Season Two – Chapter Forty Three

“We can’t outrun it,” Toni said, her voice calm as she stepped back from the tree, her face fixed forward, only glancing behind for a moment, her eyes never catching mine. I watched the dog as its legs pumped hard, its shape getting bigger all the time. “You run,” she said, her voice raising with the weight of the gun towards the field, edging back to get the tree from her field of vision. “If we get split up, meet me at the van,” she said, her voice only half committed to the words. I glanced away, looking out to the horizon filled with fields sprawling across the countryside, rolling up and down as I tried to fix my view, tried to imagine where I’d parked. We’d run further than I’d thought and with only one crumbling building high on the horizon, I made my first steps in its direction.

“I’m not leaving you,” I shouted, stopping as her words sunk in.

“Don’t be a fucking child,” she called over her shoulder. “I’m the one with the gun, you need to run.”

There it was again. My teeth gritted tight together.

Turning to watch Toni’s back, her arms still raised out, head twitching as she checked the view and checked once again. I took one final glance before the hedge lining the long field obscured my view, but I couldn’t see anything following behind the creature racing in our direction. Soon it was only the rise in its pounding breath forewarning its sharp toothed chase. I wanted to take control, I wanted so much to run, to outrun, leaving the creature alone, dragging Toni with me, overpowering her protests, but all I could manage was a slow pace backwards shaking my head, watching Toni take smaller steps, her eyes never leaving the direction of her outstretched arms.

Putting my hands to my face, the dog appeared taking the corner wide with a speed much greater than I could have imagined. Toni let off a shot with no delay, the explosion shaking through me, as did the next when it was clear the first had missed. The second too. The dog’s course unpredicted, and it continued to ignore Toni and the gunshots altogether, instead making a wide arc around her, its legs pumping, pushing hard in my direction, a snarl, glaring its long teeth as it sped unrelenting to fill the space between Toni and I. The third shot exploded with the gun pointed in my direction, the dog’s teeth barrelling into me and I was on the floor, head spinning as the world turned over, Toni’s scream all I could hear.

 

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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.

Not read Season One? Here it is.

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