The moon had risen and conquered the skies by the time Rex and Pebbles, along with the bag of priceless information, came out of the building.
If Father Fynn Blador really could help them, would he? Would he even believe them? Rex hoped more than anything that this young priest could help them, even if he was to be able to see them, to offer them comfort that would be good. Rex knew that priests were supposed to be holy and kind to everyone, but a sudden worry wound its way into his stomach. He had heard news concerning Fynn that said the priest wasn’t really as good as he was made out to be, hat he was inexperienced.
Rex pushed aside the news and quickly opted for a safe way out of the town. Because it was dark, Rex fond himself looking into every dark alleyway they passed, searching for blazing red eyes.
Pebbles, too, felt uneasy. She wandered after Rex, making sure her footfalls fell silent against the pavement. No one was around to walk into, and the days shopping had been completed. Her parents would be at home, getting on with their normal everyday routine, not even sparing a thought for their daughter.
As Re carried on, the rucksack swinging from side to side in rhythm with his gait, the buildings loomed over them like
sinister forms, listening out for them, ready to pass on
their whereabouts. At that moment, Rex felt like
everything was in league with the dreaded monster, that
everyone was trying to kill them both. It was a horrible
feeling and, to try to take his mind off of the danger they
were placing themselves in, he pulled his sleeve back and checked the time.
“Nine o’clock, will Father Fynn still be at the church, because I don’t know where he lives?” Rex piped up; worry once again fear winding round his stomach.
“Doesn’t he live at or near the church?” Pebbles queried.
“I don’t know I am not his personal bodyguard, am I!” Rex snapped. Pebbles backed away from him, lengthening the distance between them. He’s just worried she told herself.
“Sorry” Rex muttered sadly and, in a moment of complete loneliness, Rex wrapped his arm around pebbles’ shoulder and walked with her.
Pebbles felt reassured by the strong arm on her shoulder, but also scared. Was this experience changing Rex? He never would have shouted at her before. Perhaps she was changing too. She had heard of thing happening to normal people, who then changed. Some went mad, some became so terrified they jumped at their own shadow and some became obsessed with what had occurred.
The top of the church protruded from above the buildings, and it was a happy sight, for both Rex and Pebbles. The end was near, and the church was like a beacon of hope.
Rex was about to celebrate the small victory against the beasts when a figure darker than the night itself, stepped forward and blocked the way, lacing itself firmly between the two rows of buildings. The thing that was blocking them in had glowing red eyes and a hooded face. There was no mistaking that face, and no mistaking that humped shoulder and mutated body. The wolf had returned for its kill, and it was angry.
Lowering its body to the ground, the mobster started stalking forward, its torn stomach brushing against the concrete. Rx slowly took the bag from his shoulder and unzipped it. The wolf’s ears twitch and went forward at the sound of his zip. Pebbles remained rooted to the spot.
Rex took out a pair of goggles and handed them to her. He threw the bag back onto his shoulder and gestured for Pebbles to start running left. Pebbles nodded as the beast advanced ever closer.
The confrontation remained slow, with the beast coming closer and closer, and the two teens edging carefully away.
Without warning Rex thundered to the right, sprinting as fast as his legs could carry him, and |pebbles went left. The beast flicked its ears wit annoyance and leapt after Rex, leaving Pebbles a free escape.
“GO!” Pebbles heard Rex shout loudly and in a commanding voice, and she knew the beast had chosen him. For a second her brain clicked and her survival instinct almost kicked in, willing her to run to the safety of the church. But her friendship with Rex countered it fiercely, and she pulled her goggles on hurriedly, and sprinted back the way she had come.
Rex ran wildly along the dark alleyway, the sound of the beast’s heavy breathing spurring him on. How far did he hope to outrun the beast?
He skidded into another alleyway littered with rubbish bins, and hoped he was agile enough tot make an escape.
Tripping over metal bins and slipping on damp litter, Rex
somehow managed to spot a ladder, climbing all the way
up a wall. Cheering silently to himself, he caught hold of
the bottom rung as he flew past, and managed to pull
himself up. Rung after rung he ascended, praying the beats couldn’t climb. The ladder creaked under his weight and threatened to collapse, but he reached the summit before it did so.
He found himself standing on a block of flats and, when he looked down into the narrow alleyway, he saw the red eyes staring back up at him.
Knowing he dint have much time left to make a break for it, he stumbled to the edge of the building and sprinted back towards the alleyway. When he reached the far edge, he sprang forward with as much strength as he could find. When his feet left the building, he felt as if he was flying and he felt truly free. The beast beneath him made a swipe for him, and missed by millimetres, the claws almost snagging into his trainers.
