“No live politician can continue for long to exist sanely under conditions of absolute reality; even Senators and Secretaries are supposed, by some, to dream. Hillary House, not sane, stood by itself against its offices, holding darkness within; it had stood for seventy years and might stand for seventy more. Within, legs staggered upright, dicks fled quickly, arms were flab, and mouths were never shut; nagging rang steadily against the wood and stone of Hillary House, and whatever stalked the woods beyond it, stalked for a photo op alone.”

Huma woke when the screaming started–long, loud cries that shattered the quiet Chappaqua night and had almost faded away when she surfaced from a dream. She reached out for Hillary, but the bed beside her was empty; she felt along the rut Hillary had worn in the mattress and it was sticky and cold. Huma usually awoke when Hillary got out of bed and so she was confused, a three-part wrinkle forming between her eyebrows with effort. That area had been deadened with botulinus toxin less than a week earlier.

Huma got out of bed slipped a thin robe over her naked body, the cool silk of it teasing her nipples and thighs. She put her feet in slippers she kept by the bed, grimacing at the echoes of pain and pleasure that made her vulva blush with blood at the memory of Hillary’s wrinkled claw of a hand being working into her inch by inch, and the sharp squeeze she had given the neck of Huma’s womb when she was finally wrist-deep. It was the ache of childbirth she felt, her breasts heavy with the memory of milk.

“Hillary?” she asked the dark bedroom, “Are you alright?” Huma heard nothing but her own breath, the beat of her own heart. She fumbled for the bedside lamp and clicked it on. Nothing. The power must be out, she thought to herself, or the bulb is dead. Faint moonlight came in through the far window of the bedroom, a milky blue that her eyes adjusted to with effort. The closet door stood open, but the door to the hallway was closed.

“Hillary?” Huma asked again as she felt her way around the bed to the open closet. “Hillary?” she whispered into the deeper darkness of the closet. She reached for the string to turn on the light but it wasn’t there. She stopped moving and held her breath. Something was in the closet, but it was not her elderly lover. There was a creaking when it breathed in and out. It was huge. Bigger than the closet. Maybe bigger than the house. Huma knew it was something that shouldn’t be.

The wet iron smell of blood flooded over her as she backed across the bedroom to the door into the hallway. She reached behind her for the doorknob but her hand found only blank wall. She stared at the closet, afraid to turn away from it. It will come for me, she thought. It’s waiting for me to turn around. She slid along the wall, both hands reaching for the knob, ears straining for its familiar rattle. Why was the bedroom door closed? We never close it.

The closet door opened slowly, silently.

“أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم,” Huma whispered, the words coming to her lips for the first time since she let the Carlos the Jew enter her. She wanted to supplicate herself, to beg Allah for mercy, but she knew to go to her knees now would be death. The knob! she screamed in her mind, feeling its round coldness. Tearing her eyes away from the closet, she pulled the bedroom door open and darted into the hallway, slamming it closed behind her.

“HILLARY!” she screamed and then, in ultimate desperation, “BILL?” but no one answered.

Huma avoided the shadows as she ran downstairs, moving from blotches of moonlight that had pooled on the floor through the windows. The house was no longer a familiar place where she lived with her lover and her lover’s gelded husband. The plush carpet seemed to swallow her feet; furniture she had placed around the house jumped out of her, the house now a maze. Huma began to cry, tears welling in her dark eyes. She couldn’t find the front door. She couldn’t find anyone. The arched doorway into the kitchen loomed before her and she could be the door that led to the backyard through it. The door won’t work, she thought. The knob will come off in my hand. The glass will shatter in my face.

Something came down the stairs behind her with the sound of sharpening knives and breaking wood.

The back door opened when she tried it and she was outside in the night. Huma ran, slippers quiet on the stones of the patio, treacherous in the wet grass. She skidded to a halt when a dozen high-intensity lights came on with a sharp crack, her legs coming out from under her to dump her on the ground.

“Huma!” the voices called, “Huma! Huma!”

“Huma, do you have a comment?” one said over the rest.

“Huma, can I get your reaction?” said another. They all began to overlap to a gurgling roar. A cameraman fell forward on his knees to get with her face. Another followed him, pointing his camera down at her bare legs, at her bare sex. She scrambled to cover herself and back away. They all laughed.

They all began to overlap to a gurgling roar. A cameraman fell forward on his knees to get with her face. Another followed him, pointing his camera down at her bare legs, at her bare sex. She scrambled to cover herself and back away. They all laughed.

“What are you all doing here?” she demanded, her voice cracking.

“Huma,” a voice said behind her. She turned her head and a hand caressed her face.

“Huma, I’m sorry,” Hillary said. She was in a dark purple leather pantsuit that glittered in the bright lights. She was made up in layers of foundation, her hair set expertly.

“Ms. Clinton,” Huma said, acutely aware of the cameras.

Hillary reached down and cupped one of Huma’s breasts under the thin silk robe.

“Huma, what must you think of me?”

“Ms. Clinton! Hillary! The journalists,” she said in an urgent whisper.

Hillary waved her hand and Huma heard heavy equipment thud on the grass of the lawn, the squeal of microphone feedback. She felt warmth and wetness. In the off-angles of the lights as they lay on the lawn, Huma looked down and watched a wave of thick blood washing past her legs and feet.

“Sacrifices have to be made, dear Huma,” Hillary said in the now silent yard.

“What’s in the house, Hillary?” Huma whispered.

“Something that has always been with me, love.”

“What is it?” Huma demanded.

Hillary stood and straightened her clothes.

“You stay here,” Hillary said, turning to the house, “I’ll put Chelsea’s father away.”