Thursday, May 9, 2019



Still behind the counter, Tracey could only watch as the creature bit down on Adam’s arm. She saw the blood at once. So much of it. She shouted her friend’s name and nearly passed out. She wanted to help, but her feet felt permanently affixed to the cheap tile of the floor.

Dan and Luke added their voices to the din, their shouts like panicked children running from a barking dog.

The sound of a gunshot cut through it all, ending the horrific cacophony like pulling the needle from a record. When it happened, when the deafening noise brought a moment of silence, Tracey had been watching the thing gnaw at the flesh of Adam’s arm—it wasn’t human, it couldn’t be. When the shot rang out, the creature’s head jerked to the side and it let go of Adam, falling off of him.

“Pull him in!” Norman called out. He crouched there next to Adam in a shooter’s stance. One knee down, arms extended and holding a pistol. He fired three more times and the monsters outside dropped.

Dan rushed forward and pulled Adam free as Luke held the door.

“Lock the damn door!” Norman barked. “Now!”

Before she even realized that she was moving, Tracey was there, taking the keys from Adam. She quickly selected the correct one and slid the key home, locking the doors. Then she knelt next to Adam who was moaning, eyes shut like clenched fists, and holding his arm. Norman was already there beside him.

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