Shorter one again, but hopefully it makes up for that. Let's get some Eve time in here, eh?
Chapter 12: Snow Days part 1
The chunk of log was halfway to being partially split in two.
The axe embedded itself into the stump the firewood was resting on. I’m not cut out to be a lumberjack. I rubbed my nose to try and stave away the bitter cold before taking another swing.
Success! The firewood was now split in two! I only had... a lot more to go.
I exhaled, my small physique not being the best for manual labor. To be fair, I had actually volunteered to do this, partially out of having had nothing to do for the better part of a week and because I had just felt rather useless as of late.
The snow had stopped falling a few days ago, but it hasn’t started melting either and the van still refused to budge an inch. At least we managed to have a decent stockpile of food, however I still felt hungry since we were rationing as best we could.
I managed to cut up another piece of firewood before my aching arms decided that physical labor wasn’t suited for someone my size. I grabbed my piddling four halves of firewood and carried them back into the house.
“...A baboon playing a flute!” were the first words I heard upon entering the house from none other than Mike. Jenny and Anthony burst out into a very animate laugh, and I was left wondering what the hell kind of joke would have a punchline like that.
“I’m back.” I dropped my wood over by the fire pit, the fire within blazing rather averagely, casting an orange glow over the rest of the room.
Mike turned around in his chair. “You were gone for two minutes, Eve.”
“I was getting tired!”
I stuck my tongue out at him as I sat down on the sofa, the only available seat, which unfortunately was right next to him. Tony was sitting in a recliner, which he had also claimed as his bed due to the lack of available bedrooms, while Maria was sitting next to Jenny in the other sofa, reading a book of some sort, entirely disinterested in the conversation.
Tony reached down beside him and grabbed a large, yet flat, rectangular box. “Now that you’re back, want to start a game?”
“Another one?” I groaned, watching him place the Monopoly board onto the coffee table. One of the benefits of camping out in a literal campground was that the main building had a plethora of board games that we brought back to this cabin. We even took the ping-pong table, which was currently sitting in the corner of the living room, near the food. Jenny and Mike still bicker about which one’s better at it.
“I call the top hat,” Mike said, ignoring my protests.
Not even half an hour later and my thimble was rendered bankrupt on accounts of Mike’s growing empire. Jenny’s shoe piece was looking like it was in a bit of a bind as well, as it was roughly 7 pieces back from Boardwalk, which Mike of course laid down some houses on. Past that, though, the entire cheap side of the board right after “GO!” was owned by Jenny, who figured that buying the cheap stuff up would be the best strategy whereas Mike went for the expensive properties. Tony, meanwhile, was surveying his land from the insides of the prison, not even bothering to intentionally leave as he sat by and hoped Mike would land on the oranges or reds and give him some of that rent money.
Jenny looked tense, knowing full well that this roll would determine whether she’d sink or swim. She shook the dice dramatically in her hands and threw them on the table...
A three and a four.
“No!” Jenny shouted over-dramatically. She watched with horror as her show went straight on to Boardwalk. Mike maliciously rubbed his hands together, knowing full well that Jenny would have to sell a lot to gain what she’d lose back.
Mike rubbed his hands together with a maniacal look on his face. “That’ll be thirteen hundred and fifty dollars, please.”
Jenny shook her fist dramatically. “Robbery! This is highway robbery!”
"I believe that's bankrupted you?" he replied.
"Not so fast!" she shouted, "if I mortgage everything, I'll have... twelve-hundred dollars. Fuck."
"More for Mike inc., then!" He proceeded to grab everything of Jenny's and move it to his side of the board. Meanwhile, Tony took the dice and got ready to roll.
I yawned; it was getting late. "I'm heading on up to bed, good night."
The rest of the group replied with a token "good night" of their own as I made my way to the bedroom I had picked for myself.
Having nothing to do, I fell asleep rather quickly. I was awoken, however, by an odd screeching noise coming from outside my window.
