Billy listened, his back against the top of the truck. Nothing. He wasn’t sure how long he been stunned when the truck rolled, and that worried him. He didn’t feel like he’d lost time, but he wasn’t sure. He knew firsthand that your brain could do weird things when it got rattled, and he was definitely rattled.
He worked his way slowly along the roof of the truck, keeping his back pressed against the hard metal. He stepped around to the back of the truck, breathing slow and steady, shooter’s triangle.
The door was open, dug into the snow. No footprints. Billy bit his lip and took a deep breath. He scanned the perimeter, standing in one place but covering a tight three sixty. He didn’t see anything, but he wasn’t sure that meant anything at all.
He stepped forward and crouched, looking in the back of the truck. He saw nothing but darkness. He swore to himself and fished around in his jacket pocket for the flashlight. He clicked it on and stuck in his teeth and moved forward. He couldn’t see through the snow.
He moved in closer, almost in the truck before the light finally cut through the snow enough to see inside. He didn’t like what he saw. He really, really didn’t like it. The box, solid steel, was on its side. The chains around it were broken.
It was loose.
He moved in closer, stepping onto the door in the snow, slipped slightly. He listened again, and imagined that he heard something breathing. He shined the light into the interior of the truck.
Warm breath tickled the back of his neck.
Billy pulled back so hard that he landed on his ass in the snow, skidded up against a tree. He fired all six shots into the closed door, the .357 rounds punching neat black holes in the white painted metal.
The revolver clicked on an empty chamber and he popped the cylinder and dropped spent shells into the snow. He saw the glint of red eyes reflected in the flashlight beam as it came out of the truck, a huge black shape silhouetted against driving snow. He twisted the speedloader. Slapped the cylinder shut and it was almost on him.
Its teeth snapped together inches from his face, and he pulled the trigger again, blood splattering his face. It grunt and was gone. Billy scrambled to his feet and turned. Nothing but darkness.
“Fuck, fuck, fuck.”
He reloaded the revolver and looked at the snow. The huge tracks the thing left were quickly filling in, and the fresh snow was covering the blood trail. Billy looked at the tracks. Billy followed.