Hounds At Their Heels

Part 4

The streetlights behind them went out one by one, and Silvia twisted her head around to see three pairs of bloodshot eyes staring at them. They followed the two slowly, like they were stalking their preyㅡwhich in hindsight was what they were doing. She accepted the fact that she was losing her mind because there was no way she was seeing those spawns of hell drawing ever closer. The idea that she would die replayed over and over in her head until she mumbled it to herself. Every step she took was a challenge because of the alcohol running through her bloodstream, and no amount of adrenaline was going to stop her from stumbling every couple of strides.

When they were a block away, Silvia broke out into a sprint knowing they were in the home stretch. She sighed in relief when they rounded a left onto the familiar cul-de-sac, and caught sight of the small, suburban home she lived in. She wasn’t the most athletic person, and she definitely felt it as her chest burned with the effort.

“That one’s mine!” Silvia yelled, pointing at his house.

The boy nodded his head in understanding before stopping and turning around to face the direction they’d come. She halted, almost coming face to face with the hard concrete.

“It’s my fault that the barghests are here, so I should take responsibility. I’ll hold them off until you get somewhere safe. Don’t worry about me,” he clarified, giving Silvia a sly wink.

She knew she should’ve been grateful that a person was willing to risk themselves for her, but the boy to Silvia was being an idiot. Even if he sacrificed himself, what would stop them from going after her as their second course.

“Are you serious?” she shouted, trying to understand what he hoped he could do against those unholy looking beasts.

“W-what do you mean?” the boy asked, taken aback by her outburst.

“Did you take a good, long look at those things?” she said, walking towards him. “How are you even going to defend yourself? Do you have a death wish?”

And then Silvia saw it, the look in his eyes spoke at full volume. His whole body showed it as well, the defeated almost hopeless stance. She was looking at someone who had lost everything, and the only thing left to lose was his life. It was the same expression Silvia saw in her dad, whenever he talked about her mother. It ate away at her and she knew she couldn’t leave him like this, not when she recognized his pain.

“You do have a death wish.”

The boy nodded his head, but didn’t say anything.

Stubbornness swelled up in Silvia and she grabbed him by the forearm. “Well you’re not dying on my watch! Come on, we can at least use my house as some means of protection.”

He looked touched by her suggestion and allowed her to pull him along without another word. They started running again, but Silvia still didn’t let go since she was afraid if she did then he would run the opposite way towards his death.

As they made it to the end of the driveway, the barghests howled in unison, creating a noise that nearly shattered their eardrums. Their time was up. They sprinted to the side door leading into the garage and Silvia flung it open. They scrambled inside and shut the door before locking itㅡnot that it would help very much.

“Quick,” the boy said, peering around the garage, “I need all the salt you own!”

“We don’t have salt in the garage and if we did, what would salt do against them?” Silvia asked, gesturing towards the door.

“It’s one of their weaknesses. I remember reading about it in my papa’s books.”

She spotted the grimace on the his face when he mentioned his dad.

Silvia’s eyebrows shot up. “Why does your dad have a book on barghests?”

He sighed as he rummaged through a box full of cleaning supplies. “Don’t ask stupid questions.”

She didn’t know what made that such a dumb question since she found it to be reasonable, but she didn’t bother to ask.

<<Part 3 Part 5>>

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