The gun was out through the window, the sound like it would shatter the glass. No one saw where the bullet landed. It could have hit, but the effect was good enough. All eyes, including those bloodshot, bounded by heavy hanging lids, fixed upwards for enough of a moment, at least I hoped.
I couldn’t see the child, couldn’t take my eyes from the snarl, couldn’t stop staring down its throat as it let out a scream sending a shiver along my spine. Only as it leapt into the air, covering half the ground between us in one great bound, could I move my eyes, but only to follow. Somewhere inside I was thankful we were the new target, but Mary didn’t see it that way.
There was no time for her to let out a scream before she fell to the floor, collapsing at our feet. If I’d had a spare second, I would have let out a great sigh, would have mumbled under my breath lauding her for playing up to the female stereotype. Instead, all my energy concentrated on grabbing for the handle dangling at the door, dragging it closed, Toni moving out the way as I slammed the double glazing hard into the frame.
I felt the wave of pressure as the glass flexed, blood spraying either side with a slap against the window, the creature’s face hitting hard halfway through its second bound. Its expression didn’t change as it hit, the hunger I recognised all too obvious in its curled features. Its will still clear as it slid down the glass, smearing blood until its clawed fingers hooked to the sill. I glanced to Toni and she glanced back. We had it point blank with a chance that didn’t come often and all we had to do was sacrifice the safety of the house.
“We’re leaving anyway,” I said in answer to her look and she raised the gun before my last words. We turned together, cringing back, ready for the sear of pain to my ears, but instead we stared at the smear of its victim’s blood. The sounds of footsteps heavy on the roof told us all we needed to know. Our eyes headed out across the sea of soldier’s heading in our direction until our attention drew downward by a light but frantic call of a hand against wood. We moved in unison, turning over the sill and saw the back of a little figure, heard his sobs, his hand slapping in time with the noise coming from downstairs.
I ran, not waiting to share a look. I ran not being careful with my feet, ignoring the complaints of the husband only just rousing from the floor. I ran hearing Toni’s calls through the open window. She was calling out the beast, distracting for a second time. Halfway flying down the stairs, I could see his tiny shape through the misted glass, my hands on the banister propelling me toward the ground floor in two great leaps when I caught the black shape fall from above, a dark shadow through the glass at the short figure’s back.
A great explosive filled the air coming both from outside and above, the shapes were too indistinct behind the misted glass to see anything other than their collective flinch. I didn’t know what I’d see as I pulled the door wide, still, I raked it open without a pause. The kid had turned his back to the door. I grabbed on, my arm around his chest, drawing him over the threshold, into the warmth, into our safety and away from the creature looking up, his face turning down in what seemed like slow motion, its body falling forward. As I pulled back, I saw the bullet hole through its forehead, a smile appearing on my face I stepped out of the arc of its death.
“Great shot,” I said under my breath, forgetting the kid folded in my arms, not seeing until I caught a gust of foul window and heard Toni’s call from above, shouting for me to close the door. It was only then I looked up to see the crowd edging ever forward, so close I had to let go. They were so far up the garden path I had to turn and usher the kid up the stairs, had to call for Toni to help him up as I turned to push the door closed only to find the creature’s lifeless lump of a body had fallen across the threshold. No matter how hard I pushed and shoved, my heart beating out of my chest, no matter how hard I swore or prayed to a god I hadn’t believed in since I was six, it wouldn’t budge.
Thanks for reading and if you enjoyed, like my Facebook page and drop me a message. Let me know if you like what you’re reading.
Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.