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Kevin was immediately answered with a low hissing-roar that turned his blood to ice water. The thing suddenly charged into view and at first Kevin thought he had finally lost it and he had started hallucinating. The thing was a little taller than Kevin, heavily muscled, had claw tipped hands and feet and completely skinned. Blood oozed out of it from everywhere, thin streams flew off of it as it ran, blood dripped off its body onto the ground, blood ran down from the top of its head and onto its massive spike teeth.

That’s when Kevin noticed its face, or lack thereof. Where its face should have been was nothing but a gigantic mouth full of huge spike teeth. It was only a few feet away from Kevin now and he finally brought his gun up and began firing. He pulled the trigger so fast that the entire clip was empty in less than a second. Each time a bullet hit there was a splash of blood, though the creature didn’t even seem to feel it.

Then the last bullet left the gun and struck one of the creature’s teeth. There was a high-pitched whine as the bullet ricocheted off the tooth and smashed into the back of its mouth. Finally, at less than four feet from Kevin, the creature seemed to slow a bit, though not much. Kevin dropped his gun and switched the pipe to his right hand, raising it above his head, and leapt forward to meet the creature charging him.

Kevin swung the pipe down right as their bodies were about to collide. There was a meaty, wet thock and a spray of blood as the pipe struck the back of the thing’s head. Kevin felt claws brush past him but since pain didn’t follow he didn’t care. Kevin turned around as soon as the thing was behind him and hit it in the head again with the pipe finally knocking it to the ground. A grin appeared on Kevin’s face but it quickly disappeared when he saw that the creature was beginning to recover.

Kevin snatched his gun up off the ground, which was dangerously close to the creature, turned around and ran, now more desperate than ever to get to the pawnshop and get a weapon powerful enough to stop that thing. As he ran he tried not to think about what else might be lurking in the fog, just beyond his vision, and the fact that if the skinless creature was any indication of what was out there he was in a lot more trouble than he originally thought.

As he ran he started to cry a bit, just a few tears running down his face, because he finally realized just how real this whole thing was. There was a pain in his wrists from the jarring impact of hitting the creature with the pipe, there was blood on his face, also from the creature, and there were three long slashes in his lab coat from where the creature had come so close to ripping his stomach out.

Now, as Kevin made a right at the intersection, only two thoughts ran through his mind; “Get to the pawnshop and just live through this damn thing.”

Alexandra was brought to semi-consciousness by the sound of a nearby roar, which sounded like an overgrown snake hissing. She was brought the rest of the way from her sleep by the sound of rapid-fire gunshots and by the sounds of an obvious struggle quickly after that. When she finally opened her eyes she was confused and thought that she was still sleeping.

She was still in the back of the car but the world was now covered in a swirling gray fog and it was cold. She finally looked forward to where her parents used to be, they were gone, replaced by an unreal amount of blood. Alexandra felt tears spring into her eyes, even though their bodies were gone she was sure that her parents were dead. She opened the car door and got out, confused, in a mild state of shock and cold but wanting to find help.

She stood still and listened for a moment hearing only a heavy, rasping breathing. Alexandra wrapped her arms around herself and walked toward the sound. If she had known as much as Kevin did about the situation, though he knew very little, she would have stayed in the car and prayed. She was frozen in fear when something suddenly sprang out of the fog in front of her.

It was huge, covered in blood and exposed muscle, had taloned hands and feet and had a gigantic mouth where its face should have been. The thing seemed to look at Alexandra for a moment, which was impossible because it had no eyes, and then dove at her. Alexandra screamed and ran, terrified beyond actual thought other than to get away, and fast.

She ran as fast as her legs could take her, a heavy wet slapping sound close behind her. Though terrified she still had common sense, when she got to an intersection she suddenly turned right, skidding a bit, and as suddenly as it had begun it was over. The footsteps stopped and began to recede slowly away, but Alexandra kept running, hoping to find someone else alive and human, or at least a place to hide.

She was openly crying now, not bothering to wipe away the tears that clouded her vision, its not like her view of the world changed much anyways. A world of swirling gray fog changing into a world of cloudy gray swirling fog is not much of a stretch. The sound of breaking glass grabbed her attention and immediately she was filled with hope, the noise came from up ahead and slightly to the right and it was close. Alexandra stood in thought for a moment, nervously chewing on her bottom lip. She had a strong feeling that it had been a person who had broke the glass, probably in an attempt to get into a store to hide, and started toward where the noise had come from, trying to think what would happen if she was wrong.

