A young man, no older than thirteen, was home alone with his pet dog. The power was out, so the only visibility the boy got came from the circle of light beaming out of his flashlight and the occasional headlights of a passing car. Rolling the flashlight over the top of the coffee table in front of him, the boy sat on his couch, hoping the TV would come back on. Suddenly he heard a loud scratching coming from his back door. He jumped in fear and immediately pointed the flashlight towards the terrible noise, and there sat his dog. A 90 pound blonde female lab mix, scratching at the door in eager desperation to get outside.
"God, Lizzy. You scared me half to death," the boy said as he got up to let her out. As soon as he opened the back door, the dog shot out into the night towards the right hand side of the fence, jumping and barking. The boy guessed it to be a Raccoon or something like that. He took a seat in a nearby lawn chair and watched his dog. A few moments later he caught the outline of what seemed to be a man limping towards the fence. The boy got up and shined his light at him, but still didn't get a good look. The injured man seemed to notice the light, because he stopped moving. Once the boy got close enough to see the stranger, he looked like something right out of a horror movie. His skin was dead pale, his eyes were glassy, and his clothes were bloody and torn. The boy, at first didn't know if he should ask for help or run back into the house. Against his better instinct, the boy spoke.
"Sir, do you need help?" With that the stranger jerked to attention, and leapt at the boy, making a terrible hissing noise. The boy fell to the ground, the stranger landing on top of him. Lizzy then lunged toward the stranger, pulling fiercely at his pant leg. The stranger looked back, and at that exact moment the boy smashed the stranger in side of the face with his flashlight, knocking him of off. The boy got up and ran to his back door, Lizzy following quickly behind. He pushed the door open, getting himself and his dog inside the house before slamming it shut and locking it tight. He ran into his room and dived under his bed, tears running down his face. Lizzy soon joined him under his impenetrable fortress and kept him company. Without power, light, and the nerve to get out from under his bed the boy was helpless. He cuddled up to his dog, and tried to sleep away his current situation.
Loud thumping wakes the young man, and sent shock waves of fear throughout his body with every loud bang. He keeps his eyes shut tight while he reaches out to feel the reassuring warmth of his dogs body, but he doesn’t find it. He curls himself into a ball and hugs his knees, praying his father would come home soon. Suddenly he hears barking and a window breaking, then a sharp whine. He pulls himself deeper under his bed, and silently cries. Thoughts of his dog lying dead at the hands of some psychopathic murderer, who is now making his way down the hallway to kill him starting rushing into mind and his sobs became more uncontrollable and loud. His door flings open and the stranger dives, ramming its head and shoulder into the side of the bed with such a force that it breaks the frame of the bed, making it tilt downward at one end. The stranger lets out a strange, high pitch scream as it tries to crawl under the bed to get the boy. It gets its arms and head underneath the bed, but it is unable to fit the rest of its body. The boy screams in horror as he kicks blindly and violently at the strangers face. With each kick, the strangers body pushes upwards against the broken bed frame, eventually causing it to collapse, pinning the stranger firmly to the floor but also trapping the boy underneath. The stranger hisses and jerks frantically, trying to escape the beds crushing weight and the boys kicks. After a few moments, the strangers jerks become less and less energetic, and its hisses become wheezing and coughing. Finally, the stranger made no movement, made no noise. The boy stopped kicking and reached for his flashlight, turned it on, and illuminated the strangers face. It was bloody and bruised, and some of the skin was peeling off. Foam was gushing from his mouth and his eyes were now puffy and bleeding. The boy delivered one last, strong kick to the strangers face. He felt its face crush under his foot, and a horrible odor started filling the room.
“Ugh, disgusting!” The boy whispered to himself as he covered his nose.
“I have to get out from under this bed!” He talked as if someone was listening to him, like he was pretending someone was there. He positioned himself in a way that would allow him to push up on the bed with both arms. He just barely made enough room for him to quickly roll out. He stood up, his body shaking, and walked toward his bed room door. He wanted to find his dog; he wanted to make sure his only friend was still alive. Walking down the hallway, his flashlight pointed in front of him, he saw a dark figure sitting at the back door. He shines his light and saw his dog sitting calmly at the back door.
