You should come live with me.
I could never...as long as I'm alive, my Father wouldn't let me go anywhere without his supervision.
Not even for a visit?
It's complicated...He needs me for stuff.
Does he have a disability?
Something like that.
"Dorothy get off that damn thing and help me with this!"
Dorothy closes her laptop quickly startled by the sound of her Father's voice. She turns to see what Clifford wanted.
"That looks heavy..."
"No shit come help me!"
Dorothy was tempted to do nothing and let him be crushed underneath the heavyweight he was lifting but she couldn't help but admire him, he must've hauled that pretty far... Clifford was a tall scrawny man, he's stronger than he looks it was just like her Mother had said, she takes after her from Dad.
"How did you manage to kill this one? Looks pretty big."
Red faced, Clifford shoots her an impatient glare.
"Coming, I'm coming."
She helps him carry the alligator feeding to the swamp. In silence they watch the body disappear beneath the surface. Once blood resurfaces Clifford seems to relax. He smacks Dorothy in the back of the head before stomping off back to the cottage.
She glances back at the swamp, the eyes of the gator peaked out from beneath the surface and watched it from afar. Her conversation with her Pen pal comes back to mind.
"You and I are the same remember?" She says to no one in particular. The gator sinks into the water suddenly but Dorothy doesn't seem to pay this much attention. She takes a few seconds to stare at her reflection before returning to the cottage.
Days passed, Dorothy decided it might be for the best to stop talking to her Pen Pal and focus on her chores. Today was Clifford's turn to cook, judging by the swampy smell coming from the kitchen it seemed like gator meat was on the menu.
Dorothy frowns at him upon entering.
"I'm not even going to ask how you got managed to kill that thing."
Clifford grins so wide his silver canines are exposed.
"Too bad you can't have any Ms. I'm-too-good-for-meat." he says turning his attention back to the frying pan.
"I wouldn't have asked for some either way! Not when it smells that gross anyway..." She mutters as she pulls out her mashed potato batch from last night from the fridge.
"Hah!" Clifford laughs at the site. "You call that a meal?"
"Sheesh leave me alone!" She spreads the buttery potatoes over toasted bread and eats it. Clifford just shakes his head.
"You women and your diets." he mumbles.
After breakfast Clifford went out to go hunt again while Dorothy stayed home. Usually she tagged along but today was the day she cracked down and cleaned. She was especially thorough that morning.
"I bet when he comes back he's going to get blood all over the porch steps." She mutters to no one in particular.
By the time she finished it was a little late in the afternoon and Clifford still hadn't returned.
She had decided not to talk to her pen pal- still she wanted to check their old messages on her phone as she waited. Reading her responses only filled her with a deep guilt that wrenched her insides and she set aside her phone wishing she had never thought to check it.
As the sky darkened and Clifford hadn't returned her unease began to grow. Dorothy slips into her boots and treks out towards her Father's usual hunting grounds.
"Dad?" She calls. She uses her phone's flashlight to light her surroundings. Although she knew the swamp by heart there were still many things she had to be wary about...like the traps he had set. She didn't dare venture any further before making her way back home. When she returned she saw him, although it was dark his physique matched her memories. From head to toe he was covered in blood, Dorothy couldn't tell if it was his or something else's.
"Dad!" She called out. "Where've you b-
She slows to a stop. Now that she had drawn closer she saw another figure that looked exactly like him only clean and he was wearing a black suit and tie.
"Dorothy," The Clifford drenched in blood gave her a stern look, warning her not to come any closer.
"Ah, Dorothy. So you're the one!" The man's lips curl up into a wide grin. "This is truly a surprise- yes truly! I'm in awe." He faces her arms outstretched.
"I have a child? This is gold, truly this is too precious to be some sick joke."
Blinking, Dorothy looks to her Father, the Clifford drenched in blood was most certainly...hers. She shoots him a wide eyed questioning look but instead of answering he gives her that same warning expression before eyeing his doppelganger. Run, he was telling her to run.
Dorothy swallows. She had thought about it thousands of times but she had never thought that when the time came she wouldn't want to leave him- how could she leave him?!
"No." She said firmly.
Confused, the wide mouthed gentleman looks from the bloodied man to the child.
"Are you using....telepathy?" he asked.
Dorothy and Clifford give him a funny look.
"No...but it's close."
Right when Dorothy didn't think his smile could grow any wider it stretched out even more, this time exposing a row of silver teeth and two white canines.
"This is truly golden."
He reaches into his suit and pulls out what seems to be a key .
"A gift for you, my dear to commemorate this meeting."
He tosses it out to her and instinctively Dorothy catches it without meaning to.
"Good reflexes. Truly you are a child of Sarva."
Dorothy finds it strange that Clifford has kept this quiet until now. He keeps shooting her urgent looks but he doesn't move a muscle- or perhaps...he couldn't? She walks over to him and pulls at his arm but he wouldn't budge an inch.
"That man is quite dangerous, I'm afraid I had to...stop him or else he wouldn't listen to what I have to say would you Cliff?"
Clifford can only shoot him a heated look causing his look alike to double over into maniacal laughter. This was all so confusing for her, she couldn't tell if the man meant any harm or not. Dorothy pulls and tugs at her Father only for her grasp to slip off each time. She pulls so hard she falls onto her back.
"There's nothing you can do to truly free him child, why don't you give up, mmmm?"
She knew he was right but she didn't want to give up.
The man checks his watch.
"That time already?"
The man smiles a small smile.
"Dorothy was it? It was nice meeting you truly it was but I'm afraid this is where we must part ways." He taps his watch with his gloved hand and underneath them the Earth begins to quake. Skeletons tear out of the earth while the man and her Father begins to fade away.
"Ta ta...for now."
Lost beyond belief Dorothy backs away from the corpses. Was this Karma?
She runs away from the horde as they chase after her, she races through the woods trying to remember the location of the traps her Father had set before hand and dodges them to the best of her ability, she had reached a dead end as she approached the swamp. As she skids to a stop both her feet are sliced by off by wire, she falls so fast when she opens her mouth to scream swamp water fills her mouth and lungs. She sinks into the bottom of the swamp and drowns.