figures moving from the shadows stalking the police car
“No, I say we take my cruiser, it will be faster with the lights and sirens,” the Capt. had already pulled out his keys.
There were no objections as the motley crew filed into the police car one by one. The Captain had a sickening feeling coming over him now that he had gotten into the car. His mistress, Amy Anderson, had gone missing and his family might be in trouble.
“Dammit!” He slapped the dashboard in frustration, even the GPS did not respond to his commands.
Rogers had to rely on his memory of the one-time visit to the babysitter to come to their rescue. Luckily, his adrenaline kicked in and he was able to recall all the minute details as they left Point Breeze Motel and Lakeside Kitchenette Apartments heading out on Highway 1. All seemed normal on the road to Batchelor. The Captain’s guard had come down a little bit breathing normally now as he drove on the tranquil road but looks could be deceiving. The further away from the motel and the self-imposed neutral zones the creepier the scene had become.
The group could see carefree lazy movements of families in the alternating luminous homes and light of the lampposts as they drove on down the highway. They came to another tiny village the type that if you didn’t know it was there you would miss it. Suddenly contrast uneasy darkness coming up before the group. They struggled to see shapes in shadows before them until they got used to the murk.
Hunter took off his backpack to see what ammunition and rations he had left. Dr. Jacobs stared out the window. He had a sickening feeling as well but it wasn’t the same as the Captain’s as he looked at the full moon’s presence in the sky. He felt a force that needed to come out. The more he thought about it, the sicker he became.
The Doctor could see a pack of sinister four-legged figures moving from the shadows stalking the police car. Glowing red penlight orbs coming from a throng of angry eyes caught the Hunter’s attention as well. They only saw a blurred mass as it jumped toward the back window.
The trio exclaimed in unison, “What the…”
The car stalled and bounced as if all four shock absorbers blew out all at once. The car rocked back and forth mimicking rough seas. Suddenly lunatics emerged from the darkness and beat their fists against the side windows.
Capt. Rogers looked over at the humanoid lunatic. Staring at Rogers with vicious glowing eyes through the safety of the glass the lunatic scored the whole of the roof with his claws. He clung to the side of the car hitting the driver’s side window with his fist until it burst. Seemingly out of nowhere the Doctor saw another lunatic, sprinting in out of the yard into the streets. Yet another lunatic came from the side street this one naked as a jaybird with extremely long arms, legs and elongated bare feet heading straight toward the police car. Hunchback, he had a bulging spine, his palms on the pavement jumping up and down like a bullfrog on all fours. He jumped and landed on the hood of the car making Rogers stomp on the brake.
The Hunter reached for the Captain’s shotgun in the middle of the patrol car and quickly opened the bullet proof window barrier and threw it over to the Doctor then rummaged through his own pack to get out his shiny .44 magnum desert eagle, and a handgun for the Captain beside him.
“Shoot the normal looking ones with regular bullets but leave the monsters to me; I know how to handle them!” Hunter yelled staring directly at the fiend who was coming to rest on the windshield.
Rogers looked around and shouted, “But… they all look like monsters!”
The Hunter cocked the .44 Magnum and shouted commands at both Roger and the Doctor, “Just shoot!”
Through the driver’s side window without the glass the lunatic clutched Rogers’ arm as he pulled the trigger. The bullet hit with a sickening thud. The lunatic yelped then fell on the concrete rolling over toward the ditch. The Doctor closed his eyes; mirroring Rogers he fired the shotgun at the fiend through the back window, shattering glass in the process. The lunatic in the rear yelped as well as he fell backward falling headfirst onto the pavement.
Hunter sat face-to-face with the lunatic crouched on the middle of the hood. Eye to eye with an eerily human visage save for short fine furs sprouted up on his cheeks and forehead. The lunatic thrust his hard head against the windshield to get at Hunter. He flinched as the glass burst into pieces. No barrier between the lunatic his prolonged crown sliced and bloody. The Hunter could smell his revolting breath and feel his spittle as he hungrily growled. He stuck the desert eagle up to the aggressor’s rib cage and without hesitation fired.
“Go, go, go!” Hunter ordered as he dug for another weapon.
Rogers obeyed his commands and almost stomped on the gas when another form of the beast emerged, two ape-like lupines in appearance with an extremely short muzzles, but, bipedal with no tail catching his attention. They flanked the patrol-car before leaping onto the sides of the car doors. They bent the feeble doors with ease. Tearing the drivers and back passenger side door hinges from the car before Rogers could react. Rogers instinctively whipped around to target the invader, but Hunter grabbed the gun with one hand and forcefully wrenched it from him.
“No! It won’t help, it’s about as effective as a CO2 pellet gun.” A homemade compact repeating 90 pound crossbow emerged from Hunter’s backpack, “you just concentrate on getting us to safety!”