Kevin stood in front of the pawnshop so happy that he was almost dancing, he had actually made it, now all he had to do was not get killed by something in the pawnshop. One of the doors had been torn off by something or another and tossed aside and the other one was broken. Kevin cautiously stepped inside the shop and looked around, it looked as if the place had been looted but nothing removed from the store. Miscellaneous junk was strewn about everywhere, making it hard for him to pick his way through the store trying to be quiet.

He almost called out but suddenly remembered what had happened the last time he did. Instead he walked the length of the store and back, looking down each isle and finding nothing. Relatively satisfied that there was nothing else in the store but him he made his way over to the glass display case at the front of the store. On the way there he made a small observation, the fog or mist or whatever it was didn’t seem to be able to buildings which he found a little strange though he was thankful for it nonetheless.

Kevin looked down into the display case and smiled, there were several pistols in the case, but what really made him smile was the break-action double-barreled shotgun lying slightly below the pistols. Then a horrible realization came to him, guns needed ammunition, he wasn’t sure if the pawnshop carried ammunition, without ammunition guns were just fancy clubs. Kevin looked around for a second and then jumped over the display case and looked behind it, and sure enough there were boxes of ammunition stocked up in the small hollowed out place.

He raised his pipe into the air and was about to swing down when he stopped himself, he then put the pipe down on the case and bent down to look through the boxes of ammo. He picked up a box of twelve gauge shotgun shells, a box of the near universal nine-millimeter parabellum rounds and was even able to find a box of .25 bullets for his mother’s gun. He opened the box of shotgun shells, took out two and dropped them in a lab coat pocket, figuring he could load the shotgun the quickest.

Kevin grabbed the pipe and raised it up above his head again, hesitated for a moment and gave one last quick look around, and brought it down. There was a wonderful noise as the glass shattered, Kevin personally loved the sound though he didn’t get time to enjoy it. He ripped the pipe from the case and threw it behind him, it actually embedded into the cheap drywall. Kevin reached into the case and grabbed the shotgun, he pushed the small lever on top and the entire barrel fell forward. He reached into his pocket and grabbed the shells, ramming them in. Kevin snapped the barrel shut again and looked hurriedly around, seemingly nothing had come running at the noise.

He let out a long breath that he didn’t even realize he was holding, his luck had come though again. Kevin kissed the barrel of the shotgun and then wiped his lips on the sleeve of his lab coat and spit, gun oil did not taste good. He bent back down and grabbed the three boxes of ammunition and stuffed them in the large pockets on either side of his camo pants. Most of the other ammo was for various kinds of rifles, and to Kevin’s dismay there were no rifles in the case. He stood up again and grabbed a pistol from the case, noticing that his hand was cut and bleeding in several places, and stood for a moment wondering where to put it.

He then reached around behind him and jammed the gun into the waistband of his pants against his back. He hissed at the touch of the cold metal but his body heat quickly warmed it up. At first Kevin had liked the pawnshop; no mist, no demons and guns, but now he was beginning to get a strange feeling about the place. He turned around and ripped his pipe from the wall, flinging bits of drywall as he did, and ran for the door, the hairs on the back of his neck suddenly standing up. He wasn’t three steps out of the doorway when he saw another figure emerging from the fog, Kevin immediately backpedaled and stepped onto bits of broken glass.

The figure froze at the noise of the crunching glass, as did Kevin, giving him a chance to notice that the figure looked very female and in the silence he could hear sobs coming from her. Although Kevin was pretty sure that the figure he saw was a human he was not in the mood for surprises. As quietly as he could, Kevin made his way around in a slow circle. The figure hadn’t moved since Kevin had stepped on the glass and as he came up behind her he got a good look at her back.

She was definitely female and human, she was skinny, only about five-six, had long dark blond hair that reached down to her waist and wore a tight black shirt and jeans that flared out at the bottom, her shoes were tall and thick looking, more like boots. Before she heard him and turned around Kevin jammed the barrel of the shotgun hard into her back.

“Move and you’re dead, girl.” Kevin said in a harsh whisper, his finger already curled around one of the triggers.

The girl slowly raised her hands into the air, “Please don’t kill me.” she sobbed, her voice had a thick accent that Kevin thought sounded familiar but couldn’t place at the moment.

Kevin smiled, there was no doubt that she was human, “Turn around, slowly.” He said, but still kept the shotgun leveled at her back.

A horrible thought suddenly came to Kevin’s mind, what if the girl really was a demon? What if when she turned around her face was nothing but a mouth like that other thing? Not wanting to take any chances, Kevin raised the shotgun so it was level with her face, and waited for her to turn around, ready to blow her head clean off her shoulders if need be.

