Tamer stopped and fought to overcome a severe side cramp. She held her side and breather hard, trying to force air into her aching lungs. She knew the man was behind her; not close, but definitely back there somewhere. She couldn't afford to stop, and so she started to jog again.
"I've got to keep moving! It's the only chance I've got", she thought
She estimated she'd covered a half a mile. The shotgun and knife she'd cached were another mile further on. If she could just make it there...
Michael Harpe's bad leg was impeding him. He could only run just so fast and was struggling trying to pursue the girl. At the same time. he fought a nagging thought; Part of him wanted to give up.
"It's not my kid..."
He pushed the thought from his mind.
Michael Harpe had been killing people for so long that it had become a default mode. He didn't even know why he did it anymore. It was just what he did; his purpose in life so to speak. And now he was intent on slaying this girl.
His brother was dead.
It was her fault.
She had to pay.
Samantha was exhausted. She'd run for what seemed like forever, and she could not run any further. She collapsed under a tree, sobbing. Her grandfather was dead. Blood from the man who did it was spattered all over her skin and clothing. She sat up suddenly.
Tamer was alone and in danger. An evil was chasing her, intent on harming her...
...and she'd abandoned her. Samantha suddenly remembered a scripture.
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity or cowardice or fear, but a spirit of power and of love and of discipline..."
Samantha knew what she had to do. She must go back.
"Stand", she told herself.
She stood, wiped her face, and started back down the hill toward the road.
Tamer could finally see the rock outcropping where the shotgun and shells were stashed. It was less than a quarter mile away. She glanced behind her just in time to see Michael Harpe rounding a corner in the road.
He was less than a hundred yards behind her.
Tamer was fading fast. She was drained, running out of energy.
But the will to live was strong.
Michael Harpe had eyes on Tamer. He felt energized and quickened his pace. His hand tightened around the butcher knife.
"Soon!" he thought.
Tamer reached the outcropping. She turned off the road and, though completely exhausted, scrambled up the small hill to the rock redoubt. She furiously clawed at the piled rocks that concealed the weapons, throwing them aside.
Her hands closed around the plastic wrapped shotgun and tore it open. The loose shot shell's spilled from the bag, tumbling, bouncing and landing scattered on the ground. She pulled the shotgun free from the bag.
A shadow fell across her. She looked up.
Michael Harpe stood above her, smiling evilly. He was breathing hard as he kicked her in the chest. She fell backwards and the shotgun fell from her hands and clattered onto the rocks.
Gripping his knife, Harpe reversed his hold of the handle, switching it up to an icepick grip. He raised it high above his head, and prepared to plunge it into Tamer. Harpe noticed she had a strange look on her face. She didn't look frightened in the least. Rather, she looked calm...confident.
"What the fuck?" he thought
Samantha came up behind Harpe and bludgeoned him over the head with a heavy rock. She was exhausted and the blow carried little force. Harpe was momentarily stunned, but shook it off. He swung the knife in a big arc at Samantha. The blade slashed across her upper right arm then across her chest. A large gash opened on each and tissue puckered out of the cut. Blood flowed down her arm and chest.
Samantha didn't even flinch. Enraged, she threw herself on Harpe and began to violently claw and bite his face like a feral animal. She sank her teeth into his deformed nose and wrenched it from his face, spat it out and sank her teeth into his cheek, tearing a great chunk of tissue away.
The rules of society absent, Samantha's primitive human instinct to survive at any cost and by any means had emerged.
Harpe screamed with pain and anger and threw Samantha off of him. She landed on her back and he advanced on her, then plunged the knife deep into her abdomen. Samantha screamed as the blade sank into her.
Harpe was spent. He tiredly raised the knife to stab Samantha again when the nine .33 caliber double aught Buckshot pellets entered his back. The blast propelled him forward, and he fell onto his knees. The pain was excruciating. It felt like he'd been violently punched by a half-dozen red-hot fireplace pokers. He staggered back to his feet and had turned in a half circle in time to see Tamer work the action and eject the shell. She calmly thumbed another round into the action, closed it and pulled the trigger.
Michael Harpe caught the second blast in his abdomen. His mouth fell open and the butcher knife slipped from his hand as he looked down and saw his intestines exposed through a mammoth hole that had been opened in his gut. Copious blood poured out, soaking his pants, running down his legs and dripping onto his shoes.
Shocked, he stood mesmerized at the sight of his own condition. It was incomprehensible to him, after harming so many people over the years, to see himself mutilated and bleeding, yet here it was.
He was vaguely aware of his hair being grabbed from behind and something or someone pulling him backwards. Weakened, he fell backwards for what seemed an eternity, but in reality was only a second or two. He landed hard on the rocky soil, knocking the wind out of him. His eyes moved slowly, weakly. They settled on Samantha who stood above him, looking down upon him. She stepped around his body and then sat atop him, straddling his chest.
Samantha's blood rained on Harpe as she leaned forward. She placed her mouth close to his ear and whispered...
"Say hello to Satan when you get to HELL, you son-of-a-bitch!"
Samantha reached over and gathered up Harpe's knife. She pinned his head to the ground and began sawing through his neck. Muscles and tendons gave way. After a few minutes, Michael Harpe's head came free. The remaining oxygenated blood in his brain provided about 10 seconds of function;
Long enough for it to recognize its own headless body where it lie on the ground.
TO BE CONTINUED......
Copyright © Manny Silva, 2018. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, including photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the publisher.