Faster than ever, he ran. A thousand thousand scratches oozed blood, leaving his trail on the leaves.
The thumping rhythm of huge paws sounded from the deep wood. The beast followed fast an effortless track. It flew, thorns and limbs sliding harmless off its thick ebony coat. Drool overflowed the maw, leaving streamers behind.
David’s adrenaline spiked at the sound, and he pushed harder still, moving at inhuman speed.
The light looms ahead. One final stretch to the wall. They wait there, faces hopeful, before their eyes focus behind the runner and fill with terror.
Rosie wrung her hands and began reaching before forcing a stop. She leaned back with a hint of a smile. Her cheeks bloomed red.
The game was simple. Everyone writes their wildest fantasies, pops ’em into the jar, and shakes ’em up. Then the “fun” starts. The fun was figuring out who matched what fantasy, one at a time, until they were all found out.
Rosie glanced at Ken. He smiled wide in return, a knowing twinkle in his eye.
This somehow calmed her.
“Everyone ready?” Barb asked before emptying her wine. “Time to play.”
Randy woke as the thunder crashed to find himself strapped to the cold concrete of the mausoleum. He wished he could rub his aching back. Or just stretch, but rough rope cut into both wrist and ankle. A scream squeaked past strained vocal chords and trembling lips.
The gathered didn’t notice his struggles, their glazed eyes stared into the distance from within deep hoods.
Eyes he knew. These people bought his goats.
A smiling, dagger toting man approached the mausoleum.
So this is retirement, Frank thought., his tools scattered before him.
He had dreamed of retirement for years and all the things that he would no longer have to do once that time came. Banish early mornings and the workday for starters. Retirement meant relaxing, or so he thought. But here he was, up since the crack of dawn, working on this… thing. And when this is done, there’ll be another thing waiting.
Who knew honey-do lists grew at the speed of light?
“I’ll never catch up,” he grumbled. “I’ll have to go back to work to rest from retirement.”
“Tickets,” the attendant called from down the aisle. The train began to sway as it picked up speed.
Kev held his tickets in easy reach and tried not to look at the scrolling landscape. Train travel. He hated it, and everyone that knew him knew that. He had been sure to drop it casually into conversations over the last few months as the investigation ramped up.
The attendant took and tore Kev’s ticket. “Thank you,” he said handing back the stub.
“No,” Kev smiled. “Thank you.” He relaxed. It would be days, maybe weeks before they even suspected the train.