Dauths Meant Death

Dauths Meant Death

A Chapter by A.E. Surdam

(POV: Clara)

As I stood and listened to Judy's screams, her voice grew fainter until I no longer heard her. I gripped the edge of my shirt until my knuckles went numb. The person that I was yesterday would have walked away, but who I was today, could I really say that I changed? The negativity that I kept deep within myself whispered, "Why should I sacrifice myself for her?" In all of the stories that I have been told, a Dauth attack always claimed its victim's life. We acted as though those people never existed once their black and white photos were printed in the Rainsomore Post. After forty-eight hours, an obituary, which was written by the abductee's family, was sent out to the press. The morning news reported the deaths while the city ate their breakfast. Death was normal for us, but yet again, I witnessed an irreversible occurrence that warped my sense of what was right and wrong.

I knew Judy would have moved on with her life if the situation had been reversed, but the resentment I felt for her warred with my naivety. How was a person judged? I wondered what the right thing to do was. Should I save Judy or leave her to her fate? My bag felt heavier than it had before, so I tossed it down next to the edge of the alley. I found my phone a few feet behind me, and when I bent to pick it up, I saw that the screen was cracked. After pressing the home button and then restarting it, the device did not restart, so I slipped my phone into the back pocket of my jeans. Now I wouldn't be able to call any of my family to let them know of my decision. My hands shook, as the shock of the attack finally dissipated. The voice said, "How do I defeat a monster?"

All of our history and courses were planned and written by the Lovelies. I wasn't sure that the information, which I had learned during my Survival 101 class, was true or not. Dauths were the monstrous creatures that lived within the alleys. They were once Unwanted Doves, humans. The Lovelies wanted to replace extinct vultures and had intended for the Unwanted to be able to eat rotten animal corpses. Since we burned all of our dead, our earth lacked the nutrients needed to grow food. The lower castes suffered from the lack of clean water and food. Unfortunately, the experiments failed, and the Dauths were created.

We first learned of them in 2019 when the Dauths invaded the three districts and abducted over four hundred Doves. Panic and chaos enveloped Rainsomore afterwards. Our government officials could not answer what the Dauths were. How did they enter Rainsomore? Once we discovered that the Lovelies had created them, we asked why the Lovelies allowed the Dauths to live.

To control the chaos and uprising, the kingdom placed a ban on all question-asking, but many feared imprisonment and banishment. The Dauths continued to plague us, as they took our family and friends. Still the Lovelies did nothing to help us. Hundreds of Doves tried to leave illegally from the city in 2019, but the wall electrocuted them. Ash nearly buried the city that year. Ten years have passed since then, and those that remained in Rainsomore taught themselves how to survive. Yet, we all knew the truth. When a Dauth struck, there wasn't any chance at survival.

As I faced the overwhelming and forbidden alley, I trudged forward to enter but hesitated at the entrance. If I didn't return within forty-eight hoursI would be considered legally dead. The empty, quiet street behind me offered no hope for rescue. I was the only witness, so no one would ever know of our disappearances. I closed my mind off from the unpleasant thoughts and then stepped into the alley.

A wave of immense heat and smell overwhelmed my senses. Overturned garbage cans laid abandoned with trash and fetid, rotten food scattered along the sooty backstreet. After walking past the putrid, dead dog, flies swarmed around my ears and eyes. I swatted them away and hurried into the darkness. Sweat rolled down my face, so I used the front of my shirt to wipe the moisture away.

A piece of wood jutted out from a large pile of garbage that nearly filled up the narrow alleyway. I stepped over broken bottles and cardboard boxes. I reached past a burnt baby doll and a broken air purifying mask. I bent to pull the wood from between a half-melted TV and a warped dresser. I was pleased to see that it wasn't heavy, as the wood was three inches wide and two-feet long. The rough plank may have been longer at one point, for the broken end was sharp and pointed. A small rat popped out from the vacant space I had left in the garbage. I muffled a shriek and stepped back with the wood in my hands. Before it scurried off into the alley, it knocked down a human skull with a half-decomposed rat stuck within its left eye that rolled across the ground.