“Lizzy! Oh thank god you’re alive. Thank god.” He moved closer to the animal and saw thick blood seeping out slowly through the dogs neck fur.
“Ouch, girl. That guy got you good, huh? Poor dog.” He said as he reached his hand down to inspect the wound. The dog turned its head to look at the boy. Something was wrong with her eyes. Lizzy showed her teeth and let out a soft growl.
“Lizzy? Calm down, girl. It’s just me.” The boy got down on one knee and held each side of the dogs face, looking into its eyes. Lizzy snapped at the boys face and jumped back, growling even louder.
“Lizzy! Stop it! I need to look at you!” As he stood up, the dog pounced, making him fall backwards. She then dug her fangs into the boys shoulder and easily rips through his skin. The boy yelled in pain and pushed the dog off him, then shot up. He ran toward the bathroom, the dog trailing right behind him.
“Lizzy! What’s gotten into you!” He cried as he ran. Once he made it into the bathroom, he shut the door and the dog pounced. There was a loud bang as Lizzy hit the door, but after that there was silence. The boy locked the door and sat in the bathtub. Waves of sharp pain shot through his arm now, and took off his shirt to see the damage Lizzy had done. He couldn’t even see the puncture wounds or cuts, as he was bleeding too badly. He started to feel dizzy, light headed and cold.
“..Stupid... ********...” He whispered, short of breath. His thoughts became fuzzy and all he felt was rage and hatred. His muscles began to spasm, and he began to yell and scream. He looked at his hands. His skin was turning paper white, and his veins began bulging out of his arms. He felt his throat inflame, and he could no longer swallow his spit, so he began drooling thick, smelly saliva. His breathing became hoarse and loud, and began tearing at his own bloody wound.
A man sitting in his truck reached down to turn the volume knob up on the radio. One of his favorite songs was playing. He heard the dog he recently caught become hectic, rattling more in his cage. He looked back through the window into the back of the truck. The animal was looking directly at him while it leapt repeatedly into the back of its cage, like it was trying to get at him. It had fierceness in its eyes that the man had never seen before in all his years of dog catching. He tried to ignore it and looked back in front of him. It was darker than usual today. He put the car into drive and began rolling out onto the street, heading away from the neighborhood he was in and towards the Silverwood Veterinary Clinic. He began rubbing the sleep from his eyes as he yawned. He had been working all day and was ready to return home, eat a nice meal with is son, and go to bed. He had heard of the power outages that were happening all over the area and was worried maybe his boy was alone in the dark. He pushed his thoughts to the side as he pulled into the parking lot of the clinic. Normally, he'd take strays directly to the pound, but something was strange about this dog. How it watched him approach, and how fiercely it thrashed about as he loaded into the back of it's truck. It didn't seem like a regular dog, or even a crazed one. He wanted to get it checked out by friend of his who worked here. He climbed out of the truck and walked through the front door, where he was greeted warmly by a cute receptionist sitting behind a desk.
“Good day, Mr. Hall. How may I be of service?”
“I just need to speak with Dr. T'soni, if that's alright.”
“Okay, give me just one second” She start pounding on the keyboard. He figured she was only pushing random numbers, or trying to buy time for some reason. He took a look over his shoulder, but didn't see anything.”
“I'm sorry, Mr. Hall. Laura is currently with a client. Seems a house cat went a little crazy. Scared the owner pretty bad.” The receptionist only looked up at him when she was finished talking, like she had just got done reading a report of some kind.
“Please, call me Ira. Have there been a lot of similar cases like this cat?”
“Hmm.. Well, I don't know, but normally when they send out these notices to the staff, it usually means something.” She looked at me curiously. “Why do you ask?”
“Well, I have this dog in the back of truck. Something seems to be wrong with it. At first I thought it was just a crazed dog, possibly with rabies or something. But I don't know. Something wasn't right. I thought Laura could shed some light on it for me.” He began wondering if something was happening to the animals in the city, and some was going on, what was it?
“Well, Ira, I'll page Dr. T'soni and tell her your here with a sick animal. Maybe she'll be interested.”
“Thank you, miss. Tell her I'll be outside with the animal.”
