A short horror story about a kiss and death...
Linda walked through the automatic doors of the supermarket, tightening her coat against the biting wind. She couldn't wait to get home where it was warm. She looked down at her daughter and tickled her under the chin, more to get a laugh out of herself than out of her baby.
But as usual, Julie didn't react. She just stared at her mother with a blank look on her face. Linda sighed. Nothing seemed to make her baby smile. She rarely showed any emotion at all. Linda wondered if there was something wrong with her.
"What an adorable baby!"
Linda looked up in confusion. There was a woman standing there, bending over the shopping cart. She wasn't dressed very warmly, despite the cold weather, and when she turned to Linda she could see her bright green eyes.
"I love babies," the woman gushed. She gestured toward Julie. "May I..."
"Oh, of course." The lady picked up Julie and cooed in her ear. Julie took it in stoic silence.
"You are the cutest baby ever!" The woman placed a kiss on Julie's cheek and put her back in the cart.
"Thank you so much!"
"You're welcome," said Linda, slightly bewildered by the woman's behavior. The woman grinned and stepped off the curb.
That's when the car came screeching around the corner.
Everything happened so fast. One minute the woman had been standing there giving Julie a kiss, the next she was lying on the ground, her blood seeping on to the pavement. Linda let out a muffled gasp. The driver jumped out of the car and began shouting at Linda. It took her a while to figure out that he was asking her call 911.
But she couldn't move. She just stood in place, trying to quiet Julie's uncharacteristic crying, watching the people moving around her. I never even learned her name, she thought.
That night, Linda tried to wash the lipstick off of Julie's cheek. She scrubbed until her skin turned red and she started to whimper. But it would not come off.
The doctor said that nothing seemed to be wrong, and that her changing eye color was perfectly normal. The kiss got darker and remained there, like a birthmark on her cheek. Julie seemed to have a personality change. She became more outgoing, more friendly.
But it was the eye color that worried Linda the most. Julie's eyes changed from brown to a brilliant green. No one in Julie's family had green eyes. Her father's eyes had been brown. As Julie got older, Linda became more and more suspicious of her daughter. At her preschool's musical, when Julie turned and flashed a smile to the crowd, her green eyes sparkling, Linda thought, this is not my daughter.
Everyone was horrified by the news of Julie's death. It appeared that she had fallen into the deep end when no one was looking. Her mother was traumatized by Julie's death. "I can't believe Julie is gone," she cried. She cried then, but not at the funeral. She was probably trying to be strong for her family.
Linda tied her robe around her waist, and walked into the living room. That was when she heard laughter. She froze, then relaxed. It's just my mind playing tricks on me, she thought. Then she heard it again. It seemed to be coming from Julie's bedroom. Trying to slow her rapid heart rate, she walked to the door and turned the knob.
Nothing. She breathed a sigh of relief.
"Mommy." Linda whirled around. Julie was standing there, her dark hair strewn across her shoulders, her green eyes flashing.
"Don't you love me, Mommy?" Julie asked. She took a step closer. Linda took one back.
"O-of course I loved you, Julie."
Julie cocked her head, and the moonlight illuminated the kiss on her cheek. "Then why did you push me into the pool?"
She knew? Linda took another step back and shook her head. "I loved the real Julie. You're not my daughter and I am not your mother!"
"You're right," said a voice behind her. "I'm her mother now."
Linda turned and screamed.
They found her lying on the floor, her eyes glassy, her mouth open in a silent scream. No one could determine the cause of death. But the strangest thing was the white kiss on her cheek, glowing faintly in the darkness.