“I am so sorry,” I said to Max as I kissed him on the cheek, “this has to be taken care of now. I can’t live like this anymore.” I laid a blanket over him and rechecked his pulse before kissing him on the lips.
Next I tucked a blanket over Chase and rechecked his pulse.
“At least I know you’ll forgive me.” I kissed Chase on the cheek.
I rubbed Killers head and gave him a hug. “Take good care of them,” I whispered, “I’ll be back soon.” I glanced at Max and Chase. “They won’t even know I left tonight. I promise.”
I sighed as I stood in the living room for a moment watching them. Determinedly I collected the coffee cups and washed them out. I grabbed a butcher knife, stuck it in my boot, and swung my backpack over my shoulder.
This is stupid crazy my brain screamed at me. Who do you think you are, Wonder Woman? Yes, I screamed back I am Wonder Woman with Spidey senses. I lit a smoke and closed my eyes for a second. With resolve I yanked on my jacket, looked back over at Max and Chase, pulled out my gun, checked the chamber for bullets, and flipped the safety off before stepping out onto the deck. Cold dark air wrapped around me, a moment of dread overcame me. I shrugged it off, pointed my gun at the darkness, let down my barriers, and attempted to pinpoint my nemesis. I stood there for a moment, picturing what Wonder Woman would do and decided it didn’t matter much since my Spidey sense wasn’t going off. Did this thing have an early bedtime or what?
Exhaling, I crept off the deck, gun still pointed at the blackness of the night. I pulled the flashlight out of my pocket, turned it on and aimed it toward the ground, sweeping it back and forth, so I wouldn’t trip over anything. I wandered around my property, avoiding the tree line, attempting to draw him out. Nothing. I walked a full circle and ended back at Rose’s house where I climbed the deck and sat down.
I lit another smoke and glanced up at the bright twinkling stars. It was so cold out the stars shimmered. A star shot over the horizon, then another one, a small meteor shower lit up the inky blackness. The show was spectacular, and calmed my wrecked nerves.
I debated on whether or not I should saddle up Lightning and head up to the caves. I promised Killer I would be back before Max and Chase woke up, but this was most likely the only chance I would have to take care of this my way. I didn’t think I’d be able to stand not having my freedom for however long it took Max to hunt down and catch this thing. Lightning would get me up to the caves quicker than walking, but as dark as it was I wasn’t sure how her footing would be. I blew out a breath. I should have read up on horses, I really didn’t know much about them.
When the meteor shower ended I stood up and stretched. I still didn’t sense the psycho-creature. I had hoped to end this here on my property, close to my house, but it didn’t look like that was going to happen.
I suppressed an icy shiver that crawled up my back. I had to do this for me. I would hike up there; the exercise would keep me warm. If I made good time and there was nothing to be found then I would make it back home with no-one the wiser. I straightened my shoulders, steadied my nerves, tightened my backpack, and set off at a good pace. Had I known what I was about to encounter I probably would have stayed home.
I’d studied the map and felt good about this journey and positive I wouldn’t get lost. I stopped at the tree line, my adrenalin pumping. My Spidey sense still wasn’t picking up anything so I took a deep breath and stepped into the forest. A whisper of a chill lightly caressed my neck when I found myself at the bridge separating my property from Max’s. Hopefully his wolves didn’t leave his land.
I hiked through the woods, thinking about Max, and began to feel somewhat at ease when my Spidey senses rang the alarm. Pushing aside all thoughts of Max, and his wolves, I concentrated on the motility. My hyper awareness registered a small blip at first, within seconds the blip shot off the radar. Shit! He was coming up on me fast, right in front of me. What the hell was this thing? I turned off my flashlight, focused all of my thoughts onto him and raised my gun, aiming it into the blackness.
Should I stand my ground or should I run? I wasn’t very far from the meadow; if I could draw him out there then I could shoot him and be done with it. The tree tops blanketed the stars, blackness ebbed out of the forest, and too many trees grew around me. I doubted I could hit my target where I stood. I slowly backed up, hoping I wouldn’t trip over anything, or run into a tree. As soon as I sensed he was close enough I turned around and bolted through the shadows towards the meadow. He was right behind me and to the left when he yanked my backpack. I dropped my arms letting the backpack slide off my back, cornered to the right, and dived into some oak bushes, squatting down low.
Damn, he was too fast. I still hadn’t seen what I was fighting. Was this thing invisible or what? I took some short deep breaths to calm the panic rising through me. How could I fight something I couldn’t even see? I groaned under my breath, to top it off it was starting to snow. I cringed as the branches of the oaks began to rustle. He was right on top of me. Double damn! I needed to stand my ground here. I scooted back into the brush further and raised my gun.