With that, he walked out of the clinic, and to the back the truck. he opened up the back doors and there the dog was, sitting calmly like it was waiting for him. Just eying him. He noticed that the back half of the cage was bent from where the dog had been throwing itself in to it. But now it seemed so calm. The only thing that separates it from looking like a normal dog was that a thick saliva was dripping from it's mouth and into a small puddle at the dogs feet, and the look in it's eyes. It was looking into the eyes of some hellish monster. Through the corner of his eye he saw T'soni standing, looking at him in an annoyed way. Ira turn to face her and smiled.
“What?” He said, laughing a bit.
“Oh, you know exactly what. Look, we're pretty bust tonight. I here you've got a strange animal?”
“Yeah, yeah, yeah. Look here.” He point at the dog, to which she looked at. She started inching closer the dogs cage, getting a good look at it. “I don't what what's wrong with it. I figure I'd just bring it right to you.”
“Yeah, this dog is infected.” She said, loudly. She almost sounded sad.
“Infected? With what?”
“We're... We're not really sure. But it's been happening to all kinds of animals. House cats, dogs, birds, lizards, you name it.”
“What exactly does this infection do to the animal?”
“From what we can tell, it amplifies aggression, causes the animal to go insane, and then eventually kills it. It also seems to... To cause some kind of mutation in the animal. Like a permanent boast of adrenaline. But whats strange about all this is how the animals will just sit and calmly, watching. Sometimes they'll have these outbursts of aggression, seemingly unprovoked. But most of the time they just wonder aimlessly, or just sit. It's freaky.”
“Yeah, that describes this dog pretty well. It didn't even put up a fight when I loaded him up, but he just went crazy when he was in that cage.”
“Bring him in, and we'll see what we can do.” She sighed. “We're almost out of space here, though.”
Ira picked up the cage and started to walk behind Laura, into the clinic. She lead him into the back area with all the other infected animals. Once they caught sight of the dog, every animal in the room went crazy, throwing themselves into the cage. Several nurses rushed in and began holding the cages. He put the dog down and turned to Laura.
“Have there been any attack on humans? Can humans get the infection?”
“We don't know, Ira. We don't know a lot right now. Maybe you should go home to your son now. Watch the news in the morning, okay? Maybe they'll be something there.” She spoke in a busy, and annoyed, manner. Dr. Laura T'soni was always a bit one the mean side, but she was pretty. Long brown hair, always tied back, dressed in scrubs and a lab coat. Ira couldn't help but admire her for a second. He knew nothing would ever really happen between the two of them, but damn if a man can't fantasize.
“Ira. Stop staring. I said maybe you should go back to your son. I heard about the power outages. I bet he's scared.”
“Right, sorry. I'll just be on my way then.” He turned and walked out of the back, and through the exit doors. He closed the back door of this truck and got inside. Before he started the car, he heard screams coming from inside the building.
Ira sat for a second, wondering what had just happened. He saw a man stumble through the door and fall to the ground. Ira opened the door of his truck and got out, stepping closer to the man. As he got closer he noticed the man had been bitten several times by some kind of animal. He began to stand, breathing heavily.
“My doberman, Sarge! He bit me! We we're in the waiting room and he just attacked me! I don't know what's happening, but the I saw other people being attacked! ” He yelled as he ran to his car.
Ira turned toward the clinic and looked through the glass doors. He saw the cute receptionist trying to wrestle off a large doberman. Quickly, he ran to his truck and climbed into the back seat to put on his handling gloves and to get his leash pole. He then jumped out of the vehicle and rushed through the doors. The receptionist began screaming and crying for help when she noticed Ira running through the door. The doberman took no noticed of him as he slipped the leash pole onto the dogs neck and tightened it securely. The dog began the to jump and run in attempt to break out of its new restraint. Ira pulled on the leash in hopes of choking the dog. Soon, it began to die. Once it lay lifeless on the ground, Ira looked at the receptionist. She was crying and shaking uncontrollably.
“What is going on here?” Ira said, softly as to not upset the girl further
“I.. I don't know. The animals. All of the unrestrained animals started attacking us unexpectedly. I.. I just don't know what's going on!” She then screamed as she got up to run out of the clinic.
