“Don’t move,” a voice whispered from the darkness behind her.

Janet knew that voice. The man who called himself, John, had found her.

She looked back, barely making out his shape crouched down within the shadow between a tree and her hiding spot, and wondered how long he’d been watching her from there.

The creatures continued to move in the direction of the Schuler house. Perhaps the smell of the fire was drawing them—Russell couldn’t care less. For the moment, there was some distance between them and the nearest monster. A large group was already moving past them while another group was closing in on their position, leaving a narrow gap through the woods that Russell believed would take them toward his van.

The creatures moved sluggishly through the woods, until prey was sensed, but all it would take was for one to see them moving against the moonlight and Janet and Russell would be overwhelmed.

“I’m sorry I left you back there, John,” Janet lied. “I thought you were dead.”

The bitch is lying, boss. Cut her tongue out and show it to her. Let her know what a lying tongue looks like.

Russell gave her a weary look. “We have to go.”

“You need to leave me here and get help,” Janet said. “You can’t carry me through the woods without us both being seen.” She was horrified by the thought of being left alone out here, but Janet believed her chances of survival were better if John would just go away. Perhaps the creatures would see him, providing her a chance to make it to the cabin.

“I just came from the cabin,” Russell advised, anticipating her thoughts. “There’s nothing but death back that way. The only reason you haven’t been discovered yet is because the main group is still behind me.”

Janet could find nothing to say.

Oh, God, them or him. What’s worse? she thought desperately.

“If you don’t come with me now, they’ll find you, and you’ll die in these woods.” Russell needed her to come with him willingly; he needed to make her think she had a choice.

Leave her or kill the bitch now, boss. What the hell’s wrong with you? Your new friends will appreciate the meal and we’ll get a little bit of the action before a fast getaway from these fucked-up woods.

They had to move now. He could already hear them advancing from behind. Shadows began to dance all around them. Russell reached his hand toward the front of the thicket and held it there.

You’ll be sorry, boss. Sooner or later, you’ll be sorry.

“We’ve made it this far, Janet Schuler, we can make it the rest of the way. I promised you that I would get you out of this and I mean to keep my promise.”

“Who the hell are you really?” she asked. “And what the hell are those… things?”

Russell sighed. “I appreciate your questions. But what matters right now is that we’re still alive. All answers will come, once we’re clear from this hellish place. Please, we need to go now.”

She could hear them pushing through the trees. They were so close, so very close.

Janet reached up and grabbed the devil’s gloved hand as he gently but firmly pulled her out of the thicket, allowing her to balance herself on her one good foot.

“Brace against the tree, but stay out of the moonlight,” he ordered.

Janet used the tree to hold herself up as Russell bent down and quickly removed his black, skin-tight, long sleeve shirt.

Janet could see faint scars running up his muscular back.

Russell didn’t give her time to examine them further, and he didn’t want Janet to see the sheath he wore, once concealed beneath that shirt. He leaned in toward her legs, grabbing the bottom of her torn gown, and began to tear upward, revealing her black panties.

“What the fuck are you… doing?” She was not prepared for the immediate humiliation.

He could see her firm stomach muscles tense as he quickly completed ripping the gown all the way up past her well-developed breasts, barely contained within the matching black bra.

If you don’t tear that fine piece of ass up, boss… I WILL!

Russell continued to ignore the savage and handed her the black shirt. “Relax. You can’t wear that gown. How do you think I found you out here?”

Janet was too embarrassed by the sudden removal of her clothes to say anything, as she quickly discarded what was left of her gown and put the shirt on over her goose bump stricken flesh. The shirt covered her down just above the panty line, revealing far too much leg for her liking. Nor did she appreciate the snug fit around her breasts as her nipples protested uncomfortably through the thin bra. She covered them up with her arms.

“How about a little warning next time,” she snapped, trying to retain some of her dignity.

While she was distracted, Russell removed the empty sheath and discarded it. He didn’t bother acknowledging her discomfort or his own as the cool night air hit his bare skin.

They were almost upon them.

“Time to go.” Russell placed her reluctant arm around his shoulder. “Are you in pain?”

“Not yet. The cold is helping.”

“We will have to move as fast as possible—faster if they spot us. It might get… painful,” he said, addressing her broken ankle.

Janet nodded, her eyes filled with fear, but also with understanding that the pain was the least of her concerns at the moment. “Where are we going to go?”

Russell leaned forward, allowing her to compensate for the bad ankle as best she could. He was done with pretending. “I have a van parked at the back of your property, by the old farm.”

She looked at him distrustfully, but said nothing.

That’s right, whore. You should fear the van. Lots of fond memories in there, right boss?

The first of many new horrific shadows came into range.

