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ITíS A HELLUVA TOWN
Kevin Gillespie stood on the balcony of his apartment, looking out across the small lake filled with ducks and at the sky, slowly smoking a cigarette. Kevin was fifteen but by no means the ďnormalĒ teenager. He wore a lab coat that his father had given him from work, a pair of camo pants that he had cut into shorts though the legs were different lengths. The left leg ended slightly below the knee and the right one went halfway down his shin. He could always be easily spotted in a crowd and about the only normal thing about him was his physical appearance.
He was around six feet tall, blonde hair with bangs that usually hang down in front of his eyes, very pale skin, and his eyes were green with yellow streaks going through them. His build was medium, fairly muscled, and he could look intimidating if he grinned but he was usually very peaceful. Though his mind was a different story, most of his emotions were burnt out and he had a potentially dangerous mental disease that caused him to ďfly off the handleĒ every once in awhile.
All things aside, he was a very nice guy, always willing to help and quick to become friends with the people that would talk to him.
ďDamn itís hot.Ē Kevin mumbled to himself, complaining about the summer heat.
Kevin flicked the cigarette away and sat down on the beat up love seat, the only piece of furniture on the balcony, and closed his eyes. He hadnít slept in a whole day and he was now regretting it.
ďIím too impulsive for my own good.Ē Kevin said again and opened one eye.
It was late afternoon and the sun was just beginning to set, not a cloud in the sky either. Correction, just one, at the very edge of the horizon, Kevin looked harder at the cloud. To him it looked a little off color, and the texture was wrong, to him it looked more like fog. He shrugged mentally and closed his eye again. Sleep overtook him quickly, though not immediately. As he was on the very fringes of dreaming he heard something, a voice chanting some strange message in a language he didnít understand.
ďLleh si gnimoc, lleh si gnimoc, lleh si gnimoc, lleh si ereh.Ē
Immediately after the chant ended Kevin was in a semi-deep sleep, he never saw the cloud expand and seemingly consume everything, nor did he hear the faint screams. He was off in a happy dream world, for the last time.
Alexandra Kujawa sat in the backseat of the car, her head leaning up against the window, bored out of her mind. She was on vacation with her parents and they were currently driving through some small town, one of the most boring towns ever, in her opinion.
ďHow much longer?Ē she asked, even her voice sounded bored.
ďA lot,Ē her mom answered, ďnow why donít you get some sleep?Ē
ďThatís all Iíve been doing the whole way.Ē Alexandra said to herself and went back to staring out the window.
There wasnít much to see, stores, road, a few cars, an apartment complex with a lake, an office complex. The boredom was mind numbing, so much so that Alexandra began to feel sleepy again. She yawned and shut her eyes and immediately became distant, sleep overcoming her quickly, but before she fell completely asleep she heard someone talking, but assumed it was her mother or father. When their car suddenly slammed into a telephone pole, it only served to drive her deeper into unconsciousness.
* * *
Kevin snapped awake and for a moment he didnít realize where he was at, then he remembered that he had been out on his balcony and he was still there, though things had changed drastically. The first thing he noticed was that the temperature had dropped at least thirty degrees, the second thing being that everything was shrouded in a dense fog. He could see only about ten feet in front of him before the fog became too dense and the world turned to gray.
Kevin stared into the fog for a minute longer, the sun wasnít anywhere in sight though there was enough light to see by, it was as if the sun had frozen in place just as it was beginning to rise. Then he noticed something else, the silence, the horrible, deafening silence. Kevin personally hated the silence, because when it was silent you might hear things that you donít want to.
Kevin stood up and walked over to the sliding glass door and was about to open it when he heard a heavy, almost wet, flapping sound. After a minute of listening he decided that the sound was coming closer, and that it was not in his best interest to stick around and see what was making it. He slid the door open, stepped in and slid the door shut behind him as quick as he could.
Kevin almost regretted coming inside at all, almost. It was dark inside of the apartment, there was enough light to see but there were also plenty of shadows to hide in. The couch and matching loveseat were ripped up and big dark blotches stained them, the kitchen table was smashed into bits of wood, the floor was even more stained than usual with large dark patches and the walls were splashed with a dark liquid that still ran down in small drops, leaving narrow trails behind. It didnít take long for Kevin to figure out that the dark stains were blood, he could actually smell it.
Kevin stood in complete shock, not sure exactly what to think, the smell of blood was so thick in the air that it was beginning to make him nauseous. Kevin was brought out of his trance when he heard a low electrical hum, he looked up at the ceiling fan and saw that it was slowly spinning around. It took him a moment to realize what was wrong with the fan, there were what appeared to be two rib bones jammed through each of the four blades.
