Ads 468x60px

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Roland is hungry

            The buildings shuddered as they began to collapse, the fire eating away at their foundations quicker and cleaner than any termite. Main street was illuminated as brightly as the noon sun, the light a much more beautiful amber than the hated ball of plasma had ever produced, and it was enough to make Dinah tremble from head to toe.

            The thralls had discovered a large holdout at the edge of town. Fifteen firefighters had secreted away part of a kindergarten class as well as some of the hospital staff that had narrowly escaped the culling of the town. They hadn’t been hiding well enough, however, and now the apartment building that they had managed to huddle together in was burning as merrily as a campfire.

            The doors to the front of the building had been left open, and Dinah stood outside with the decaying mound of cells in her chest that had once been a heart pumping stagnant blood loudly in her ears. Her toes and fingers tingled intensely as she waited for her prey to flood out of the building like rats, and she knew that she didn’t have long to wait. She could smell the blood of the living being flooded with adrenaline and endorphins as they became more and more aware of the hopelessness of their situation.

            A crash echoed through the night as one of the main supports inside fell to the ground and the first man came charging out of the interior.             He had obviously been carefully chosen by the others to work as a decoy: he was at least six foot eight and had the shoulders of a linebacker. He surged out of the inferno wielding a fire axe, and he managed to cut the first thrall in half vertically with a single chop. He would have been a much better distraction, however, if it weren’t for two important factors: he had already been severely burned over fifty percent of his body, and the nurse in charge of guiding the children outside was only a second behind him.

            The waiting jaws of the ravenous thralls that had surged into the space that the fire fighter had left immediately snatched up the lambs, and their struggle lasted only seconds.

            Dinah’s jaw fell open and she let out a long hiss of anticipation. Her demonic face was illuminated hideously, and it was also the very last thing that the fire fighter saw. The slight woman caught the downswing of the axe in her palm as easily as she would swat away a fly, and her next blow was to his chest. The burned skin parted, and Dinah’s long nails easily slashed through the ventricles holding his heart in place. The heart was still shuddering when she pulled it to her lips, and the stunned man collapsed in paroxysms on the ground. Dinah let him pull her on top of him, and she slid over his body like a lover to better lap up the rapidly leaking fluids from his empty chest.

            The remaining hospital staff emerged, along with three children lucky enough to have been too scared to follow their peers, and when they saw the slaughter outside, those able to scream did so and the others began to stampede in every direction. There was the sudden crack of gunfire and one of the anticipating undead fell to the ground with a hole perfectly leveled between his eyes.

            A new, unpleasant scent stabbed into Dinah’s sinuses, and she snapped her head upright just in time to see a familiar figure fall onto one of her minions like a fury, his hands dismantling the creature as easily as taking apart a puzzle. The thrall fell to the ground in pieces, and Roland stood above it, blood leaking lazily from a hole in the perfect center of his forehead and his eyes glittering in the fire light as brightly as a jackal’s.

            Steven swore as he carefully reloaded his tiny gun. He had managed to find some cartridges on the body of a slain redneck, but he only had a few rounds left and he was a moderate shot at best. His fingers twitched uncontrollably as he tried to steady his breathing and ignore the cries of the illuminated demons that had just turned their attention to him.

            He finally finished loading the magazine, the click of the metal against metal suddenly transforming the weapon from a useless object into a deadly killing machine gave him just enough courage to swing his eyes upwards and level the magnum at the first of the thralls, which was barely two feet away. Just as Roland had instructed, Steven aimed between the eyes, and the bullet flew true.

            Dinah stood up slowly, her mouth quirking into an open, terrible smile and she hissed, “I warned you. I told you to pick the winning side, Blutsauger.” The cross on her ruined cheek stood out lividly as she grinned at him, and Roland’s face twisted further into an indescribably expression of blood lust.

            He set a foot down on the fallen thrall’s chest and set a hand under the creature’s jaw. With a single deft snap, her tore the bone free from the rest of the head, even as he slung the baseball bat he carried across his shoulders easily. The force necessary for this would have made Steven stop and stare in horror had he not been busy mechanically cleaving skulls in half.  Roland let loose a sound that no human vocal chords had ever made and charged forward.

            Dinah charged towards him, and when they collided, she managed to get the first hit. Her fingers almost lovingly caressed Roland’s throat before the caught a purchase and tore his throat clean out. The blow had meant to rip his head clean off, but Roland merely caught her wrist and shoved her backwards, his skin and trachea going with her. The bat, Lulu Belle, followed his hand, and hit the side of her face hard enough to fracture her jaw and part of her skull.

