Posted on October 11, 2005 by Flames
Fiction by Daniel “Pounce” PotterSet in the Blood Games Universe from Flying Mice LLC
There is always a cost. Win or Lose; Do or Die. Abram did not move to swat the insects that greedily sucked on his exposed flesh. He kept both hands on his gun. With the patience of a mountain cat he swept his eyes across the forest before him, looking for any signs of passage. There was nothing, only the occasional high pitched buzz as a mosquito darted past his ear. His lips twitched with disgust as he plodded forward through the dry leaves without a sound.
His hard demeanor and experienced tracking was a sharp contrast to the young woman who crashed through the underbrush after him swearing and slapping at the mosquitoes. Abram had giving up telling Pam to be quiet, her heavy footsteps would warn their quarry even if she managed to keep her mouth shut. At least she was keeping her pistol pointed at the ground like he showed her and had somehow managed not to shoot her foot off while swinging wildly at the mosquitoes with her other hand. She shouldn’t be here. She needs more far more training than an afternoon of at the gun range.
Turning his attention back to the forest Abram spotted a tree with a broken low hanging branch. Finally, a sign! Moving to the tree and kneeling down Abram inspected the branch, looking for additional evidence of the quarry. Pam laid a hand on his shoulder.
Abram shot her a questioning look.
“Trust me on this.”
Scowling, Abram got to his feet and hurried deeper into the forest. The sun had just touched the horizon. The thing had to be close now; it had to be. It was almost that time, it must have stopped running by now. Abram knew that the blood lust would overpower its survival instincts no matter how clever this one was. He had seen it before. He had seen it all.
A howl tore through the forest like a ragged claw. It was like guttural cry of pain from beyond human experience. Pam and Abram locked eyes for a moment and then sprinted in the direction of the sound.
It was too late for tracking. This close to nightfall it would be tired of running. If he gave it an opening it would charge into the open. Abram made himself sound as panicked as possible, he broke branches, stumbled over roots and force himself to pant. It went against every instinct he had developed over the years of the hunt. Pam was right behind him, mimicking his actions but she wasn’t pretending. Whatever façade of strength she had summoned up to come with him tonight was gone now. There wasn’t time for a pep talk. “In a few minutes it won’t matter anyway,” thought a particularly bitter piece of Abram.
It came at them screaming from above. Abram barely had time to shield his face with his rifle before it barreled into him. It moved far too fast for Abrams eyes to resolve, a blur of mangy fur and yellow fangs. Abram pushed it away from him and slammed the butt of his rifle into the side of its jaw with enough force to shatter most of the teeth on the right side of its maw. It lunged again at him without pausing to consider its pain. All Abram could was parry and dodge the brutal attack. Pam should have shot this thing by now. Why was she hesitating?
With claws narrowly missing his face and other vital body parts Abram couldn’t look around for her nor could he get a shot off. There was a knife in his belt, but he needed two hands to fend off the furred demon. Abram made his piece with god, because if he didn’t intervene, Abram was going to die.
God didn’t intervene but Pam finally did. Just as Abram’s guard faltered the back of the beast’s head exploded and it forgot all about the lethal blow it was about to deliver.
Abram turned around. Pam held the large revolver with two shaky hands.
Her skin was slick with the sweat that dripped every surface. There was slight glow from inside her eyes and when she spoke her voice had the trace of a growl. “Daddy, that wasn’t him.”
Keeping his face neutral and his voice even Abram responded, “I know Darling. It okay, stay with me. There is still time. You can feel him now right?”
Pam lowered the gun and turned to face something out in the woods. “Yes
Pa,” she whispered.
“Lead me to him Pam. I will be right behind you.”
Pam nodded and started walking in the direction she indicated. Her movements slow and deliberate, as if her body was fighting every movement.
Abram brought his rifle up to his shoulder, sighting through the scope and put a sliver bullet through the brain of his only daughter.