He landed heavily on the other building, whooping with joy at his leap. His cheering ended abruptly when he saw the beast’s head emerge from the gap between the flats. It spun round and saw him, and pushed itself up.
“Oh God” Rex sighed, knowing when the fight was over.
But it wasn’t; Rex had just recalled the bag on his shoulder,
a bag filled with gadgets that could help him. Unzipping it
again hastily, Rex pulled out the pen and screwed the light on, just as the beast jumped.
The light went on and seared the beast’s eyes. It landed blindly on top of Rex, who used the momentum of the jump to kick his legs up and perform a backward roll, forcing he beast over his body.
The beast tumbled over the edge of the block of flats, its
red eyes spinning as it tried to focus. A bone shattering
crunch followed. Rex dazed from yet another close shave
with the beast, walked over to the edge and saw the beast lying on its side, still alive and conscious, thrashing its head about in pain. One of its front legs had twisted and the bone, a sharp white shard, had pierced the skin. Also one of the monsters eyes had been blinded by the lash of light, and thick blood oozed down its muzzle.
But it wasn’t dead.
As fast as his tired body could carry him, Rex climbed down the stairs and retraced his steps to find Pebbles. He almost ran into her as he rounded the corner of the alleyway.
“Where’s the beast?” Pebbles puffed.
“Back there, it fell off a building but its still alive, half blinded and with only three good legs” Rex huffed, equally as out of breath.
“I think its time we saw Fynn” Pebbles sighed. Her planning was interrupted by a horrendous roar that filled the sky. It
was coming from the other side of the alleyway, and Rex
knew the beast had managed to get up, and was tracking
them. But why roar?
“We need o get out of here” Rex whispered, finally deciphering the monsters behaviour “it’s called for backup”
Sensing the urgency in Rex’s voice, and the way his body was twitching with worry, Pebbles could tell he was convinced there would be more beasts ready to attack them. His eyes were welling up with tears and, whether that was from the salty sea wind or from the complete and utter ignorance to their existence, she did not know. Once again, she found herself wondering if Rex was a changed character.
Rex, before any more tears could be shed, turned down
the road they had encountered the beats at, and started walking down it, passing nervous looks at the barren shops that penned him in. Pebbles, by this time was so used to following Rex around, she did so without noticing.
But having to stare at the back of Rex’s neck all of the time had left her annoyed and, for once, she wished she could lead, as she had done everyday at school beforehand. She was the natural leader, and the first person to realise that
Joe was facing problems up against bullies, like Raptor had.
She had told Rex of what she had seen; the bullies stealing Joe’s money and pushing him about, and made sure she geared him up for a fight. By persuading him to do so, she could help, but also sit on the sidelines.
She could still remember the day when Rex had received his first detention, by sparring with the bullies. He won of course, even though it was a five to two advantage against him.
As soon as pebbles had alerted him to Joe’s plight, Rex had marched straight off to confront them. He managed to catch them right in the middle of trying to steal Joe’s rucksack. He had said, “You want a rucksack, have mine”, and swing his own bag straight into their faces, each one knocking into the other bully behind, like a game of dominoes, with very ugly dominoes.
The five bullies had turned their attentions to Rex and, getting up easily after the blow, pounced upon him like wild hyenas going in for some meat. Rex’s friend, Ben had joined in the fight, landing a few good kicks before the teacher finally managed to separate them.
All Rex got was a detention, and a black eye. Ben was
unharmed and unpunished, but the bullies were sent away
from the school for a few weeks to calm down, and their pride was seriously hurt.
Rex still needed to repay some other nasty kids in heir class for what they had done to Joe. Poor Joe was a human punch bag for the lower forms of scum that grew on the school. Since he was too timid to fight his own battles, Rex did it for him.
“I need to train Joe to defend himself” Pebbles whimpered to herself quietly, still staring at Rex’s neck.
Although she felt angry with him for how easily he was taking the whole beast fiasco. But at the same time she could never be angry at her saviour.
It wasn’t just his confidence that awed her into liking him,
it was his raw determination, and the way he would attempt any task, however impossible. He tried never to moan, even when he sustained serious injuries from certain tree climbing adventures that hadn’t turned out so well in the past. He had nearly collapsed from pain after he tried to keep the true extent of his wounds hidden, not wanting to cause a fuss. It turned out he had broken a few ribs and raised his thigh badly from a fall out of the tree.
However had it made his life, he always wanted to make others easier and, as she was aware, it was only out of extreme fear that he was taking his troubles to someone else.
Another quality she admired in Rex was his ability to listen to everyone, and never interrupt them unless necessary. He was an open book to everyone, and easy enough for
anyone to read. He certainly looked like he could be a very
popular ladies man at school, but he refused any offers,
and pebbles sometimes wondered if it was for her benefit.
