Thursday, August 26, 2010

THE AMULET Part 1: Continued

Kimmy's parents were among the dead. She felt the tightness of guilt and the numb fluidity of sorrow grip her and threaten to take hold, but it was a temporary feeling and she absently batted at a rolling tear as she stepped over them.

It wasn't really them. It wasn't really them...

She took a big step over the gored corpses and began making her way to the front door. Something stirred behind her and she froze. Her heart thrummed wildly in her chest and she could feel its pulses in her throat as it created its customary clicks of fear. Kimmy felt herself snatching quick, whistling breaths as she swallowed past her fright and slowly turned around.

She was pelted from the side. The dip of her neck where it met her right shoulder was suddenly muzzled by a warm wetness and the unmistakable feeling of a tongue licking her. Kimmy sighed and a grin creased her bloodied face as she reached around and caressed the furry jowls of Tanner, her St. Bernard.

"My God, Tanner... you almost made me throw up! I'm so glad to see you, boy!"

Tanner panted and stared at her as he resumed lapping up some of the dried blood spatter that had coated her during the recent debacle. He dropped his paws onto one of the bodies, that of Kimmy's dad, and he began to nuzzle and sniff the familiar odor of the man he'd lived with for years.

"Don't. He's dead, Tanner. He might smell like dad, but he definitely wasn't a minute ago..."

Tanner cocked his head sideways, sneezed, and resumed his frantic panting. Kimmy completed her wide berth of the massacre on the kitchen floor, and headed anew for the exit. Tanner bounded the mess, landed a tad awkwardly in one of the rapidly congealing pools of blood, and trundled after Kimmy leaving an odd pairing of red paw-marks in his wake.

Kimmy slumped on the couch. She needed to reorganize her thoughts. She needed to come up with some kind of plan; someway to get out and get going without calling too much attention to herself. In one hand she still gripped the sodden ax. She set it with a heavy clunk on the coffee table and examined the object she held in her left hand: the amulet.

"What is the deal with this thing? Why did it turn everyone into a raving... loony?" She began to softly weep.

Tanner flopped on the couch; an area he was unaccustomed to being, and dropped his snout into Kimmy's lap. His eyebrows arched with a false look of sadness; a look every dog has mastered whether its honestly showing feelings or not. He huffed, nuzzled a bit deeper into Kimmy, and closed his eyes. Kimmy absently petted him with long, careful strokes as she stared into space and slowly swung the horrid, metallic disk in a languid pendulum.


Kimmy's eyes fluttered open and she inhaled deeply, bringing herself out of the terrible nightmare from which she was suffering. Thanks to being a horror movie fan coupled with the events of late, her dream featured zombies in various forms of decay surrounding her as she and Tanner hung on to chimney. She was unsure how she managed to get her sixty-plus pound dog up there, but it didn't matter since their safety was in jeopardy anyway. Kimmy shivered, in turn waking Tanner; his head bolting from her lap and a low growl escaping his throat as a low woof.

"It's okay, boy. I guess we fell asleep. I wonder what time..."

She glanced at the glowing numbers on the cable box. They showed 7:15, which made sense as the waning bits of the sun shown orange and deep ocher through the kitchen windows. Lighted, criss-crossed squares highlighted the heap of bodies still laying motionless on the tile. The visuals brought forth other senses and Kimmy suddenly became aware that she could smell gone off meat and the acrid tang of blood. She shook her head and wondered if Tanner was suffering far worse, as she'd read somewhere once that dogs had a way keener sense of smell than humans. Probably.

And then the knock came.