I counted to five to regain my nerves. The laughter bubbled inside of me once I realized that this weapon wouldn't be enough to safe anyone or even protect myself. The fear returned and caused my feet to feel like they were glued to the ground. I was alone, and if a Dauth attacked me, I would die. Even though I was terrified of this unknown darkness, I was Judy's only chance at survival. After I took a few long and deep calming breaths, I resumed my journey.

My footsteps echoed within the silent, eerie darkness. The spotlight passed overhead again, and every other four seconds, the alley changed between light and darkness. Now that it was dark, I could barely make out what was in front of me.

I pictured multiple Dauths looming over me in the darkness with their mouths open wide, as blood dripped down from their jaws. If that monster had murdered her, what was the point in all of this? Even if she was still alive and I managed to somehow miraculously save her, how would I escape? I waited for the light to return, and when it did, I quickly looked at every visible corner and hiding spot. Once satisfied that I was alone, I released my held breath and moved forward. Knocked over trash cans, a trail of dirt and garbage cluttered the walkway. How far did the Dauth drag her? 

A scream that I've only heard in exaggerated, corny horror movies frightened me when it echoed down the narrow backstreet. When the screaming stopped, I remained in place and waited for a sign to continue. A faint, incoherent noise drew me forward until I finally heard my name. I ran past empty crates and abandoned furniture, but I was careful not to accidentally create any noise to alert the Dauth. Judy was alive, I thought with pleasure. I rushed through an open clearance that appeared to connect all of the alleys throughout the city together. A light beam traveled above me and then plunged everything into darkness. Once my sight returned, my lips trembled to contain the scream lodged in the back of my throat.

A massive pile of human corpses with missing limbs and heads sat near the clearance's opening. I struggled to contain the terror that threatened to eat my sanity. I stood so close to the corpses that I could reach out and touch them. The bodies on the bottom were covered in beetles and flies. The corpses' skin looked as if they were stretched thinly, as they sunk into their bones. Even though the bodies at the top still had their limbs and heads attached, their flesh was bloated. Maggots smothered and filled their eyes, nose, and mouth. The smell was a mix of stinky cheese, boiled eggs, and gas.

The need to puke outweighed my fear. I gagged from the sight of the dead and their smell. Rubbing my tear-filled, burning eyes with my left hand, I took in a few deep breaths. After I found the smell normal, I stood back up and noticed the beautiful woman with light brown hair and skin at the very top. Her arms and legs were broken. She lay on her back with her face looking down at me. Her blank stare penetrated my resolve, as I realized that Judy would have ended up like a lifeless, bloody doll if I had never come here. The woman must have died in the last twenty-four hours because of the lack of decay. She looked as though she was still alive.

We abandoned these people to their demise. I wasn't any better than the Doves, but I wished that our society was different. I wanted to cry, but I fought the feeling that plagued me. I knew that once I started I wouldn't stop. I avoided looking at the other corpses with faces because I was afraid that I might recognize them. I wasn't sure how I would react if I saw one of my friends or acquaintances mangled and bloated.

I thought about all the parents, siblings, and friends that had lost a loved one. Anger fueled my strength, so I clutched my weapon to my chest and marched around the corpse pile and gazed out into the large open space. The clearance was a dirt field that was free of garbage and corpses. In the center of the clearance, a chimera-like, humanoid creature pinned Judy to the ground. It appeared over six-feet long and had a large, bulging stomach with a tail that flicked frantically about. I've only seen drawings of what the Dauths were thought to look like. Never in my life would I have dreamt up that nightmare.

Even though I made no sound, the nightmarish creature turned its head in my direction and grinned, revealing its sharp black teeth. Fearing that it sensed my presence, I held my breath and waited for the creature to turn away.

Judy screamed, "Clara, help me."

The creature looked away but then opened its mouth as though it was about to bite her.

My body shook, as I watched the Dauth. "Coward," I whispered to my legs. What could I do to stop this? Why did I even come here? I wanted to save her, but I... I closed my eyes and waited for Judy to scream.

