They Hunt At Night

Prompt: “This is an Emergency Alert. Barricade all entries to your house. Do not go outside after sundown. Restrict contact with others. Do not enter tunnels during daytime. Do not make any light or noise between 6PM and 8AM. Stay inside your homes until dawn. Military aid is unavailable. Good luck.”

 

“Run, Solomon, run!” Casey said.

“What do you think I’m doing?” Solomon said as ran.

The two of them ran through the empty streets of what was once a bustling downtown. Now it was just an abandoned skeleton outside of the safe zone.

“How did we lose track of time like that?” Casey asked.

“You said we had time. You said we’d be fine! That we had plenty of time before sundown. I knew we should have gone back earlier.”

“Yeah. Yeah. Save your ‘I told you so’s’ until we get back, ok?”

The sound of their footsteps across the broken pavement echoed throughout the empty buildings, but both of them noticed that the buildings weren’t quite empty. Glowing eyes appeared as the sun got lower and lower into the sky and the darkness grew.

“Run! Run! Run!” Casey yelled.

In the distance they could barely hear the sirens blaring the same message over and over again.

This is an Emergency Alert. Barricade all entries to your house. Do not go outside after sundown. Restrict contact with others. Do not enter tunnels during daytime. Do not make any light or noise between 6PM and 8AM. Stay inside your homes until dawn. Military aid is unavailable. Good luck.

The same message that plays like clockwork at 5:30 before the sun begins to set and the creatures come out of the darkness.

The two of them continued to run towards the safe zone. It was a small area inside the city that was reclaimed by the remaining citizens. They built up high, metal walls with large, UV lights that kept the creatures at bay. Most of the city was accessible during the day, as long as you kept out of dark buildings or underground tunnels, but during the night, this was the only safe haven.

Without the protection of the safe zone, they would surely be doomed to be hunted down by the creatures in the darkness.

As the sun got lower and lower, the creatures became more and more curious. They began to stumble out into the low-light as Casey and Solomon ran by. The creatures couldn’t quite reach them, but the path in front of Casey and Solomon was narrowing.

“We’re not going to make it,” Solomon said as he glanced around frantically. “We’re going to die out here.”

“Not if I have anything to say about it,” Casey said. “Just don’t slow down. We’re almost there.”

“Alright,” Solomon said, but his legs were getting sore and he was running out of breath.

In that moment, Solomon’s walkie-talkie came to life with a hum and some buzzing.

“Where the hell are you?” The voice asked.

“Benny!” Solomon shouted.

He grabbed for his walkie-talkie and brought it up to his mouth.

“Benny! Benny! It’s us. It’s Solomon and Casey! We’re here! We’re alive! We are running towards the safe zone.”

“You’re outside the safe zone?” Benny asked. “It’s almost sundown. How far out are you?”

“Two, three minutes, max,” Solomon said.

“We’re going to make it,” Casey shouted.

She was now a few paces ahead of Solomon.

“I can’t believe you’re not back. This is so bad,” Benny said.

“Benny. Benny. Listen to me. Get them to shine lights down Plateau Street. We’re coming in hot,” Solomon said.

He turned back and the hoard of creatures began stumbling out, closer and closer to their path. The sun was flickering, as the last bit of sunlight crested over the Earth’s horizon.

“The Mayor is going to kill you both,” Benny said.

“Just do it, Benny! We’re a minute out,” Solomon said.

This is an Emergency Alert. Barricade all entries to your house. Do not go outside after sundown. Restrict contact with others. Do not enter tunnels during daytime. Do not make any light or noise between 6PM and 8AM. Stay inside your homes until dawn. Military aid is unavailable. Good luck.

The same message repeated, but this time, it was much closer. They were almost there.

The sunlight flickered again, but this time, the sunlight did not come back. Dusk was here and the reds and oranges faded from the sky.

There was a large, collective groan as the creatures began stirring. The sunlight was no longer holding them back and they saw fresh meat in front of them.

“No! No!” Casey screamed. “Solomon, we have to make it! Hurry!”

Darkness was now here the creatures picked up speed behind them. Solomon and Casey turned onto Plateau Street. There they could see the huge wall made from scrap metal welded together. People stood on the top looking out.

“HEY! HEY!” Casey yelled as she waved her arms over her head. “WE’RE HERE! WE’RE HERE!”

Behind them, they heard the stampeding of footsteps, but they were both too scared to turn back and look at the crowd of creatures on their heels.

“Benny! Now! We need light, now!” Solomon yelled into the walkie-talkie.

Almost on command, they could see one of the people on the wall flip a switch. Huge, stadium lights mounted to the wall flashed with a bright light. It was completely blinding as the light filled their into view, but behind them they heard a series of hisses mixed with the sound of sizzling.

To Solomon, it brought back memories of sizzling bacon on a stove top, except his nose filled with the scent of disgusting, rotten flesh being cooked.

Even though they could barely see, the two of them continued to run towards the safe zone.

“Get inside!’ One of the people on the wall shouted as the door was opened just a little.

Solomon and Casey got down on their stomachs and army crawled through the small opening at the bottom. The gate was then shut with both of them inside.

“We’re alive. We’re alive,” Solomon said.

He was out of breath and tears ran down his face, but there was a large smile plastered across his face.

“I can’t believe it,” Casey said as she laid in the dirt. “I thought we were goners.”

Solomon looked over at her.

“I told you we should have just turned back when we had the chance!”

“What? We made it, didn’t we?” Casey laughed.

“Ahem!”

Casey and Solomon looked up and there stood an older gentleman dressed they recognized as the Mayor. Behind him, there stood their friend, Benny, who just looked down at the ground, unable to meet Casey or Solomon’s gaze.

“I believe we need to have a talk, again,” The mayor said as he folded his arms.

 

 


Header Photo Credit to Nordheimer on DeviantArt
https://www.deviantart.com/nordheimer/art/Ghoul-94095243

Writing Prompt submitted to r/WritingPrompts by u/treoni

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