call 911.”
Cassie nodded and grabbed the phone. Bud grabbed the blanket they kept on the rocking chair in the kitchen. It was mostly decorative, but he didn’t think Cassie would care, given the situation. He wrapped it around Becky. She stared at him.
“Becky, where’s Ed? Is he okay? What happened?”
She shivered. He looked down and realized that she was in her bare feet. She’d walked the mile and a half between their houses without any shoes. Jesus. Cassie came over.
“I called 911, they’re sending someone as soon as they can.”
“Becky, can you sit down? Can you hear me?” Bud said.
Becky blinked, looked at Cassie. She said something too faint to hear.
“Becky, I can’t hear you,” Cassie said. She leaned in close to Becky, tilting her head to hear. Becky leaned.
“I’m so hungry,” she said, bared red stained teeth.