's 2017 Horror Write-off:

Abused Child

Submitted by TheRedRage (email)

It begins the way it usually does. My dad is criticizing my eating habits.
"For God's sake, look at that," he bellows. "She eats way too much."
As if he can talk. This is only my third helping. Whatever he eats makes him look like he's pregnant.
"Leave her alone," says my mum. "She's growing every day now; she needs to eat up."
They begin shouting at each other. It must be nice, being a grown-up. You can give as good as you get. I can't. I'm less than one-third his size.
I finish eating and choose the worst possible time to ask for more.
"You've had enough!" A blow strikes across my face.
Unbidden, tears spring to my eyes. My hand raises to my throbbing cheek.
I don't understand why we have to stay with this man. Why couldn't anyone else be my dad? He hates me. He hated me even before I was hungry all the time. Probably since birth.
I leave the table. I don't want any apologies. It crosses my mind that if he was sorry, he wouldn't keep doing it.
Mum has since given up trying to make excuses for him. Nothing could excuse the things he does to me.
In bed, I hide under the blankets. Mum says this protects you from monsters.  But I don't think monsters exist, really. I've never been hit by a monster. She may think I'm hiding from monsters but I'm not. I'm hiding from him.
I peek out from under the covers. It's dark in here. Maybe, if monsters are real, they'll eat him if he comes instead of me. After all, he's bigger. Monsters like the dark, unlike me.
Mum comes and says goodnight. She goes to bed. After all, she does all the work.
Still, I lie awake. I'm still hungry, of course. I didn't get nearly enough food.
The hungry feeling spreads. This is unusual. I'm getting taller. My clothes are different now; skin-tight, one-piece, green. They cover everything but my head.
I didn't think I would grow up this fast! My feet touch the end of the bed now. My clothing stretches but remains skin-tight. I must be as tall as mum!
I crawl out from under the covers, crouching on my hands and feet. My feet begin to grow longer, my ankles rising. My outfit closes around my toes only now I have three, with one facing backwards. Claws grow out of my fingertips, bursting through the material.
Something begins to push through my back and the base of my spine elongates. My hair has vanished. Now I am noseless and earless, with a cleft down my much-elongated forehead.
The buds on my back burst and develop into wings. Strange ones, like a bird's but with insect wings for feathers. The skin suit splits and comes off, revealing grey-blue skin. A tail pushes its way out of my spine, growing ever longer and thicker. When it is twice as long as me, a spike sprouts from the tip.
I hiss, bearing my uniform, sharpened teeth. I know now what will satisfy my hunger.
I run downstairs. On all fours.  He has left; he always leaves at this hour. It doesn't matter. There is no escape.
I could catch up with the car easily, but I hang back, savouring the chase. Leaping and gliding between the buildings, I easily stay out of sight of the few others who are out this late.
The fool! You can see whatever's behind you in a car and I should have visible at least once. Yet he still has no idea I'm following him.
He will find out soon. And then he will panic.
There is a crash as I land on the roof. Now he stops.  I bend over the windscreen, baring my teeth. Dad screams. The car grinds to a halt.
I shatter the windscreen with my tail tip and sting him in the spine. Immediately, the screaming stops. Carefully, I lift him with my front legs and carry him from the car. To carry him home
Standing awkwardly on my back legs, I carry my victim upstairs. Surely, Mum must hear! Yet she does not. When in my room, I find that I can open my mouth wide enough to swallow him whole.
I awaken the next morning, splayed out with the sheets in disarray, like normal. For once I am not hungry. And the strangest thing! I am back to normal, and in my pyjamas.
"Are you awake, dear?" It is my Mum's voice.
I respond, and ask what is the problem.
"Your father took the car out last night. He still hasn't returned."
And he never does. I'm pretty sure mum still thinks he ran off somewhere, doubtless with that "other woman", she sometimes talks about.
But I know better.