Defib, part 2

Posted: January 13, 2013 in End of Times, Fiction

Her pace jumped from brisk walk to run. Dead run. She didn’t look back. A coincidence was someone else making a fresh pot of coffee when she felt tired. She burst through the double doors and out into the cool night. She scanned the parking area, slowing to a jog while she fished out her car keys. She risked a look back as she neared her white pickup truck. The lights in the museum entry flickered. She saw – or thought she saw – a figure backlit in the doorway she’d just used. She did a double-take. Nothing. Her mouth tasted of copper. Her heart jumped to her throat. She put her free hand out in front of her, absorbed the shock of running full tilt into the driver’s door.

It took a short eternity to get the key into the door tumbler. The door unlocked with a chunk. She yanked it open, tossed her backpack across to the passenger seat. Its contents spilled across the seat. She hopped in, reached out for the door. A clawed hand grabbed her arm. The red star filled the cab of her truck with light. In the crimson light, she could see the claws and scales running up the arm, connected to another humanoid-but-clearly-inhuman figure. She kicked at it with her left leg. It snarled, a sound of wind over dry leaves. She kicked again, pulling away, feeling the claws tear at her flesh.

Her right hand lost the keys on the passenger seat, found the opposite door handle. She pulled again, but the thing had its talons buried deep in her arm. It snarled again, stepped back, yanking her out of the truck. Her hand lost its grip on the door handle. She grasped at anything as she went headfirst back into the night. She hit the pavement face down, right arm bleeding from furrows carved in her skin, breath gone, vision scrambled, left hand wrapped around the grip of the gun.

The creature. Bipedal. One point eight meters tall. Skinny, but deceptively strong. Taloned hands and feet. Finely scaled skin, black with white striations. Gaunt facial structure, bordering on skeletal. Wide mouth, stuffed with fangs. Eyes just black pits in face. The watcher didn’t know she was cataloguing as she rolled over, but it was what she did. Her right arm lifted her fistful of gun in front of her as she lay on her back. She pointed it at the monster in front of her. She pulled the trigger. Nothing. The creature let out an earsplitting shriek of audio feedback. A celebratory expression from the bowels of Hell.

The safety.

The beast turned toward the truck. The watcher flicked the safety off, mouthed “No, you don’t,” and squeezed the trigger. This time, her handful of death barked, kicked, spit fire and metal into the night air. The beast twitched, a marionette with a snagged string. It turned back in anger. The watcher sucked in a deep breath, pulled the trigger again. And again. The beast twitched in time with the reports, the muzzle flash providing a strobe effect. The watcher didn’t know how many shots were left. Or how many she started with. She knew that she had emptied the magazine and she knew that the creature was lying motionless at her feet. She gasped again, willing air back into her lungs.

She pulled herself to her knees. Looked around. There would be more of these things. She had to run. The blood streaming from her arm intermingled with the black ichor pooling under the fallen demon. She lurched past a dead monster for the second time tonight, stumbling into her truck. She dropped the empty gun and the red star back into her backpack. She found her keys on the passenger side floor. Started the truck. Backed out of her spot. The headlights bathed the downed monster in their ultrabright Xenon glow.

“Fuck you,” she breathed, as she ran the truck over the thing. It thumped under the tires and the watcher trailed black ink out onto the street.

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