We could spread her across the plastic and bleed her out nice and slow…

Russell balled his fists up, and then released them. He longed for his knife.

…And when you’ve flooded her secret place… filled her with your entire essence… then you can stab her in the chest, right between those hard eyes staring up at you above those beautiful breasts… again, and again, and again…


Janet could feel him shaking as they moved. But it wasn’t the cold, or fear-

It was the blood lust.

Russell summoned all his strength to shut that demon out of his head. It took an incredible effort.

You’re not going to ruin it, this time, do you fucking hear me? Russell thought.

The other one responded with insane sounding laughter that reverberated down into his very core.

We’ll see, boss. We’ll see what happens when we get to the van. You always listen to ME in the van.

That was when Russell knew they couldn’t make it—shouldn’t.

He began to turn them away from the van, continuing for the narrow road at another point.

Where are you going, boss? You’re being foolish. This can only end one way.

They moved one tediously slow step at a time. Janet was sweating with the pain, feeling fatigued all over again. Russell continued to push her to the limit and beyond.

More shadows began to appear… and then they were spotted.

“We can’t make it to the vehicle,” Russell said between hard breaths.

“What do you mean-”

“The van is no longer an option,” he snapped, firmly settling the matter between them.

“But… where can we go, then?” Janet was giving up.

He could sense it. “We can make it to the farmhouse.”

Janet surprised him with a short laugh. “The McKinnley farm? That place was condemned years ago. There’s nothing left of it… nothing that would keep these things out.” Then her eyes lit up as she remembered something else. “I believe the barn is still standing though.”

“Does it have a loft?”

“Yes, I think it does.”

“Then, we go there.”

The woods erupted with shrill cries of anguish mixed with madness as a hundred tormented souls stepped out of the shadows, calling out toward the moon as if inquiring of a dark god to deliver these two wayward lights of the living into their decrepit hands, hoping the sheer terror of their hellish outcry would be enough to stop them. They began to move as one through the trees, hoping to catch their prey and…


Janet went pale with fright. Her limbs betrayed her as Russell had to catch her from falling. She desperately tried to free herself from Russell’s grasp and find a rock to crawl beneath to hide from the horrors that came for them.

Russell could hear them gaining ground, but refused to waste time looking back. They dead were moving with purpose now, purpose that provided speed he’d not thought them capable of. They seemed to feed off one another’s strangled screams as the creatures pushed through the brush, bumping into trees and falling over each other in a frantic attempt to catch them.

Janet fell to the ground screaming. She rolled up into a ball and covered her ears.

The bitch has lost her mind, boss. LEAVE HER!

“No!” he shouted. “She’s too important!” Russell bent down beside her and ripped her hands from her ears. “Move, Janet! Move or they’re going to devour you while you watch!”

Janet was unresponsive.

She’s in shock, boss. Come… on… you’ve seen this before! This is what the victims always do right before you end-

“BE SILENT!” he shouted. He quickly turned around and searched the ground for anything he could use. He picked up a fist-sized rock and a foot-long stick.

Two monsters were stumbling toward them, arms outstretched and jaws dropped as they made unintelligible gasping sounds. Their dark eyes went wide like addicts when they saw Russell and charged with surprising intensity.

Russell met their charge and ducked under the first one’s sickly arms while letting it trip over his outstretched leg. He came up in front of the second beast and shoved the stick up under its chin, driving it upward into its brain. The beast collapsed.

Russell jumped on the back of the tripped monster, and bashed its head in with the rock until it ceased to move.

A third beast was there, wrapping its thin tree-like limbs around his neck. He could hear the woman’s excited wail as it leaned in to bite his ear. The smell of the old corpse alone was enough to kill a lesser man.

Russell let out a primal scream, rammed the back of his head into its deteriorating jaw and kicked back with his legs, knocking the horrid woman over and falling on top of her. He quickly slid out from her grasp before realizing he’d already smashed her frail jaw bone and her legs to pieces. He was fortunate the thing had been an elderly woman. Russell could see its exposed rib cage through torn skin. He reached down and broke off the largest bone, making sure to break it at an angle, leaving him a jagged-edged weapon.

He retracted the bone, expecting a fourth attacker. They were all around the woods but had not found him yet.

He turned toward Janet, who now sat rocking with her arms around her knees. She was a mess.

Russell was struggling to regain his breath. In his state, he couldn’t carry the girl and fight at the same time; they would both be finished.

You fought well, boss… but enough already. This is a losing battle. Ditch the bitch!

Russell had one more move to make. He was an expert at knowing where to cut to prolong the kill and what bled the best to end it quickly. This time he would have to cut deep.

He knelt down and spoke in her ear. “Is that all you’ve got, you stupid bitch, you worthless cunt?”

The familiar words struck her like fists.

