The little girl in the front seat of the smashed car started to stir.
She was strapped in an old moldy-green color Volkswagen that appeared to be leaning on its right side. I realized that the two right tires were slashed and depleting of air, which was the cause of that problem. The front end of the vehicle was crushed up all the way to the edge of the front doors. It looked like a few people had taken a bat to the exterior as well. I guess they didn’t care about the dying human in the front seat of the car.
No one was around when I saw the little girl in the front seat. Her small body was wedged in between the seat she was strapped into and the dashboard. She started to gain consciousness as I crawled into the vehicle. But she never saw me or acknowledged anything at that moment.
I placed myself in the back of the vehicle on the floor. The opening that I crawled through was ripped off by someone – or something – and I didn’t see the little girl in the vehicle until I saw a hand limp to the side of the seat. I thought she was dead when I saw the gush of blood falling down her face from the large cut that protruded across the middle of her forehead.
I was lying flat on my stomach in the back of the car, and had covered myself in dirt to cover up the blood that was splattered all over my own clothes, along with all of the garbage that was in the car. There were old candy wrappers, Burger King and McDonald’s bags, old French fries, and some papers that were ripped out of notebooks. Whatever I saw I grabbed and covered my body, while trying to not make any sounds.
As I looked up to see if anyone could hear the little girl stir, no one seemed to be around. Then just before I moved my gaze away to look at the surroundings, I saw a boy walking in the parking lot. Why he was strolling around like he owned the place, I had no idea. Maybe he was staying here because he had nowhere else to be. As this went through my mind, I realized that the girl in the front seat spotted him as well.
This is not good. I decided to take out my switchblade to put the girl out of her misery, and to save my own skin. But I recognized something outside that was worse than me killing her. This thing, this “creature” was going into the store and it, thankfully, didn’t spot any of us.
The boy, on the other hand, suddenly saw the girl in the car and came running to the vehicle, making a lot of noise while he did so. The little girl tried to scream for him to help but all she could do was squeal, obviously due to the massive amount of pain her body was in. He ran faster when he saw her struggle and the “thing” that went into the store heard his footsteps, turning to watch him race over to the car.
I put the blade away and heard the little girl try to turn around to look behind her seat. She must have heard my movement. Our eyes met for a split second, and before I knew it I saw the boy right in front of us.
Before any of us had a chance to say a word, I grabbed the boy’s arm and pulled him into the back of the car. I laid his body under mine, pulled what I could of him inside the vehicle and pushed my body against his without crushing him. Unfortunately, I couldn’t do much about his legs still sticking out of the car.
He started to fight his way out from underneath me, but I held him still by gripping his shoulders. It felt like an awkward position but I managed to get him to calm down. With my finger to my lips warning him not to make a sound he, surprisingly, stopped moving. He must have heard the thing approaching, or maybe he felt the entire vehicle shake. Either way it kept him quiet.
The girl started to scream. I looked up and saw the thing rushing towards the girl’s cry at incredible speed. As it circled the car, it spotted no more living creatures near it. He or she, I couldn’t tell its sex at the moment, completely ignored the boy’s legs sticking out. Usually these things are curious about everything. But this one’s eyes were looking more at the top half of the car and not the bottom, luckily.
As the little girl started to whimper, the thing decided to go to the front of the car where she was sitting.
I heard its banging feet as it jumped on top of the crushed hood. It reached through the windshield, breaking what was left of the glass, for the girl. The creature wasted no time, as I immediately heard the girl cry out for help. It sunk its teeth into her flesh and started ripping off parts of her body that it could reach. Blood splattered everywhere and her body parts were tossed to the side, landing like useless tools in the road.
I was amazed to hear one final yell from the young girl before her throat was ripped open to the point where her head was hanging by a few veins. I didn’t even know that was possible. Then again, in this world, everything seemed possible.
When the horror finished, I looked down to the boy under me and saw that he looked understandably shocked. He was about to speak but I put my hand over his mouth before he could let out a breath. A small noise came out of the creature and I heard the thing jump off the car and land on the ground with a thud. I slowly reached for my sword that was strapped to my back and, by moving my lips only, told the boy to stay where he was. If I said anything aloud, we would both be this thing’s desert.
Mouthing words in situations like this is a nice skill to master.
Thank goodness I had perfected this skill!
I crawled out of the vehicle and saw the thing standing on all fours. It started to run towards me, but before it could pounce it collapsed to the ground. There at my feet, the body of the thing was limp and lifeless. However, with a creature like this, you never knew if it would come back to life, so I always took precautions.
