Victim # 1

October 15th

"We're in luck."

"Whaddaya mean, 'in luck?'" Jack yells. "We blew something, and neither of us are mechanically apt so it's not like we would even know what to do if we had a clue what's wrong with this thing." He kicks the tire of the SUV as smoke or steam seeps from under the hood. "We're in the boonies with no cell reception, and even if we could make that call, then what? I'm sure that the towing company would charge an arm and a leg to haul us out of here.

"Calm yourself down, Jack," the other man chides. "I've got GPS, remember? There's a campground relatively close by. Their office should have a land line we can use. Relax."

"With our luck a bear will get into the car while we're gone," Jack mutters.

"And that's why you're gonna stay here with it, alright?"

Jack stares at his friend, jaw agape slightly. "Seriously?"

"Seriously."

 

Jack starts after he hears a knock on the car door. Left alone in the vehicle he had decided to take a nap, sleep of the frustration. His friend smiles weakly and waves a hand from the other side of the glass; obviously he doesn't bring the best of news.

He winces as he opens the door. How much was the cost of getting a mechanic out here and bringing the truck back? $100? $200? Probably more.

"Bad news," the friend sighs.

"How much?" is all Jack asks.

"There was nobody there. The office was empty and locked. And.. and we've got a second problem."

"Which is?"

"I need to get to a hospital, I think."

"Hurt yourself on the hike over?" Jack asks.

"Something like that."

"Well, what'd you do?"

"I, uhm, I got bit."

"By what? And don't expect me to believe you fought off a bear."

"No, not a bear."

"What, then?"

"It was, uhm, some guy." His face starts to go pale.

"Wait wait wait, a person bit you? I thought you said there was nobody at the camp?"

"He wasn't. He was just, y'know, in the woods."

"And did you ask if he could help us? Or did he just straight up bite you and leave?"

"No, it took some, erm, persuasion to get him to go."

Jack answers with silence.

"I think I might have killed him." His eyes lose focus, and his body starts to sway where he stands.

Now Jack answers with expletives, and then, "I thought you said we only had two problems! Murder definitely counts as a third problem!"

"I wasn't trying to kill him," the friend whispers. "He just... he just fell apart when I tried to push him off."

"Dude, people don't just fall apart!"

"Then explain to me why his neck buckled and tore when I kicked him off my ankle!"

It was then that Jack noticed the dark stain on the cuff of his friend's jeans.

"Yah, Jack! That's not my blood, that's his."

Despite his yelling, the colour was not coming back to his face. If anything he was now more pale, and his whole body was quivering.

"You're going into shock. Lie down, I don't want you passing out on me, 'aight? No more problems. One was enough."

He faints, as if on cue.

"Not cool! Not cool at all." Jack continues by ranting more expletives, moving checking his friend's vitals.

He has barely measured ten quick-paced heartbeats when he hears a strange noise behind him, the noise that gargling molasses would likely make. He turns and comes face to face with the real reason his friend fainted.

Another frenzy of expletives rushes from Jack's mouth as he runs into the truck, slamming the door and locking it. Outside, the horror falls upon his friend, helpless because of his blackout.

Jack is reduced to hysterics.

Fumbling with the emergency kit in the backseat, Jack retrieves the tire iron. His hands shake as he holds it, but he knows that he has to use it: he's got an active imagination, spurred further by adrenaline, and the media hasn't been sparse with examples of apocalypses like these.

He tries not to look at his friend's corpse as he opens the door, mustering his focus to deal with the unthinkable. A cry leaves his lips as he swings the piece of metal at the wound in the creature's neck, left vulnerable as it hunched over to feed.

The spine severs remarkably easily, and blood flies from the impact.

Jack begins to cry once the bloody head comes to rest on the ground. He doesn't cry because of the two ruined corpses in front of him, he cries because of the coppery taste in his mouth.

The End

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