Kevin stared at it for a moment longer before actually walking into the living room, he tried not to look at anything, but had to settle for staring down at the blood-stained carpet. As he passed the kitchen he didnít even bother to look up, not really wanting to see what horrors were there to greet him. As he was about to pass the door to the hallway closet he abruptly stopped, the door was shut but he still feared that something terrible would burst through and drag him to his death.
He took a deep breath and slid past the door, his back pressed up against the opposite wall. Immediately after the closet door were the stairs that went up a few steps, took two sharp right turns and then continued up out of sight. Kevin slid past the stairs and the door to his bathroom, which was also shut, and finally he made it to his bedroom. He pushed the door open with his foot, trying to stay as far away as possible and breathed a heavy sigh when he saw that nothing uninvited was in his small room.
Kevin stood in the middle of his room, looking around, though nothing seemed to be out of place. In this temporary safe haven questions began to form in his mind, questions that, of course, didnít have answers. The only reasonable thought that came to Kevinís mind was to arm himself and, for some strange reason, to get out of his apartment.
He thought for a moment and then ever so slowly, his hands sweating profusely, reached up under his bed. His hand bumped into the cold metal of a rusted steel pipe that he had kept under his bed for some unexplainable reason. He still remember the day he had found it outside and had simply picked it up and kept it under his bed. He pulled it out and wrapped both his hands around it, feeling a little better, though not much, now that he had a weapon.
He walked out of his room and turned to face the front door, a fresh wave of fear washing over him. He really didnít want to face whatever the hell was walking, or flying, around outside with just a rusted pipe. He then remembered that his mom kept a gun upstairs in her bedroom hidden in her dresser. A smile crept across Kevinís face but it suddenly disappeared into a shocked gape when he was reminded of one simple fact, his sisters were upstairs.
His mom was over at her boyfriendís house like she normally was but his sisters were upstairs. Kevin slowly walked to the stairs, already fearing the worst, and began his ascent. He rounded the corner and looked up into the dark hallway, listening for any movement, and then continued upward until he reached the top of the stairs.
To his immediate left was the door to his older sisterís, Michelle, room. To the right was a short hallway and the door to his momís and little sister Allisonís room. Kevin walked down the hallway, past the washer and dryer, and to their door. He raised the pipe in his right hand and opened the door with his left, but when he saw what waited for him he lost his grip on the pipe and it fell to the ground followed shortly by Kevin himself.
ďGod no.Ē he croaked, and then he vomited until there was nothing left to come up.
Lying on her bed was Allison, or what was left of her. She had been stripped of her clothes and her chest had been flayed open, exposing her ribcage and a few vital organs. Her face was half smashed in, nothing left but a churned mass full of bone, blood and meat. Kevin had been closest to his little sister and now the eleven-year-old was dead, in a way that no one deserved.
After a minute of catching his breath, Kevin grabbed the pipe and used it to help him get to his feet. With tears running down his face he shakily walked over to where his little sister was and threw a blanket over her, though he half expected her hand to snake out and grab him. After watching the bloodstain grow on the blanket for a minute, Kevin remembered why he had come up here.
He walked over to the large dresser and opened the top drawer, fishing through the socks and underwear until his hand met the cool metal of his motherís Baretta .25. The small pistol was scarcely as big as Kevinís hand and as he checked to see if it was loaded he found that the clip wasnít even in it.
ďDamn.Ē Kevin whispered and stood numbly, wondering what to do.
A sound from behind made Kevin whirl around and stare wide-eyed at nothing, it also sent a chill up his spine. The sound repeated itself, though a bit louder this time, it was a sound like two raw pieces of meat being slapped together, it was coming from under the bed. The strange noise refueled Kevinís search for the missing clip, he turned back around and ripped the middle drawer completely out of the dresser and upturned it, spilling the contents into a heap on the floor.
Kevin threw the empty drawer away and franticly searched through the pile of random clothes, all the while the noise from up under the bed was getting louder, growing deeper, wetter, until it had changed into something completely different. It now sounded like a very large animal was simultaneously vomiting and choking on its own blood. Kevinís stomach dropped away again and he dry heaved several times, though he never stopped pawing through the clothes.
He threw aside one last bra and there it was, a shiny piece of metal no longer than five inches, but to Kevin it was the most beautiful sight of his life. He picked it up and rammed it into the small gun, not caring if it were loaded or not, not having the time to check it if he did care. Kevin scrambled to his feet and took off, only to get tangled up in the mess of clothes he had created and fell on his face. He jumped back up again and ran out of the room and down the hall as fast as he could.
To him it wasnít a moment too soon, actually in Kevinís opinion it was a few moments too late, because as soon as he was in the hall there was a terrific splintering crack as Allisonís bed was broken apart. Kevin didnít waste time running down the stairs, instead he leapt down the entire first flight, slammed into the wall, leapt down the second flight and landed hard on his knees.
