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Ruins Part III

Pain jarred him awake.

At first he thought that it might have been Ann trying to snap him out of a nightmare, but we has not that lucky. Looming above him were two new men of sinister visage. Directly over him was a gaunt man dressed mostly in black with hair to match. A face lined with dry peeling wrinkles glared down at him. Midnight blue rings sagged under his reddened eyes. His gray mouth was twisted and angry. His hand held a sharp bladed axe, which was already pricking the flesh under his chin.

Darting eyes, dared to look towards Ann. Another smaller man, dressed in a deer hunter’s jacket, had a boot pressed on Ann stomach, and the barrel of an expensive rifle jammed into her neck.

“You gonna keep this one Carver?” The smaller man asked, his grin showing a collection of bent teeth. “If I were you I would, she is awful pretty.”

“Shut the hell up Nathan and just watch the girl. Vera have you woken up that useless old man yet?”

“He won’t do nothing more than groan. They said they drugged him up on something.” This statement as followed by a loud slap, which got Olden singing again.

“Well jus shut him up den!” Turning his attention back to Phillip, he bared his teeth. “So let me get this straight, you break into our house, threaten my family. Beat up and then drug my pop. Finally you kidnap my sister and her little girl and after all this is over, you think you can jus make yerself at home?”

Speaking as calmly as he could muster, Phillip said, “we mean no one any harm. We have been into so many houses that were empty, we had no idea we would find one, which still had people. I am sorry, about your father, but he is unharmed and will be okay in a few hours.”

“Why did you come in here in the first place? Were you trying to steal from us?”

Phillip was hoping that he would ask that. He wanted to be able to talk through this, but there was something truly wrong here. He could feel it in his gut. Something about this family was off; he just hoped he might live long enough to find out what it was.

Talking was difficult with the point of an axe blade digging into your neck, but he managed to keep his building fear out of his voice. “We were being chased by the Caradon, we lost them when we crossed the river, but the trip left us freezing. We only came in here to warm up.”

Laughing, Nathan said, “boy, did you ever pick the wrong place.”

Carver’s eyes grew wide, as they filled with anger and hate. “What,” he screamed, while slapping Phillip across the temple, with his free hand. “You brought Agamon to our door? Months of care and hiding, wasted because two losers have somehow lived long enough to bring doom down upon us. A curse on the Gods. Why does bad luck follow me like the plague.”

“What perhaps we can fight him together. I have battled these type before.”

It was Carver’s turn to laugh. “Fight him, are you mad? The man still has fifty hounds. There would tear us apart before we even saw Agamon.”

“After yesterday, he has a few less.” He wanted to keep talking, so their attentions would not turn to Ann, he also needed time to think.

“Shut yer mouth.” Carver said. It was more of a knee jerk statement, than conscious thought.

“Pa, still won’t wake up.”

“Aleryou, shut the hell up. I need to think.” Looking at Ann for a moment, he said, “I know what I am going to do with you. Finding a girl as pretty as you is the only good thing to come out of this.

Phillip tensed and immediately this shifted Carver’s attentions back to him. “It is you that I’m not sure about, but I think an idea is coming to me.”

That was when they first heard the howling. Everyone froze. “Oh damn,” Nathan wined. “It sounds like they made it to this side of the river.”

“That just means we need to speed up the plan. Vera come with me and grab that shotgun.”

“Please,” Phillip nearly begged. “Working together, we can take this hounds out, then you’ll never have to worry about them again.”

“Yer a fool and wasting yer breath. Now come along quiet, or I swear I’ll have Nathan put and bullet in her.”

Not having much choice, Phillip let Carver push him towards the back door, where they had originally entered the house. Vera followed him with the shotgun pointing at his back. Looking back he saw that Carver had his Phillip’s Desert Eagle and he felt the cold barrel, when Carver jammed it into his back.

Reaching the door, Philip turned around in time to see Carver stuff his pistol into his belt. He grabbed Phillip’s hand, as the edge of his axe came up under his chin. Outside the howls of the hounds were growing louder.

“Alright, now you listen up hotshot. Those hounds have yer scent, so they will be chasing after you. I’ll make a deal with yah. If you lead them away from us and live to tell the tale, I’ll let you have yer lady back. If you don’t run, I’ll kill her before the hounds get here. Sound fair?”

Before Phillip could even think to answer, with a quick turn of his wrist, Carver held Phillip’s hand palm up, and then sliced it open with the blade of his axe. “That is just to make sure they sense you, now get.”

Vera had flung open the door, and a mighty shove from Carver, sent him sprawling into the dirt.

The door slammed behind him as he heard that the baying of the hounds was becoming dangerously close. His mind was a wash with conflicting emotions. Part of him, just wanted to kick in the door, but then they might hurt Ann. Also the last thing he needed to do was start a battle with two groups of villains with a shotgun blast to the chest.

