The mornings started coming closer and closer, but the sky didn't change that much color. It remained stagnant after all this time, a constant of grey that enveloped the entire sky. It's like if there really was some omnipotent creator far away in the cosmos, he forgot us. Punishment. Damnation. Whatever it was, every person that desolately walked the Earth from that day on knew that there was no return back. Time could not, or would not, find a way to heal this wound. But the tongue cut off always has another word. Life works in masses, and only in masses, yet the downfall may be sharp, there are always those who wait it out. Those who find some solace in living, some perpetual alleviation of their sad and discarded existences. They find their way to live, no matter the circumstances. This is the tenacity of life.
These were the thoughts that haunted Otherman for the rest of the day. Consciousness rushed back into his body instantly as he awoke. He had only slept a few minutes. Cowboy hadn't, and was stretched out on one of the wooden bar stools that inhabited their sleeping area. As soon as Otherman clothed himself, screams found their way into Garden, reverberating inside the saloon. The cowboy unseated himself and in pure reaction, reached at his hip.
"Man, they sound really close." Otherman positioned himself around the back side of the bar, to the left of the cowboy. "Really close." A sound made his eyebrows furrow. Cowboy turned towards him.
"You hear that, boy?" Old men constantly need conformation on what they are hearing, as with time comes made up sounds, apparently. Otherman nodded slightly and put his ear against the side of the building.
"Scratching!" he jumped back instantly and pushed his back against Cowboy's.
"Fuck." the cowboy reiterated himself more than once he looked around, frenzied. More vicious bellows found their way through the trees nearby. Cowboy said more cusses, then a crack. The panel where Otherman had just been sleeping chipped loose. They both ran that direction. Another crack. More screams. "It smells like ass, they're really close." Cowboy raised the bandana that was around his neck over his nose. A small figure darted behind the crack in the wall. "Don't shoot yet."
"We've done this a thousand times, and you say that every time." Otherman looked at him baffled and shook his head. The figure stopped at the crack.
"Shit." Cowboy changed words once more and fired a .44 round directly at the creature.
"What did you just say!" Otherman yelled and in a flurry the creature took off. Both men were shooting insanely at every shadow in the building. A horrid scream came once more, than silence. They both looked at each other, then looked at the mess they created. The building was peppered with bullet holes. Then another small sound. Cowboy started to walk around the bottom floorboards. They creaked with each step. Both men were as tense as possible. Another sound.
"What is the Lord's name is that?"
In reaction, Otherman shrugged. They continued their scan of the inside of the building. Then in a moment of great epiphany, he screamed. "Diggi-" Before he could finish his unconscious enlightenment, the creature broke through the floorboards. It roared, and thick gelatin spit flew across the entire room. It's mouth took up the majority of it's face. The eyes were barely black dots. The teeth were nearly black, and it jumped around with every passing second. It made an awful noise every time it hit the ground before leaping into the air again. Shots drowned out the screams and screams then took hold of the shots. The hands of the creature seemed like nothing but elongated fingers. The claws extended almost to the ground. Two slits above it's mouth grew in size with each breathe. Burbon spilled from the store space which held the alcohol. A sniff took place and the thing erected itself. It then proceeded to almost casually push the rest of the cracked panel open, and crawled through on all fours. Dark red started to pool in the off-set construction. It settled gently in the corner of the saloon. Open eyes matched open mouths and two guns faithfully alongside the bodies. Cowboy's head was ironically placed down inside the entry point of the Crawler. Far too many scratch marks shredded his dusty Carhartt overcoat and every piece of flesh and both that laid underneath. Otherman was leaned up against the corner with his pistol placed delicately between his thighs. Bourbon continued to pour from the cabinet, along with other liquors. The sun shone through the sky for the first time since it happened, and in an almost picturesque moment, light glinted off the stream of high quality alcohol. As it cascaded onto Otherman's skull, alchemy took hold of the rest. Mixing with the dark red that inhabited the corner, a small stream formed. Following the path of least resistance it meandered gently down the hillside into the trees nearby. Soon, it drained into the creek, and then, like everything else, off to the ocean.