She could see in his eyes how much he wanted to kiss her, and she would always will him on, but he would always back down, and turn away.
It frightened her to see the same proud boy she had shared all of her fun times with, who was so full of spirit, walking in front of her like the living dead, a haunted soul. She wanted to comfort him in any means necessary, but she felt that his unsteady mood might shift unexpectedly, that and the fact they were being stalked by hellhounds and time was not on their side.
It suddenly occurred to her how horrible life would be
without Rex, a boring, miserable life doomed to end lonely. It also occurred to her how close they had come to losing each other on the first attack. When Rex had run off again, only five minutes ago, the pain in her heart returned at the thought of never seeing him alive again. She had felt a similar pain when she had seen him plummeting out of the tree they had climbed a few years back. He had leant too heavily on a branch, i had snapped and he was not ready for the fall.
He must have fallen a good ten metres before landing agonizingly on his left shoulder. He had lain motionless for the duration of Pebbles’ descent down the tree, and she was worried he had died. But he was breathing.
He was saved. But maybe next time, he would no be so lucky.
Just kiss the damn boy before it’s too late her mind screamed at her, and her heart was egging her on too.
“Rex” she called and he turned. He looked sad, as if the
same memories had passed through his mind. He walked
back towards her and, sensing the mood, embraced her in
a hug. She wrapped her arms around his waist and refused to let go.
This will do for now she told her mind.
“Now I have something worth fighting for” Rex whispered into her ear, his voice strangled slightly by tears.
“Me to” she replied.
The beast stalked through the darkness, it’s injured
shoulder clutched to its chest, the bone jabbing awkwardly
into its body every time it moved. The boy would pay, not
just for the injury, but for surviving.
As the monster moved its heavy form through the dark expanse of the alleyway, it glimpsed patches of light in which it saw the boy and girl in the middle of the road.
When it poked its head out of the alleyway and into the
lighted streets, he saw the two youths holding onto one
another, and it thought or a moment they were fighting, as
his own race did.
But their claws, if they had any, were sheathed, and their teeth, however blunt and useless they may be, were not at each others throats. And they didn’t even try to topple on e another over.
Then the beast remembered that his parents had done this a long time ago, and it was a way of expressing love. The beast nearly backed away into the shadows, to leave the pair for another night, but no, his instructions had been clear.
“Kill all victims straight away, do not let any survive!” his master had shouted.
But the voice on the moors, when it had been just about to
kill the pair that stood before him. The voice had sounded
so much like his masters, so it had obeyed it. But after it had run back into the trees, it replayed the voice in its head, and the voice sounded too young to be its master.
When he beast glanced down at its ruined leg, the anger filled it once more, and its mission became clear. The boy and the girl must die, they have vital info.
Rex was aware of the growling before Pebbles was. He wanted more than anything to keep hold of her, to carry on hugging even after death, but it was important, perhaps a life or death for he human race that they reach Father Fynn Blador.
The beast leapt out between two buildings and landed on the pavement next to them, almost in a similar position to the previous attack. Once again it pounced, its heavy body
soaring through the air, the useless leg tucked under its
Rex leant all of his body weight onto Pebbles, pushing her forward and out of the way of the beast. She fell to on side and the beast sailed harmlessly over the spot that Pebbles had stood in not a second before. Rex grabbed her hand and yanked pulled her up just in time to see the monster hauling itself up, its twisted arm dragging across the floor.
Knowing that even though their beast was now three-legged, Rex felt some hope, but when he looked back to see the monster running after them just as quickly as before, he felt sick with panic. The beast was swinging its wounded arm, and then using the momentum from the swing to pushed itself forward. Every step it took it repeated this trick.
Finally Rex and pebbles burst out of the town and into the countryside beyond. The spiral roof of the church beckoned to them not far away.
Rex pulled Pebbles along even harder, forcing her on, yanking her through trees and lifting her over bushes.
When they reached the entrance of the church, it was
locked. A giant wooden door with dozens of locks fastened
to it stood between them and safety. Rex slammed his fists
as hard as he could onto the wooden frame of the door, screaming for anyone inside to come to their aid.
“HELP! OPEN UP!” he yelled, conscious that the beast was getting nearer and nearer.
It finally made its reappearance, hurling out of the thorns and towards them. As before, it leapt forward, Rex and Pebbles fell back, and it landed neatly in front of them. Rex screamed for his life and, as the beast stepped forward, he kicked his foot out as hard as he could, catching the beast on the end of the nose. The momentary lapse in concentration was not enough time to escape with, though, and the beast eased in, its teeth bared and ready to rip the boy’s throat out.