Fiction Friday – 08 Nov 19

You should be able to see it, just around this bend.’

‘It’s been so long since I’ve been out this way.’

Jim smiled, his eyes bright in the shade from the trees, ‘well, it has been abandoned for some time.’

‘Do you know why?’ Shivon asked.

‘Some kind of pest issue.’

‘Oh, really?’

‘Yeah, but they’re all gone now,’ he added dismissively.

Shivon trekked behind remembering her childhood. These hills were home to good memories. Running, playing, hide and seek. Times long gone. The town just down the way still stood, but the people had left.

‘Did you live here as well Jim?’

‘For a short time. I’ll show you my old place if you like?’

Shivon smiled, ‘that would be nice!’

She followed her guide for another ten minutes before they reached the town proper. The streets were empty, the buildings dilapidated and old. Vehicles were scattered in the streets, glass broken, steel rusting. It was eery and white, covered in an early dusting of winter. But Shivon continued on with a hardened resolve.

Jim turned toward a small house covered in soft snow and approached the door. There he rang the bell that hung on the porch.

‘You hoping someone’s home?’ Shivon joked. 

Jim looked back and returned her smile, ‘you never know.’ He pulled open the screen door before opening the wooden one and stepped inside. 

‘I lived here for three years before they moved us out. Barely got to take anything with me.’ 

The place had a musk to it, like it wasn’t lived in by people, but maybe something else. Dust had settled across the furniture and light fittings and the floor boards creaked with every step having warped against the elements.

Shivon unzipped her puffer jacket after noticing it was warmer inside and said, ‘You are a really good liar, Jim.’

The dark haired man froze facing the kitchen door. While he consumed the situation Shivon reached around her waist and gripped a handgun. 

‘I wasn’t lying about all of it. The town is really abandoned, at least by people.’

Shivon didn’t hear or see what hit her, and in in between her screams of alarm and trying to get her arm free with the pistol, she only saw a multitude of dark grey, mottled skin legs. Her and her attacker fell sideways into the lounge and she did her best to wrestle free before bringing up the handgun and firing three times. 

There was a horrendous squeal before the creature collapsed full body on top of her while oozing innards steeped out of the bullet wounds. Shivon slid out and got a better look to find that she had been attacked by what appeared to be a giant spider.

‘What is that thing!’ she yelled. Jim had turned to watch her fight, but hadn’t moved otherwise.

He had a curious look on his face before it dissolved to an expressionless mask, ‘I thought you knew. But you don’t. You think I’m a murderer.’

Shivon stood, her hands shaking, a grimace on her face, ‘you are a murderer. You have been bringing people here and killing them. But no more, you’re under arrest Jim.’

‘No, Shivon, I haven’t been killing them. They have.’ As he spoke, Jim gestured behind the detective. 

Shivon heard the clicking of mandibles and the scratching of feet on the wood but refused to turn around. This man, and these creatures had to be stopped. Raising her gun she fired three more times, two of her shots found their home in Jim’s legs while the third went between his legs into the floor. 

Jim collapsed, screaming in agony. Shivon quickly followed as both her legs were taken out from behind her. Fumbling for her weapon Shivon twisted just as two fangs dug into her thigh. Venom poured into her bloodstream and within seconds the world began to blur at the edges of her vision. 

Before her body shutdown completely, Shivon heard the pleading screams of Jim. The creatures had the scent of his blood and regardless of whether or not he was their master, they were hungry.

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Artwork in the banner by Kirill Barybin – Check out his ArtStation page here.