            She landed on all fours, her jaw hanging uselessly from her face, her open mouth erupting with blood. Roland spat gore out of his mouth and the skin at his throat made a strange stretching noise as it slowly began to regrow. Dinah recovered faster. She manually swung her mandible back into place with a hideous clack and scrabbled after him, her frail-looking body as twisted and soft as a log of driftwood.

            This time, Roland threw himself backwards onto his haunches and let her sail over him, his left fist punching upwards at the same time. He hit her in the chest, and her rib cage buckled for a moment, just long enough to send her sprawling to the side.

            The children and the four remaining orderlies and nurses regrouped a short distance away, and Steven trotted after them, trying to manage the herd of hungry thralls that followed. He emptied his clip, and when he reached into his pocket for more bullets, he came up with only seven. He swore and dropped to one knee to load them into the magazine, and the first of the thralls was on him.

            The creature’s teeth went straight for his neck, and Steven threw up his arm to block. Teeth closed tightly around his forearm and the thing scissor bit at him feverishly. Steven screamed, and one of the orderlies turned on his heel and ran back, a tire iron held close in his hand. He brained the thing, and it fell away just long enough for a second one to overpower the man and drive him to the ground. Steven fought to remain conscious through the pain, and he managed to get a hold of the tire iron.

            Lulu Belle slammed against Dinah’s face again, and this time the bat shattered in his hands. He balked in surprise as the woman-shaped thing howled in pain. She charged forward and climbed up Roland’s chest like a ladder and perched with her knees on either side of his neck so that she could scratch and rip at his face. Roland pitched backwards and collapsed onto the street, but not before he punched a hole through her midsection with a hand and tore loose her insides.

            Dinah fell a short distance away from him, but as she stood up to charge him again, she suddenly stopped dead, her ear tilted to the side like an attentive dog. She finally let loose a low giggle and gave him a shrug, “Sadly, I’m going to have to cut our fun short. My master calls.”

            Roland staggered to his feet but by the time that he was upright, Dinah was gone. The rest of the thralls were surging towards Steven, and Roland let out a long breath before he hefted the femur and willed himself to limp towards them, tossing Lulu Belle’s mangled handle onto the street beside the other corpses.

            Steven split the first few heads that came into range, but the others just kept coming. The pain from his savaged arm was nearly overpowering, but he gritted his teeth and tried to avoid getting so distracted that he made a mistake. He did anyway.  He took a step backwards and found himself ankle deep in the orderly that had tried to save him, and that startling realization lowered his guard for half an instant.  He collapsed backwards, and the thrall closest to him charged onto him, pinning him to the ground.

            Steven braced himself as much as he could for being about to be rent asunder, and suddenly the thrall froze dead, its entire body going rigid. It turned its head, and Steven realized that all of the other creatures were cowering nearby at the feet of Roland.

            The vampire stood tall, his face of horrible morass of seeping wounds, his lips curled into an authoritative sneer. The thralls only let up for a moment, but that was enough for Roland to finish them. In a matter of a minute, he had laid out twelve ravenous creatures as if it were nothing.

            Steven stared up at him helplessly, “Wh… what the hell?”

            Roland shrugged, and gestured to the man’s arm, “You hurt?”

            “Not like that guy,” Steven pointed to the orderly and found himself wanting to simultaneously scream, laugh and faint. The creature standing above him nodded, and the blood from his bullet wound leaked down onto his lips. Steven shuddered, “Uh…are you alright?”

            Roland smiled at him for an instant, but it only made Steven feel worse. No human being should be up and walking with a bullet hole in their head, let alone one with a bullet wound on top of fourteen other life-ending traumas. For want of anything better to say, and because the man staring him down made him feel like he was a small child hiding under the covers once again, Steven blurted out, “I’m Steven…Dr. Yeats.”

            “Roland,” the creature said coarsely, and Steven assumed that he was being told a name.

Roland staggered, his strength almost too far gone to stand. He needed to feed, and soon, or else there would be no more fights for him. He looked around carefully for any survivors, but finding none, he shot Steven an apologetic look. The last thing that Steven saw before he blacked out was Roland crouching over him with a leer.

            “You probably won’t want to watch this.”

No comments:

Post a Comment