Read the other installments of The Non-Believers first.
Cindy didn’t have to wait long before her father knocked at the door.
“Honeybaby,” he began as he came inside her room. Thank God that stupid pipe wasn’t in his mouth. He’d started that ridiculous habit after three months of tai-chi after five months puzzle making. Yes, her father had actually made his own puzzles as if anyone in the world had ever stopped in the middle of their day and actually say, ‘Hey, there just aren’t enough puzzles in the world’.
“Daddy!” she said, rushing into his arms, allowing him to pet her on the back and coo to her. In truth, it was comforting, but Cindy had an alternative reason for allowing her father to comfort her. She need to enlist him, to get him to see the things that were no doubt coming their way. If he was on Mommy’s side, she’d never get him to believe anything. Mommy wouldn’t look outside just to spite her. She’d deny anything bad was happening until they tore out her own throat.
“Ohhh, what is it, honeybaby?”
“It’s Mario, Daddy,” she began. Cindy looked up at her father and was actually able to work up tears. “I know I wasn’t supposed to go to the clearing, but I didn’t know that would happen, Daddy. They hurt him so bad.”
Her father’s mouth bowed in a frown and he slid his glasses back up on his nose.
“I’m sorry to hear that, baby,” he said, shaking his head. He didn’t believe her. She cranked up the tears, widening her eyes to make herself appear even more doe-like and helpless. He should have been so tightly wrapped around her finger it should have been numb.
But he wasn’t.
He pursed his lips and held her out at arm’s length. “Your boyfriend’s outside, honey,” Daddy said, giving her a reproachful look.”
“What… what do you mean?”
“I saw his letterman’s jacket. He and a bunch of other boys are with him. What were you kids doing out there? There’s only the two of you girls–were you… were you orgying?”
Extreme revulsion and terror waged for the top emotion coursing through her, resulting in Cindy being momentarily paralyzed. Daddy must have taken her silence as affirmation, his eyes widening as he released her. He fled the room without another word.
“Daddy?” she called. “Daddy, no, it’s not like that!”
Make sure to check back for the next installment this week! In the meantime,Anything but Zombies is out now! Go download a copy.