Just trying to give himself time to think, he began to jog away from the hounds, but then instead of continuing, he ducked around the corner of the house. There was one window on this side and it was nearly ten feet over his head. However, he did notice a second small window near his feet.

This window was kicked in without delay, and he began to squirm into the stygian cellar. A forgotten shard of glass cut into his elbow, but he did not let this give him pause and a moment later, his feet had landed on the sandy cellar floor. A foul stench hit him as once, nearly making him gag. It was worse than anything he had experienced and smelled like rotting meat left to bake in the sun. As he began to fish for his zippo, a building dread began to seep into his bones.

Struggling to maintain control, he continued to search for his light. Above him Phillip heard shouting and the voice of a female crying out. Ann must have made a move and was now paying for it.

Finally his hand landed on his lighter and he flicked it to life. Standing up, a sliver of luck found him, for he immediately spied an old gas lantern. This he lit at once and almost wished he had not. Directly beside him was one of the most digesting things he had ever witnessed. A chaotic pile of half eaten men was mixed with human bones that had been completely stripped of flesh.

Tearing his eyes away from the horror, he began moving over to some workbenches he could just make out in the gloom. The stench was almost paralyzing and his movement was kicking up the thick dust. Phillip pushed on, until he came to a workbench that had been transformed into a butcher’s table. The table was stained with both fresh and ancient blood, but was also covered with a half dozen weapons. These had all been used for sinister purpose. Choosing a large axe, he made his way for the stairs. Feeling better with his hands filled with weapon, he set his jaw and prepared himself to finish this. Whatever these things were, he would see that they did not make it to another sunset. Even if the Caradon claimed him in the end, he would see to it that these fiends fell first.

The door was locked.

Moving away from the handle, he waited for a particularly loud chorus of howling, then struck out with the hammer side of the axe. The door flew open with a loud bang. Phillip began to move into the kitchen. There was some shouting, and then almost at once dishes began to shatter, as Carver used Phillip’s own pistol to spray the room with bullets. Phillip was forced to retreat into the stairwell again, which had cement walls that were thick enough to stop the bullets. Carver rushed in, firing as he came, but Phillip knew something Carver did not and that was the size of his gun’s clip. It went empty right as he reached him.

 Taking a big step forward, Phillip thrust his bleeding hand before him, while yelling, “you want my blood scum bag, well here you go!” The movement caused a thin arc of blood to spray Carver in the face. This startled the killer and Phillip grabbed him. Using the man’s own momentum, Phillip swung his body in an arc, which sent him flying through the open doorway. Hearing him screaming, as he tumbled down those dark stairs, was a beautiful thing. He was just pushing a chair under the handle, when dust went flying as a bullet hit the wall only inches from his head.

Catching a glimpse of Nathan, as he dived behind the counter, Phillip realized that Carver still had his gun.

Nathan began to shout. “Carver, Carver. What happened? Where are you? Them hounds are almost here.”

“All the more reason to work together, or we are all dead,” Phillip called out.

“Shutup you,” Nathan cried and then began to fire into the counter.

Phillip had enough of these freaks, if they did not kill him, they were going to get them all killed when those Embryo Hounds hit. Looking around the sticky floor her found bits of human fingers and bones, but in the midst of them was a long butcher knife. He scrambled for it, as splintered wood flew around his ears.

Not knowing what else to do, Phillip let out a fake grown.

Now there was a banging on the door. “Hold on Carver, I think I got him. Maybe we can through his body to the hounds and they will leave us be.”

In his haste to release his ally, Nathan hardly looked his way, which was a fatal mistake, for with a quick slice from behind; Phillip opened his throat, giving him an angry red smile.

Snatching up his axe, after he had thrust the knife through his belt, Phillip rushed towards Ann. He did not make it far before Vera came around the corner, with the shotgun pointed at his face. “What the Hell have you done with my husband? Nathan, Nathan, where are you?”

“You son of a -“ her curse was interrupted by the sound of a hound crashing through the front window. She turned, but not quickly enough. The beast caught her by the neck decapitating her seconds later. Phillip however, was already moving. Like an executioner, her brought the axe down into the center of the thing’s head. Bloody fangs froze in mid bite and the hound toppled over forever frozen in a snarl.

A second hound was dispatched in mid leap with a hurled axe, but it cost him his weapon. A quickly grabbed shotgun, took out a third. 

“Ann,” he screamed, as he rushed towards her, firing the gun randomly into the rabid pack.

Slammed the door shut behind him as he entered to room, he was pleased to see it still free of hounds, but very disturbed to see an unconscious and bound Ann laying on the floor with a knife pressed to her throat. Their ghostly daughter held the knife in place. Behind him the door was already splintering. He only had seconds.

Like Phillip? You can check out more of his adventures when he teams up with Jack Primus here!

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