I shoved a magazine into my pistol and raised it one last time. I stared down the sights of my weapon, down range to the center of my target. I fired one round, which went straight through the target. I squinted at the paper sheet, now showing a neat hole through the center, and decided that I was satisfied with the evening's practice. I would finish off the magazine, then pack up and leave the range.
Just as I fired my second shot, an ear-splitting shriek came from the lobby of the gun club, clearly reaching my ears despite the hearing protection the club required everyone to wear. I turned on the safety mechanism of my pistol, lowered the weapon, and watched the door leading from the main building out to the target range.
Seconds later, a man rushed through the door, stumbling, with his mouth wide open, still shrieking. He rushed at me, being the only person on the range, his mouth at an odd angle, eyes blank and tortured-looking. He reached his arms out and grabbed me by the shoulders, then snapped his mouth at my neck. I just barely dodged away in time, and decided - what else could I do? - to fire. I switched off the safety, raised the weapon up as he stumbled back before charging me like a bull again, and fired just as his mouth closed clumsily around the end of my pistol. Whatever was wrong with him, I hoped he hadn't been this stupid all his life.
I stood there, stunned, mouth open much like his had been, now in a state of panic. I had just killed a man. Again. But this time, I hadn't had a single bit of justification besides the obvious outcome that either he was going to die, or I was, and I would not accept the second possibility.
I walked out of the range into the shop, and found several people laying on the floor, gripping obvious bite wounds. Hmm, I thought sarcastically, I wonder how that happened. That guy I'd just shot had caused a lot of chaos before reaching me. One woman was still moving, so I went to her first, checking her for wounds and looking to see how severe her bite was. It wasn't that bad; he'd just nipped her wrist.
She stirred and said, "Is that - that thing...gone? He attacked me, and I just sort of pushed him away. He bit me pretty hard on the wrist, though. Think it's infect -" she was cut off by a sudden convulsion shaking her whole body. She hit the ground in a second that felt like forever, then began violently convulsing on the floor. Soon, her screams and groans of agony began to become something more like an animal's call, and she slowly stopped shaking. She was still for several seconds, then her eyes snapped open and she looked at me, leaping up and snatching at me, trying to get a grip on my arms and neck.
I had to fire again, terrified, wondering what was going on, trying to make sense of the last five minutes, which now seemed to have begun an eternity ago, then collapsed to the ground. I was alone in the club for the night. The next morning, I began to ponder the occurrences of the previous day.
I pressed the volume button several times on the television remote, turning up the tv so I could hear the current story. Some younger man was talking about a person going berserk after being found with several bite wounds on his body. He had apparently caught a ride hitchhiking and rode for quite a while in the backseat before becoming unusually silent, not responding when he was spoken to. Then, suddenly, when the female driver pulled to the side of the road, the hitchhiker had roused and clumsily lurched towards her and tried to bite her. She had leaped out of the vehicle, slamming the door behind her, and run down the highway, leaving the man trapped in the car until he figured out how to open the door and pursue her, by which point she had found herself in a nearby city and gotten psychological help for shock and what many believed to be mental illness until similar occurrences began in other nearby locations just a few hours later.
I left the television playing as I strode upstairs into my room and grabbed my supplies. I had always been prepared for some catastrophe to occur, and I always took precautions when I felt there was danger coming. I grabbed my bow and arrows, and then my large backpack, and set them by the door to my bedroom. I would leave the following morning, with daylight on my side.