Kevin jumped up, ignoring the pain in his legs, and charged the front door. He hit the door, rebounded off it and twisted the knob, desperately tugging. The door was locked, someone had thrown the deadbolt, and the horrible noise from the bedroom was now making its way down the stairs, growing closer with every passing second. Kevin grabbed for the deadbolt and fumbled with it, his hand shaking too badly to get a grip on it.
The vomiting-choking noise now sounded as if it were only a few feet behind Kevin and in desperation he managed to throw back the bolt. Kevin flung the door open, the doorknob denting the wall, and almost went through the storm door, the force of his impact tearing it from one of its hinges. Kevin flew down the small wooden porch in front of his apartment and into the parking lot where he finally turned around and aimed his gun at absolutely nothing.
Nothing but a storm door, now hanging at a funny angle, and the darkened hallway staring back at him. Kevin held the gun out for a moment longer making sure nothing was there, lucky for him too, his whole body was quaking violently, and he probably couldnít have shot anything if he tried right then. He finally relaxed his arm and dropped the gun into one of the lab coatís front pockets. Kevinís breath came in ragged gasps, his mind still trying to comprehend what had just happened.
Kevin reached up and wiped the tears from his face and eyes, funny though, he didnít even realize he was crying. He also felt a cramp beginning to form in his left hand, he looked down and saw that his left hand had the steel pipe in a vice grip, another funny thing, he didnít remember picking up the pipe. Kevin suddenly had a feeling that it was going to be a hilarious day.
After his breathing calmed down a bit he took a look around, and was dismayed at the fact that the outside conditions hadnít changed at all. Everything was still shrouded in a dense fog, there was still that strange early morning light, he could still only see at most a dozen feet in front of him and, of course, the silence.
Kevin started walking with no real destination in mind, just wanting to get away from the place. He made his way along slowly and quietly, his gun drawn again, listening for anything besides his own footsteps and ragged breathing. As he walked he noticed that most of the cars were gone, only a few were left, and the ones that were still there looked years older and in a state of tragic disrepair.
A sudden noise jerked Kevinís attention over to his right where the remains of a wooden playground, which was once a tennis court, stood. He wasnít sure what he felt about what he saw, he wasnít even sure he was seeing it. In the middle of the ruined playground stood a large wooden cross with a man nailed to it, his head slumped onto his chest. On top of his head sat a crown of thorns and there was a large wound in his abdomen. Near the base of the cross was a large symbol painted in blood, it took Kevin a moment to recognize it as a pentagram.
He wasnít exactly sure how he felt about the whole scene but one thought broke its way through the confusion.
ďI think weíre going to need a bigger gun.Ē Kevinís mind said.
Kevin simply nodded, unable to take his eyes off of the scene, ďThe pawn shop has guns, now I suggest you move before you join him up there.Ē
Kevin nodded again and finally tore his eyes from the blasphemous scene, making his way slowly again. He was faced with a few choices about which way to go, he could go the way he usually did when he went out walking, but that was essentially back roads, a number of houses and way too many trees. So Kevin quickly decided to take the highway, the only one running through the town, now the only question was which way to take to get there. He could take the path that led around the lake, but Kevin had a distinct feeling that the lake was no longer a wholesome thing to walk next to. Now the only path left to take was to follow the parking lot around the entire complex, out the front entrance and directly onto the highway.
Slowly, quietly and scared out of his mind is how Kevin made his way around the apartment. He constantly looked around though he never saw anything too out of place. Shadows formed and dissipated with the swirling of the fog, adding to Kevinís state of mental horror and tension. He even scared himself a few times with the wheezing sound in his chest every time he took a breath.
Somehow, through it all, Kevin made it without further incident and without pissing on himself. He was now out on the highway, staying in the middle, and beginning to wonder if he would even make it to the pawnshop. He hadnít actually seen anything yet, but he had heard things, and sometimes, hearing is worse than seeing. He was staying in the middle of the highway for two reasons. If something did actually attack him he would, hopefully, be able to run from it, and two, to his left were small bunches of trees and to his right was a row of fast-food joints, with more trees behind them.
As he was walking he happened to look down at the road and saw a trail of bloody footprints leading off in the direction he was headed, he slowed his pace, thinking to himself that the footprints really didnít look that human. When Kevin finally looked back up he froze, there was something standing just beyond his field of vision, appearing as a dark silhouette against a gray background.
The figure was built like a well-muscled man, though its head was almost perfectly round, and it also stood unmoving. Kevin felt a flicker of hope run through him, with the exception of the rounded head, the figure appeared to be human. He tried not to make any noise and thought about what to do, his luck was always pretty good, and if it was a monster he could just shoot it and run. As Kevin thought he heard the faint plik-plik sound of liquid dripping onto something solid.
He had come to a decision, he decided to chance it; it was then that Kevin made one of the worst mistakes of his life.
ďHello?Ē he called outÖ