“Gabby…” Her soft spoken name could barely dribble past his quivering lips. Jack squints his eyes and turns away, sobbing heavily. Gabby didn’t scream for long, although she jerked violently in her chair after her voice came to end. Her death was short lived, but wrapped in pain. Kirk stands near her body, making sure to stay within the boundaries of the basking light. The darkness had surrounded them in a rugged circle, and although they couldn’t exactly see what awaited them, they could see the red glare of eyes multiplying around them. Grunts, groans, slobbering quips; they weren’t going anywhere. Kirk steadies the gun keeping Jack’s temple as a target should he brave enough to step out of line. He takes a step near the porch but halts, the house could offer shelter but there wasn’t enough light to guarantee his safety on the path to the door. Still, he had to try something, Gabby’s smell was becoming nauseating and the constant threat around wasn’t easy to forget.
“Jack, get up and get to that door.” He says in a firm voice. Jack continues to quietly sob, allowing the tears to drip into the barren soil. “Ay,” Kirk snaps. He lowers the gun and applies pressure to his forehead, placing his finger over the trigger.
“Shoot me, Kirk. I give up.”
“Jack, don’t temp me. I need the bullets, but might spare one if you’re wanting to join your friend here.” Jack wipes his arm across his face and looks as a drop of liquid falls on his shirt. Stretching both arms out and rotating them from front to back, he feels the water gently tap his flesh. Kirk stands back and looks to the sky, boisterous gatherings of clouds bundled together releasing sprinkles of rain. “Ah, you gotta be f****n’ with me now.” Kirk looks over to where Gabby’s once cute face was-now nothing more than warped gobs of flesh resembling a melted candle-and sees traces of steam billowing in random motions. “Motherfuc-Jack, move it now!” Jack looks up with a grin, a genuine smile plastered across his face. At this point there were two things that he was certain of. One-He was a dead man, whether he died by Kirk’s hands or by the creatures on standby, for certain he would die. Two-Kirk was a dead man, and that alone was enough to ease the impending fear that loomed within.
“It doesn’t matter anymore,” Jack laughs while rising to his feet. Mud starting to form around the edges of his boots, the rain was starting to come down harder in stinging needle-like jabs. Crashing thunder explodes above them, rotating flashes of lightning in the distance. With each blinding flash, for a moment the monsters were visible, a sight Jack wish he had closed his eyes for. One looked as if it was slabs of muscle held together with barb wire, one nearby it was a leaning tower of beast. Hunched over with hooked paws, it had a cocked head with a slobbering mouth. Every creature, everything they had run from, never had they been able to see what was. On the floor behind Gabby was a twisted skeletal being, rusted knives were jabbed into both sockets making the creature appear blind. Something stood among the creatures, something that made it stick out like a sore thumb. A black cloaked figure with a hood draped down over the top, ominously keeping still while other beings moved in random directions, closing in with each bit of fire put out.
Kirk spins in a circle, forgetting about Jack for a moment and pointing his pistol in the directions of the creatures. “What the f**k are you?”
Kirk is grabbed by his shoulders and spun around, completely unaware of what was about to happen next. He focuses on Jack’s mouth, agape and expelling a scream of rage. Hands were gripped tightly onto his shoulders, force driven backwards into the dark by Jack’s rushing body strength. Kirk stumbles back, not thinking quick enough to trip or try to fall down purposely. Lightning flashes and the beings all make their attention towards them both, eagerly awaiting. Kirk grabs onto Jack’s shoulder with his left hand and squeezes, with his right he swings and aims the barrel while pulling the trigger simultaneously. The bullet whizzes past his ear, but made an echo loud enough to cause him to go temporarily deaf. An extreme ache pulsified within, it didn’t matter. It was all about to be over. Kirk’s back leans into the shadows, out of the safety of the light.
Jack couldn’t-or wouldn’t-hear Kirk’s screams over his. Kirk’s body tries to move left to right, but is held firmly in place. His back is strewn to ribbons of raw meat, claws slide in invading his body and violating everything within. Brittle cracks fluctuated between the sounds of gurgling squishes. His back was soon a vacant area, just framed meat in an almost square like space. A single, yellow nail pierces through his belly button and twirls upwards. Two more are forced through until a grip is able to grasp the fat that was left in front of Kirk’s belly. His body is hurled back into the distance, his remains surely gone by the time Jack was able to snap out of his state of anger. He stands still, blood among his shirt and mostly splattered among his boots. Turning back he walks to Gabby and bends down, noticing a broken fence board. The tip was jagged and could be used as a weapon. Rain falls down in heavy sheets, taking away the last bit of glow that emanated from Gabby’s corpse.
“Jack, come back to me. Please.” Lyla’s voice echoed from somewhere nearby once more.
Jack grips both hands around the board and braces himself as the creatures come charging towards him.
“Jack, please wake up. Please.” Lyla wipes her gown across her cheek, a light pinch of pain hits once a tear slides into a row of stitches across her face. “Jack, can you hear me?” Jack lay in his hospital bed, hooked up to wires and IV’s. His face bruised heavily, along with spontaneous stitches among his body. Lyla sighs and turns towards the television in the corner of the room. A portly man in an orange jumpsuit on the run from the police, an escaped convict apparently. The show had been playing for a few days at this point, and to be honest was getting old. She aims the remote and clicks on the power button. She then rests her hand on his leg and whispers, “Come back to me. I need you. I’m not mad at you, just please wake up.”
“Lyla, you should be resting.” A social worker rolls into the room, slowing her wheelchair to a stop on the opposite side of Jack’s bed. “I know, it’s just hard to.” The worker doesn’t respond, she just nods her head. After sitting in silence for what seemed like hours she finally says, “I have faith that things will get better. God is real, you know?” She reaches her hand out and makes contact across the bed with Lyla’s hand. Lyla half-smiles and nods. “Thank you.” With that she stands up and shuffles out the door back to her room. A nurse steps in shortly afterwards, her badge displaying the name Tara Wiltston.
She makes sure Lyla is gone before whispering, “Is it me or is this just tugging on your heart a bit more than other patients? I mean I can’t imagine what they’ve gone through.”
“I know,” Gabby replies. “It was a terrible wreck, but somehow they survived. Their kid was so young, what was her name again?”
“Macy,” Tara replies. “It’s always worse when kids are involved in tragedies. Did you hear about that bus crash by the woods?”
“Yeah, I think everyone did, it’s like there’s always something awful happening here. But there’s good things left, like his wife comes in here everyday to talk to him. Do you think he can hear her?”
“I don’t know, honestly. She must be doing something though, I overheard the doctors talking about him. They said that he should be dead by now, but from the looks of it,” she looks over to his comatose body, immobile and beaten and battered. “It’s like he’s fighting for his life.”
Thank you to anyone and everyone that read this.