The darkness is still and hot as it hangs in the plains air. On a night that could use the purification of a breeze to rejuvenate what the heat has removed, there is none. Stagnation is everywhere.
It’s almost closing time at the liquor store that sits just outside the reservation’s boundary. No one has been in for the last thirty minutes now, and the greedy purveyor of hootch is hoping to grab at least a few more sales tonight. Surely someone wants cold beer? On a night like this, a cold one feels so good going down the throat, sliding to the stomach and settling comfortably there. The pleasant buzz to the head makes you forget the cares of the day, of the world; so good.
It doesn’t matter to the greedy fucker that the residents of the reservation can’t really afford to buy what’s for sale in the store. Does he care that by spending money here, a father might be depriving his family of food? Nope. The bottom line, the almighty dollar, that’s what matters. Yes. Squeezing every last dollar out of the Red Man, that’s what’s important. It’s not his fault if someone can’t resist the pull of booze. White people can’t resist it either. Money – its green, doesn’t give a shit what color your skin is.
Fourteen people live in the town on the reservation, and one store serves it. The only business here is booze. There’s nothing to eat, no public rest rooms, nothing other than the liquor. Buy it and be on your way.
Zack can’t take it anymore, he needs a beer. Even though his air conditioner is running, it’s still hot as balls in here. According to the law, he’s not supposed to open the hootch inside the store, but who’s going to catch him? This shit hole is the only place for miles. Cops? There hasn’t been one of those around here for weeks.
He grabs a long-neck out of the cooler, pops the top, and steps outside with it hoping for some sort of a breeze. The change in scenery will do him some good too.
“Damn,” he says, once out the door. “It’s still like a furnace out here.”
Something grabs at his attention, but he doesn’t want to go back inside just yet. He can’t get a handle on it; it’s more of a feeling than anything else. Things aren’t right.
No answer. Maybe it’s all in his head.
A rustling in the prairie grass tells him otherwise. Someone is out there; or something.
“State your business! I’m only warning you once!”
The rustling comes closer, becoming much louder. There is no attempt to muffle the sound. Whatever it is is coming at him fast; much faster than it should be.
Zack drops his beer and races towards the store in fear, intent on grabbing the thirty-eight he left under the counter.
A huge roar rips though the night just as he reaches for the handle. He turns and stares into the face of a hideous wolf-like creature with red eyes, and saliva dripping from a mouth filled with ferocious, bared teeth. It stands upright on its rear legs, towering over him, completely covered in long, reddish fur. It reaches its arms toward him with grotesque claws quivering in anticipation of tearing him apart. Moistness envelops Zack’s pants as he confronts this monster, fear pulsing in every molecule of his being, his heart pounding so hard it might explode from the ferocity of its beating.
The creature lifts Zack into the air above its head, the claws digging deep into his body. He hollers out in pain, cry after cry until no more sound comes from his lips. With sudden swiftness, the wolf-beast brings him down to eye-level. While watching the horrified look on Zack’s face, it engulfs the man’s head in its mouth then tears it from his body. Spitting the head out of its mouth onto the ground, it tosses the still-quivering body on top of it and roars again.
The others come running, some firing their weapons at the monster. It does no good. Within minutes, the town of fourteen is now a town of zero.
~ Blaze McRob
© Copyright 2013 Blaze McRob. All Rights Reserved.