Hadn’t it been for their own gunfire Baxter and the boy would have probably heard the deputies firefight with the creature. As it was though their own shots drowned out all other sounds. The boy’s first shot went wide, ending up in one of the spines of the books in the libary. After that one he managed to anticipate the kickback of the gun and the second shot plugged the creature in the eye. Lucky shot, but the boy didn’t care. Green, slimy blood oozed from the wound as the creature hissed. It was in pain.

“I think this one is weaker,” the boy surmised, a bit surprised the wound didn’t immediately close as had been the case with the bigger creature.

“Let’s rip it apart then,” Baxter said and fired a few volleys at the monster. Bullets tore through it’s belly, more blood leaking from it.

As they kept firing at the Otherworldy thing it slowly backed down, it cornered itself. It hid it’s head behind it’s raptorial forelegs.

“Stand back,” Baxter told the boy. “Time for the coup de grace. You might also want to cover your ears.”

The boy understood the sheriff’s plan and took cover. Baxter put his gun aside and took a grenade from the duffel bag. He pulled the pin and threw it at the monster. With a loud bang it exploded, the shockwave taking out the windows. The monster’s belly was torn apart, intestines the boy had never seen dropping on the carpet. It hissed once more, then sagged down. Lifeless.

“We did it! We beat that thing!” the boy shouted enthusiastically.

“Looks like we did,” Baxter said and slowly moved closer to the thing, still pointing his AR-15 at it to be sure. When he reached it he dared to poke it gently with the barrel of his gun. It didn’t move.

The boy ran a hand over the creature. “He really looks dead. But I figure the other creature won’t like the fact we killed it.”

“Shit. Did you have to say that?”

The boy sat down on his haunches next to the monster. “What a fascinating creature…”

Eyes widened Baxter stuttered, pointing at the creature. “Kid, watch it. That… that… organ… on the floor… It’s… moving!”

The boy saw what the sheriff meant. One of the organs, perhaps its equivalent of a heart started to stir. Then suddenly it flew up. And after that all the rest of the intestines. It was like watching a movie that was being played backwards. In exactly the way the intestines had dropped from the creature’s belly they now went back inside. The body closed down again, it’s eye grew back.

The boy couldn’t help but cheer. “Incredible!”

“Get the fuck back!” Baxter yelled and pulled the boy back to him.

The creature hissed louder than ever as it righted itself and started to swipe at the two reluctant monster hunters with its forelegs.

“We have to run!” Baxter said and pushed the boy in front of him. He threw another grenade behind his back as he pulled the boy along.

They ran through the house as fast as they could. The boy protested a bit but Baxter wouldn’t have any of it.

“That thing can’t be killed, kid! We have to get as far away from it as we can!”

They ran through the door, but could hear the creature following them. Barely outside Baxter lost his footing in his hurry and fell down on the grass. The creature had come through the door, barely fitting through.

The boy helped Baxter on his feet, firing one more bullet at the thing to keep it busy. Then they were standing eye to eye with the big creature. It’s raptorial forelegs were covered with gore. They noticed the dead bodies of the deputies.

Tears welled up in Baxter’s eyes. “Lou! Molly! What the fuck? That bloody demon slaughtered them!”

“There’s no way we can take on the bigger one,” the boy said. “We’d better take our chances with the smaller one and get back to the house.”

“That’s crazy! And what do we do when we get inside?”

“I have a theory,” the boy said. “Come on!”

So they did the unthinkable and ran straight for the smaller creature. Baxter kept firing his AR-15 at the smaller creature, pushing it away from the door. The boy managed to go through the door and yelled, “Sheriff! Throw me the duffel bag and keep that thing busy!”

Baxter threw the bag, the boy catching it like it was a softball. The boy ran into the building. The dry clicking sound of the AR-15 told the sheriff he’d fired his last bullet. He had to reload. As if the creature understood it sped up and with snapping mandibles went for the kill.


About the author

Jochem Vandersteen

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