I wrote this one fast. I mean, fucking fast. Perhaps because it’s been a long day and this was therapeutic. The 500 Club prompt is this: Write 500 words “after the lights go out.” It doesn’t have to be caused by a storm, but it does have to keep the tension of whatever’s to come.
The lights went out, plunging us into a pitch black abyss of confusion. There was no terror in that moment. Lights go out, especially during a thunderstorm of significant magnitude. We were quiet, waiting, I suppose for someone to say something, to suggest candles or flashlights, for someone to use their phone as a makeshift electronic torch. It left me feeling oddly safe for precious little time, as though the darkness covered us in a blanket of peace and protection.
The first scream brought me out of my daze.
It came from my right, from Kallie, I think, her shrill voice sounding like an animal, high and piercing until it was interrupted by a gurgling noise and more screams. Someone brushed against my right arm. Someone or something. It moved quickly and with purpose, pushing past me to my left. Toward Angela.
I was holding her hand, my fingers laced with hers, and I felt her flinch before I heard her voice. “Oh, God! I don’t wanna–”
She contracted, her arm ridged, her fingers like vise grips, and she shook once, then twice and then went slack. Her arm dropped, her hand twisting in mine with far too little weight. I pulled up, thinking I would help her to her feet, but my hand swung up freely, a loose arm flaying against my body while a soft spray of blood fluttered all the way up to my face.
She was gone. I knew it, felt it, was sure of it. And a white-hot anger coursed through me at the thought of it. A gaping wound in my heart, the void so sudden I felt I might implode from the sheer force of it.
I growled, a strange sound to hear coming from my own mouth, and moved to the right. I could see nothing but I heard more sounds of struggle from deeper in the darkness and I took long, sweeping steps toward them. Lightning flashed once and I saw them.
There were three. Not like the movies. Not sexy or mysterious. Hideous. Waxy skin stretched too tight over slender bodies. Animal eyes. And teeth. Rows of pointed, razor teeth wet with blood and spittle and yellow in the fierce blue-glow of the lightening.
Thunder peeled so near and low that my chest shook.
My hand hit the back of a chair and I grabbed hold, jerking it up and then back down. I was rewarded with a splintering sound. I thrust the ruined chair toward the closest one and drove it forward, wood into pale flesh. Fire erupted and the thing skittered backwards hissing and crying out.
Its companions screeched their outrage and shuffled toward me in the dark. I spun, my hands coming to the next chair, and repeated the same manuever, too quick to think about it.
Up. Down. Splinter. Fire.
Two of them gone.
The last one grunted and spoke my name. It sounded like the devil’s promise. I saw it smile in a flash of lightening, and then it vanished into the night.