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Howlers

The Long Run

We ran hastily through the forest, our bare feet scratching and being stuck, like a pig, by any rock, twig or pointy object below us. We wouldn't be running if Carl hadn’t sneezed, god damn Carl, we told him what would happen if he made too much noise. They’ll come, and people will die. I heard them behind us, the Howlers were gaining on us, and I knew it, the rest of the tribe new it, some of us wouldn’t make it through the night. Georgie and I ran side by side, we were the fastest, and ahead of the rest. A shrill, familiar howl filled the air and we knew that meant they were right on our tails. I started to pick up their sounds, louder and louder, closer and closer, as leaves and twigs crumbled loudly under the howlers mighty legs. 

I reached to my side and pulled out my sidearm, a Terra 9-8. Known as more of a junker pistol made of scraps of other firearm, but it’s lasted this long on this god forsaken planet. I knew it would be dumb to use it, the noise would only bring more towards me, definitely more than the number of bullets in my magazine. A rustle in the bush nearby signaled something bad. Suddenly it leapt from the bush, and pounced onto me like dog. The bowler pinned me to the ground, its eyeless face inches from mine, as I fought its snarling gnashing teeth away from my face. I struggled with it as I pressed the barrel of my gun to its stomach, debating if it was worth it to use my sidearm. I heard screaming around me, I wasn’t the only one with one of these in my face, but I seemed to be the only one who can fight it. 

I weighed my options and with a sigh of anguish at the lack of options, pulled the trigger. The gun shot echoed painfully in my ear as the bullet escaped the barrel, and dug into the stomach of the Howler. With a pained whimper from the beast, it jerked back, and gave me enough force to throw it off me along with the pistol. 

I quickly picked myself off the ground and took off running. I whizzed past the trees surrounding me, once again the sound of feet rapidly hitting he ground, like a stampede of horses filled the air. I knew I couldn’t stop and hide, they were locked onto me. I’ve seen others try and it’s like they have advanced lock-on tracking or something. I didn’t have the slightest clue where I was going, I had never ventured this far from the camp before. 

I heard a new sound, one very unfamiliar to my ears yet my brain knew what it was. Rushing water. A stream or river nearby that I can try and find an escape. I continued towards the noise, breaking through bushes and stepping painfully on rocks and twigs, yet pure adrenaline and terror kept me running. I broke through another bush until I saw a clearing, a large river that disappears down a large steep cliff. The waterfall dropped downwards a couple hundred feet, then disappeared in a cloud of mist. I looked behind me, the rustling trees seemed to creep closer and closer. I looked over the edge, back into the forest, back over the edge and without thinking any further, I jumped. 

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Howlers
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