Last Man – 6

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Art by Red Rabbit

There was a split second where the Archer had to decide what the bigger threat was; Last Man or whatever was headed their way.

It was of no surprise to him when the Archer turned away from him and aimed towards where they heard the howls. Everyone was an enemy until something worse came along. Fine with him. Last Man stood fully and scanned the area for their new threat.

In the middle of the sea of concrete rubble with virtually nowhere to hide and no advantageous position to take. Last Man squinted as he tried to make out forms in the fog. The Archer dropped down beside him taking cover behind the same meager slab of concrete.
It was quiet. Last Man slowed his breathing and focused.

He wasn’t sure where the monster came from. All of the sudden it was just there, forty yards away, standing above the boy’s bodies. It was more horrific than any Walker he’d ever seen. Where arms once were hung sinewy tentacles that writhed on the ground as they investigated the bodies. One tentacle slithered against the bloody bodies. The appendage rose to its mouth where it tasted the fresh blood. A shudder coursed through its body. It raised its face to the sky and let out a long, high pitched scream.

A chorus responded. Through the fog came another three mutants. They tore into the corpses, tentacles tearing limb from body, flesh from bone.

They hadn’t spotted the Archer and Last Man taking cover behind the slab.

They had to act now, while the things were eating. If they tried to slip away and the creatures heard, they’d lose the element of surprise and stood little chance against four. Whatever these things were, they were fast as hell and moved silently.

The Archer was facing Last Man, their bow drawn but pointed at the ground. Last Man nodded to his rifle and then to the monsters, pointing to himself then the two on the right.

The Archer nodded in agreement.

Last Man stepped away from his cover. He aimed the sight of his 30-30 on the first creature. Its jaw moved furiously as it gnawed at an arm. He squeezed the trigger. The bullet hit the thing in the temple, blowing away a chunk of its head. It collapsed onto the ground.

Then the thing stood and locked its gaze on him. Chunks of brain and gore dripped down half of its face from the gaping wound in its head.

A flash of pure, unadulterated fear shot through Last Man’s entire being.

They were fucked.


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About Eloise J. Knapp

Eloise J. Knapp hails from Seattle and never complains about the rain. She works in the videogame industry by day and is a post-apocalyptic horror author by night. Knapp's work includes The Undead Situation trilogy, ANAMNESIS, and the Anisakis Nova series. When not writing you'll find her hiking the Pacific Northwest.
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