This is a cut scene from a work in progress that’s currently getting an overhaul. The event that leads to the fight in question doesn’t happen in the new version, but this piece still gives a fun little window into two of the main characters.
When in Doubt, Use a Louisville Slugger
“You ok?” Eddie managed.
I nodded mutely, staring at the twitching mess on the floor. “You?” I breathed. My voice sounded hollow in my ears.
He scowled at the cuts and gingerly touched a swelling bruise at his hairline. “Little sore, but I’ll live.”
“Broke your bat this time,” I pointed out, laughing nervously
“Hunh?” Eddie asked, then frowned at gore-streaked split in the wood. “Guess I did. Think I killed it?”
I didn’t want to get close enough to the fallen creature to poke it with my boot. I really didn’t have to. Its head was caved in on one side and that grayish-pink goo that passed for its blood was all over the tiles.
“Safe to say you did,” I responded. Triumph vied with nausea. Then I saw the corpse sink in on itself, and nausea won. “Uh, Eddie?” It came out as a squeak.
We both stared as the wrongly jointed thing fell apart before our eyes. It was like watching one of those time-lapse images of a corpse rotting, only without the maggots and flies. Snake Eyes just collapsed in on himself, puddling into a gray and pink smear.
“That ain’t right,” Eddie gasped, stumbling back to keep away from the spreading goo.
I backed up with him, taking rapid, shallow breaths in an effort not to hurl.
“What the hell is going on, Allison? What are these things?”
Glass tinkled then crunched at the front of the pub. Our heads jerked up in unison toward the sound. Something else was crawling in through the broken window. Ashen-faced, with blank, black eyes. It didn’t look anything like the first one, but I knew on some level they were the same.
“Oh, God. There’s more,” I breathed.
Eddie groaned. “Wish I’d listened to Dad and bought a gun.” The big man backed up a few steps, finding a clear space among the overturned tables and chairs to stand. He planted his feet, squaring his stance and raising the bat.
The thing at the front of the pub gestured at me with a taloned finger. In a hollow voice, it said, “Give her to us and we will leave you. We have no quarrel with you.”
“Fuck you,” Eddie spat.
“Very well,” the cadaverous monstrosity replied.
It drew a deep breath, and its all-black eyes gleamed wetly. Speckles of shadow seemed to dance on the air in front of it, and it continued breathing in, deeper and deeper. The other two behind it crept closer to the shattered window.
“I think we might want to run,” I said. I had a sudden image of it belching a cloud of something vile and putrid and extremely poisonous. I didn’t want to be around when it did.
“Shouldn’t be long now,” Eddie whispered. But he started backing up with me.
A ghastly wail rose in the distance. Sirens. Lights flashed against the night, brilliant white, then red and blue. The dead-faced creature caught itself mid-breath, whipping its head around to peer toward the town square. The two vaguely human-shaped things behind it were already reacting, ducking down, then bolting. Gray-Face swiftly followed.
I loosed the breath I’d been holding, feeling my heart stutter in my chest.
“I guess even monsters don’t like to go to jail,” Eddie murmured.