Helena was on her feet before Tyler could even react. She reached for her bag only to be reminded that it wasn't there. An anxiety began to creep down her spine at this realization and she tensed, all her senses heightened in anticipation. Darting past Tyler and into the hall, she followed the sound of pots and pans being hurled violently to what was inevitably the kitchen. The second she appeared in the doorway, the noise stopped and an eerie silence hung in the air, thick and pregnant. 

"The light switch is just inside the door on the right," Tyler added helpfully. He had followed her, hovering behind, looking for a way to assist. She didn't answer and didn't move. This was serious business. Quick as a flash, she jumped to the side of the doorway, dragging Tyler with her. A whish noise sizzled past their ears and five black spikes lodged themselves, quivering, into the wall.

"That was close," Tyler breathed.

Helena spared him a look of disdain, "You still have a lot to learn."

"Tyler?" a voice called from up the stairs, "Is that you?"

"Distract them, I'll take care of this," Helena commanded.

"Are you sure?"

"Go and don't let the come down here, no matter what."

Helena blinked and Tyler was gone, engulfed by the darkness of the hall or perhaps already upstairs. She had to hand it to the kid, he was stealthy. Maybe there was hope for them yet. Turning her focus back to the kitchen, Helena grabbed a glass vase off the table next to her to serve as a temporary weapon. Carefully studying the position of the spikes on the wall, she judged the creature's position and launched the vase into the dark kitchen. The sound of glass shattering was followed by an unearthly shriek, and she knew they were dealing with something far more dangerous than werewolves or even vampires. 

Seizing advantage of its distraction, she flipped on the light for the kitchen and cautiously peered around the corner. On the white linoleum floor there was a giant black scorpion with pinchers the size of large dogs. Its stringer, raised like a periscope, contained five poisonous barbs instead of just one and they were detachable, capable of being flung a good distance.

Despite its shape, Helena wasn't fooled. It wasn't just a scorpion, it was a shape-shifter, one of the "oldest ones." They had almost been hunted to extinction a few years ago and sightings were so rare that, for the moment, she couldn't react. The creature hissed and let loose another volley of barbs that missed her by inches. It charged the door, moving much faster than she had expected. Rotating its whole body towards her, it turned its soulless black eyes on her, piercing her to the very core. Without thinking, Helena knocked the wooden table onto the shape-shifter and darted into the kitchen. She found the knives and seized one but when she turned around, the scorpion was gone. 

The spikes came from nowhere this time and Helena heard they long before she saw them. She ducked quickly but not quickly enough as one spike grazed her arm. Immediately, a sharp, fierce pain exploded from the site and began to travel upwards. An inky black pool appeared in front of her and from it, the evil scorpion ascended, gripping her ankle with its pincher, and attempted to drag her down into the pit. Grabbing hold of the oven door with one hand and the scorpion's spike with the other, she plunged the spike into the creature's unblinking eye. With another horrific screech, it disappeared and took its ominous pool with it and she knew it would not be back. 


The End

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