Available Darkness: Chapter 28
(Serial and Milk: Available Darkness is a serialized horror thriller co-written by David Wright and Sean Platt. A new chapter appears here each Friday. If you missed previous chapters, you can read them here.)
Abigail’s heart was a jackhammer, banging against the silent walls of the unlit car still cloaked amongst the shadows. She watched helplessly as chaos exploded across the street, the gun quivering in her hand as her left knee bounced madly.
She watched as John attacked a soldier, sinking his teeth into his throat and then leaving the man a burned heap. Abigail sat paralyzed, horrified and fascinated all at once. Though she’d seen the aftermath of John’s feeding, this was the first time she’d actually seen … it.
Pain crawled up her throat as her eyes fought back tears. For the first time, Abigail was not only afraid for John, but seeing his unbridled glee for the feast, some part of her was afraid of him.
The gun in her hand suddenly felt powerless against the narrow-eyed juggernaut of fate.
Brock was now 40 yards behind the girl in the car. He lowered the night vision goggles on his mask, confirming she was indeed alone, her attention bolted on the old motel. Brock bit his lower lip, flipped up the goggles and crept slowly towards the car.
John stood over the two corpses, invigorated and oddly … euphoric. His hungry eyes wandered the parking lot for a second before his ears pricked to the sound of a few gunmen approaching from behind. He lifted his hands in the air and slowly turned around, a predatory smile spreading on his face. John threw his head back and quietly dared them as if he, not them with their assault rifles and deadeye aim, held all the cards.
“I’ll give you the same chance as the others,” he leaned forward and whispered, “run.”
One of the men barked into an unseen radio, “Alpha Seven to Alpha One, do you copy?”
The radio’s silence washed the man’s face in sudden worry. There was a small fissure in the cool of his voice when he repeated the call.
“He’s dead,” John said without emotion, though he had no idea if Alpha One was indeed one of the men he’d taken, one was named Sergei and the other Christian. Bits of their memories now intermingled with his own, a too-confusing brew that had yet to settle. “I killed him. And you’re next unless you run.”
Two of the men that flanked Alpha Seven stepped forward, one yelled, “Hands behind your head, drop down to the ground!”
Though part of John was still very afraid, there was something in him, a bloodlust, which thrust him forward without regard for his life. The gunmen’s bodies were so warm and appetizing. Their fear excited John, making their desire to take their lives even more intoxicating. Hunger, twisting like a dark parasite, coiled then expanded somewhere inside his guts. Wisps of blue and magenta aura surrounded the men, beckoning John to draw from their wells. His fingers tingled in anticipation.
John stepped forward, staring down Alpha Seven, almost daring the man to take a shot. The man refused to break his stare even as John stood just inches from him.
A shot rang out, and one of the two flankers was hit in the back of the neck and fell to the ground screaming. The remaining gunmen spun around, each facing a different direction, weapons aimed into the fading darkness, searching for the shooter. They both flicked down goggles on their masks but not in time. Two more shots rang out and the top half of Alpha Seven’s head disappeared in a splash of blood which missed John by a drop. The other man was hit in the leg and fell to the ground, still clutching his gun, and looking for the gunman.
Suddenly Larry appeared, climbing over the top of his van, which was turned on its side. He jumped down, rifle slung over his shoulder, hair as wild as the look in his eyes. Apparently John wasn’t the only one invigorated by death dealing.
“Hot damn, that was some shooting,” Larry said as he quickly ran forward, paused with a slight grin, then finished the two wounded gunmen with a pair of head shots.
John dropped quickly to the ground, laying hands on one of the men’s corpses to capture the last bit of life as it fled his body. The stream was different, weaker and not as satisfying as the others. It was also full of pain. John flinched as he felt the first gunshot which hit the man in the leg. He tried to pull away, but couldn’t break the connection as he continued to feed on the last of the man’s life, his memories and his pain. As the corpse burned, John continued to twitch, pain splintering his entire body.
He relived the man’s final moments, seeing through the dead man’s eyes. He saw Larry barreling towards him, gun drawn, aimed and…
An explosion went off in John’s mind as he jumped back from the corpse, broke the connection, pain twisting through his body as something else, far darker and lonelier wrapped itself around his mind. He felt himself falling into a void, his body finding velocity as it crashed towards an unknown doom.
Suddenly, a tether snapped him back to reality. Larry’s hand on his shoulder, his voice in his ear, “Hey buddy, you okay?”
John nodded. He was not okay. An overwhelming sense of doom had taken root in his head, pressing on him from outside and within. He couldn’t shake the feeling that something horrible was going to happen.
“Abigail?” Larry said, looking up and past John.
“Where’s Abigail?” John asked, still groggy.
“Here,” a voice said from behind.
John turned to see one last gunman standing about 10 yards away, one hand gripping her shoulder tightly, the other holding a pistol dug into Abigail’s temple.
TO BE CONTINUED…
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