Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Despite the Darkness #11

Previously, the thing was dead but the shot hit Steve's son Isaiah as well and now he's hanging to life by a thread.

“Gentle! Gentle!” Jan’s voice was brisk and controlled; her face was impassive and tight. It was a mask she put on regularly, one he realized he saw only rarely. She took the First Aid kit one of the men had pulled from her overnight bag and set to work clearing Isaiah’s shirt from the lacerated stump that had been his arm. “Do you have a doctor or any other medically trained personnel?”

“Bud was… Bud was a Navy Corpseman… but he’s dead,” Stu said weakly. He was slumped in the corner, sitting on the floor and staring off into the darkness outside the window.

“Phone’s dead,” he reported as soon as he entered the room. “What do you need me to do?” He stood in the doorway, his son white and cold on top of a slab of fir turned into a dining table in the haus, his wife probing the wound, clearing it, and stabilizing her own son as best as she could with meager supplies, and he stood there… waiting.

“He needs a doctor and NOW!”

“OK, besides the phone what options do we have?” He looked to Stu who refused to meet his eyes. He moved in front of Stu, squatted down so their eyes were level and fixed the man with a firm gaze. Evenly he asked, “Is there a radio or something else we can use to call for help?”

“Ain’t nobody coming to save us…”

“Stu. I am going to ask again and you are going to answer me. Is there a radio or something else we can use to call for help?”

“Ain’t nobody…”

“There’s a radio up at the dam!”

“Nobody going to get here in time… we’re all dead.” Stu’s head fell to his chest and he wailed, his one good hand cradling his head.

“Anyone at the dam?”

“Sure, the 2nd shift’s up there or at the bunk house… the bunk house! Stu! Stu! What about all them up at the bunk house?”

“How many?”

“Four guys.”

“You know how to run the radio?” The man nodded. “Good, you’re coming with me. Pick two others to come with us and meet me outside in five.”

The man hesitated, looking to Stu and then Isaiah, he looked ready to suggest a lesser alternative but then he put his arm on his shoulder. “Hey! Hey! Focus on me. Pick two men and meet me outside. You understand?”

The man walked out slowly and then pointed to two men who were huddled behind a couch they were using for cover.

“I’m going for that radio,” he said to Jan.


“I’ll come back.”


“Like lambs to the slaughter…” Stu muttered.

Next time more stuff happens. Remember to comment, like, favorite, and share.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Despite the Darkness #10

Last time, several weeks ago, Steve and Stu had a little man chat, but then something attacked and another person fell to the unknown terror stalking our helpless cast of characters. 

Rifles, handguns, and shotguns all fired into the darkness, falling ineffectually in the snow to the right or burrowing into the side of the A-frame. The men inside called out, but their cries were drowned out by the reports of the firearms, so the firing continued indiscriminately. Jan pulled Isaiah away from the group, putting them between her son and perceived threat.

“Stop shooting you idiots,” Stu yelled as he ran off to stop them. He followed a step later. The shooting was dying off, but then something brushed against the chainlinks of the baseball backstop, so the firing swiveled that direction and renewed in intensity and then another sound - this time at the corner of the building where Mitchel’s body lay. The guns swung straight at the two men.


He tackled Stu to the ground and held him down; there was a snap that was almost imperceptible as two rifles fired only factions of a second later. The hot lead ripped over their heads, the sound like two angry wasps – reminding him of the time he’d upset a wasps nest at his grandfather’s place. He’d ran to the pond and jumped in, but even underwater he could hear the irate wasps moving back and forth just above the water.

“I am going to kill the next man who fires his weapon with my… own… bare… hands,” Stu started to force himself up, but he fell back down into the snow with a sharp yelp. “My arm! You broke my arm!”

Stu rolled over and cradled his wrist close to his chest. Before the others could react, Jan ran up and started to assess the injury.

“I’m a nurse. Let me see your hand.” Jan’s voice was firm and commanding. Stu gingerly gave her his hand. The slightest motion caused him to cry out, even placing back it on his chest caused Stu to growl out a curse. “We’ll need to splint it and get you to a doctor.”

“Ain’t no doctor for miles,” Stu said through gritted teeth.

“What do we do, Stu?”

“We stop shooting at every little thing, is what we start…” Something heavy stepped on part of The Dambuster’s tin roof. Everyone turned and their weapons discharged. A dark shape jumped from the edge and crashed down atop one of the men – he screamed as yellow teeth bit into his shoulder. It was all happening so fast the men took no time to think, they just shot… wildly.

Some rounds hit the thing, which looked like a tangle of gray fur with powerful arms and legs. It yelped and let go of the man, back up and then lunged at another but was arrested when a 12-guage slug struck it in the shoulder. The scream was piercing and feminine. This new surprise shocked the men again, so the firing stopped. This gave the thing the opportunity to run, turning towards The Dambuster it started to limply run forward. Stu reached out for the shotgun lying beside him and with a single hand he raised the weapon, took aim, and pulled the trigger.

The sound was deafening but the scream still over powered it. The heavy slug struck the thing square in the chest, dropping it instantly in the snow. The scream continued, only changing in tone and pitch as new voices began their own. First it had been the thing, then it was someone else, and then it was Jan.

He was up and moving first, the scream was throwing his balance off and his steps were unsteady. He was shaking and his head throbbed. He stepped over the still body of the thing and fell to his knees beside Isaiah.

“I love you dad.” That thought, those words, spoken a millions times before echoed in his mind. Isaiah lay in the snow; his right arm was spread across the snow, splayed open and held together by a few fleshy strands of flesh and muscle. His red blood pooled under him and his skin was already turning pale.

“No. Oh, God, no! Oh, God! Oh, God!” It was equally prayer and curse. I love you dad.

That was tough to write. I'm just going to let it hang there.