I didn't know the danger going out there. I thought I did, but I was wrong. Completely and utterly off on the dangers that exist out there at night.
But I can see it now. Night no longer belongs to us, and it hasn't for awhile now.
Night is for the Freaks.
I got there a few minutes after nightfall. The Freaks would, I knew, at this time be rustling and awakening from their sleep. They would be hunting soon.
And time wasn't my friend. I had to find the shit in Henry's house and get back in time to save the mother's life, and at the same time, avoid being eaten by something unpleasant in the dark.
I found the basic medial supplies in the living room as Henry had promised, but I had to stop to scoop up the contents into a bag. They had been lying, scattered and catching dust on the floor, spilled, much like everything else, in what appeared to be a hurried search of the home. By the Bandits, if Henry's earlier account of being captured is true.
I ran out through backyard then, to get to the garage. But it was locked, and at the risk of attracting unwanted attention from anything that might be nearby, I wanted to avoid having to break a window so I called Henry.
He seemed stressed, but listened and told me there was a key under the garage door mat.
I entered the garage and found a well-organized room. Tidy to an extreme degree, except for a small layer of dust that had accumulated since the owner's final cleaning pass.
Boxes with various marker scribbled reference were piled in a corner, besides a shiny blue Cadillac.
I went through them and opened the tagged Medical / Miscellaneous only to find a small collection of animal pornography.
I flipped through a few of the magazines, which were pretty ragged.
The rest of the boxes weren't filled with such shit, but not being able to go by what they were titled made the process much slower. Eventually, I came upon a smaller box marked Gardening / Yard Plots which was filled with shoe boxes of bagged pills, syringes, and medial equipment such as scalpels and tweezers.
I placed the basic medial supplies in this box, checked the rest of the boxes to make sure I missed nothing important, and took off.
I had to perform a careful juggling routine between the rifle and the box, always attempting to keep the rifle in usable grasp, but keeping the box held firmly on my shoulder. My saving grace here was probably that the box wasn't so heavy.
About one block down, I heard something approaching. Panicked and dangerously aware of the bad situation I was in, I placed the box on the floor of the pavement, and scurried behind a car that was parked horizontally on the lawn of a house.
My heart was beating pure hot blood into my brain, my eyes glazed over, but my arms felt unnaturally cool and cold. I steadied the rifle and waited, the barrel pointed down the street.
And the from the opposite direction, a piercing scream sounded and I realized i had mistaken the direction. I turned around and nearly dropped the gun in my now clammy hands.
A human male Freak appeared, running on all fours down the street, with a strangely limping gait. Its bare body was expressed roughly in the raw night, all its muscles tenuous and strained as it ran.
But fuck it was fast. One second it was jumping on a car that barricaded one part of the street, and two seconds later, it was already 30 feet further down the road, a laughing bark emanating from its large, broadly open jaw.
And when it neared enough that I could see the ragged gash running down its leg to its belly, and saw the exposed muscle and flesh, I realized that this thing wasn't hunting tonight.
It was being hunted.
And then they appeared. A pack of the largest, most ferocious dogs I ever hope to witness in my life. Hairless, the lot of them, but all the size of Great Danes, and each with the inflamed muscles and body mass of a bear. Their heads were incredibly pointed, and their jaws we're as large as the human freak, but these dogs had speed on their side, and an acute team work I couldn't believe possible.
They closed the gap between them and the human Freak in an instant. One came in close from the left and struck out to take a bite, to which the human Freak responded with a fierce forearm slash.
But it had been a diversion and as it focused on the one dog, two others jumped from the opposite direction and bit at its neck, sending it in spasms toward the ground. Blood pouring from beneath the dog's teeth, clamped tightly and showing no signs of release in sight.
Then the other dogs leapt in and started tearing at the human's arms and legs, breaking apart its belly, and apparently finishing what they had earlier started.
When the human Freak finally showed no signs of response to being torn apart, two of the great dogs leaned back and howled. Three more of the beasts appeared from the direction the Freak had been heading, apparently awaiting for an ambush.
One of the dogs, at seeing a dog howl (by stupid instinct it seemed) jumped and tried to snap the great dog's exposed neck. But instantly, two others were on it, ripping at its pelt and sending it flinging outward from the group, as if in discipline. It lugged away and sat down, a great chunk of its ear missing.
Good god, I nearly passed out there. It was obvious I had to get away before they noticed me and tore me apart for being a witnesses to their horrific actions.
But my legs weren't responding and I wasn't even sure if I was breathing.
To be fair, this was the first time I was seeing this. other animals, other Freaks, that could be more dangerous than the usual human Freak I'd come to fear. it opened another world. So many questions. What the fuck is out there?
But of course, they were bound to notice me eventually. And they did. The great dog that had been disciplined had come closer to me in its docile state and suddenly its ears (what was left of them) perked up and a vehement growl issued forth. The other dogs paid it little heed until it barked a raspy and ferocious thing. Whatever this communicated, the other dogs instantly received and they all rose and turned to me in my hiding position. Unified, each with the same identical barred fangs expression and threatening growl flowing, they barked.
And god, then and there, I thought that was it. I'm fucked. Its over. I couldn't even deliver the god damned medicine before I died. Jesus fucking Christ.
And then I moved. I dropped my weapon on the grass and walked out into the view of the Freak Dogs, went around the car, closer to the street (their growls increased noticeably with each step, their eyes focused perfectly in synchronization), picked up the box of medicine and walked away, slowly, down the block.
For the most piss-drenching seconds of my life, I heard heavy paw on pavement as a dog followed forth to issue the killing blow. Hell, at least they'd find my remains near the medicine and know I tried.
But I wasn't trying. Hell, I hadn't even opened fire yet. Once again, I was talking the cowardly way out. I was simply walking away from the problem.
And then the pitter patter of paw was deadly close, and I swore I could feel hot breath full of death behind my neck.
And then there was a brisk and single bark and the pitter patter ceased. And I kept walking, not turning back, walking into the darkness with death itself behind me. Just kept walking.
And then I arrived at the school. I got to the office and the door was opened slowly at my knock and Sean and Hector seemed shocked as all fuck to see me. But even more shocked to see the box in my hands.
I delivered it to Henry, who refused to make eye contact with me (the mother was still alive. Great. Just fucking great) and I retired to the night, not speaking a further word to anyone there.
And here I am in my room crying like a baby. Anna's here with me again, but this time she's holding me. I've told her what happened. My thoughts. My experiences. Everything from the Bandits to the dogs. And she's listened silently into the night. Thank god for that. I don't want feedback now. Not yet.
I just need release.