I drop the body into the trunk of the car and then close it. Drawing Kyle’s gun out of my coat, I turn around and blindly fire two shots into the darkness. The muzzle flashes illuminate the four eldritch figures that have been pursuing me for the past week and a half.
Damn, they caught up faster than I thought they would.
It didn’t matter if the bullets made contact or not because they might as well have been spitballs. Those things don’t have any known weakness, which makes them nearly impossible to get rid of.
They're more pests than actual threat for the most part, though, like a fly or a rat. Except, we don’t have an equivalent to bug spray or mouse traps for them. There are the Exterminators, but they can’t actually exterminate the things, only draw them away from whatever unlucky schmuck happens to stumble upon them.
I return the gun to my coat and take the car keys from where they rested on the roof of the car. I get in and start the engine, then look through the rear-view mirror.
The rear lights paint the figures red, making them look even more otherworldly.
The weirdest thing about those things isn’t their appearance, but the fact they don’t make any noise. They’re silent, even when they move with their… “legs” is the wrong word. These things move using something else. I can’t really come up with a word that can accurately describe what it is. Not that it’s consequential anyways. The point is that they can sneak up on you and metaphorically breathe down your neck without you even knowing.
At least they have some predictable rules and behaviors.
It’s harder for them to cross geopolitical borders, which I think is pretty noteworthy, they can’t enter houses, which is good for us, and they’re attracted to stuff that releases hot air, for whatever reason.
I check the gas. Half full. More than enough to get back.
I buckle my seatbelt, then push the gas pedal and begin driving down the empty desert road. I don’t need to go very fast, just around forty miles an hour. It’s not like I’m going to be late for dinner.
Reaching over to the passenger’s seat, I grab the map I had placed on it earlier and set it on the dashboard. I don’t want to forget it.
Carmin had begged me to take it, even though I already know my way around the streets. I explained to her that I could basically navigate through the city with my eyes closed. I even offered to demonstrate for her, but she told me to stop being a smartass and take the damn map. I wasn’t being a smartass.
I love Carmin, but sometimes she can be a pain in the neck.
That’s good, though. People need friends who care about and look after them. I know that’s why she pesters me about little things like that. And because she likes me.
I don’t feel the same way, though, which makes it awkward for me when she hugs me tighter than she really needs to. But I’m way too polite to tell her that upfront. Besides, we don’t need that drama anyways.
It’s not that she isn’t good looking. She’s a conventionally attractive woman. Thick lips, slim-fit body type, round face, wide hips, and uh… and that’s all I’m willing to say or think about her without feeling like I’m being a little too pervy or disrespectful. She just isn’t my type.
Kyle thinks it’s hilarious how uncomfortable Carmin makes me. I guess I would find it just as funny if our roles were reversed though, so I can’t really be mad at him. I just wish she liked him. I feel like those two would make the perfect couple.
Kyle’s really smart and charismatic. He’s probably the coolest person I know. He’s also way better looking than I am. I don’t know how he manages to simultaneously look like a professional athlete and an absolute scholar, but he’s totally got all the right genes. He used to be a scientist, so he knows alot about chemistry. He helped make the People Eater with Donald.
Donald was an old electrical engineer who lived with us a few years ago. He was a little eccentric. He always had these crazy ideas for different gadgets and machines. Most of them never got anywhere because they were either too radical or he needed more resources than he was able to scrounge up. It didn’t stop him from trying though.
Donald kind of went a little loopy and started trashing our place trying to find parts for his inventions. He also got violent and abusive. He started hitting and throwing stuff at us. We put up with it for as long as we could, but when he tried to stab me Kyle shot him in the head. It was really messy.
It freaked Carmin out that Donald had tried to kill me. She was crying and holding me really tight. She wouldn’t let me go. It was like she believed that if she let me go I actually would die. Kyle eventually convinced her to stop holding me when she was basically preventing me from using the bathroom. That wasn’t easy, though. She wouldn’t respond to either of us for a long time. She just kept crying into my shirt. When she was finally off of me and I could pee alone, I changed shirts because, like, forty-five percent of my shirt was covered in face fluids.
Kyle didn’t tease me about that. I think he was pretty freaked out, too. If I remember correctly, he also cried a little.
We had to move because of all the blood. Not because we couldn’t get it out, we could. We did. Kyle used that big chemist brain of his to get rid of every last bit of the blood that had stained the room. It was spotless when he was done. The carpet, the walls, everything. But Carmin said she couldn’t sleep in the same apartment where Donald had tried to murder me. That was pretty reasonable.
Moving was difficult. We had alot of stuff and we didn’t have a suitable vehicle to carry it all. We tried to find a U-Haul or a postal truck or a pickup, but we couldn’t find any. We found a trailer, but it had a flat tire. We eventually found an ice cream truck, of all things, and used that. Our biggest challenge was moving the People Eater because it’s really heavy. Kyle put wheels on it so we don’t have to do what we did before if we ever need to move it again. We had to find a working forklift to move it. It was stupid lucky that we managed to find it. We used it alot. It’s too bad it stopped working. It was really useful.
I can see the city. In a few minutes, I’ll be in.