Stunned, drenched and cold, Johnny stumbled through town back toward his home. His shoulder throbbed immensely. A burning sensation began swelling from within the wound. Beginning at the center, it entered his nerves and traveled up his neck and up the sides of his face. His head completely engulfed in a fever that grew hotter by the moment. His eyes, swollen with infection, burned with an unbearable intensity, making it difficult for him to see properly.
He knew nothing of the creature that attacked him at the tavern, however, there seemed a familiarity about it. He searched his mind, tapping deep into his subconscious, hoping to find an answer. The creature seemed bent on capturing him, dead, or alive.
Unsure of how long Daemon would be able to hold the creature off, he quickened his pace. Twice he nearly tripped over himself in an attempt to look back, searching for his pursuer. He did smack into a mailbox, after stumbling to avoid a bush. His plight compared to that of a drunkard running from hell itself.
He arrived on the outskirts of town where the street halted. He looked up, through his swollen eyes, and could make out the faint shadow of his home, ahead in the darkness. The rain, still pouring, trailed off his bald head, down his forehead and into his eyes. The cool moisture provided partial relief from his increasing fever.
He approached the front door of his home and suddenly halted, no more than an arms length from the door. He studied the entryway for a moment. The door hung, barely clinging, from one hinge, to the structure. The entryway was thrashed to pieces beyond recognition. Splinters and shards of glass and wood scattered everywhere.
There’s more than one?! The thought sickened him.
Just outside the front door, lay a hatchet, buried in an old stump. He reached for it as he pushed aside the dangling door, careful not to make a sound. His condition did not give him much confidence he could carry on a fight without collapsing.
Upon entering, to his dismay, he discovered the room to be in complete shambles. The room looked as though a vicious predator had ripped it apart in search of its prey. The leather recliner stood near his bedside, mangled beyond recognition, likewise the mattress of his bed torn apart and shredded.
Dissatisfied, the predator had assailed through the window, leaving shards of glass scattered on the ground outside…
© Alan “Jedi” Zaugg 2018