It was a very tense two seconds and then it was all over. She was normal from what Kevin could tell, she had dark blue eyes at least, the rest of her face was blocked by the barrels of the shotgun. The girl didn’t seem to see Kevin, her eyes were attempting to focus on the end of the shotgun. Kevin was trying to decide on what to do and the shotgun was starting to become heavy, he shifted the gun a bit and the girl suddenly made a small noise in the back of her throat and shut her eyes.

That settled it for Kevin, she was definitely human, only humans could look that scared.

“Thank God you’re human.” Kevin breathed, talking more to himself than to her.

Lowering the shotgun he finally got a good look at her. He could tell that she was older than him, looking to be around nineteen or twenty, her bangs were died green in two long streaks that were beginning to fade. She was wearing purple lipstick and eyeshadow that was also beginning to fade out, and she was very pale, though Kevin doubted it was from fright.

“So what’s a pretty girl like you doin’ in a place like this?” Kevin asked, hoping that she wouldn’t run off.

She opened her dark blue eyes and stared at him, scared and confused, “What?”

Kevin smiled awkwardly, “Sorry about all that with the gun, but I wanted to make sure you were human, and thank God you are!”

The girl, a term that Kevin used for almost every female, stared at Kevin like he were a psycho wearing a straightjacket, but the sight of a blood-splattered teenager holding a shotgun and wearing a labcoat was frightening enough.

“I’m not gonna’ hurt you, okay?” Kevin said, “I’m sorry if I scared ya but I didn’t want to get eaten if you had been a demon, so, I’m sorry.”

The girl stared at him for a moment longer, wiped her face off on her sleeve and then said, “Its okay.”

Kevin smiled happily this time and switched the shotgun to his left hand, also holding the pipe, and held out his hand, “Name’s Kevin Gillespie, I live ‘round here.”

The girl hesitantly reached out and shook his hand, “My name is Alexandra Kujawa and I was just coming through here on vacation with my parents.” She stopped and a few more tears ran down her face, “I-I think they’re dead, I just want to know what’s going on!”

Kevin grimaced and wished that he could help comfort her, but there was little he could do, “I wish I knew what was goin’ on too, I woke up an’ everything was like this.” He waited a moment and cleared his throat before speaking again, “An’ I think everyone’s dead but us.”

The sudden memory of his sister’s corpse came back to him and brought a few tears to his eyes. The two took a moment to mourn their lost ones and then Kevin was brought back to the situation by a strange noise, his eyes focused again and he saw that Alexandra’s teeth were chattering and she was shivering violently.

“What’s wrong?” Kevin asked.

“I’m cold.” Alexandra answered.

The simple childlike quality and sound of her statement made Kevin want to just lie down and go to sleep for some reason he didn’t want to try to figure out. Kevin thought for a second and then remembered something he had seen in the pawnshop.

“C’mon we should be able to find a coat for ya in the pawnshop.” Kevin said.

Alexandra nodded and followed him into the shop, watching him search through all the junk on the floor until he picked up a thick, black leather coat and held it out to her.

“Here ya go.” He said, smiling.

Alexandra took the coat and put it on, it was cold at first but quickly warmed up. She looked back up at Kevin who seemed to be deep in thought looking around the floor. He was probably one of the strangest looking people she had ever seen, and the shotgun only helped things along. She had a little trouble understanding him, his accent was pretty thick and she guessed it was southern. Though he probably had the same problem with her.

Kevin suddenly snapped his attention back to Alexandra, “Ya wouldn’t happen ta have a weapon would’ja?”

Alexandra blinked, “What?” she barely understood a word of what he had just said, his accent combined with the sudden speed of his talking made it extremely difficult to understand him.

Kevin sighed and remembered to speak slower, “Ya wouldn’t happen to have a weapon would ya?”

Alexandra’s face took on a look of realization and she shook her head. Kevin stroked his chin, and what facial hair he had, and thought, then he remembered the obvious.

“Wait here.” Kevin said and took off.

At first Alexandra thought that he was going to run off and leave her, but he only ran over to a smashed display case, jumped over it and ducked down, busying himself with some unseen task. Alexandra turned back around and looked out into the fog, letting her mind wander a bit. She only wanted to know what was going on, or at least where in the hell she was. A chill went down her spine at that last thought, what if she was in hell? What if she died in the car wreck and went to hell and Kevin, she was pretty sure that was his name, was just another poor soul along for the ride.

Alexandra shook her head, clearing away the thoughts threatening to consume her mind, and suddenly heard a noise. Click, click, click, a cold wave of fear passed through her, she couldn’t tell where the noise was coming from, it seemed to have an echo to it.

