Kilt lurched as the head swung down toward him again, aggressively pecking at the hole in the windshield of his newly smashed tuck like a bird eagerly picks at a bit of seed.
He stumbled through the open doorway and rolled out into the rain. Head groggy and still working to normalize his breathing, his brain screamed, “Move!” Eager to comply, he inched forward from a crab walk to a crawl, then moved from his knees to the first few steps of a feeble run. The wind whipped rain tore into his eyes.
Just run, he thought. Don’t look back! Don’t even dare! Just run!
And as if his head was incapable of comprehending the messages form the brain urging him on, he turned ever so slightly, just to see.
It might have been the storm, the sound of the beating of the rain, the wind or the bursts of thunder, but in the time it took for him to get this far, far enough for his head to feel safe enough to chance an ill-advised glance backward, the animal-thing was on him.
With a grunt, the massive head swung at him at pretty much the same time his look back was complete. The nothing but rain image changed in a blink to that of a large, scaled, wall of head that hit him with the force of a truck knocking him easily from his wavering stance. Entirely off his feet, he flew backwards and down onto to the soaking wet ground.
He worked to tuck and roll himself to the point where he might be able to get back to his feet and felt as if here were making progress the wall hit him again.
Once more Kilt left the ground, tossed backwards away from, and yet still firmly entrenched in the creature’s sphere of control. Pain seared across his back as he came to an abrupt stop. He slid down and stumbled away from the trunk of the tree that cut his flight short, but fell in a way that his feet found purchase in the grass and was able to stand.
Gasping again for breath and squinting into the rain, he grasped the crow bar with both hands.
“Well?” he screamed into the rain. “Where are you? Let’s go!”
It was a good count of three before a large shadow filled his field his vision. The thing moved toward him….slowly. Kilt almost expected a heavy thud to quiver across the earth with each foot fall, but there was none. It moved with what he might describe as a certain sense of elegance.
Without taking his hands from the crowbar, he tried once again to wipe some of the rain away by digging his face into his bicep. The creature growled long and slow before taking in a raspy breath and letting loose with a deafening roar.
As the roar trailed off, the head shot down at him, jaws still open and in fact widening as it turned to capture him. Kilt swung the crow bar and missed entirely, tossed by the rain and his churning adrenaline. The head pulled back a bit, turned and then shot down on him again, chomping closed just shy of catching Kilt’s jacket. He swung the crow bar again back the other, but caught the target in stead with his hands and arm which the heavy skin deflected quite easily.
Once again, the creature pulled its head back and spread its jaws wide as it shot down at the small, wet man. The jaws slammed shut shy of his leg. Stand ing firm, Paul raised the crow bar over his head and brought it down with everything he had.
Everything shifted, like the moment you know when you hit a homer over a line drive, everything felt…in the moment. The curved, clawed end of the crow bar found its mark and pierced the tough hide sinking down to what Paul was convinced was the certain uneasy scrape of metal against bone.
The animal-thing lurched back with a scream in its throat, carrying Paul and the crowbar with it. On the second shake the creature made to free himself of the stinging pain in its snout, Kilt lost his grip on the crow bar and again flew backwards and down into the wet, grassy muck below.
The creature, unable to reach the weapon with its short arms, snarled and shook its head.
Kilt hit the ground hard…again, and rolled to a stop as the water beat down upon him. Has he lay on his stomach fighting for breath without sucking water into his lungs, he felt the lump.
The creature swung its giant head back and forth as the screams told the tale of its pain, frustration and anger. It shot it’s jaws down to the ground again and again, blindly searching for the thing that cause this.
Paul pulled himself to his feet and reached his hand into his pocket. He pulled out the pistol and took aim…as well as he could.
As the anger grew as a distraction to the pain, a new fire burst into the creature’s dark eye. Squeezing its eyelids shut and jerked its head in recoil. A roar tore from its throat that turned into a ragged scream. Rage took control, issuing simple and base commands.
The first shot landed square in the middle of the creature’s eye. He was sure of it. It was all he could to stop himself from doing his end zone victory dance, but there was no time for that. The thing was hurt, he thought, but not hurt bad, not dead. He fired again…missed.
The little flash of light was nearly missed but it was enough. The creature spun and trained its remaining good eye on the spot where the light came from and lunged.
The animal-thing cut through the rain in his direction with a speed he could never describe if all the words were his. Kilt fired again. Missed again.
Another small flash of light confirmed everything. The creature leapt forward as it opened its mighty jaws.
A cave of darkness, darkness surrounded by long, razor-sharp teeth opened before him. His eyes grew wide, then wider still as the cave and the teeth disappeared and with it the sight of his arm and the gun. Thinly connected lines of tissue sent impulses to the hand as it squeezed the trigger again and again. Muffled shots reached out to him from inside the closed mouth and while the louder shots ended, the hand kept pumping the trigger instinctively.
Click. Click. Click. Click.