Here’s a teaser of my dystopian novel Life After:
Our camp went undiscovered for three weeks. One night, just before bedtime, we were sitting around the campfire, each of us lost in our own thoughts. Then suddenly, a long eerie howl shattered the silence. Everyone looked at each other, stunned.
Dad was the first to react. He leapt up and ran for his rifle, me right behind him, followed by Grandpa and Mom. All of us were armed to the teeth, and we crept to the edge of camp using the cars as cover. Dad scanned the area with his night-vision monocular.
“Looks like there’s only one, but it’s coming this way,” Dad said. He turned to Mom and whispered, “Suzi, on the count of three, turn the floodlight on straight ahead.”
She didn’t need to respond—she was ready to go. The rest of us knew what to do; when the light exposed the werewolf, lead would fly.
I was on pins and needles, and my breath was coming in short little gasps. “One…two…three!”
Mom flipped the switch. One hundred yards directly in front of us, stood the werewolf. Blinded by the sudden light in the darkness, it’d stopped and tried to shield its eyes. This only proved to irritate it further. It snarled in frustration and raised its head to smell the wind. I could hear it gnashing its teeth together.
Just as the beast lunged into a run toward us, gunshots tore through the quiet prairie and announced to anyone within a several mile radius they were not alone. Each of us aimed for a different part of the monster. The torso was the biggest target, but head shots were more effective. However, both only slowed the creature down unless we used silver bullets. Unfortunately, we were fresh out at the time.
But we continued to fire until the beast finally fell, some twenty yards away from where we stood. Once it hit the ground, all four of us raced as fast as we could to the body. It was rolling around growling and whimpering, obviously in pain
Then suddenly there was a sizzling noise as the werewolf body ejected the bullets and healed itself. Dad and I whipped out our machetes and went to work. He swung at the neck, and while he was pulling back to chop again, I hacked away. My blow did some damage, and blood squirted from the wound hitting me across the face. Mom and Grandpa joined in, and all four of us took turns swinging our axes into the creature’s bloody flesh.
It was over quickly once I’d delivered the blow decapitating the monster. Dad kicked the head away just in case it tried to sew itself back to the neck. Without silver bullets, cutting off the head was just as effective in killing a werewolf, albeit more dangerous to accomplish.
We stared at the bloody carcass for a minute while we caught our breath. Then we returned to the safety of the circle. We’d deal with the body in the morning. Since everyone else sat back in camp and did nothing, they could clean the mess up.
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