Silence. Was she dead? I leaned around the corpse pile and the Dauth met my eyes. It had known that I was here from the start. I sent a quick prayer to God, and I remembered the beautiful dead woman. I re-asked myself why I had come here. Adrenaline pumped through me when I raised the wood above my head and ran toward the monstrous creature. The Dauth remained still, but its tail lashed out across the space between us, as it aimed for my face. Using the wood as a shield, I blocked the tail from hitting me, and after it recoiled and fell away, I lost my balance and stumbled backwards. I used the wood as a cane and caught myself before I fell onto my backside. A loud hissing drew my attention to my feet, for a snake slithered across the dirt with its fangs barred. I screeched and swung the wood at the reptile. When the snake didn't fly across the clearance, I discovered two things: One, the snake was actually the Dauth's tail. Two, the snake was its own entity that coexisted with the Dauth.

I should have ran, but I didn't. Frozen in fear at my new discovery, I was too late in reacting when the Dauth lunged forward to yank me to the ground. Judy used the opportunity to run, as the Dauth now had me pinned underneath it. The snake-tail darted for her legs then caught her by the ankles. She fell face first and was then dragged through the dirt. A sickening crack echoed in the silence just before Judy screamed, clutching her arm.

I felt cold, clammy fingers grip my jaw, as I was forced to acknowledge the Dauth's pale, scaly face. Instead of having eyes, I looked into its empty eye sockets. Large gashes ran from its mouth and ears revealing the creature's gums and sharp teeth. A black tattooed X sunk into its forehead with veins that spread from the mark. I opened my mouth to beg the Dauth to release me, but I was too frightened to speak. I tore my eyes away from its eyeless gaze and glanced to the side. I wanted to avoid the reality that blocked me from escaping, yet unfortunately, this creature refused to be ignored. My foolishness caused me to believe that I could save another person. I should have kept to myself and focused on my life as being my number one priority. I made my choice and entered this forsaken realm. This was my reality, so no matter how many times I cursed my circumstances, I couldn't go backwards.

I choked out with frustration, "Let her go... please."

Judy reached out to me with blood covering her face and body. She shook as she whimpered, "Help me."

"I can't," I whispered to myself under my breath.

We were both going to die, and as I stared up at the gray, cloudy sky, I waited for the Dauth to kill us. I hated this time of day because of the police that prowled the streets. They looked for anything they could find to incriminate us. If we were found guilty at trial, we were branded with an X on our foreheads and labeled as Unwanted Doves. We would then be forced from our homes and families to move into the Unwanted District. According to my father, the Unwanted Doves would either be assigned as test subjects or slaves.

The pressure on my chest had lessened enough to where I could knock away its hand, and if I did this right, we would be able to escape. Was it waiting for me to run or attack? I glanced to the side of my body where my weapon laid. I was so close that I simply had to reach out and pick it up. My fingers slid through the dirt. I touched the hard, rough wood. As my fingers closed around the middle, I smacked the Dauth's hand off me and plunged the sharp end of my weapon into its chest. The snake-tail released Judy before it flew to wrestle the wood from my hands. I screamed for Judy to run.

Even though I told her to run, I still thought she might help me. She avoided looking at me and bolted for the exit. The Dauth wrapped its hands around my neck and lifted me into the air. The snake-tail ripped the wood from my hands and snapped it in half with a loud crack.

Judy's footsteps receded until silence returned to the clearance. The Dauth grinned as it watched my face turn blue. As I struggled to breathe, I reached up to pull at the hands that choked me. Black spots clouded my vision than darkness swallowed my sight. Just when I thought I was finally going to die, the creature loosed its hold on my neck and dropped me to the ground. I coughed and inhaled the metallic, noxious odor that clung onto the Dauth's body.

I didn't want to die. Originally, I had decided that sacrificing myself for a friend was the right thing to do, but now, I knew that wasn't true. I wanted to be a good person, but Judy's betrayal burned. All her previous words felt empty, and as I screamed her name, I hoped that she hid somewhere within the darkness. Maybe she had a plan to rescue me. She was my friend, so I didn't want to doubt her. If I couldn't trust, what would I have left?

The Dauth covered my mouth with its hand and then said with a deep, scratchy voice, "Stop screaming, human."

