Friday, October 30, 2009

Dark World: Fresh Blood

(The story begins here.)

Darren Christopher’s placid amble changed to a breakneck dash without so much as a pause when he heard the gunshots. He had grown up around danger from savages and civilized men alike, and he seldom hesitated, even when he was puzzled. He was early for his usual argument with Victor, and he wondered who else the doctor might be shooting at.

The door was unlocked, which wasn’t unusual, but the sight of a barricade in a corner attacked by a large hairy animal was. The table where they traded insults and insights over tea was overturned, the doctor’s gun lay on the floor, and something like another gun was near it. An odd, shiny substance spilled out from the broken object.

He examined the doctor’s situation more closely as he collected a shovel from the tool rack near the door. The creature was clearly quite strong, but it seemed to be struggling somehow, as though injured. There was no sign of blood, so it presumably hadn’t been shot, but in any case it was making no headway against the doctor’s makeshift defense. The large metal bookcase had its back to the attacker, allowing the doctor to hold it by the shelves, Darren surmised. He only knew the doctor was there at all by his occasional outbursts and taunts.

“New patient, Victor?” he called.

“Darren! Thank G— Thank goodness you’re here!”

Darren smiled: even at such a moment, Victor wasn’t about to thank the God he despised. He bent down to take a closer look at the guns on the floor. “You dropped your gun. Did you really miss that many times?”

“Of course not! The thing’s invulnerable!”

“That sounds scientifically improbable,” Darren replied amiably. Strange as it seemed, this was beginning to make sense. He briefly considered confronting the creature, but a familiar nudge said no. “Have you considered a spiritual explanation?”

“Yes, but I doubt this is my fairy godmother. If you aren’t going to help me, why don’t you bore this thing senseless with your prattle?”

“I’m rather busy at the moment.” And he was: the strange gun had been bitten nearly through, and it told him all he needed to know. Almost. Where did the doctor keep that thing?

The creature took a deep breath and howled. It seemed to grow with the noise, and it assaulted the bookcase with renewed vigor, provoking more invective from the doctor.

“Darren! Try running the power cables to it! Maybe you can electrocute it.”

“I think I have a solution of my own,” Darren called back as he seized the device he wanted from a shelf. “But please stop screaming; it’s very distracting.” He set to work, but the creature nearly dislodged the bookcase on its next try. Its injury or handicap was gone, and so was Darren’s time.


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