Saturday, October 31, 2009

Dark World: Taking a Stand

(The story begins here.)

It took all Dr. Fleming’s strength to withstand the attack on his stronghold. He braced for another assault and wondered yet again what his arch-friend was up to. A thump and clang suggested an answer, and he thought the howl on the other side of the bookcase had a note of pain and surprise.

“That’s right, flea-bait,” Darren Christopher called. “I’m right back here without a bookcase to my name.”

The answering growl receded swiftly, and Victor peered cautiously from behind his barricade. The thing was standing almost fifteen feet from Darren, and it was clearly about to charge. Victor scooted out from cover, though he wasn’t sure what he could do to help. A shovel lay invitingly on the floor, and he picked it up, though he was sure it would be useless as a weapon and little comfort in digging a grave. If he could only get to the power cables!

He ran toward the massive generator, hoping that the creature wouldn’t notice, but also wishing it would notice enough to turn from Darren. What was the idiot’s problem? He had no weapon. A chair stood just behind him, but instead of wielding it, he faced the thing confidently, with his fists clenched as though for a boxing match. Dr. Fleming had admired Darren’s courage before, but courage without a plan is folly.

The creature paused to take another breath and howl. There was some kind of pattern there, but the doctor didn’t pause to analyze it. If it slowed the thing down, fine; he was in full sight of it now, and he didn’t want it to spot him until he had the cables in hand.

The creature charged Darren, and the doctor ran for the cables, dropping all attempt at stealth. His only chance to help his friend lay in getting a workable weapon—assuming that electrical force could succeed where kinetic force had failed.

“Come out of him in the name of Jesus!” Darren cried.

The commanding tone and sheer audacious stupidity of the order arrested the doctor’s progress, and he saw that the creature had been similarly affected. It was within arm’s reach of the man, but instead of attacking, it looked as though a giant hand had slapped it violently across the muzzle: it winced, its face averted.

Then it leered and turned back to Darren, who held his fist to his open mouth as if in terror and gasped.

The creature evidently liked the idea and took another breath, which the doctor knew would lead to another howl and his friend’s demise.

But Darren merely smiled, opened his clenched fist, and blew.

Next: Huff and Puff!

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