The scream came next, a shrill call in tune with the outward spray of glass. I stumbled back, pulling the ladder with me as I grabbed the metal for safety, but still I fell. Ryan’s body caught my weight and together we collapsed to the roof, the cold metal following. With no chance to recover from the shock, I peered up, pushed the ladder away, willing my ears to close off the pain, eyes watching as from the window the creature burst out in a blur, bringing with it the remaining shards of glass.
My legs wheeled in circles as I struggled to my feet, Ryan’s arms in the same frenzy, words coming, shouting his disbelief. Scrabbling to his feet, his hand on my arm, his view alternating between me and seeking the creature who’d jumped right over us and disappeared from view. We looked to each other, looked to the ground, span to the window, eyes wide peering as we held our feet firm. Neither of us knew what to do, we waiting, questioning why the inevitable hadn’t already happened.
After what seemed like an age, but was more than likely just a fleeting second, I picked up the ladder, Ryan grabbing the other side and just as we got our grip, the creatures was in view, jumping from the ground, shaking the roof as it landed, standing before us, its bloodshot eyes wide, chest heaving for air, recovering its breath. At first I couldn’t believe the pause, looked to Ryan, but this was his first view, but not mine, I’d seen these before. I’d shot one over and again and watched it stay upright, charging onward with a fury at home in a horror film. Now it stood before me, its naked, blood soaked, heavy belly sagging out in front. If I didn’t know better, I could have sworn it was tired and drunk from its full stomach.
I didn’t wait more than a blink of an eye, surged forward, Ryan bringing the rest of the ladder at my side, taking no time to understand my plan. The creature could have jumped, could have charged forward, but just seemed to watch, only acting when it was too late, giving a dulled call, a weak scream costing it more breath, and unable to hold us back, its feet stepped off the edge and fell to the ground, taking at least one of dead with it.
We didn’t look over, our instincts told us it wouldn’t be that easy, told us we had to go, had to act, we’d been given a gift and would be dead if we didn’t take full advantage. Ryan let go of the ladder so I could take hold and I hopped with wide steps across the roof, planting the feet of the ladder as I pulled apart each half. Running, I clambered up the side, jumping in through the window, missing the glass, not looking back, already knowing why the ground was sticky and wet, my eyes concentrating on finding the door I could put between us and the creature when it followed.
Through the open door, my eyes flitted along the hallway, only now looking back and seeing the disgust in Ryan’s face as he looked to his hands after rolling away from the landing.
“Come on,” I said trying to keep my voice low and he jumped up, his feet slipping as he struggled for traction in the mess, eventually bursting through the doorway, then settling back, leaning with me to the door, our lungs pumping the surrounding air, my mind desperate to slow the pull, the whistle of wind, knowing the creature must have got in somehow and if it could get inside, then others would lurk ready to pounce when their opportunity came.
We weren’t followed.
The house was silent.
We weren’t followed. If we believed our ears.
The low rubble of breath over dormant vocal cords had become the norm and now with it gone it felt like something was missing, something wasn’t right. At least when you could hear their low hum you knew they were there and could prepare. Now in the silence I felt blind, didn’t know if they were there and were just being quiet. I wanted to be back out in the open. I wanted to see all around, hated being inside the house, hated the confinement.
A drip of sweat drifted down my forehead, my hand already clammy as I swatted the droplet away shaking my head, feeling my breath running away. I pulled at Ryan’s arm and he looked, concern in his eyes, but he didn’t move, held the door firm pushing with his back. I raised my right hand, opening the palm and he grabbed my wrist. I raised my left and he grabbed it too, as my heart raced and my head went light having my hands bound once again, I heard the thump of something heavy landing on the other side of the door.
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Reading out of sequence, here’s the rest of Season Two.
Not read Season One? Here it is.