The black beans were cooking for some time when Ynes walked into the house. The black bean juice crackled dry on the pot's surface as smoke billowed in the kitchen. "What the hell?" Ynes shouted, turning off the burner and placing the pot on a hot plate mat. "Mom!" she yelled as she walked towards the staircase leading to the upstairs of the house, lowering her backpack to a corner on the first-floor landing. "Dad?" No one answered. "Hello?"
She paused to try and recall if her parents made plans that she might have forgotten about. But the beans, she thought. They wouldn't cook dinner if they were going out. Her eyes climbed the staircase, and she saw a light flickering in one of the bedrooms. Her feet followed slowly, tiptoeing on each step.
When she reached the second floor, a different kind of smoke hit her senses. The taste of metal filled her mouth. She peeked into her brother's room and found it messy as usual. Her room was in the same state she left it before going to school this morning. Her parent's bedroom door was half open, the blinking light drawing her attention. She tiptoed forward.
The worn hinges emitted a soft whine as Ynes pushed the bedroom door open, allowing it to slam gently against the wall behind it. The room was empty. A bronze lamp from her mother's bedside table sat on the floor with the lamp shade leaning against the wall, the bulb slowly burning through the plastic cover. Ynes lifted the lamp, took off the lamp shade, and unplugged it from the wall. Her eyes shifted upwards above the electrical socket, and she saw a pinkish discoloration on the cream wall. When she stood back to look at the entire wall, Ynes saw a brush stroke pattern as if something was wiped in a circle.
A creak in the hallway floor made Ynes gasp. "Who's there?" she said sharply.
"My name is not important, Miss Quintas," said a man with a deep throaty voice from the hallway, out of Ynes line of sight. "My work here is done. But, I cannot allow you to look at me. If you do, I will have to kill you too."
Her heart pounded in her chest. She swallowed hard and bit her bottom lip as the floor creaked again. With her eyes darting about the room in search of a weapon, Ynes backed up towards the window.
"Please, Miss Quintas, you must turn around now. You are not worthy of such an early death. Your parents, however, deserved exactly what they received."
"You killed them," Ynes whispered into the air.
"I did not kill your parents. They brought death upon themselves. Now, please, turn away so I may leave. I promise to be out of your life forever."
Ynes nodded and turned around to face the night outside her window. In the faint reflection, she saw a tall man walk into the bedroom's door frame, his shoulders were square and wide. She heard him sigh as he shook his head.
"Miss Quintas, why couldn't you just look away," the dark voice said.
Before Ynes could turn around, a bullet made its way through her skull.
------------------------------------- Originally written Apr 29, 2015, for April A-Z Challenge