I recognised his face, the policeman who’d moved his car first as we’d raced away from the soldier’s last stand. Missing from his great bald head, half his scalp hung down the side of his face, slapping his cheek each time he moved, the left side of his yellow jacket blanketed in a flaking scarlet crust. I jumped again as his teeth bared, the whites of his snarl smacking into the window. A tooth fell to the ground and gap stared back as he glared with his mouth wide.
I stared on transfixed, wishing I had a gun to make the problem go away. Instead, I felt around the cab, searching for something sharp, something heavy. My attention drew away with a ring of bells rushing from the hut. I turned to where Toni has broken in, the policeman’s movement following mine. My heart sunk at his slow walk towards the door still open wide. There was no sign of Toni, the view beyond the windows too dark.
I had to do something, had to warn her at least. I jumped between the seats, my head spinning as it hit hard against the roof. Gripping the upholstery hard, I steadied myself, wasting a precious moment for my view to settle. With the spin almost gone I searched in the back, grabbing a tripod, but it was too heavy to weald. I had no choice, let it drop to the floor, jumping to the side at the last moment so it wouldn’t hit my feet and pushed the back doors open, letting daylight rush in, slamming them at my back as I ran down the side of the van.
The policeman had made up the distance, a few steps away from the penetrating alarm. Toni, her hands weighed down with carrier bags swinging below, appeared at the door. Looking up, she saw me first, the alarm on my face sent her eyes shooting wide, before latching onto the creatures whites. It lunged, pace quickening and she dropped the bags, glass smashed and liquid ran from under the plastic. Her hand was in her back pocket and the screwdriver out, but not before it grabbed at her shoulder with its left hand, clawed fingers trying to push through her skin. Its right hand went for her throat, her hand to his, dried blood fluttering to the floor as they grappled. She swung as its head bent forward, teeth snapping as she did her best to lunge the shaft, but only jabbed at its neck, the tip puncturing skin, but no blood flowed and it didn’t flinch.
I ran towards her, stifling my terror, holding back a scream my head wanted so badly to call out. Dropping low, hoping what I heard had been right, I dashed my hand into the bag and pulled out the neck of a shattered bottle, alcohol rising in the air as I pulled up. Pushing my hand out, I plunged the glass into the side of its head.
The wound made no difference. The creature gave no reaction as I crushed the glass to its bare skull. I jabbed again, hitting at its arm. Reaching back to the bag, I pulled out a full bottle. With the vodka in my hand, I swung hard, the glass shattering over its head. Liquid gushed, covering us all, Toni and the creature the most, but I was back again, lunging unarmed and I pushed sideways as hard as I could. The creature stumbled, letting go with its right hand, leaving blood to her skin running down with the spray of alcohol. I’d given her the chance she needed and the screwdriver plunged through its temple, sucking air as she withdrew the blade from the motionless, slumped body.
“Get in the van,” she said, not looking back as she wiped sticky black liquid from the blade, her left hand pulling handcuffs from his belt. “Get in the van,” she repeated when I hadn’t moved. I waited until she disappeared back into the hut, sliding into the driver’s seat, head spinning as I tried to make sense of what had just happened. Before I could, movement caught my eye. I’d kept watch this time, looking out and I saw the other policeman coming around the corner. He was missing his fluorescent coat and the left sleeve of his white shirt ran with dark scarlet, leaving a syrupy flow in its wake.
I let the horn sing, drawing the creature closer. Toni took one look at the doorway, gave me a shallow nod as she flicked a match to the inanimate creature on the floor and jogged to the van, placing another huddle of shopping bags in the footwell.
“Go,” she said, just as a woman’s voice electrified the air. We turned to see a young woman standing in a thick winter coat, her gloved hand at her face having come around the corner. She stared at the burning corpse, mouth wide, watching flames licking at the wooden hut. “Oh shit,” Toni replied as the second policeman turned and started his advance toward her.
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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.