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Death at Every Sound
If you're reading this, then it's too late. I'm writing this from my house. It's probably the last record I'm ever going to keep. I'm about to risk my life to try and save as many people as I can. If you're reading this, then it also probably means I'm dead.
Something terrible has happened to our world. My world. If someone ever finds this letter,t hen you've already seen it. I haven't got much time, and I hope I still ahve enough to do what I'm planning.
But I want someone to know what happened here. Somebody needs to know why I'm making the choices I am. This world is dying, and it is almost beyond saving.
It was Seegan. If it weren't for him, none of this would ahve happened. He
A loud crash made me jump. I whipped around to look at the empty doorway. The floor shook slightly, like we were having an earthquake. But I had grown used to that.
I listened intently for the sound of danger. I shouldn't have bothered. Everything was danger in a world like this.
I stood up slowly, leaving my desperate, half finished letter on the desk. i walked quietly toward the sagging doorway and cautiously looked outside.
I stared out around the now very familiar destruction. The big city was reduced to rubble. A few fragile buildings were struggling to stay on their foundations. Burnt wood was still smoking, covering the sky with black clouds. Broken glass covered the streets like glittering water. The whole city was a deadly maze.
I didn't see any movement, which was comforting and terrifying. It's like not seeing a guard. It's good news that you can't see them, but it might mean they are hiding, waiting for you.
Another rumble shook the ground,s lightly harder than the last. The skeleton of a building swayed, ready to topple. I ducked back through the doorway, ready to speed-write the rest of my message. I never got the chance.
A piercing, unearthly shriek cliced through the air. High pitched and blood freezing. Automatic fear ripped through my heart. A recent fear. A fear that was a cause of hundreds of deaths.
I ran to the doorway and scanned the ruins quickly. I hardly expected to see anything. I didn't see anything. my survival instincts kicked in. I had to move. Move or be killed. No, hunted.
It was the colts. Wild, blood-thirsty beasts on the hunt. They were giant jungle cats, like jaguars or panthers. Except jaguars and panthers eat animals. Colts, eat humans.
It isn't hard to tell the different between the two. Colts are slightly bigger, more violent, and thier fur is mottled red and black. They would be plenty deadly by themselves, but they are intelligent, and they hunt in packs.
No matter how important leaving that letter was, I valued my life just a little more. I had to get away.
I looked around again. A flash of movement caught my eyes. It was far away, but it was coming this way.
I placed my hand on the half-melted metal railing and vaulteddover it. I bent my knees to absorb the impact two floors down. If life had been normal, I would have thought I was crazy. But now the city was destroyed, there might have been a dozen of us left in the city, and the colts had made it their new hunting ground.
I ducked behind a large slab of road now slanted at a forty-five degree angle. I listened, not expecting to hear anything. I didn't. I looked left, right, and up. All clear. I took a deep breath, then ran.
Down the street and away from the movement I had seen. If I was seen by one, it would drive to me the rest of the pack. If I didn't go to where it wanted, I'd just be killed a little sooner. That was why I coudln't be seen by them. It didn't help that they had good eyesight, hearing, smell, and they were deathly silent.
I ducked through a doorway that was still standing and pressed myself against the wall. all my senses were on alert. I didn't detect anything. That was good and bad.
I wanteed to sit down and think, but I didn't. If they did come, I'd have to get away from them fast. but I didn't have anywhere to go that would be safter than here.
I looked around the room. A big chunk of the building was competely gone. the ceiling had half way caved in, revealing the supper floor. A crunche dbar ran along one wall. The remains of a spindly table and a few chairs were scattered around. This might have been a cafe at one time, but now it was hardly recognizeable.
Glass crunche dunder my feet as I shifted slightly. I leaned toward the door and looked out the window. A blast of hot smoke stung my eyes. I coughed and pulled back. Another fire had started.
The ground shook again as I tried to think of what to do. I stuided my worn sneakers, trying to form a plan. I already knew it was no good.
I froze, listening hard. I had just heard a soft sound. Completely unsignificant, but I was rocked. It was just the sound of something being pulled out of sanded wood. Small, and quiet.
It was a small sound, and it might have just been my imagination, but I wasn't going to take any chances. A small sound was the only sound colts made, if they made any.
I shot quick looks around the room. I was alone. Then I saw something that made my heart stop. Flakes of wood and dust were falling from the ceiling.
My neck snapped up, and my chest seized up, stopping all air flow. Crouching on the very edge of the crumbling ceiling was a colt. Big, red, black, and hungry.
It's claws were dug deep into the wood, allowing it to lean far over the edge. It's fangs were bared in a frozen snarl. It's lont tail lashed back and forth. It was crouched low to the ceiling, a coiled spring, ready to pounce. I was trapped.
Making a split decision, I pushed off the wall and ran forward, beneath it and under the ceiling. The cat snarled and leapt down. A quiet thud told me it had landed. in two quick bounds it would be on me.
I dove behind the smashed bar and stopped. The colt was smart. It would to around to the other end to catch me. I hesitated only a second, then ran the other way.
I threw myself toward the doorway and leapt out of it. I booked it around the corner, knowing there were other colts nearby. I rounded the corner, half blinded by smoke. I didn't know where I was going, but stopping was just as good as giving up.
I ducked into antoher building and scanned it. There were wooden stairs wrapped around the far wall. I reache dthem just as the colt caught up.
The stairs were old, narrow, and thin. I raced up them two at a time as the colt snarled viciously and bounded toward me. I had almost reached the top, when the wood cracked, and felt myself falling.
Raleigh, North Carolina
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