I swung my sword down until it connected with the creature’s neck. I kicked the head to the side so it wouldn’t try to reattach itself to the body, and I stepped back quickly.
I went to the back of the Volkswagen and found a can of gas. These days, you can’t really find gas anywhere in a vehicle unless someone is driving it. I poured what remained in the gas can onto the body and the head of the creature, took the lighter out of my pocket and lit the oil until every part of its body was up in flames. The clothes that were left of the creature burned until they became ashes, and then the flames caressed the skin of the creature like an old friend.
As I looked around to see who was still alive, I saw the boy had come out of the car and was sitting on the ground, leaning up against the back slashed tire. His face had no expression, but his eyes said it all.
I looked to see if the girl was moving at all in the seat but I couldn’t see her. I slowly walked to the passenger side and saw that the girl’s veins in her neck were starting to grow back, and soon enough her head snapped to its upright position. It was so fast it looked like a robot could only do such a thing. A normal person’s head would never do that. She was still limp but her body was starting to come alive again, minus the missing body parts. Those missing parts were stitching themselves back together. She was still losing blood from her shoulder but I don’t think she cared anymore.
When I turned my head to my left, I saw that the boy was now standing next to me. He was watching everything that was going on with horror and sadness on his face.
Before the girl became what I knew what she would be, I grabbed the boy’s wrist and pulled him towards some nearby woods. It was really just a dozen trees in one random area near the edge of the parking lot, but it was good enough for now.
When we reached the trees, I put my back up against one of them and held the boy in front of me. At that moment I realized that this boy was no boy at all. This kid was at least two inches taller than me. He looked down at me but didn’t say a word. His expression was hard to read so I didn’t try to figure out what he was thinking. I was too busy trying to think of a way to stay alive.
I turned my head to the side to listen for any type of noise coming from the “changing” girl, who was really not a girl anymore! We stood still and out of sight until I heard the creature’s big feet hit the pavement in the distance, searching for her first victim.
When I turned to look around the tree to see where she was going, I saw that the once little girl was exactly like the creature that I set on fire. However this “new” one was shorter and didn’t seem happy at all either.
Someone was yelling on the other side of the parking lot, and I heard the creature’s footsteps descend off and faster to that area. I turned to look past the tree to the opposite side of the parking lot and saw that she was gone.
I spotted my car across from the one that the creature got out of and, with the boy following my lead, we both ran towards it. With the boy at my heels, we reached my car in no time, but neither of us got into the vehicle. We both spotted the creature at the front of the store and, unfortunately, she saw us as well.
Before the boy reacted, I pushed him under the car and told him to stay where he was. When I got up I saw the creature running towards me at an incredible speed. Even though she was missing an arm, she was still fast.
I stood still and held the sword in my hand for protection … if needed.
However, before it reached me, the creature collapsed, so I quickly chopped off its head before it had a chance to get up. I had no doubt that it had eaten someone already, so I set the body and head on fire from the gas can I had in the trunk of my car. As the flames licked the body clean of every item on the skeleton, I told the boy to get in the car, and we drove off and away from the location.
I didn’t want to deal with a third creature.
Ten miles out and still neither of us said a word. I just focused on getting away, as far as I could, and getting us to safety.
I had a small cabin that was only good for one person, but I knew that it would have to do for both of us. If we went to a hotel the kid would probably call the police and that would be more trouble that I would have to deal with. Even the police here know about these “things”, but if they heard someone was killing them – like I was – they would go crazy. Everyone sees them are people. No one truly sees the beast inside of the ones that do change. They believe they are all still human, even though they really are not. Some might want to help but wouldn’t dare because they wouldn’t want to get killed themselves. It’s all a complicated situation.
We reached my small cabin in the middle of the woods in about five minutes. As I got out of the car and started walking towards the trail that led to the cabin that I created, the boy followed. I had marked a trail a certain way by using the wooded area that even hunters would be thrown off by, if they wanted to find me, that is. However, that was very unlikely.
Living here for so long and knowing the area, it wasn’t hard to create a trail that others couldn’t find. The twists and turns even confused me at first, but I got the jest of it.
The cabin only housed one room. I was just glad that I could fit a cot inside to sleep on. There was no way I was going to sleep on the floor. I had been meaning to make the cabin a little bigger, but I just didn’t feel the need to do it. As well as the cot, I had a sink. I even had a hose running underground that led to the river so that I didn’t have to walk down to get water myself. And of course, whenever I wasn’t carrying my bag of weapons with me, there was room for them. However, my sword, was always strapped to my back.