Ira watched her as she left, only to be blind sighted by a large animal which sent him to the floor. His reflexes sent an elbow into the face of what was a white and brown saint bernard, with fresh blood on it's snout. Ira then put his arms around the dog and pulled it close, so the dog couldn't bite him anywhere. He rolled over and forced his shoulder down into the throat of the animal. He felt the saliva pour from the dogs mouth and drip onto the back of his head and neck. The dog whined and wheezed as it struggled for breath. Soon, it to was nothing more than another limb, lifeless body on the floor of the clinic. Ira stood up and wiped some of the thick drool off his neck and looked at it. It was heavy, and thick. More like a mucus than anything else. He shook it off and took the leash pole off the dead doberman and continued back into the back room. All of the caged animals looked at him with a certain rage in their eyes. He noticed the cage with his dog was missing, and that a trial of small drips of blood lead to a closed doorway. As he walked closer to the doorway, the sounds of the animals hoarse breathing got louder and louder. He put his hand on the doorknob, and with his leash at the ready, he attempted to open the door. It was being barricaded from the other side.
“Laura?! Are you in there?” he waited with no response. In frustration he began kicking at the door and yelling for her to open it. The animals around him went crazy, smashing themselves against the doors of their cages.
“Laura open this god DAMN DOOR!” He gave two good, strong kicks as the last two words came from his mouth, but it was to no prevail. The barricade was made too strong. Suddenly, he heard a voice coming from behind him. It was Laura. She was hiding in one of the clinics patient rooms.
“Are you crazy?! Get in here before you get yourself killed!”
Ira quickly stepped into into the room, and she closed the door behind them. He helped her rebarricade the door.
“What is going on here? Everything seemed fine when I left.”
“Through that door you were trying to kick down, the animals began attacking the staff. The animals in this side of the hospital we're fine, though. Until a doberman attacked it's owner and Gene. Did you see them?”
“What?! Why would they attack? And why is the door barricaded like that? And yes, I saw both of them. The man got in his car, and I killed the doberman before it was able to get at the receptionist. Not to mention I was attacked by a ******** bear-dog”
“Thank god they're okay.”
“Yeah, I'm fine, thanks for asking. Mind answering my question?”
“I can't, alright! The animals just attacked, and something caused a vending machine to fall in front of the door. Maybe someone was protecting us or something. All I know is that these animals are something straight out of hell”
“Well, we can't stay here, Laura. We need to get out of here. I need to get my son”
“Look, I'm not leaving this room. I had one of the interns phone for help after things became clear that something strange was happening. Maybe he made it. So, until someone comes for help, I'm not leaving. And neither are you. This is the end of it, Ira.” She was speaking in her annoyed voice. Ira tried to hide a smile as he nodded his head.
“Fine, fine.” He sat down against a wall, and she sat next to him. It was amazing how he could go from being scared to death, killing crazed dogs, to sitting next to Dr. T'soni, trying not to smile like an idiot. He hadn't felt anything like this for a woman since his wife, Sophie, died in a car accident 6 years ago. He missed her like crazy, and was scared. He'd been avoiding women for so long, and still felt so traumatized by the loss of his wife, he'd thought he lost the ability to love. But whenever he met Laura a few years ago when he moved here, it felt good for him to know that those feelings were still available to him. Only he didn't know how to go about these feelings, and if he even should. He didn't even know how she felt.
He stood up at the sound of a large crashing sound coming from beyond the door. Then another. Then another. The animals we're escaping. He was about to say something before he was interrupted by Laura.
“Ira.. This is a bad time, but since we're probably about to die, I might not have another chance..”
“I've been meaning to say somethi-” Laura just kissed him. She quickly backed away to see his reaction, which was one of shock.
“Oh, Ira. I'm sorry. I didn't mea-” He kissed her, for longer. He put his arms around her body, and she seemed to melt into his embrace. She put both her hands on the sides of his face, pulling him into even more passionate kisses. They heard scratching and wheezing coming from the door, but they didn't stop. They just got more intense. If they were to die this night, then they were going to die as two lovers.
Manage Your Items