"Just try your best, okay dear? It's fine if it takes a few tries."
Abigail's eyes jump between the cleaver Cloth Mother has just wrapped her fingers around and the too-small body spread out on the table. Outside the pool of light, Wire Mother grins and blows smoke into the air.
"Don't waste time, dear." Wire Mother draws the word out, makes it into an insult as it hisses between its glass-shard teeth. "It needs to die."
Her grip tightens around the handle; her hands shake. The body futilely struggles against its—his, she reminds herself—restraints.
Beneath the coarse burlap sack wrapped around his head, he whimpers; it's all the noise he can make around the gag.
Abigail doesn't like talking back to her mothers. The last time she tried, Wire Mother's punishment kept her out of school for a painful month before it healed.
She has to, doesn't she? It's just Rob, he didn't do anything to deserve this, nothing to make it necessary—
Wire Mother slaps her and her mouth snaps shut, nearly catching her tongue in the middle of another damning word. She didn't even realize that she was talking.
"It is necessary," Wire Mother growls. "It got too close to you. Little devil trying to take you away from us, trying to steal you, trying to use you—"
"Shhh, it's fine, dear. I'll explain it to her. You need to listen, okay Abigail?"
Abigail mutely nods; Wire Mother glares.
"Use your words, sweetheart."
"Y-yes, I'll listen, Mother."
"Good girl. What Wire Mother meant was that boys are dangerous, especially when they try to be friends. It might seem small and cute now, but that's just how it tries to get past your defenses, and we can't have that."
"B-but, couldn't I just stop seeing him? Rob's not a bad—"
"It," Wire Mother hisses, "not him, not a name. It doesn't deserve a name."
"Um," Abigail tries to catch herself in the sudden rush of fear, "I'm sorry, Mother. I didn't mean to say its name."
It glares at her around a fresh cigarette, smoke wreathing its barely human face.
"But dear," Cloth Mother continues, "can't you see that this is just how it wants you to feel? It's already worming its way into your mind."
"A-and the only way to get it out is to kill it?"
"Exactly! You're always so clever, Abigail."
She wishes that the praise didn't feel as good as it does, but Cloth Mother's approval always tugs at her heart. It hardly ever uses her name, but when it does ...
"W-where should I start?"
"Cut off its dick," Wire Mother says at the same time as Cloth Mother answers "its neck, dear. Make it fast." For a moment the two of them look at each other, Wire Mother's broken-mirror face and Cloth Mother's big black eyes meeting in an intensely uncomfortable way.
Then they both look back at her.
"You can decide, dear," Cloth Mother says. "We trust your judgement."
"Yeah. But it had better suffer."
Rob struggles harder as she brings the blade closer to his body; he can't see what's happening, but he can hear Abigail's heavy breathing.
"I-is this the right spot?"
"That's perfect, dear. Now give it a good swing!"
She doesn't put quite enough force behind it, and Rob screams through the gag as the heavy cleaver slams into him and blood wells up around it. It's not a clean cut; he might not even bleed out.
The cleaver almost slips out of her sweaty hands as she raises it again, but she tightens her grip—her knuckles burn with bloodless white and she's sure that her palms will hurt for days.
The second cut is better than the first.
It's not quite on top of the first one, but it slides deeper into him, through him—it sends blood spurting out across the table, a few stray droplets painting Abigail's face. Her two Mothers remain perfectly pristine: they wouldn't be caught by something so mundane as splatter.
Rob's answering scream is a gurgling nightmare, desperate and despairing, nowhere near loud enough to draw help even if the garage weren't so isolated, weren't so insulated. It lingers in a drawn out rattle as shock and pain and blood loss steal his mind away.
And then he's gone.
Cloth Mother's hand is warm and soft as it ruffles her hair.
"I knew you had it in you! Now go to bed, Abigail, your Mother and I will dispose of him."
Wire Mother laughs and grinds her cigarette under her heel. "Yeah, you're too weak for this part."
She flees through the side door, desperately trying not to glance back as the noises start; they're too loud even in the kitchen with the door safely shut, and they still ring in her ears when she finally reaches her little bed and curls her body up into it.
The noises of consumption are unpleasant, of course, the way flesh tears and bone cracks as her Mothers make their latest victim Go Away, but ...
He didn't make a single coherent noise, just despairing whimpers and pleading moans.
So why can she still hear him begging?