My fingers and toes felt as though they were on fire. My skin tingled, as the blood from my limbs rushed through me. The fear, which I had felt earlier, was worlds apart from the pure, petrifying terror that coursed throughout me. Dauths were supposed to be stupid creatures that relied solely on blood-lust and instinct. Humans were the advanced species with our intellect and consciousness, but that negative voice returned and asked, "Who are you to say that this monstrosity was nothing more than an animal?"

Even if the Dauths were capable of speech and thought, I refused to acknowledge that this was real. I closed my eyes and imagined never entering the alley. This was all a nightmare. I needed to wake up!

"Look at me, girl," the Dauth commanded when it lifted its hand from my mouth. 

I opened my eyes and found that the snake-tail hovered in front of me. My voice shook when asked, "What are you?"

With a sarcastic, dry voice, the Dauth answered, "I thought you humans knew all about us. We never converse with your kind, as we pretend to be incapable of speech. You believe us to lack intelligence, but in reality, we are capable of destroying your entire pathetic race, if we so desire."

"Why are you telling me this? If you have the means to destroy us, why don't you just kill me? That's what you want to do, isn't it? You aren't going to let me go. So just get it over with."

The creature's lips twisted in a slow and menacing grin. "I wanted to watch the hope drain away from your face."

Its ear-piercing, ghastly chuckle sent chills down my spine. I clutched my elbows and hugged my body. I pushed myself away from the Dauth's intense presence with my feet.

As the Dauth leaned closer, the snake watched my reaction when it said, "You are different from your species. I am intrigued by your bravery and stupidity. I tested your resolve against the other spineless woman. She was quick to leave you behind. If she had helped you, I would have let you both leave. Humans are a savage, unfeeling race, but you were the only one that has ever entered my domain to save one of your kind.

"I've snatched many since my rebirth, but even if the other humans witnessed their friends, their families, and strangers abducted from the streets, they'd proceed with their meaningless lives. We watch from the shadows, but unlike the others, I toy with my victims."

"How can you say something like that? If you are capable of thought and reason, why do you do this?" I asked.

"Our creator designed us to wipe out the Doves. Even though we were created to reproduce, our creator continues to produce even more of my brethren. Soon your people will be outnumbered, but then we will no longer have anything to feed on," the Dauth paused to smile. "We will then turn on our creator and kill the Lovelies, as we are a gluttonous species."

I scooted farther away from the creature. I thought about running, but I knew that its tail would catch me. Helpless, I battled the urge to cry and scream. I spoke with a monster, and I had no idea how to appease toward its better nature.

My voice sounded foreign to me when I pleaded, "Please let me go."

The Dauth stepped closer and then reached for neck. It ran its fingers against my pulse. I remained still and controlled my body's rejection to the unwanted touch.

"Please," I begged.

After a high, screechy whistle-like sigh, the Dauth asked, "Will you do anything?"

"I want to live," I replied.

With a soft voice, it asked, "Would you lure one of your kind into the alley to take your place?"

My body suddenly went cold as though I had been submerged into a tub of ice water. Blood pounded in my ears. I licked my chapped lips. I had a chance to live, but I...

While the snake-tail observed my blank expression, good and evil warred within my mind. Even as the Dauth remained silent, I felt his presence burn into my soul. If someone else had been in my place, I knew that they wouldn't hesitate with their decision. Because I chose Judy over my own safety, how could I sentence another to die in my place?

I swallowed the non-existent saliva that I imagined sliding down my throat. My tongue felt like sandpaper on my gums. My teeth were like brittle pieces of chalk. I opened my mouth and stated in a hard whisper, "I can't allow someone to die so that I can live. If you are going to kill me then hurry and do it."

"I have never met such a foolish human. What is your name, girl?"

"Clara," I replied and then closed my eyes.

I waited for the Dauth to end my life, but still I did not die or feel any pain. Why was this creature torturing me? I opened my eyes yet again and waited for the creature to speak. After a moment of silence, it finally said, "You should have taken my offer. But I will not kill you. Instead, you will suffer a fate which is worse than death. You shall be at the mercy of those who you protect, and even if you survive their torment and hatred, you will never return to the life you had before you entered this world."

