Sunday, February 6, 2011

The Bean King - 7

They chased him. Tilman was in decent shape, especially for a middle aged businessman, but he was already exhausted. They were silent, except for the near silent shuffle of the snow, and he couldn’t really hear them over the beating of his own heart in ears, but he knew they were there, behind him. Always behind him.

He was out of the woods and running through a clearing. He could see them on either side, just barely in his vision. He was so focused on them that he barely realized where they were pushing them.

Tilman nearly stepped over the edge, and barely caught himself. In the dark, the snow made everything a smooth white plane. The top of the mountain was just a drop into the black. His feet slipped from under him and he came down hard on his ass and for a second he thought he was going to fall. He didn’t.

Fuck it. He turned and faced them. They were moving slowly now, wary. He aimed and fired. Again. Again. He was still firing when they surged at him. He felt teeth sink into flesh and he kept pulling the trigger even as they went over the edge.

It hurt. He thought he was dead, but he didn’t imagine being dead would hurt that much. He didn’t figure that he would still have a gun in hell either, so he was apparently alive. He was flat on his back in the snow and he looked at the ledge above him. He couldn’t tell how far it was. Fifty feet? More.

He’d half fallen and half tumbled and he figured these things had probably saved his life. The rest of them were looking down at him from the edge of the drop off, glowing eyes in the dark, shadows on the horizon.

He laughed, and that hurt too. He felt one of them that had fallen with him start to move and he shot it. That, at least felt good. They could die. He could kill them. He could still win. He stood up. He was squeezing the gun so hard that he could only half feel his fingers. He was bleeding from a dozen small wounds and he coughed up blood, but he was still mostly intact. He looked up at the eyes in the dark.


He fired a shot at one, had no idea if he shot.

“You want me? Come and fucking get me!”

They did, they came sliding down over the ledge, tumbling as they did, small avalanches coming towards him. He gritted his teeth and moved away from them, up the other side of the tiny niche they were in. It was climbable, but just barely. He put the gun in his pocket. He could barely pry his fingers off of it.

He was mostly up the other side before the things were there behind him. The hill was steep and would have probably been hard to climb in the best of times, especially without hands. One leap and he could feel its jaws snap at his pant leg before it fell back down. They couldn’t follow him. He smiled as he climbed over the top of the ledge on the other side.

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