Cara wasn’t sure what town she’d stumbled into, or where. It was small and dusty and in the middle of an expanse of lonely, desert terrain. It was like something right out of an old west movie. The day had been so hot she thought fainting would be a better idea than walking around, but she’d managed to find the local watering hole and then remained there for the rest of the day. When they finally threw her out after starting an argument with one of the local officers, she found herself shivering with every awkward, drunken step. The frozen night was completely opposite the scorching day.
“To Hell with them,” she muttered to herself as she swayed down the street in the direction of the small inn the barkeep told her about.
She wasn’t that bad, really. People called her violent and maladjusted, but she felt that she was only misunderstood. The fights she’d gotten into were only out of defense, especially the physical ones. Was she just supposed to sit around and take the abuse? Not at all. She grew up having to just take it, but she would be damned if she do it as a grown-up.
“Are you lost?”
Cara turned her head towards the sound, finding a man leaning against the clay plaster wall of one of the town’s short buildings. Somehow, he looked very out of place in the small, western town. He was so pale, unnaturally pale, especially in the white street lights. It made the bald man seem like he was glowing in the dark. His clothes were black and goth-like with chains and skulls. Obviously, he was trying too hard and Cara really didn’t want to entertain that kind of foolishness.
“I’m good,” she said to him, giving him a dismissive wave as she kept on track.
“Hey!” he called after her.
She stopped, wobbled, then turned around. She threw her hands up, almost aggressively, then sighed with annoyance.
“What? Can’t you see I’m heading somewhere?”
The man chuckled at her as he pushed off the wall, taking a step closer. Cara put her hands on her hips and held her ground. No chump was going to chase her away, especially not someone as lame as this man.
“I’ll give you twenty dollars if you come over here,” the pale man told her.
Cara laughed. She closed her eyes momentarily, tilting her face to the clear sky, then looked at the man again with a raised eyebrow and a smirk.
“What, so I can suck your pencil dick because I love it so much?” she asked, words dripping heavily with sarcasm. “I don’t think so, buddy. I’m not a damned whore.”
She continued on her way, ignoring the shuffling sounds coming from the direction of the stranger. He could follow her if he wanted to, but it was a bad idea. The thought brought a smile to her lips.
“Aren’t all women?”
And, there it was–the wrong move. Rage filled Cara instantly. This guy was going to get the beat down of his life.
She turned her head, eyes wide with anger and teeth clenched enough to make her jaw spasm. The man laughed darkly, grinning at her. But, there was something wrong with that smile—something inhuman. That look was enough to make her waver slightly. The man was obviously crazy, and she didn’t like to tango with crazy people.
“What’s the matter, little girl? Are you afraid?” he cooed.
He stepped closer still, grin widening to show a mouth full of too sharp teeth, coated in slimy, wet darkness. Black goop began spilling from his mouth until it covered his chin. Suddenly, the air filled with the scent of old blood and sulfur. It was so overwhelming, Cara doubled over, covering her mouth and nose with her hand protectively. Gorge rose in her throat, threatening to spill.
Forcing herself to swallow her stomach, Cara stood up so that she could properly escape, but as she tried, the man appeared before her in a blur. She stumbled back, nearly tripping over herself, but the man grabbed her shirt at the chest and pulled her closer. He snapped his horrible teeth at her, splashing some of the foul goop onto her face.
“Don’t like what you see, huh?” he asked then licked his lips with his char black tongue.
She looked into his eyes and saw death coated in pale blue. A tremor of fear moved through her, causing her body to shake with it. Still, she wasn’t about to take that fate.
“Hell no!” she growled.
Her hand balled into a tight fist, then launched at the monster’s face. It made contact with a loud crunch, and it wasn’t from her body. The monster man stumbled back, releasing her in the process. Cara fell to the ground, gagging from the nastiness. She took a brief moment to recover, then got to her feet and ran even as she choked from the horrible smells around her.
The world was a while her feet carried her as fast as they could. She wanted to scream out for help, but her voice was lost and her throat felt closed. She made her way down a narrow, sparsely lit alley way, ignoring the squeaks of cats and critters scurrying away at the sounds of her feet against gritty concrete.
