Strigoi (Part 1)

It was a hot and sultry, peculiar day for March and Lina was in a sour mood because of it. She hated heat and humidity, partially because she hated sweating and feeling sticky, but mostly because of the detriment it did to her hair. It was a Friday morning and she had just put her eighth month old baby girl, Cheeky back in her crib after her morning feeding. Lina swept her long thick hair up in a bun, not caring about the wispy strands that stuck out. The warm and soupy weather made her hair kinkier than it was the previous day, which pissed off Lina. She had spent two hours straightening her thick, natural mane until it was so silky, her husband could run his fingers through it. But earlier, when she stepped outside for her morning jog with Cheeky in her stroller, instead of the predicted cool, crisp weather expected for March, Lina walked into an outside sauna. She felt her hair, which was swept back in a long ponytail, immediately begin to frizz.

“If it gets any hotter, I’m turning on the air conditioner,” Lina said aloud to herself. She sat in front of the television, sipping from a frosty glass of ice cold water. Lina made a mental note that she would start on the breakfast dishes as soon as the next commercial came on. A stay at home mother, her days mostly consisted of cleaning, bonding with her baby, and watching her favorite day time televisions shows. But every morning, it was her routine to go jogging for exercise, regardless of the weather. If the weather was nice she put Cheeky in her stroller, but if it was raining or too cold, she had Ms. Webster next door keep an eye on the baby for an hour. When the commercial interrupted the television show, advertising for a brand of ice cream, that was Lina’s cue to start the housework.

Lina’s favorite chore was doing the dishes. There was something relaxing about swishing her hands around in warm, sudsy, lemon scented water. Or it could possibly be due to the window right above the sink that faced her beautiful backyard. When she and Daniel moved into their new home four years ago, she immediately began planting a rose garden just so she could smell the sweet scent whenever she opened her kitchen window. Although it was extremely humid out, she could still smell the invigorating fragrance of amber and yellow roses. Lina saw a bee buzzing in front of the screened window and chuckled in awe. “The weather man said it’s supposed to be fifty degrees today, but look at God”. She rinsed the suds from the dishes after washing them, and after cleaning the sink, went to check on the baby who was sleeping peacefully in her crib.

While cleaning the rest of the house, Lina decided to turn the air conditioner on due to the heat and humidity increasing outside. When she went to close the kitchen window to prevent the cool air from going out, her heart stopped cold. There was a man standing in the middle of her backyard staring right at her.