Chapter 2: Rosalyn
I hadn't even gotten to the ceremony before all hell broke loose. The citizens of Reyesent had all been gathering around the base of City Hall, some cheering, some looking solemn, some talking. I had been in my office, sticking a small rose in my hair to match in rose pin on my coat. The second after I turned away from the mirror is when the first explosion occurred. You couldn't really hear it, at first. It almost sounded as if fireworks were going off, which wouldn't have been surprising since the Fourth of July was three days away. But then the ground shook and the crashes and explosions couldn't be ignored anymore.
I had ran to the window to see the crowd scattering, screaming, as shots rang out from who knows where and something…something else so horrible I almost threw up thinking about it just now. It has horrible, horrible. Some people had run into City Hall in hopes of being safe. I had heard them thumping around downstairs, shoving desks and tables against the doors. Soon enough I heard the glass in the windows break and a horrible growling sound, almost as if someone was gurgling blood at a slightly higher frequency, then some slashes, cut off screams, tears, a liquid pouring onto the ground, and then finally, an awful tearing sound.
I had grabbed one of the guns from the cabinet in the back of the room that we kept locked in case of emergencies and hid under the desk, hugging it tightly to my chest, keeping my head down, trying to block out all the noise. Ten minutes later I was still here, straining to hear anything in the now dead silence of the building. The only light reaching the room was from the huge fluorescent lights that had been staged outside for the ceremony. One of them had broken and fallen, probably crushing some people. The other one was still intact, barely, but still glowing. Ten minutes. One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. It was probably okay to get up.
Holding the gun with one hand, I used it to grab onto the desk and pull myself up. With a shaky hand I reached for the phone on my desk. I held it up to my ear to make sure the familiar dial tone was still there. Thank God, it was. I dialed 911 and waited for a response. All I got was static. I hung up and tried again. Nothing, just static. Through the static I heard a disembodied voice coming through, even though I hadn't dialed anything this time. "Phone lines….dead….gone….no one….can….hear you…." It was if the white noise had tones it used to speak in, but that wasn't possible. I sob came into my throat as, instead of putting down the phone, I choked out, "Why not? I need help!" There was no response and static finally stopped leaving nothing but silence.
Then, from the phone, beep. Five seconds. beep beep beep beep beeeeeeeeeep. Then a sound like a fax machine, getting louder and louder until finally the sounds of numbers being pressed came on and a female voice came through, "911, what's your emergency?"
"Ah, yes, thank God!" I threw my head back in laughed, "Okay, I don't know what's going on, but-"
"911, what's your emergency?" The voice repeated again in the same flat tone.
I tried again, "There's been some kind of horrible-"
"911, what's your emergency?" Silence. Then, "911, what's your emergency?"
"Hello…?" my voice came out like a whisper, a cold feeling of dread starting to consume me.
"911," the voice came back on, "You don't have an emergency. Have a nice day," and she hung up. I slowly eased the phone down, checking it one more time, wanting to hear something, but there was nothing. Even the static had gone. I just stood there, numb. I almost fell asleep on my feet until a crash from downstairs made me jump three feet into the air and dive under my desk again.
Another crash, and then, "Helloooooooooooo?" A male voice came from downstairs, "Anybody hooooooooooome?" Laughter, another crash, then the sound of footsteps coming up the stairs. "Rosey…" the voice took on a sing song quality as its owner walked up and down the hallway. "Rosey, I know you're in there!" On there I heard the door of an office two doors down being kicked open. Silence. Then, "Come out, come out, where ever you are!" Another kick, this time the door to the office next to mine being thrown open. Silence. "Last one!"
The door flew open to reveal a man with long black hair and a small black goatee on his chin. He was holding a Beretta AR-70 in both hands, dramatically swinging around, pretending to take aim. "I know you're in here, Rosey…."Vic? It couldn't be. Tentatively, I got up from the ground, shaking, holding my own hand gun in front of me.
"Vic, what's happened to you? Don't come any closer!" I added this last part quickly as he whipped his head around to face me.