"Why me? And not the others," I said as I pointed to the corpse pile behind me.

The Dauth sat down and crossed its legs as though it were still human. Its tail continue to flit around while it observed its surroundings. "I want to know if you can transform your fate. They, on the other hand, were pathetic, worthless beings that cared only for themselves. We watch and listen to those who walk by. Unlike our creator, who desires for all Doves to perish, we only take those who deserve to die."

"But how can you judge them? Why do the Lovelies force us to live here? I don't understand. What gives them the right to throw us away like we're trash? You can't tell me that every single person you've killed were all bad. What about Judy? Tell me."

"I'm going to tell you a story, and you are free to decide what you want to believe."

"But you still haven't answered -"

The Dauth interrupted me and said, "Clara Roderikson. I know who you are. I know all that live within this city. You are the daughter of Mayor Roderikson and live on East Quail Street with your family. You work as a dress designer, and you leave your house everyday when the curfew is lifted."

"How? I...don't understand. You were watching me?" I gripped my face and rocked back and forth as I tried to calm my breathing.

"Yes," the Dauth answered. "And no. We all wait and watch for those we deem as tainted. Once they pass close enough to the alley, we abduct and then kill them. I would have taken your friend's life if you hadn't intervened. She is one of the tainted and deserves to die."

"What has she done? I mean, she isn't a bad person."

"You say that, but where is she now?"

I didn't respond to his question. She wasn't here. Judy left me and escaped. Maybe it was right. It? Was this creature really a thing? Curious, I asked, "What is your name?"

"X007. But you may call me Seven. I am the first of my kind and am the leader of my brethren. The six before me were all failed prototypes. We are identified by a chip planted into us after our birth. Before my transformation, I was once a Lovely and went by Credence Washington."

Whatever I had been expecting to hear was definitely not this. Escape was futile, and even though Seven and I spoke calmly to one another, I was still scared that he would turn on me. I remained where I was and listened to the Dauth's story. He was still a monster that killed many of my people, but I wanted to know why this was happening to us. I felt confused and uncertain in my feelings toward him. I no longer had to fear for my life, but as I had been raised to fear these creatures, I couldn't just forgive him for killing. I wondered if we could learn to coexist, so that we didn't have to continue to live in fear.

"You were a Lovely? My father told me that the Unwanted were the only ones who were turned into the Dauths. Plus, the king was supposed to have put a stop to those experiments."

"Innocent and naive. You believe what you're told, don't you? Our creator is a man high in power that hides his true form. Anyone can be transformed into one of my kind. Be silent and listen."

I nodded and pulled my legs toward my chest.

"I was born a b*****d to the current king. My mother was an actress, a Trial winner. When she died in childbirth, I was brought before the king. His first child. After the crown prince, Edgar, was born, I was raised to serve him. At five-years-old, I was assigned to serve my newborn half-brother. His mother, Queen Pausaia, accepted me as one of her own, but unfortunately, she died when Edgar turned eleven in a tragic car accident. The king married a foreign princess a few months after. She hated not only my existence but Edgar's as well. She gave birth to a daughter, our half-sister. Unlike Edgar, my existence was a stain on the king's honor, so Queen Valentana, tried to have me killed. Each time my brother saved my life.

"We were friends, and those years of serving him were the best during my life. No matter how many times my life had been spared, the Queen continued to send assassins and spies. The prince was sent out of the country for a treaty signing one day when I was twenty-two. The Queen had me arrested and declared that I committed treason. The prince returned and tried to prove my innocence, but because of his absence, the Queen had the opportunity to to arrange a crime and an impostor to solidify my crime. After a year of imprisonment, I bypassed the courts and was immediately banished to the Unwanted District like how the law dictates. That's what was told to the public. In secret, I was taken deep underneath the castle. I don't remember anything after that. I only recall waking up underneath the wall. I was in so much pain and blind. Everything between then and now is something I wish was a horrible nightmare."

I glanced back to the corpse pile and felt horribly sick. I took a moment to process the information and then asked, "How long have you been like this?"

"I can't answer that question, for I do not know. I've lost my sense of time, as my kind are immortal. We do not age or die. I remember when I was last human. May 10th of 2019. I was twenty-three years old."

