• Dzama


Jake threw the covers off and stumbled over to the closet. He pushed some jackets out of the way and lifted out his semi-automatic rifle. Then he pulled on some boxers and headed downstairs through the dark house to the basement door.

He stood just outside the door, and listened. Of course now it was quiet. He waited, double-checking that the rifle was still loaded. A semi downshifted out on the freeway and continued on down the 113. Then it was silent again.

He lifted the latch and turned the knob with a sweaty hand. Then he swung open the door and opened fire. There were a million of them, every color of the rainbow, exploding into the kitchen with screeching mouths full of countless fangs and sharp talons reaching from ragged, bat-like wings. He hit a few, hearing them thud on the wood floor as he fired away, but the majority evaded the bullets and flew manic circles around him. Now and then they dive-bombed him and tore at his arm or his neck, his blood spattering all the way over to the white refrigerator.

Finally he dove under the kitchen table, thankful for the thick antique oak. As the creatures screamed and crashed around above him, he pulled the four chairs closer, attempting to block the dive-bombers. Now and then he’d take a shot but only heard mounted plates shatter and small chunks of the wall crumble to the floor. He crouched, watching them swoop by and occasionally crash against the chairs. It reminded him of hiding under the table as a child, when the house had belonged to his grandmother. One Sunday he’d spent the entire day under there.

Now it was the last place he wanted to be. The little monsters finally gave up flying around and began to land in a circle around the table, crowding in towards him, scratching the floor with their talons. Their eyes were different colors and all darted around with evil, spastic energy. They pulled at the chairs and he pulled back. Then a red and a blue one crept under the rungs of a chair and he opened fire, the creatures getting thrown back toward the gas stove.

A fire erupted on the stove and he immediately regretted firing in that direction. He pulled the chairs toward him, hooking his ankles in the chair legs but now it was getting smoky, with millions of glowing eyes closing in on him.

With a desperate burst of energy he sprung up, throwing the heavy table onto a small crowd of monsters as he rushed past. He headed for the door, kicking through the biting creatures. He made it to the steps outside but fell with three or four of them tearing at his legs. Out of bullets now, he clubbed them with the butt of the rifle.

Then he was up and running into the foggy night, still wearing only his boxers, legs and arms dripping with blood. As he crossed the 113 he glanced back just in time to bat a few pursuing monsters out of the air with his rifle. A Mac truck barreled by and ran over the bodies.

The fire at his house was getting bigger quickly and he watched the black silhouettes circle angrily like hornets around a burning nest. He huddled on the other side of the freeway, hearing the sirens now and wondering if he should somehow warn the fire department. But he just remained frozen when the truck came and stood there shivering, hoping for the best.

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