He chuckled a little, "You know, I was just about to start a collaboration with Jenny. You know, for a comic," Vic's voice was low, "And then do you know what happened?" He raised his voice so that he was screaming, "You un leased this shit on us! People died! Including her! Now I'll never know what she was gonna say!" He was crying now, but still really pissed, aiming the gun at her. "And now," he took a step forward, "I'm gonna kill you. I'm gonna kill you till you bleed all over this floor!"
"Now, Vic, you don't want to do that," I took a step to the side, still holding up my gun, "If you shoot…" I gulped, holding the gun with both of my shaking hands. A cold sweat was starting to drench my neck, "Then I'll shoot," it was a flat out lie. I could never kill him, as strange as he was.
"Ha!" He threw back his head for a single laugh before becoming serious again. "You couldn't shoot me, not in a million-" he didn't get to finish his sentence as I lunged at him, my head connecting with his stomach, my arms wrapping around his waist, sending us both tumbling backwards and crashing through the window. He screamed and dropped the gun, as did I, as we hit the ground two stories below. I was on top of him as he sat there dazed for a second. Before long he was screaming and clawing, trying to punch me, grabbing my hair and yanking me down. Up close I could see a scratch on his shoulder, half hidden by his t-shirt. His eyes were tinted red, slightly, either that or they just looked crazed as they seemed to ooze blood.
"Get down! Move! Hurry!" The warning came just in time for me to roll to my right as a net came down on the screaming Vic. He was thrashing under it, hands reaching for me. It was hard to see in the dark, but I could just make out a female figure coming up behind him, grabbing his gun, and smashing it over his head. Vic fell down, suddenly hitting the ground with a sickening thud. More footsteps came running up accompanied with some heavy breathing.
"Is he going to be okay?" I asked my rescuers, hoping the answer would be yes.
"Yeah," the woman nodded. She stuck out her hand, "I'm Kyra, by the way. I'm sorry if we surprised you," Taking her hand, I got up and looked her. She had dark brown hair that was pulled back into a messy pony tail and kind purple eyes. I looked over at the man next to her.
"Sir Vincent Skullfinder," he stuck out his own hand and greeting and I shook it. I was breathing more normally now and I took this time to look down at my clothes, which was a bit wrinkled and muddy, not to mention my hair.
"So what happened?" Kyra asked, gesturing toward Vic. I shook my head, suddenly weary. I remembered the phone call.
"Is there somewhere else we can talk?" I asked.
"Yeah," Kyra nodded, "Our apartment was destroyed in the….accident," she said, for lack of a better word, "But we found a place that seemed to be deserted. Come on,"
As the two of us began walking, Vincent put a hand on Kyra's shoulder, "Wait," his voice was barely above a whisper. The three of us stood there, listening for something. I scanned the darkness, afraid of what I might find. Then I heard it. From somewhere in a shadow nearby I heard want sounded like a chewing noise, along with something moist being pulled apart, and a growl, almost a purr of delight. Kyra and I watched as Vincent took a few small steps toward the remaining light that was much taller now that you were closer to it, and kicked it so that I rolled a bit and turned to throw light on the thing that was making the sound.
"Oh, God," I looked away as Kyra stared at Vincent in horror. It was Jenny. Or at least, the remains of her body. Her head was still intact, hair splayed out, even her hat was still on. Her legs were a bit scratched and her pants were a bit ripped, but they were still recognizable. But her chest had been ripped wide open, and its torn up contents was now splayed out around everywhere. Dried blood was encrusted on the seams of her open body. And crouching over her was something truly disgusting and horrifying. It seemed to be the size of a large dog, but its appearance looked like a human. But not entirely, for its spine was twisted in an unnatural way, bones jutted out from everywhere, it was completely bald and its skin stretched over its head. The eye sockets were sunken, only two black pits. Its "hands" were two pairs of long, sharp claws, one of which dripped blood and the other one had one of Jenny's organs tangled in it in such a way that it was still connected to her by a few strings of flesh.