A gust of night-chilled air slammed into her, forcing Cara into the wall of one of those buildings. She yelped as pain shot through her body. Before she could recover, her body lifted from the ground with a tight hand around her neck. She gasped, clawing at the offensive clutch around her throat and her legs kicked violently against a solid mass of flesh.
But she refused to die there, helplessly dangling from the hand of a monster. Cara forced her eyes open and focused on escape. She punched at him relentlessly in his glowing eyes until they bled his blackened blood. The monster hissed and stumbled. Eventually, his grasp slacked and Cara landed on the ground, balance completely thrown. Luckily, she was able to recover quickly, then once she had, she stomped on the man’s foot, then kicked him hard in the groin.
Satisfied with the man creature’s groans of pain, Cara took a step back in preparation to run. Arms wrapped around her, underneath her own, capturing her. She managed to scream out even with her bruised and closing throat, but it wasn’t enough. More hands grabbed her flailing legs, holding her down with an almost sharp force.
Though her assailants moved mostly in shadow, soon they stepped into the moonlight. To her horror, they looked like the first monster man to attack her. Not just similar, though. No, exactly the disturbing same. It was enough to still her for a moment as terrified chills ran up her exposed back.
“Not nice…” the men whispered, though it sounded more like grunts and growls.
More of the same man joined them, surrounding them in a semi-circle, all with goop covered mouths. They smiled at her, sharp long teeth chattering in their over-sized dripping mouths.
The first took a prominent spot in the semi-circle. His eyes still bled the black blood, but it was smeared across his pale face as though he tried to wipe it away. His grin was significantly less than the others. In fact, it had basically become a wary frown.
“We like when they fight,” he said to her as he licked his slimy lips. “We like the smell of your fear.”
The group of them took in deep breaths of her, causing Cara to shiver. The one holding her down was worst of all. His face buried into her thick dark hair. The cold slime from his mouth seeped through to her scalp.
Breath struggled to fill her lungs, but she still managed to growl out, “Go to Hell.”
They laughed in unison. “We’ve seen Hell,” the main one told her, “now we would like to visit Heaven.”
The circle tightened. Their mouths opened with opened and long pointing tongues licking their lips. Cara knew she was only moments away from being their dinner and she sincerely hoped the bastards choked on her blood.
She struggled in their tightening arms, but closed her eyes since it made the nightmare and reality all the more real. And, though she knew it wasn’t possible in the dead of night and in the strangeness of it all, she prayed for someone to save her.
The monsters hissed, but it sounded more like fear. Cara’s eyes shot open just as the men released her. She crashed hard to the ground in a yelp, pain ran though her, head-to-toe. Despite the pain, her eyes focused on the creatures now cowering backward into the darkness, heads bowed as though hiding from an unknown force. Only her first attacker stood from the group as though he was formally accused of his crimes.
Her eyes then turned to the opposite direction to find a figured cloaked in the darkness, yet had a red essence to it like a shimmering haze. Her eyes had a hard time focusing on it.
The air heated around her, prickling her skin to the brink of pain. The being stepped closer in a slow, but graceful movement. The creatures hissed again, capturing her attention. The singled out one fell to his knees.
“Master? Master. . .No!” he called out over and over again.
She looked back at the new being and watched as it made a gesture. There was a loud splitting sound followed by a heavy thump on her stomach. She dared to look down and found the monster’s head staring back at her. Quickly she swatted it off of her person and into the shadows.
The monsters ran off into the night, howling as though in pain. Fear still coursed through her, but she tried to allow herself to relax. The other being sauntered closer, moving into a hint of moonlight exposing its eyes.
Hard, cold and clear as crystal with a beautiful blue tint. Instantly, she was mesmerized by the haunting gaze. He bent beside her, gently taking her into his arms, his eyes locked on hers in the process. Cara wrapped one of her arms around his neck, finding the other to be in too much pain to lift.
As he effortlessly stood with her as his bundle, the world began to swim around Cara. Darkness began eating chunks of her vision, narrowing it to those beautiful eyes. The last thing she saw before the darkness could completely take her was those crystalline eyes softening thoughtfully.