Victim #12

   Darkness surrounded me. My partner called for backup and I ran behind him into the building. It was pitchblack my flashlight died earlier so now I relied on the sparse moonlight coming in from the windows high above. I moved through the warehouse, in the distance I could hear dripping water, slow and methodical.

    There was a queerness in the air that I couldn't quite figure out. The hairs on the back of my head stood on end. I walked slowly down the empty corridor with my weapon out front ready to fire.

    “Parker!” I shouted in a hoarse whisper. He didn't respond.

    “Damn it, Parker!” I muttered under my breath.

    My feet slid out from under me when I stepped on something slick and went down hard, my gun skittered away. I lay there catching my breath and sat up, feeling more stupid than hurt. I smelled the substance that now covered my clothes and my hands. Sharp, metallic, a sudden chill ran up my spine.

   I fished around my pockets in a desperate fury until I found my lighter. The tiny flame flooded the ground with a cold yellow glow. Blood! I sat in a puddle of blood!

    I crawled around feeling for my gun and heard a scrape somewhere ahead of me.

    “Parker!” softly at first, then louder.

    I stumbled forward with my arm outstretched like a blind man trying to touch anything. I spun around just as a shadow darted in front of a window.

    F***K, I swore as I stumbled along groaping for my gun. The scrape again, this time closer. I pocketed the lighter and strained to see in the gloom. I could barely make out a vague shape. Not sure if it was a person or a piece of machinery. My fingers brushed along cold steel and I snatched my gun from the floor just as I heard a moan, low and close.

   The shape moved.

    “Police! Stop right there!”

    The shape moved closer.

    “Down on your knees, now!”

    The dark exploded with light as an intense beam of light lit up the figure from behind me.

    “Frank!” Parker yelled from in back of me. “Shoot him!” he yelled out of breath.

    I followed the beam of light to a walking nightmare. I wasn't sure what I was seeing. The figure should not have been walking, should not have been alive. The man was missing his lower jaw and his eyes were black and sunken. He moaned and then lunged.

    I fired six rounds into him before he fell at my feet. Parker played the light over him.

    “What is that?!!”

    “Don't know,” Parker goaned. I turned to him.

  “What's wrong? You hit?”

    "Parker. Parker! What are you doing? No!!!"

The End

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