Copyright Lexi Ander
Chapter Nine - Dead is supposed to be... dead
With expertise, Zane navigated the winding, snow-covered road to his house. At the sight of the outdoor lights over the garage as well as those of Alonzo's cabin, he relaxed a little bit. His reaction startled him. He'd never lived in a place where he instinctively felt safe… until now.
As he drew closer, he spied Alonzo on his porch, the light making a halo around him in the dark, casting his features into deep shadow. He held a rifle in one hand which wasn't unusual. He and Alonzo lived on a forested mountainside where predator's roamed free and the corralled horses made tempting bate. As Zane drove by, Alonzo did the strangest thing. He lifted his nose as if… Was he sniffing the air?
Zane didn't give the action anymore thought as he approached the house. He was hoping he could dispose of the bodies right away, but with Alonzo out and about, he would have to wait. In the meantime, he contemplated parking the Dodge in the garage, but quickly decided against it. These creatures reeked and he wasn't going to have the smell polluting the house.
Decision made, he parked outside the garage, hitting the clicker for the garage door so he wouldn't have to trudge to through the snow to the front door. Hopping out of the truck, he was aware that Alonzo could see him clearly and he walked around the hood so that he too could keep Alonzo in sight. He needed to double check the tarp covering the three corpses. The stench was still overwhelming, and his eyes watered at the biting odor. If it was possible, the smell had gotten worse.
"Zane!" Alonzo yelled as Zane passed the passenger door, reaching the truck bed. The fear in Alonzo's voice caused him to glance up at the cowboy who was no longer on his porch but running toward Zane. He griped the rifle with both hands, his expression filled with shock and no small amount of fear. "Get down!" Alonzo skidded, snow flying up as he came to a sudden halt, raising the gun to his shoulder.
He'd went on several contracts with his mentor, and had learned to followed certain commands without thought. Even as his training kicked in and Zane dropped onto his belly like a rock, an argument sat on the tip of his tongue. But as he lay in the snow, he swallowed down his questions as he listened to the screeching noise of claws scratching against the paint of the truck bed.
The explosive sound of gunfire was loud, echoing off the mountainside. One shot… two…
The scramble of claws caused him to wince and the vehicle rocked with movement from the bed. For the second time that night, he pulled his own gun from small of his back and rolled over, ignoring how the holster dug into his skin. He hadn't had a chance to reload. He no longer kept a stash under the seat of his car, so he only had a limited number of shots and he would have to make them count. He thought he'd made them count earlier. He could have sworn they were dead.
The snow crunched and he raised his weapon, searching for a target. Overhead, flying over the truck, was one of the creatures. Alonzo fired his rifle again. The creature dodged and hissed. The sight amazed Zane just as amazed as the first time he saw it. What could out maneuvered a bullet? He'd seen several weird things tonight, but that still took the cake. He aimed at the creature who was either unaware of him or ignoring him as it had done earlier when Prince deemed Zane needed rescuing. Either way, it was all well and good for Zane. This time he would shoot the thing in the head while it was preoccupied with Alonzo. Nothing could come back from a head shot… or so he hoped.
Slowly he squeezed the trigger. More ear-splitting scratching came from the truck bed and claw-tipped fingers curled over the side right above Zane. He changed targets when a head popped over the side and finished pulling the trigger. A high-pitched screech drew the flying creature's attention and Alonzo shot again, this time hitting the flyer and it swooped, spinning and yet surprisingly able to stay aloft. It, too, opened its mouth and gave a hair-raising scream before turning and fleeing faster than Zane thought should be possible.
Alonzo swore, or Zane thought he did. He knew very little Spanish, but the inflections and tone sounded like avid cussing to him. The situation might have been amusing if there wasn't at least one more creature hiding in his truck bed. He knew better than be lulled by the pitiful whimpers coming from his vehicle.
"Zane?" Alonzo called. Zane didn't take he gaze off the rim of the bed over him, but from the corner of his eye he saw Alonzo's boots approach, his steps slow and easy. As if there wasn't a walking nightmare between them.
"Here," he finally replied, not wanting Alonzo to accidentally shoot him, mistaking him for one of the creatures.
"Stay where you are for a moment."
Like he could go anywhere with a threat so close. "Wouldn't dream of moving." Something needed to happen soon though. His arms were beginning to tire which wasn't good for his reaction time. These creatures had proven to be cunning and quick. Zane couldn't afford even the smallest weakness.
Alonzo was talking again in Spanish. Zane listened hard, attempting to decipher what he could. Incredulously, he realized Alonzo was speaking to the creature as if it could understand what he said. Zane quickly processed the implications, grinding his teeth with sudden realization.
First, these creatures were people of some kind that comprehended language. He'd been willing to believed that they were animals he'd never come across before or that hadn't been identified... or advertised. It was a big world and people were still discovering things. But to acknowledge these creature weren't animals was hard to swallow.
Second, somehow Alonzo had known what they were and could speak to them.
Zane hoped they wouldn't have to kill this one. If it could talk, then he could get the answers that he needed. Oh, yes, he would have his answers one way or another.
Table of Contents
Chapter Six, Part 1 - Harbinger of a Nightmare
Chapter Seven, Part 1 - Stolen Answers
Chapter Nine, Part 1 - Dead is supposed to be... dead
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Thank you for stopping by and reading!!
Chapter Nine, Part 2 -
Thank you for stopping by and reading!!