Sunday, September 30, 2012

Homecoming Queen: Chapter 5

As much as Gabe did not like the thought of possibly leaving people in harm's way, he knew there were law enforcement officers there, and the gunfire let him know that they were ready fight back against whatever they had come across.  He ran as directed by CC, who had the EMF detector in front of her.  The machine buzzed with activity and it was getting stronger.  Hopefully, whatever was going on in those woods, Gabe would be able to put an end to it.
The sound of the yelling died down a bit, but the gunfire stopped completely.  Some voices good still be heard in that direction, but no screams, and that was a good sign.  The woods themself weird showing signs to heavy traffic.  Something had been there.  There were small broken branches.  Gabe spotted more claw marks on a few of the trees.  CC missed much of this as she mainly was concerned with staying on the right track and not tripping as they ran.
"This thing is going bonkers."  CC said matter of factly.  She was trying her best to stay on task and not let the creeping fear in her gut affect her actions.  "We're getting real close."  That was enough for Gabe to reach behind him and pull the Glock from its holster.  He took it in both hands and turned the safety off.
Gabe was in the lead and spotted a clearing in the woods up ahead.  He stopped in his tracks and held his hand up.  CC was not familiar with military hand signals, but the message was clear: “freeze”.  She stopped behind him, and said nothing.  Taking her cues from Gabe she said nothing.  He glanced back at her, and nodded at the EMF detector and them nodded towards the clearing.  CC nodded back.  The source of the readings was there.  He waved at her to turn it off and put it way and she did so.  From there they crept low and quiet forward.
There were people in the clearing.  Gabe saw them milling around and counted eight of them.  He heard no talking from them, and that disturbed him a bit.  That many people, and no one was talking.  He spotted more of them as they advanced.  By the time the pair had gotten within a few feet of the clearing, Gabe counted fourteen people, nine men and five women.  All of them wearing regular clothes, but most of them dressed as though they had planned to be outdoors.  It was difficult to judge their ages as their faces looked weird.  They were emotionless and rather pale.  They kept milling around and did not interact with each other.  The clearing itself was unremarkable aside from nothing was growing there at all.  It was dark moist soil showing off the footprints.  Despite the people looking odd that did not stop CC from recognizing one of them.  She touched Gabe’s shoulder and pointed.  Gabe followed where she was pointing.  It was one of the males, and was possibly the youngest there.
“That’s Travis Kinkaid.”  She said flatly.  She made a conscious effort not to stutter as the sight of him in that stay chilled her to the bone.  He did not look like anything as obviously wrong with him, but he certainly did not look right.
“Wait here.” Gabe ordered and clicked the safety back on his pistol.  He holstered it and stood up walking slowly into the clearing.  “Travis Kinkaid.  He called to the youth amid the crowd.  Some of them looked at Gabe as he advanced.  Travis did not.  “Travis, there’s people worried about you son.  I’m here to take you home.”
At this point two of the males rushed Gabe.  CC gasped as they bolted towards him.  The clearing was not very big and there was only a few yards distance between Gabe and the group.  She wanted to call out, but before she could Gabe kicked the first one to rush him right in the chest as if he were kicking a door in.  The man’s feet went out from under him and he fell flat on his back onto the soft ground.  The second man lunged reaching out to grab him, but Gabe deftly sidestepped and planted a right cross to the side of the man’s head.  The man grunted in pain and fell to the ground.  It was a powerful punch, and Gabe knew he had made a solid connection.  Still the man was already getting back to his feet slowly. 
The majority of the rest of the group were starting to walk towards Gabe.  About three of them, including Travis still just milled around in silence.  Gabe backed away from them, and away from where CC was still crouched.  He was close to the edge of the clearing when he pulled his gun out and pointed it at the group.  He clicked the safety off.
“Back off!” He ordered, but they paid his warning no heed.  He was ready to pull the trigger and drop the closest male, the same one he had kicked seconds ago.  It was then that CC spotted something behind Gabe.  She bolted into the clearing and called out.
“Behind you!” She yelled and that was enough warning for Gabe to spin around and narrowly avoided being grabbed.  What came out of the woods looked like a person, or more accurately, looked like it had once been a person.  Its face was twisted and looked horrid.  It stared at Gabe with glassy eyes and its wreck of a mouth salivated.  It wore a long overcoat and dark slacks with dress shoes that were coated in dirt and mud.
“Don’t you move.” Gabe ordered coldly realizing that he was now caught between this strange person and a mob.  The twisted man glared at Gabe and then CC caught his eye.
“You.” It said coldly, and the word sent a chill straight through CC.  She did not know how, but she knew that thing, whatever it was.  It felt familiar in some horrible way.  She did not have time to ponder it as one of the mob grabbed Gabe from behind.  Gabe responded by elbowing the offender in the face which freed him.  He turned to them in time to slam the palm of his hand into a woman lunging at him, knocking her backwards.  The twisted man was walking slowly towards CC.  “You are not escaping me again.”  CC had no clue what he was talking about.
The twisted man stopped and looked to the woods.  If it was scared it was impossible to read on its mess of a face.  CC heard something in the woods, but kept her eyes on the thing in front of her.  She wanted to run, but had no clue where to go, and loathed the thought of leaving Gabe.  Gabe spotted the man near CC.  He kicked the closest male into the mob.  It slammed into two others and gave Gabe enough room to take aim.  He did not say a word.  He squeezed the trigger three times and three bullets found their marks in the twisted man’s side.  It staggered the man and he turned to Gabe giving him a vile look.
One of the females in the group, a small slight woman, struck Gabe hard in the back of his head.  Gabe grunted in pain and staggered forward.  A woman that size should not have been able to hit him so hard.  CC’s attention went to her comrade as a man in the group punched Gabe hard in the face.  The gun fell free from his hand as he fell to the ground.  CC quickly looked back to where the twisted man was standing, but he was gone, and CC could not spot him anywhere.
What CC did see was what had been making the noise in the woods.  Part of her had hoped that it was the other searchers and Sheriff Steward would be coming in to the rescue.  What came out of the woods was not.  CC had never seen one before, but she knew immediately what it was.  It was what had been making the claw marks in the woods.  Its hulking, dark fur covered frame sprung into the clearing, and in the dim light of the waning day, CC knew that she was seeing a werewolf. 
It stood on two legs and snarled menacingly.  CC noticed that it was actually wearing jeans, which seemed incredibly weird to her.  Its lips were pulled back on its dark muzzle to reveal sharp fangs.  The fangs looked just as sharp as the claws on its hands.  It looked like it was eyeing the situation, judging which of the people there would be its first victim.
At this point CC dove forward to where Gabe’s gun lay in the dirt.  The mob was now keenly aware of the massive beast in the clearing.  Gabe was kneeling in the dirt still stunned from the blow in the unfortunate position of being between the mob and monster.  CC took up the gun.  She had never fired one in her life, but hoped that it was as easy as the movies made it look.

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