There it lays crouched, ready to pounce. The dark and windy night air flows thickly through the alleyway and cuts through the trio of trespassers’ clothes. Splashing through the puddles of the warning shower they scurry towards the sanctuary in view. They didn’t hear it leap onto the brawny straggler as his cries of agony were carried away by the wind. Only when the hairs on the remaining pair’s necks rose to terrified attention did they realize the danger they were in. The creature rushed forward through the bellowing gale, entrails splattering on the ground as it once again leaped at one of them. As the target’s pupils grew in fear, the woman beside him pulled out her sawed-off shotgun and blasted the foul creature away. As the creature staggered back, the woman tried in vain to pull the man up onto his feet and out of the pool of urine collecting beneath him. The wind would carry the scent of fear back towards the rest of the city and more would come. They always did, and escape from the city seemed little more than a fantasy now. When the man finally collected himself, the pair bolted down the alleyway as the creature rose up. Bullets fell from its torso as it let out an unholy wail to the wind, and the pair knew the hunt was made public. The creature launched its spines through towards the pair and a loud metallic screech rang out as the spines ran through one side of a dumpster they ducked behind, almost coming out the other. With one final stretch until the sanctuary, the man launched a precious smoke grenade far out in front of them. As the smoke poured out of the container and was carried downwind, the pair zig-zagged their way through the smoke while running low to the ground. The sounds of cement cracking and water splashing went off all around them as more spines were thrown about in the smoke. The woman let out a short grunt of pain as one grazed her ankle; a close call that nearly impaled her foot. As they took a sharp turn out of the alleyway, more ghastly cries began sounding off all around them. Soon they’d be surrounded and consumed.
Two more shotgun blasts echoed into the night as the wind carried debris down the streets. Four creatures were following the trail of the pair, who managed to dive into an open manhole and submerge themselves in foul-smelling waste. One creature had dropped down into the sewer behind them. It left after seeing or smelling no sign of the pair. After a few moments, the pair used all of their willpower not to wretch as they climbed out of the sewers and headed straight for the sanctuary. The cries of the creatures sounded distant, but the pair never slowed down. The refuse was blown off them in the wind as it began to pour. Turning down alleyways, splashing through puddles, stepping over bodies, trying not to gasp for the air their lungs desperately needed, the nearly exhausted pair finally saw the beacon of hope through the darkness. The cries of the creatures hadn’t been heard, and with renewed vigor, the pair used their second wind to make a mad dash towards the double doors slamming in the wind. The grand cross above them inviting them in. Before they could set foot on the grass of the holy grounds, a creature’s spines slammed into the pavement in front of them. The pair, startled, fell on their faces as the woman’s shotgun leaped from her grasp. Dropping from a rooftop and emerging from an alleyway the four creatures surrounded the gasping pair. After one scooped up the shotgun and tossed it out of reach, their pace was now leisurely and smiles were plastered on their transmogrified faces. The creatures drank up the welling of despair spewing forth from the pair’s faces.
Slowly, the creatures tightened their formation. Ever so slowly creeping forward with an eerie elegance that insulted the pair’s existence. Their every effort was made in vain as they were caught just on the cusp of salvation. The rain lightened, as if in consolation, and the wind began to die down as the doors to the church creaked shut. Thoughts raced through the pair’s minds as they desperately reached out for any hope that might be revealed. Smoke would be useless at this ever-closing proximity; one lunge would be the end of them. Even if they had the shotgun when one was shot the other three would pounce. Brute forcing past these creatures was not possible, as they would be cut to ribbons if they tried. It would have to be a miracle, and as the pair began babbling prayers as their bodies sat, paralyzed with fear, two of the creatures grabbed them both by the necks and lifted them into the air. The two creatures’ claws slowly digging into their throats as their grips tightened. The other two creatures pulled out a spine each and pressed the tips against each of their anuses. The creatures smiled cruelly as the two pulled back for a violent thrust. The pair weren’t able to let out a scream as the spines ran through their bodies and their necks were crushed.
Two bodies were propped up in front of the church, mocking set up as blood dripped from the spikes impaling a man and a woman.