As we entered the cabin, the boy looked around and didn’t seem too bothered by the lack of space. Neither did I, but that was because I had been living in it for a few years by myself.
I took off my weapons and laid them on the side of the cot closest to me. As I stood leaning up against the wall, I crossed my arms over my chest and looked at the boy I saved from the creature. I never took my eyes off my weapons either. Letting a stranger into your house is like letting in an unknown serial killer. You never know what they are going to do.
Then I wondered, why did I bring him here? Sometimes I did things without thinking. I just hoped this wasn’t one of those times that I should have thought before I acted.
I got straight to the point. “You want to tell me your name?” I asked.
“You want to tell me yours and what the hell that thing was? I mean I know they’re around, but what are they, really? No one really seems to know exactly.” His voice was rising as he continued to speak. He didn’t seem frightened at all though. “And I have no idea who you are, and you just killed two people! Why did you even save me? Who are you?”
I ran to him and put my hand over his mouth. His back hit the door when I did it. “You will not say anything about what I did and what you saw to anyone. If you do, you will die. Maybe not by my hand, but someone else’s. Understand?” This I had to emphasize because people may come after me since I want to help stop whatever this is that’s going on around here. Maybe he was not used to someone killing something.
My serious expression got to him because he nodded in agreement.
“Now, when I let you go you will not scream and I will tell you what you need to know. If you run out of here like an animal being hunted by its prey, you will die. I will have to kill you myself and make it quick and painless before anything else gets to you.”
I slowly let my hand fall to my side, away from his mouth, and I stepped back as his eyes grew wide.
I followed his movements as he went to the bed and sat down. His facial expression relaxed when he looked up at me again. He seemed fearless and that frightened me a little bit.
I saw that he was wearing faded blue jeans with Nike sneakers and a black t-shirt that fit him just enough. His blond hair was short and he had no imperfections, at all. Damn lucky kid.
“How old are you?” I asked. I turned around fully and saw that he didn’t move from where he was sitting.
“I’m eighteen,” he replied. “My name’s Jay.” He crossed his legs and got comfortable with his hands folded on his lap. “What about you?” He knew he wasn’t going anywhere.
I figured I had no choice now. If I told him my real name, it wouldn’t really matter because I was probably going to have to kill him soon. No doubt he’d make a run for the hills and say that I kidnapped him. And if I told him a lie, again it wouldn’t matter. So what did I have to lose? The name was being kept secret though.
That was all I said, and he didn’t like that answer. “No name?”
“We will get to that when the time comes.” My voice came out sharper than I intended.
He uncrossed his legs and leaned back on his hands. “Feisty. I like it, but I don’t like the answers you’re giving me.”
“All you have to worry about is that you are alive and you are not what that thing is out there.” I gestured to the door. “You would have been next.”
I turned to the sink to wash the blood off my hands without saying anything else.
He continued to speak. “What was that thing?” he asked non-so enthusiastically.
I turned around to him with regret. I had to tell him sooner or later. Now would be a better time. He wouldn’t know what their name meant anyways. “They are called the sol lupus.”
“And that means?”
“The sun wolf. They are active and can attack anyone during the day and the night. Not many people know they exist or know who they are. But the way the world is turning out to be, no one is going to survive if they keep coming.”
“So wait, you’re saying that this werewolf thing can eat whatever it wants whenever it wants. But what was with the rapid death thing?” He paused before he said, “It just … collapsed.” It sounded like he was replaying the scene over and over again in his mind.
“When it bites another human to feed and that body isn’t burnt, that ‘now chewed-up person’ will turn into the next sol lupus and the Original will die in a few minutes. It is a continuous cycle.”
“How can you stop the cycle?” That part obviously sparked his curiosity.
I shut off the water and dried my hands on the sides of my pants. I should find a dishtowel or something, I thought. I crossed my arms over my chest and my gaze never left his. “If I knew that then they would be extinct and the world wouldn’t be what it is right now.” I lowered my voice and took a deep breath to calm myself before I continued. “I tried to kill the person that the Original turned but I always find out that they have bitten someone else already. There is not just one sol lupus doing this either – there are two more.”
“So a total of three of these things are going around, ” he asked eagerly.
“Three cycles are around the world, yes. I don’t know if there are any more but that is all I have encountered and heard about.”
“A couple of cycles going around that no one can stop. It’s like a fairy tale remade into a horror film and coming to life,” he said with a worried look.
“Hmm. Believe me, you have no idea.”