Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Bean King - 6

He ran up the road, the wet snow causing him to slip and stumble and weave a serpentine path. He didn’t look back, he didn’t dare look back. He could feel them behind him. He didn’t need to look.

His lungs burned and he crested the hill. He stopped. There were three of them, standing in the road. In the dark, in the snow, they were just shadows. Tilman raised the gun and fired at them.

They were gone, but he could hear the pack behind him. He turned and looked and saw things that were wolves and not wolves coming towards him. Tilman couldn’t tell how many, but he saw their eye glint.

He turned to run up the road, and they were there. The wolves came low to the ground, moving slowly. Even when he couldn’t feel their eyes he could feel their stare. He could hear a low steady growl, like an engine running.

No. He could still win this. He could still stay on top. He hadn’t lost yet. Fuckers. Fuck them. He ran up the hill, dropping to all fours in the snow and half crawling into the window. He got his feet beneath him and ran up the hill. He could feel them behind him.

He dropped the clip out of the gun, didn’t bother to even try to keep it, slid another one in. He needed to get some place defensible. Someplace where he could see those things, whatever they were, see those fucking things coming.

Something surged at him from his side, something barely had time to register in his peripheral vision before it slammed into him. He felt a stab of pain as it bit down on his collarbone. He screamed and pushed the gun into its side and pulled the trigger. It went limp on top of him.

Tilman pushed it off and backed against the tree. He was alone. The thing didn’t look right. It was a wolf, but not a wolf. He couldn’t quite say why. He heard the snow shuffle and three of them were standing there. Watching him.

They didn’t move. He aimed at one, but by the time he could pull the trigger it was gone. The others growled. Tilman pushed himself to his feet, and one of them came forward, bared its teeth.

He knew what they were doing. He wasn’t stupid. They wanted him to run. They wanted to chase him. He was being herded. He didn’t see much in the way of options. He could run or he could die. He felt blood on his chest. It didn’t hurt, the bite, not really. Run or die, it was time to decide.

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