There was no time for playing nice. Nice would get them both killed. Nice was for the timid, the prey… not the predators.

He grabbed Janet’s arm and yelled, “Get the fuck up, you weak bitch!” He had no strength left to carry her. He needed her to want to live.

Tear that pig’s arm off if you have to, boss. Maybe you can still get a hand job, if the limbs still twitching later. Do what you have to, but move your ass!

He was no longer ‘the boss’, or Russell, or John.

He was Gerald Schuler—cheating, mean-spirited, wife abusing, loveless, prick-of-a-man Gerald.

Janet was looking at him now. That was good.

“What are you looking at, you cunt? How dare you judge me with those soft, doe eyes!” Russell raised his hand to slap her.

Janet flinched, covering her face from the anticipated blow that did not come.

“That’s right, you cowering bitch. We both know who your master is, don’t we? We both know that you’re too fucking weak to stop me; too fucking timid to stand up and stop me from fucking anyone I damn well please.”

Janet looked up. Her eyes were on fire.

Good. But not good enough.

He had to hit her where it really counted.

“You just stay on the ground and die, so I can go on fucking those sweet young things that still have a bit of fire left in them, unlike you… fucking weak bitch. Just look at yourself, no man’s ever going to want to give such a weak bitch like you children and let you raise them up to be so fucking spineless like you!” Russell spat the last word.

“Shut the fuck up!” she screamed.

The creatures screamed with her. They became increasingly excited by the sound of voices—living, breathing voices.

Oh boy, there goes the fuckin’ neighborhood, boss!

“Make me shut up, you worthless whore!” Russell slapped her across the face.

That did it.

Janet managed to get to her feet as Russell pulled on her arm. She then lunged toward Russell, intending to grab the tongue from his mouth and rip it out, then bite his ever-cheating-cock clean off, whatever it took to kill the fucking bastard and silence him forever!

As she lunged, Russell caught her other arm, wrapped it around his neck and used her momentum to get her moving forward again.

“Don’t look, don’t think, don’t fucking stop! Stay angry and use it to stay alive. Don’t prove that prick right!” He shouted in her face as a grey, putrid smelling arm came out of the trees and grabbed for her hair. Russell stepped forward and shoved the rib bone into the monster’s left eye. He yanked her forward as the sharp pain throbbed in her ankle and the boiling anger made her scream. But she continued to move… faster… faster.

More creatures advanced upon them.

Russell whacked one hard in the chin with the palm of his hand, sending its deteriorated jaw flying into the woods as the monster turned to follow it with his eyes.

Russell shattered what was left of its shin with a kick as the creature lost its balance and fell forward. Russell felt as though he’d just kicked the stump of a dead and hollowed out tree when his foot went through bone with unexpected ease.

The creature howled with frustration.

And still, others came.

Russell guided them desperately through a dense area of younger trees. Branches pierced them and slashed across their faces. Janet couldn’t tell the swinging branches from cold hands reaching in to grab at her. The dense area of trees slowed the creatures down while Russell maneuvered through the shadows those trees afforded.

What looked like a small child who had been thrown into a fire stood before them with its arms held wide to receive them. Through charred and rotted flesh, Russell could see eyes with no eyelids and teeth fully exposed with no lips. He kicked the small creature square in the face, knocking its head clean off.

Janet nearly vomited on her borrowed shirt as she watched the demise of the horrific looking child. She could still hear the sound of its head bouncing away among the trees, could still see the remainder of the body falling over, its arms still held out to receive them and pointing toward the night sky.

All at once, they cleared the woods, almost falling together onto the dirt road. The sky opened up above them as the first slice of morning twilight bled red across the horizon. On the other side of the dirt road, a vast and overgrown field stood as the only barrier remaining before reaching the barn that stood at its center, perhaps a quarter-mile away.

Janet’s limbs went weak as she began to collapse from the pain and exhaustion.

Russell looked back to the woods. There were much more of them now, but moving much slower through the dense woods. Fortunately, none of them had come around another way and made it outside the woods yet. The road was completely clear.

Russell took a deep breath, deciding he could carry Janet the rest of the way through the field in his arms.

The van’s much closer, boss… just up the road a spell. You can hop right in with your girlfriend and drive right out of here. And then we can have some real fun.

Russell looked up the road. Yes, he could just make out the tops of the large willow trees where he’d hidden the van. He could be there in ten minutes. The barn would take at least fifteen minutes.

You already know my vote, boss. There’s really only one option… and you and I both know it. Time to set the little piggy free from this sick, sick world.

The creatures would overwhelm them any minute now.

Russell had a decision to make.


Next Episode 7-4

Previous Episode 7-2


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“Chapter 7-3: Demon Night 2” 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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