“Kevin, I hear something.” She said, still staring into the fog.

The noise stopped, “Is it this?” Kevin asked, click, click, click, click.

Alexandra nodded and then realized he couldn’t see her, “Yes.”

“Relax, it’s me.” Kevin said, and the clicking resumed.

“Oh,” Alexandra said, “what are you doing?”

“Loadin’ guns.” Kevin said, standing up and jumping back over the display case.

He made his way back over to Alexandra carrying the shotgun and a rusted pipe in his left hand and several boxes under his arm. He reached into his labcoat with his free hand and produced a small pistol that was barely bigger than his hand. He held it out to her and with a shaky hand Alexandra took it.

“Now ya got a weapon.” Kevin said, “Do ya know how ta use it?”

Alexandra stared at the gun and mumbled something Kevin didn’t understand.

“First, don’t point it at me,” Kevin said, placing his hand on her arm and moving it down, “second, its already cocked an’ loaded so ya don’t have ta worry about that. All ya gotta do is point and shoot, okay?”

Alexandra finally looked back up at Kevin and nodded, “Okay now I need to ask a favor of ya.” Kevin said, “If there’s enough room in your coat I need’ja to carry these.” He finished, holding out the boxes

“What are they?” Alexandra asked.

“Bullets,” Kevin said, “hopefully we won’t need this many but there’s somethin’ out there…” he trailed off

“You mean that big red thing?” Alexandra asked, taking the boxes and stuffing them into the coat’s pockets.

Kevin got excited, “You’ve seen it?”

She nodded, “I ran from it.”

“Me too,” Kevin said and took one last look around the store, “well, let’s get outta here, we’ve probably made too much noise.”

Alexandra looked confused, “Where are we going to go?”

“The hell outta here.” Kevin said, “now c’mon, let’s go before somthin’ decides to pay us a visit.”

With that the two walked out into the fog and headed off toward what they hoped was the way out of town. They walked in silence for a while, nervously glancing around, listening for any noise other than their own breathing and footsteps.

“Are you scared?” Alexandra asked, keeping her voice quiet.

“You kiddin’? I’m terrified, I’m just glad to find someone livin’.” Kevin said.

“Me too.” Alexandra said and gave Kevin a quick smile.

Kevin returned the smile and then remembered he was still carrying the pipe, “Don’t need this thing anymore.” He said and threw it away.

He immediately regretted his decision and waited for the loud clang that would alert everything around them to their presence. Instead there was a meaty, wet thock, the pipe never seemed to hit the ground. Kevin brought the shotgun up as fast as he could and fired on the familiar red demon that was already charging them. He fired again and more blood sprayed, the demon was knocked sideways but kept coming.

“Run!” Kevin shouted, but he didn’t need to say anything, Alexandra was already running.

Kevin caught up with her, the demon close behind them, and grabbed her by the wrist and jerked her to the left. The two stumbled a bit but quickly recovered, the heavy, wet, slapping sound coming ever closer. Kevin looked to his right and saw a grocery store and suddenly realized where they were, the small shopping center across the street from the pawnshop. He risked a glance behind him and saw the demon had stopped and crouched down.

He then saw that Alexandra was way ahead of him, she had already hit the ground, and he was there a split-second later. The demon sailed over them, trailing blood, and hit the ground skidding a few feet, leaving a trail of shredded muscle tissue and blood. Kevin and Alexandra jumped back up and were running before the demon could recover. Though he didn’t realize it, Kevin had Alexandra by the arm and was leading her, constantly changing direction and effectively getting them lost.

Then it was over, the demon hadn’t followed them since it had dove, and the two were now leaning up against the wall of a gas station, breathing heavily.

“Is it over?” Alexandra asked.

“I think for now.” Kevin said, shakily reloading the shotgun.

“Well, since we’re—

Kevin was suddenly cut off when something unseen hit him and knocked him to the ground, blood suddenly erupting from his arm. Alexandra screamed, but Kevin cut her off.

“Get it off!” He screamed, “It’s eating my arm!”

Alexandra didn’t see anything, only the ragged gash in his arm getting bigger and the blood flowing like a river. Then she saw it, or at least a part of it, a mouth full of teeth and the beginnings of a head, stained completely red with blood. She screamed again and raised her gun, then stopped herself, she didn’t want to shoot Kevin by accident.

“Shoot the damn thing, please!” Kevin was now begging her, pleading and crying.

Alexandra raised the gun and fired four times, then the world was silent once again…

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The following comments are for "In Hell and Outta Ammo:Chapter Two"
by Highly Flammable Man

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