I reached Jennifer’s house in six minutes. Her Prius was in the driveway. Her neighborhood was a mix of residential styles, everything from a McMansion to a battered single wide trailer; her own house was a seventies-era brick ranch that sat between a double wide trailer and an empty lot. I pulled in behind the Prius.
It would have been very useful to know what Connors was driving. I saw a few vehicles parked in the neighboring driveways; most of them were bland, but none had any sort of identifying marks on them, no Lizard Man on Board stickers or anything like that.
I tried her cell one more time. No answer.
I left the car and walked slowly to her house. I wanted to sprint across the front lawn and kick open the door, but I forced myself to be patient. I didn’t smell Connors here, but he was somehow able to mask his scent. I felt like I was blind.
I reached her front door without incident. I scanned the neighborhood one more time. No one was outside. There were curtains open, but I couldn’t see anyone peeking out through the windows. I drew my personal handgun, a Glock 27, from the holster on my hip. I tried the doorknob.
It turned easily under my palm. The door swung open. I did not like the odors wafting out to greet me: blood and reptile.
But not Connors. This new smell was–there was no other way to describe it–younger.
What had Jennifer told me? It’s coming.
Her one-night stand. Her one-month pregnancy.
“Shit,” I whispered.
It was almost five o’clock in the evening. The curtains were drawn inside the house. The interior was dim. I could make out furniture a few feet from me, a long couch and a coffee table. A TV mounted on the wall on my right. Something sprawled on the hardwood floor underneath it.
I entered the house, bumped the door closed with my hip. I’d touched the doorknob. Needed to wipe that off when I left here.
“Jennifer?” My whisper sounded so loud.
Floor lamp next to me. I covered my right hand with my jacket sleeve and clicked on the lamp.
Jennifer lay on her back, her legs splayed open, bloody ruined flesh between them. It looked like something had chewed its way out.
I wish I could say that it sickened me, that I looked away while I controlled my gorge, but as Connors had so astutely pointed out, I was not human.
I looked at the pool of blood around Jennifer’s body. Tiny red footprints led away from the area near her right shoulder, toward the kitchen. They stopped a couple feet shy of it.
I looked up.
There was a lizard baby clinging to the ceiling, staring down at me. It looked human, save for its light green skin, taloned feet and hands, and bright green eyes. It opened its mouth, showing tiny needle-sharp teeth. It hissed.
Then it dropped from the ceiling.
I twisted away, saving my face, but it landed on my back. Adorably cute little baby talons sliced into my skin.
“Aagh! God! You little–”
I dropped the gun and reached for it, managed to grab a chubby arm. Its skin was cold, slightly rough. I yanked it off my back and threw it to the floor. It hissed and skittered toward me. I looked for my gun.
The Glock was gone.