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~~~

He estimated that there were at least eight of them.

Sounds more distinct on the hardwood floors, don’t you think, boss? You can almost picture those blood-drenched nails scratching away.

You’re not helping, Russell thought back.

Sorry, boss. I know… how about you cut the bitch’s head off, toss it out of the closet, and we’ll see who wins the jump ball?

Russell briefly considered shooting himself in the skull to silence the prick. Instead, he slowly positioned himself in front of Janet and helped her up on wobbly legs. Making sure he had her attention, Russell motioned toward the chute.

She nodded, letting him lead her to sit over the edge of the hole. His intent was to lower her down.

The first creature shattered the closet door in half.

Hide-and-Seek is over, boss. Better move.

Russell lifted the revolver and fired the two remaining rounds in the direction of the first creature clawing its way through Janet’s wardrobe. The beast howled out in pain.

Before Janet could do anything, Russell unapologetically put a foot to her back and shoved her into the chute.

She slid down fast, unprepared to brace herself, and came crashing out through the lower hatch that emptied into the pitch-black laundry room. She landed painfully on the edge of a small laundry basket, half full of old magazines, which tumbled over in the darkness. Janet hardly registered hitting her head on the hard floor as she felt her left ankle snap. She mustered all her strength and tried not to scream. The pain was excruciating.

Russell discarded the gun and quickly followed, using his arms and legs to control his descent. He looked up to see a large form block out the light at the top of the chute, as a long, clawed hand extended downward, just missing his head.

The beast let loose a frustrated wail that reverberated in the narrow chute, causing Russell to let go. He dropped the remaining distance, landing cleanly on his feet, and crouched down to maintain his balance.

Russell took a deep breath, welcoming the darkness—the great equalizer between man and beast.

Don’t get too comfy, boss. They saw you just fine before.

Russell looked up as the faint remains of bedroom light trickled down the chute. The creature either couldn’t or wouldn’t follow. He could hear floor boards creaking above. The ruse was up. They were coming… fast. In seconds they would reach the stairs.

Russell could just make out Janet next to him. She was holding her ankle and rocking to shut out the pain.

She’s lame, boss. Better leave the bitch and get out. She’s only gonna get us caught now.

“No.”

Break her fuckin’ neck, oh, mighty savior, and be done with it!

“I said… NO! She’s mine.”

The other one said no more.

Janet stared at him. She hoped he would overlook her in the darkness and leave.

“Janet,” he called. “Hold on, I’m coming.”

The pain prevented her from responding. She wept instead.

Russell quickly got his bearings. The garage door was just a few feet to the left. That was their ‘out’.

He could hear the creatures crashing down the staircase. They would have to cut across the kitchen to get to the laundry room.

Russell moved toward Janet and picked her up in his arms.

She cried out in pain. “I think… my ankle is broken.”

He went directly toward the garage door.

Rat-a-tat-a-tat

They’re in the kitchen, boss. Wanna make em’ a quiche?

Russell opened the door, letting in a cold draft. There was no time to speculate on what they might find in there after he turned on the lights.

His attention to detail continued to pay off as he reached to his left, hit the switch, and flooded the garage with light.

No monsters in here but you, boss.

From three feet behind him, the first creature hissed in outrage as the light caught it off guard and sent it scurrying back toward the darkness.

How did it get so fucking close without me knowing? Russell admired the creature’s stealth.

He slammed the garage door shut behind him and then laid Janet down on the cold concrete. Russell watched for the door knob to move. There had been no time to consider just how cunning these creatures were until now.

Can they open doors?

If so, the game was over.

Russell used the hellish silence to scan the spacious and tidy, four-car garage. To his right, a wall of organized shelves spanned the back wall of the garage. There were various unused tools hanging in their assigned spots above large tool boxes, a spotless workbench with a brutal looking power saw, a portable generator that sat next to a riding lawnmower, and a fancy roll-out grill. Just beyond that, four one-gallon containers of gasoline.

Parked to his right was Janet’s Volvo next to Gerald’s pride and joy: his slick, black ‘65 Stingray Corvette Coupe.

Can we kill him now, boss?

Russell was considering a kill of another kind as he spotted a box of matches resting neatly on top of the grill cover. He then looked back toward the Corvette and smiled.

What cha thinking, boss? High-speed getaway? We can drag the bitch on the bumper.

No. Ka-boom, he thought back.

The creatures were the first to break the silence as they collectively rammed the garage door. Fortunately, it was sturdier than the bedroom door.

He spied a roll of nylon cord in a corner.

Time to move. Russell bent down to assess Janet’s condition. Her left ankle was discolored and swelling up rapidly. Her pain threshold was commendable. She was close to passing out. He grabbed her from behind and dragged her back toward another door, which exited the garage facing the woods on the east side of the house. After retrieving a utility knife from Gerald’s wall and the cord, Russell reached down and slapped Janet across the face.

She recoiled from his touch, but was now alert. “How dare you-”

“No time for napping.” He used the knife to slice off two long pieces of fabric from the bottom of her gown. He then handed her one end of the nylon cord. “That door opens inward. I need you to pull as hard as you can to buy us some time.”

Janet stared after him dumbfounded as Russell tied the other end of the cord around the doorknob, securing it with a noose-knot.

“Take the slack out!” he yelled.

Janet grabbed the cord with both hands and pulled, making the noose around the knob snug.

“They try to open it… you pull the fucking thing closed and lean back with all your weight. Got it?”

She nodded, watching the stranger who called himself ‘John’, move with an almost too-calm efficiency. “What kind of trouble is Gerald into that his law firm needs to watch my house at all hours of the night?”

