Hal stepped inside and turned to see the rest of the room that had been hidden by the door. He cried out in alarm and sheer disgust as his gaze settled on the crib and the tiny cloudy-eyed monster growling inside it. “What is that?”
“My little sister,” Angela answered. “I think she’s hungry.”
“Lord help us,” Hal whispered, walking toward the crib.
The baby, no more than a year old, stood and gripped the bars, moaning and growling. A face that should have been sweet looked anything but. It snarled at him viciously as drool dripped from the corners of its mouth. Its skin had a slight greenish tint and he knew the few teeth he could see protruding from its gums as its lips pulled back to make monstrous sounds were deadly weapons. This thing was not a child, not in any human sense, but he realized that Paul and Angela would have trouble seeing that. Now he knew what Paul had been referring to when he’d asked Hal over the phone to do what he could not.
“Where’s your father?”
Angela sobbed. “He tied himself up in the basement with Elena after he killed her. He had to. She was going to kill us all. He told me you would be coming for me and to wait here.”
“Did he turn?”
Angela shook her head. “I heard the gunshot. He made sure you were coming first, then he killed himself down there so I wouldn’t see.”
“He killed himself.”
“He stopped himself from becoming a monster. I wouldn’t have been able to kill him, even if he tried to eat me.”
Hal looked at the baby monster again, his stomach rolling. “Have you touched her?”
“Daddy said not to, no matter what. She can hold bottles on her own so I tossed one in the crib but she hasn’t picked it up. She won’t stop crying. She sounds hungry.”
“Oh, she’s hungry all right.” Hal ran his finger over the gun’s trigger, remembering the zombies who’d attacked him at the gas station. They were all hungry.