Dusk Creek: Chapter Seven

[ …The story continues! On to Chapter Seven.. story and characters are (c) me. I do hope you are enjoying it so far! Just remember this story is rated Mature due to violence and language ]

His third day in Dusk Creek. Corey awoke with a start to find Shep buried close into him, both her heads resting loyally on his thigh as her large silvery eyes watching him intently. He relaxed, and unsure which of them to stroke he settled and rubbing her back as he yawned widely

Well girl, looks like you aren’t a killer… thankfully.” She simply perked her ears at him and slapped her tail against the couch.

They ate and repacked. Soon man and dog again hit the streets again. There were new things he was learning every day he spent here, and one of those new things was amazement how easily Shep was walking. It almost looked like the black sleek dog had not been injured at all last night. It was a recovery which seemed either overly optimistic, or an omen of something bad.

She walked close to him, ears perked and twisting around. Even when they got to the small car she hopped into the passenger seat and patiently waited for him to start driving. It was as if they somehow formed an unspoken alliance. Still, it was far better having a friend then enemy in this place, so he chose not to question the oddity of it.

This time he was not going to just circle around aimlessly looking for the roads out. He already knew those options were gone. Instead he would revisit his plan from last night – try to find a connection out. Internet, telephone, satellite, anything. Something that will get a distress call out and tell the world that he was somehow alive and terrified trapped in this insane city.

They started off, and drove until the tank was only ¼ full. It could have been hours of driving dazed and surreal. Even places he thought were good choices looked perverse and twisted. He worried every shadow would be someone, or something, ready to eat him. Shep herself was also on the alert, occasionally growling and barking in the directions of movements staying somewhat out of sight.

There were things hunting indeed. Maybe it was the monstrous dogs, maybe it was something more. Corey was never a horror genre fanatic. He hated most horror movies and thought the whole premise of them were kind of stupid. Yet every snippet of every horror movie he’d ever seen was reflected back at him from those shadows. He was afraid.

It wasn’t logical that he would fear Zombies or Monsters. But it also wasn’t logical that he would survive a bomb drop and end up in this demented solitary town either, nor were the chances a black two headed dog would be his only companion. So logic really didn’t account for much to him any more.

Shit, I’m acting like a teenager.” He muttered to himself, breathing and stopping the car to collect his thoughts. “There is no one even here!”

For the uncountable hundredth time, Corey was wrong.

Shep lowered her ears flat to her head, and both heads started barking and growling at the front window. When Corey looked up there was indeed someone in the road. Or something. It looks female, but covering its head was a large skeletal mask of a crow. Large folded wings twitched at her back. Its legs were strangely shaped, the foot extending down in massive length and ending in bird like talons. Everywhere on the strange pale figure seemed to be old scraps of black leather, feathers and odd tribal hanging. From the breasts, it was obviously female. Maybe it was human, but the skin was pale to the point of alabaster blue. And the wings extended out and the trailing of feathers and leather revealed sharp talons on each hand.

They almost looked like metal. Black and silver metal like an organic nightmare on elm street. Maybe a native version complete with tribal mask and half nude creatures of the night.

Oh shit!” Without thinking he did the same thing to her that he did to the other monstrous things he’d run into. He ploughed right into her, heard the thuds and roll on the top of his car, and just kept going.

Shep hopped into the back-seat and barked so loud that Corey couldn’t think.

What the fuck was that!” He tried to glance back and the car swerved wildly. “That couldn’t be human…”

Shep was quiet now, staring out the back window as if on guard. Whatever the strange skeletal creature was – it was now gone. Without a body or answer for him.

Good dog!” He managed to call out, his heart thumping like a bat in his chest. He wished he had Meatloaf to blare on the radio. “Shit! That wasn’t human, her legs… Gods what was that?”

Of course, she didn’t answer. She just rested both heads against the back seat and peered out the back window. Silent and on guard. Shep had just earned her keep, and an equal share of any rations he found. She just saved his life. “I guess we’re sort of even now huh?”

His only response and the only noise between them for the next half out was the gentle thumping of her tail reassuring on the side of his drivers seat. Corey slowly calmed from the oddity of the encounter, though his mind refused to let the image go. He remembered details after that he didn’t think of at the time.

There was a face. Eyes and a mouth peering from beneath that giant skeletal mask. There was a face, and it had eyes and a mouth as he did. He could even recall that the eyes were clear and sharp.

It didn’t seem to make sense. Over and over he went over the details in his head. He recalled a mane of wild hair, it looked clean, but unkempt. Wild streaks of tendril hair down around the mask like snakes. She was terrifying, but also the humanity of her shape unnerved him. And then there were those wings. Maybe the mask was more of a vulture. Maybe that thing scavenged the dead – or worse. Ate the living.

It terrified him even thinking about it.

Lets not run into anyone else like that… okay girl?” She just whined and rested her head against his seat. She was right, they needed to leave the car. They had been driving for a long time and not only did they need a stretch but they also had to use a washroom soon or this car would be a lot more scented then it was.

He pulled into the parking lot of a building that looked promising. It was on the outskirts a bit and seemed to be intact. It looked like a convenience store.

With a silent breath, they shut the car off, crawled out and dashed for the door. A few frantic moments later and dog and man were inside the safety of a small run down store. “Pay dirt…” he ran for the first candy bars he saw.

Finally something good. When you seem to be the last human on the world – at least everything’s free.

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