She smells bullshit, boss.

The creatures continued to pound against the door.

“Tell you what, Janet, if we survive the next few minutes, I’ll tell you anything you want to know about your shady husband. Though I suspect you already know just what kind of man he is.”

Janet volunteered nothing, her thoughts already drifting back to her original wish that Gerald had stormed into her bedroom and not this liar dressed in black.

Satisfied that Janet was preoccupied, Russell moved quickly to Gerald’s workbench and grabbed a long screwdriver. He then took the box of matches and stuffed it in his pocket. Lastly, he picked up one of the four gas containers, noting that they were all full.

Russell took the two long strips he’d cut from Janet’s gown, laid them flat on the concrete, and poured gasoline over them until they were saturated.

“What are you doing?” Janet asked. The smell of gasoline immediately filled the garage.

“Something desperate and crazy.” He headed toward the Corvette. Russell looked through the driver side window at the fuel meter.

Half full, this might work.

Russell went to the gas tank, removed the gas cap and carefully inserted one of the soaked strips down the throat of the opening with the long screwdriver, leaving enough of the strip hanging to reach the concrete slab.

“Are you doing what I think you’re doing?” Janet asked.

Russell smiled. “Any objections?”

She looked at the Corvette and frowned. It was just another one of her husband’s whores. “Burn the bitch.”

Russell poured the remaining gas all around the rear of the Corvette. He grabbed the other containers and poured gas all over the floor as well as dousing the walls and especially the garage door. He then wrapped the remaining gas soaked strip around the end of the long screwdriver, fashioning a generic torch.

“John,” Janet whispered with alarm, “they’ve stopped again.”

Russell looked toward the garage door.

Something was turning the door knob.

Janet let out a nervous yell as she pulled tight on the cord.

Fast learners, boss. Maybe you should start the barbecue now.

“Don’t let go!” Russell rushed toward the exit door.

Janet felt herself being jerked toward the door as a pair of sickly, bloody hands appeared through a small gap, grabbed the edge, and pulled violently on the door.

“John!” She almost lost her grip. She leaned back with all she had, managing to slam the door on grotesque fingers until something howled from the other side. The creature ripped its fingers out of the door as Janet pulled it back shut, reestablishing a better grip on the cord.

“I think we’re okay. Rope’s hold-”

Janet fell backward as the cord went slack. The broken door knob fell to the concrete.

The garage door burst open violently as a pale creature with red eyes growled at her from the threshold while trying to shield its face from the light with enormous razor-tipped hands.

“Jesus Christ! What the fuck…”

Russell grabbed her from behind, causing Janet to scream. He pulled her out into the cool night air as she watched two more monstrosities enter the doorway.

They’re fucking people! Janet tried to scream again and then realized she hadn’t taken a breath.

Russell let her fall into the damp grass, the night hiding her from view. He then moved to the left of the open doorway and pulled out the matches.

The creatures quickly adapted to the well-lit garage. The strong scent of gasoline distracted them. They sniffed at the air, forgetting the door at the other side of the garage.

They’ve lost your scent, boss. It’s now or never.

Russell’s first two attempts to light the matches failed; the cool night air caused them to die out quickly.

The third match stayed lit long enough to ignite the makeshift torch.

The creatures howled at the torchlight and stormed across the garage.

Russell turned in front of the doorway, thrusting the burning screwdriver near the face of the closest beast.

It stumbled backward, shielding its eyes from the bright light.

Russell tossed the torch at its feet as the fumes from the gasoline ignited, creating a wall of fast moving flames that burned across the concrete slab.

The creatures backed away as Russell exited, slamming the outer garage door shut. He then turned and ran for Janet.

Leave her, boss. She’ll be Joan of Arc any second now! There’s no time!

“All serves my will, fucker.” Russell picked up Janet in his arms and ran for the woods.

There’s a good chance the car won’t ignite-

Russell’s thoughts were interrupted as the garage exploded, followed immediately by a second blast as the gas furnace in the laundry room caught fire, sending half the house up in ghastly fireball. The Schuler residence blazed brighter than the moon, like an enormous burnt offering presented as tribute to the demon night.

~~~

Next Episode 2-1

Previous Episode 1-3

~~~

If you’re enjoying Don’t Feed The Dark so far, please consider voting for it on Top Web Fiction and Top Site List by clicking the links below. This will help increase its visibility and draw in more potential readers. No registration is required. Thanks for your support and for reading :)

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__________________________________________
“Chapter 1-4: Demon Night” Copyright © 2014, 2015 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark, Book One: Southbound Nightmares”.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Comments
  1. Joseph Hebebrand says:

    Love it, I can’t stop reading. Good Job.

    Like

  2. Anonymous says:

    Good stuff. Love the format. The serialized release keeps the tension high. Great story so far.

    Like

  3. midnightwriterporvida says:

    I’m so glad I found your blog! This story is great!!!!!

    Like

  4. murkytruths says:

    Hey, love the story so far n it for the second half of the chapter ut was all in italics

    Liked by 1 person

  5. oncegiants says:

    I started reading your serial yesterday so you’re going to see these likes coming in rapid succession. I was so engrossed in the read I shamefully didn’t stop to comment. And by the end, I was too traumatized to do much more than go to bed reliving the horror! oh the horror!! D:

    Like

    • sscherr says:

      Thanks for stopping by… yeah, I really need to add that in the disclaimer: “Do not read before sleep”…lol. I’m glad you’re enjoying it so far. It can be a bit intense at times.

      Like

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