Meanwhile the back passenger door having broken free from its hinges now swung back and forth in the ditch as the beast clawed its way onto the seat, long arms and claws greedily reaching for the Doctor. Now the Doctor squirmed backwards until he was inevitably stopped at the other side.
Its muzzle opened up to reveal sharp ivory fangs. The doctor cringed at the inevitable bite until it breathed in the Doctor’s unusual but familiar scent as it paused. The fiend crooked its neck hesitating for a moment.
The Doctor had more than enough time to swing the shotgun up toward its head and fire.
The strange amalgamation of animal yelped in pain. Hot blood painted the partition and the back window as it showered onto his face. The Doctor wiped the blood from his eyes and saw just a meaty pulp where once its head had been. It’s hybrid lupine head looking like shredded pulverized meat. Its claws searching futilely for blown out eyes, its nose was a hollow shell. The monster now blind and unable to smell searching around for its prey ears ringing from the loud blast it’s cracked fangs still lethal, however. Its arms flailed about unable to catch the Doctor. The doctor praised the shotgun for its effectiveness but at that close of range the shotgun should have blown its skull clean off but it only managed to virtually skin the fiend. He could already see healing taking place! He pumped the shotgun again spent shell falling towards to floor board. He put the barrel in-between its missing eyes and fired. He pumped again ejected the shell and fired until it fell backward out of the car, rolling down the street. Exsanguination made the abomination spontaneously transform back into a human being.
Rogers and Hunter had their own set of problems on the driver’s side of the partition. With the driver’s door compromised the apelike beast straddled the detective. The beast’s hot and rank breath assaulted his senses trying his best to fend him off. Hunter revealed his dog whistle hidden around his neck clicked the magazine full of silver bolts into his repeating crossbow and bore down on the beast.
“Drive, drive, get out of here! Don’t worry about the abomination, I have him,” the Hunter placed the whistle to his mouth and pursed his lips to get the beast’s attention.
Rogers and Hunter couldn’t hear anything as the whistle blew, but the fiend heard the shrill sound it gave off even the Doctor heard the high octave sound waves through the partition. The beast stopped the assault on Rogers turning to Hunter, who immediately pulled the trigger to his bow. Rogers didn’t even give it another thought as he put both hands on the wheel and stepped on the gas.
Bull’s eye, a silver bolt right between the fiend’s eyes, Rogers glanced at the homemade contraption and said, “What’s with the crossbow?”
Hunter waited as the mechanized gears whirred, automatically restraining 90 pound draw on his bow while another silver bolt slid back into its position, “silver bullets are naturally soft and they stray when they are shot out of a gun thus the arrow. Jean Chastel got lucky with one shot, one kill; it is funny that it started my career.”
Hunter shot the beast in the heart then mused, “Or it helped that the bullets were blessed!”
Rogers swung around to see the ape-like beast motionless on the highway as they pressed on convert into a man again. He saw the silver bolt in its fur lined forehead.
“How can you tell these monsters apart!?”
“I have been stalking the abominations for almost all my life now, I can actually smell the abominations, and I can tell how far the curse has progressed in their eyes. Look out!” Hunter pointed at the rearview mirror.
The calming reprieve from the madness did not last. Rogers looked into the mirror to see large four legged hybrid wolves running to catch the patrol car the bright moon sending them into a lunacy. These fiends were cunning as they split up to catch the car from both sides. For a split second Rogers and Hunter caught sight of their glowing predatory eyes in the windows as they caught up to the car.
“Impossible!” Rogers exclaimed, “How did they catch up to us?” He pressed on the gas.
They didn’t have time to hear the answer as the Wolf on the driver side jumped onto the car like it had caught a deer. Sharp claws tore through the front bumper. Its fangs finding the tire as if were a deer’s neck. A bang and vibration spooked the hybrid Wolf. Its limbs faltered its lupine head falling on the pavement. A sudden rush of air released from the tire as the left front tire went flat.
“Switch on the lights and sirens, for the new changelings and lunatics, it will drive them mad,” Hunter screamed as he went for his dog whistle and blew.
As the lights and sirens wailed the wolves and lunatics stopped, howling out in pain. Rogers spit in surprise, “I think it is working!”
The Doctor wiped away the blood from the rear windshield to get a better view. The wolves circled in the middle of the street whining and snapping at the air though they dare not go any further like an invisible barrier had crashed down.
The patrol car limped on down the road riding on the rim with sirens blaring, keeping them safe from harm for the moment. Rogers began to see a burning and deserted “Gas n Go” station under the burnt out streetlamps. Relief came when he saw the “Welcome to Batchelor, Louisiana” sign ahead. He was anxious to get to his daughter, Hannah.