It opened its mouth, revealing rows of surprisingly human-like teeth, and made this half-screech, half-growl sound at us before lunging at Kyra. She screamed as the thing slashed her arm, leaving a long scratch that was slowly oozing dark red blood onto the ground. I watched, too stunned to move, as her eyes seemed to fill with tears as she looked at the thing, as if she were seeing something even more horrific and sad than we were. "Kyra!" I was shocked back into reality as I heard Vincent yell out and try to grab the thing from behind and pull it off of her. It turned on him, claws first, slashing open his nose, narrowly missing his eyes.
Vincent tumbled to the ground, completely over powered by the thing. Kyra was clutching her arm, which seemed to almost be coming off where the thing had scratched her. Oh, God, oh, God, this can't be happening, I thought, as I looked around wildly. Vincent's screams were still entirely too loud for me to bear. Without thinking I grabbed my hand gun and shot at the thing that had way too much blood on it by now. Two holes were put through it, but the creature didn't seem to notice. What can I use, what can I use? I looked around wildly in the dark, praying that there would be something. I spotted a stick in the small garden that surrounded city hall, just lying there, as long as my arm. I grabbed it and, running at the creature, shoved it through its neck. I yanked upward with all my strength until it's head came off entirely.
I ignored the blood that was now coming out of it, spraying my face non-stop. I flung the head into the darkness with all my might, hearing it crash into some garbage cans. I turned back to Kyra and Vincent. Kyra was lying on the ground, still clutching her arm, which was still losing a lot of blood. Although horribly pale, she was still breathing, her eyes barely open. Throwing off my jacket I wrapped it as tightly as I could around her arm, hoping to stop the bleeding. I wrinkled my nose in disgust as my once blue jack began to turn purple, but at least the blood had stopped flowing freely. Running over to Vincent, I saw that the creature had mauled him pretty badly. But he'd fought back a little, unlike Jenny, who was beginning to smell a little. I tried taking off his coat, but it wouldn't come off without making the wounds pulse blood even more violently.
I hated myself for doing this, but I knew that I'd hate myself even more if I didn't. Kicking off my broken heels, I took of my pants and wrapped them around his chest, trying to cover as much as I could. Seeing as that wasn't doing as much as I'd wanted it to, I ran over to the flagpole thirty feet away and brought down the flag. As soon as it was down I tore it off, letting the remains that still stuck to the string fly back up in the wind. I tore off a strip and wrapped it around his nose. Then I took the rest of it and put it around the rest of his chest.
I took a step back for a moment to look at the two- no, three, no, four- people lying on the ground, all in pain or dead. Was Vic right? Was this all because of me? No, that's not possible. I turned back to the rest of the city and looked around. Total darkness. You would think that there was no one else in the entire world. Of course, that wasn't true, it couldn't be. There were still a few cars in the parking lot, including a white pickup truck. Carefully, I picked up Kyra and put her in the back of the truck. I did the same with Vincent, careful not to lose any of the bandages. I went back for Vic, who was still unconscious under the net. He looked so peaceful in his current state. Once the three of them were in the back, I looked back where Jenny's corpse was still lying. I looked down at myself; I only had an undershirt, a bra, and underwear on. I decided to leave the body.
Opening the door to the truck I realized that I'd need the keys to start it. I got out and couldn't believe my luck (although it was the only luck I'd gotten that day) when I stepped on them. They were half under the truck, as if they had fallen out of a pocket of someone running for their life. I turned the keys in the car and breathed a sigh of relief as the engine roared. I slowly pulled out of the parking lot, scanning places in my mind that might be abandoned, or places or people that could help Kyra and Vincent. Looking in the mirror, I could just make out where the tattered remains of flag were flapping in the wind, a symbol, almost, of what had happened and what was about to come.
Rosalyn had heard of Vincent and Kyra, but had always looked down on them, mainly because of Vincent's history with stolen relics. But now, she was driving away with them in a stolen truck, very much wanting to save their lives, but in reality, wanting more to save her own.