"You've been like this for ten years?" I said horrified. "I'm so sorry. I can't imagine living like that."

"You are kind, human, but my story won't change your fate."

"What do you mean by my fate? You used to be human. Isn't there a way to change you back?"

"We were born to kill. What you're saying is cruel. I know no way to return us to being human, but if you wish to help us then that is your choice."

In the very far distant, I could faintly heard sirens. I looked at the alley entrance and thought someone had come to save me, yet no one was there.

"No one has ever entered the alley to sacrifice themselves for another before, and you survived the darkness. You may be able to save us all."

I turned around with a sigh and replied, "I can't save anyone much less myself. I wasn't able to defeat you. I was prepared to die. My parents believe that I will fail the Talent Trials."

Seven grinned, revealing his blackened teeth. "You faced me and triumphed. We are more enemies than friends. I will not eat you nor kill you, as we need one another if we are to survive. But if you leave the chosen path, I will find and kill you."

Startled from his proclamation, I remained silent and waited for him to continue speaking.

Seven stood on all four and asked, "What is your answer?"

I looked up at the sky and wondered what it would be like to live without fearing the dark. If I could somehow find a way for everyone to live in harmony, maybe our lives in the Desirable District would change. I met the eyes of the snake-tail when I said, "I'll help you, but I don't know if I'll be able to save you."

"All you have do is pass the Talent Trials and stop the Creator. If it exists, find a cure to change us back."

"Pass?" I squeaked. "I don't know if... all right. I'll do my best and try. If I win then so be it. Finding the Creator is impossible right now, but the Talent Trials seems completely out of my grasp."

"I have a plan, but you need to trust me. You might not agree with it, but remember that we are allies. If someone threatens your life, I will not hesitate to kill them. If you ever need to find me, enter one of the alleys and contact one of my brethren. They will not harm you, as I will alert them to this change in our plans. Do not mention the Creator to anyone. Because if you do, he will know and then have you killed."

I nodded and then asked, "What do I need to do?"

"Run," Seven replied.

I blinked and then repeatedly dumbly, "Run?"

"Run," Seven roared, opening his mouth fully as though he might swallow me whole. Dried blood caked his gums and teeth.

I scrambled to stand though it took me a few times to gain my feet. Adrenaline pumped into my exhausted limbs. I turned and ran for the corpse pile while I dodged the snake-tail that aimed for my legs. I past the corpses and jumped over crates and garbage. I could see the exit, yet the faster that I ran the farther it felt. My lungs screamed for rest, and my legs burned from exhaustion. I didn't understand why I needed to run or why Seven chased me. We had talked so calmly as if he were still human.

Seven said to trust him, but had he only been tormenting me this entire time? Did he still intend to kill me? I glanced behind me and saw that he remained a few feet away. He had many chances to grab me, but he did not touch me. I felt calmer after realizing this. I needed to trust him like he had asked. The fear I felt melted away.

I reached the end of the alley and was rewarded with dull lamplight. I will never again complain about the lack of color or smell. Across the street, Judy stood on the sidewalk. I remained where I stood and simply watched her. The bitterness surfaced in my chest, but I forced it back down. In the distance, William, my older brother, and an unknown man ran toward me from down the street. The sirens grew louder, as the distant lights moved closer.

Judy pointed to a spot behind me and screamed, "Clara!"

I felt rather than saw, the snake-tail bite the side of my neck. My legs gave out, and I collapsed to the ground.

I whispered, "Seven?"

The snake-tail retracted its fangs from my flesh and then wrapped its body around my neck. I waited for it to choke me, but instead, it continued to loop underneath my underarm. The snake-tail lifted my body up and set me on my feet.

Seven leaned forward and murmured, "Trust me, Clara."

I touched my cheeks and felt the wetness there. I didn't even realize that I had been crying. I whispered, "I do." And I did. I abandoned my people's way of thinking. I no longer feared these creatures that I was raised to fear even though it was more than justified. The Lovelies cursed the Dauths and forced them into their tragic situation - just like how they did with the Doves.The Dauths were monsters, and they killed hundreds, maybe even thousands. I wanted to help him return to being human, but I would never forget seeing the corpse pile. It was a bittersweet feeling, and I was more frightened of him killing another person in order to protect me.