I grabbed my handgun off of the nightstand and opened the blinds. I only caught a glimpse of what looked like a bird claw as large as a dog before it crashed through the entire window, not just one pane, and grabbed me by the chest, pulling me out through the large opening it created. I felt a shard of glass from the window slice open a large gash on my thigh as I was pulled out.
I was then in freefall for half a second before the creature regrabbed me around the wrists, holding me up by my hands as I dangled in front of it, now several stories off the ground. In the dark, I managed to only make out what appeared to be a strange bat-like creature with large eyes and teeth, but the rest of it's body almost appeared to change before my eyes! The large, hunting horror brought it's face close to mine and let out an ear-piercingly loud unearthly roar, spraying saliva at me.
I panicked, screamed, and clenched my fists, accidentally discharging the gun. The creature flinched from the gunshot, being so close to it's ears, and let go of my wrists. I reached out for something to grab and dropped the gun, but caught on to what I assumed was it's ankle. The thing roared and flew around spasmodically trying to shake me off, and I felt it's other foot claw at me, digging cuts into my hands. I clenched on with everything I had.
I looked down again and saw the cabin about two cabin's-worth below me, and amidst the panic I managed to realise that if I just hung there, I'd eventually just drop. So, I did the only thing I could think of.
I swung myself around, still hanging on the leg, unbalancing the creature, before using my momentum to bring my hands up higher on it's leg. I climbed up more, and it started clawing at me with it's hands (which, noticeably, were seperate from it's wings) and I grabbed it by the wrist. Latching onto it's right side, it started to swerve, having trouble keeping it's balance, and I swung myself up again, trying to ignore the pain of its claws, and managed to grab what I guessed to be its ear next. Without stopping, I wrapped my legs aroudn its torso and fished my knife out of it's holster with my free hand, thankful that I never put it away, and rammed the knife into it's face. It clawed out frantically again, catching me near the eye, and I pulled my knife out and shoved it back in again, twisting it. The creature shrieked, somehow not dead, but now plummeting out of the sky, flapping it's wings desperately but not in a way that was controlled enough to keep us aloft.
We both crashed into the roof of the cabin, and bounced apart from each other. The wind was knocked out of me, and I felt myself sliding towards the edge. I couldn't find a handhold and the snow didn't stop me, and I found myself sailing over the edge.
A two-story drop wasn't deadly, especially not onto grass covered in a foot of snow, but it hurt, and I felt something crack in my chest. I tried standing, but fell back over as pain erupted everywhere.
I looked over and saw the creature befell the same fate I did, unable to get it's bearings and return to flight, except it managed to land headfirst into the ground. I heard a satisfying crunch as what I assumed was it's neck broke.
The rest of the group just now came outside. "What the hell was that!?" Tony shouted, arriving first, before he saw the corpse of the thing that attacked me. The rest followed him out shortly, and we watched in surprise as whatever it was melted before our eyes, dissolving into the earth.
"Ow my everything," I groaned, as Jenny was in the midst of bandaging my chest.
"Next time, don't try to wrestle a monster straight from one of Lovecraft's books 5-stories off the ground, eh?" Mike replied, with a grin.
"First a flying, flaming eyeball and now whatever this was attacks us. I'm starting to be worried we'll need to fight Cthulhu himself soon," Tony said, pacing around the room relentlessly.
"Reminds me of last Tuesday," Maria remarked, actually deciding to say something for once, even if it was just sarcasm.
"Wait, what flaming eyeball?" I asked.
Jenny snickered. "Oh yeah, that. Me and Tony got attacked by one when we were luring the zombies away before. Thing blinded the poor guy and nearly melted his face off."
"And then you dealt with it the way you deal with all of your problems," Tony replied. "Hitting it to death with a crowbar."
Jenny just shrugged. "There's not a lot of problems I can't solve without a crowbar."
Crowbars are the duct tape of the post-apocalyptic world.