Seven said with a smile in his voice, "Then act like I'm hurting you."

I pretended to struggle against him while pulling the snake from my neck before I asked. "Why did you bite me?"

"We don't have time to talk. The man with the sword is nearly here."

"William's my brother. Please don't hurt him."

"You have my word, Clara," Seven said and then paused before he continued. "Don't tell anyone about what we talked about. The Dauths must remain a secret. People will still disappear even after all of this. Or my Creator will know."

"Who is he?"

"I can't tell you. It's better that you find out on your own. Remember, what I told you."

Seven released me and shoved me to the ground when William rushed up swinging his long sword. His sword made contact with Seven's chest, but the metal wouldn't pierce his body.

William shouted over the sirens when I scooted away from their fighting, "Stay with me, Clara. Don't die."

The adrenaline seeped out from my body. I suddenly felt a dull ache coming from my neck. Unsure of what he meant, I noticed that something wet dripped down my arm. I tried to reach up and touch my shoulder, but my body felt heavy. The wetness finally reached my fingers, and I saw that it was blood.

William shouted, "I'll kill you, you ugly b*****d, for hurting my sister."

He swung his sword and made contact with Seven's neck several times, yet the sword simply slid off his skin.

Seven replied, "You, humans, will be the ones that will die."

William misstepped after hearing Seven's voice. Before Seven could snatch the sword from William's hands, he leapt back to avoid the snake-tail. The unknown second man arrived at the fight but was kicked out of the way by William. The snake-tail nearly bit into the man's arm, which would have probably been ripped off if William hadn't intervened.

"Kyle, get her out of here," William yelled.

Kyle was too slow in reacting to William's words. Seven slashed Kyle's face with his sharp nails. He dropped to his knees with a wail. Remembering what Seven had said about killing others, I shouted, "Leave me here. I can get away myself."

Kyle ignored my advice and crawled over holding his slashed face. "Can you stand," he asked.

Now that I had a better view of him he vaguely looked like one of my childhood friends that had disappeared. His name matched, but was it really him? There are a ton of Kyles out there.

Kyle grabbed my arm and pulled me up with him. My facial expression must have given him a clue to what I was thinking, because he said, "We'll talk later."

"Stop wasting time," William shouted, dodging the snake-tail.

"We're going... Damn this hurts," Kyle groaned.

He picked me up and threw me over his shoulder before he ran.

Seven remained still as he watched me go. For a moment, I thought he might come after me. The lights from the police cars danced along the dark, shadowed buildings. An ambulance pulled up near Judy. She cradled her broken arm and was bleeding from her forehead. The paramedics ushered her into the back of the open ambulance.

The police surrounded Seven. I fought Kyle to put me down. He released me, and I screamed as I rushed toward the fight.

Kyle grabbed me and said, "William's all right. It's almost over."

"No, don't," I sobbed.

Seven laughed as they shot him, but none of the bullets pierced his skin. "You may try to kill me, but I'll have my revenge. I injected that woman with my saliva and blood. She will slowly change into one of us if she does not find the cure. She'll be cursed to roam the darkness and feed on rotting flesh."

Seven's snake-tail rose above the police and stared at me. "You have the choice to join me and turn on humanity. Or you can suffer at the hands of your own race."

The police shot another round of bullets. Two officers blocked the alley, but Seven swatted the men away before he escaped. In shock over his words, I watched as Seven disappeared into the darkness. My body felt light and cold. My surroundings started to spin right before I passed out.

© 2018 A.E. Surdam

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Added on November 11, 2018
Last Updated on November 11, 2018
Tags: fantasy, romance, fiction, mythical creatures, war, resistance, kingdom, monsters, society, prince, races, romance-fantasy, strong female lead, utopia, dystopian, young-adult, horror, first-person


A.E. Surdam
A.E. Surdam

Picayune, MS

My pen name is A.E. Surdam, and I am a writer. I attended Stephens College and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 2014. Afterwards, I gained my Master of Arts degree from Southern New Hampshire.. more..

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