The Ballad of Greg Thomas
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February 19th, 2012 (09:09 AM). Edited February 20th, 2012 by FourCartridge.
Join Date: Dec 2010
(Alright, come comes another chapter. Criticism appreciated.)
The Ballad of Greg Thomas: Chapter 3: Hostile Forest
I dashed alongside one of the forest's tree lines, and I had noticed that the "square" my Crown Victoria had crashed in had a thin passageway out of the clearing, which, if my inner compass wasn't going haywire, was leading east from here.
Hopefully it was a path out of the unnatural looking woods and into someplace where people lived. At the end of the forested corridor I ran into a small tree blocking the exit, like it was intentionally planted there. Growling in frustration at the path being blocked, I found that it was much shorter then the others, and looked weaker and less stable too. The tree lines were so uncannily thick I could not go around, but while I thought I could cut it down with something to proceed, I didn't have any tools for cutting with me at the moment. While
did prove that you can shoot a tree down with enough bullets, I was hard pressed to conserve Beretta ammo, and really did not want to waste it on something like this. There was however, a pair of hedge shears in the trunk of the Crown Victoria, that I used whenever weeds got too out of control back home in Pennsylvania. Maybe those could do the trick?
I turned around and started back to the crash site, hoping to get the garden tool from the trunk. Eventually, as I got closer and closer to the Crown Victoria, I heard very fast footsteps, which were quickly approaching the crash site. Well, not really footsteps. They sounded more like hooves. Was it deer, horses, caribou, or some other misplaced and discolored wildlife? I didn't really know what to expect. Were they vicious and hostile, like the lion? For that matter, are there any friendly wildlife around this area? I hesitated, and decided to move quietly as possible toward the crash site as the feeling I was about to interact with the unknown filled me, hoping for the best that the new creatures I would see were the former.
I sneaked up to a corner to see what the newly arrived wildlife was doing at the crash site, as the Beretta's gunshot no doubt had something to do with them being here, and they would probably take offense to it's owner. Bad luck struck again as the only cover I could find to observe this was an outside corner of trees, so I had very little to hide behind if something took a look in my direction. Of course, carrying a Beretta and a pipe wrench, I could easily defend myself if it hit the fan. That lion was hurt by bullets like everything else in nature, at least I think everything is. Whatever was making the hoof-steps didn't sound too big anyways, so I was fairly confident that I could take it on if it turned hostile. But then again, fights are always tense things. You never really know if you're going to walk away from them.
The crash site now had three creatures standing in the area. They were sniffing around the area, searching for something much like police K-9 dogs, and it did not take a genius to know that they were looking for probably whatever had made the noise of the gunshot. I cringed in frustration. Nothing was easy around here, it seems. As I had guessed, they resembled caribou, deer, antelope, and other four-legged woodland creatures. I wasn't sure if they were covered in fur or not, but I could probably guess that they were, because if I was right about the local wildlife being subjected to a chemical spill, animals with colorings like that would probably have died from the poison exposure if it was bare skin.
The first one, the tallest, had an aqua body color. It had yellowish shark fins on its shoulders with a tail, at least I thought it was a tail, that was of a similar shape. Its lower feet were grey with black toes, which made the animal looked like it was wearing boots. This was making the rest of the body looking like nature's "take" on human clothing, and on closer examination it looked as if this creature had seen a 17th century portrait somewhere and had decided to groom itself to mimic it. There was even a patch of fur on its chest that resembled a cravat. Was this something to attract mates? Or simply what happens when an antelope fell into a chemical spill? I could see its face, which showed this feeling of iron will and determination, to the point where I thought it would be impossible to scare. It appeared to be giving orders to the other two animals, acting like the alpha male in a way.
The second one, shorter but not by much, had a light green color with a white underside and legs. Unlike the other two animals, the horns on this particular one had dull edges, and resembled hedge branches more than anything else. There were tufts of fur on the sides that, in a way, looked like wings, and its tail was made of end of fur that were more or less the same. Like the blue one, the green antelope apparently happened to look like an animal with its fur resembling human clothing. The one that caught my eye though were the hooves. They had pointed ends on the hooves and near the top of the legs. Pointed tip boots soon came to mind.
The third one, the bulkiest by far and built like a bear, had a kinda brownish-gray color about it, its beige underside joined by stripes. It had these orange-brown metallic blades on its shoulders, and its cutlass like black horns pointed downward. I saw what could be best described as bands on its lower legs and the hooves were actually clawed. The tail was stubby, and unlike the others, this creature had little in the way of features that looked like human clothing from the 17th century. It was pretty obvious that this one was the one with the most strength, and it probably was the brute muscle of the group.
All three of them were acting like they were searching the area for something, most likely who fired the gunshot. It soon became obvious from that and the looks on their faces that they did not take kindly to whoever fired it, which was me of course. Were they pack soldiers from the lion I shot earlier, coming to get revenge on me? I trashed the idea, as I'm pretty sure cantaloupe and lions do not mix.
Suddenly, the green one, who was sniffing at the ground, looking like it had found something, perked up and grabbed something with its mouth. It quickly went to the blue one, the apparent leader with the thing it found. I squinted to take a closer look, and found that it was the spent cartridge from the Beretta shot I had fired not moments earlier. The blue creature inspected it closely, and the look on it's face as it looked at the cartridge made it clear that it had never seen such a thing before in its life. It made an angry expression, then spoke to the other two via strange animal sounds, most likely telling them to continue the search. I shuddered with fear, and immediately awful thoughts at what might happen to me if I was found surfaced.
The three animals looked and searched some more at the crash site. I really needed to get those hedge shears if I wanted to cut that tree and get out of the forest alive. These three creatures however, were not making my life easy. I needed to find a way to sneak out of them. I could fire a Beretta shot, but that will just draw their attention to me instead of the bullet. Throwing the wrench? No, it's my only melee weapon I have, I need to conserve ammo. I can't just sneak there, it's too much ground to cover, and there's no hiding spots, and I can't fight them; They outnumber me, I thought there was going to be only one animal at the crash site, not three. I needed to think of something, and I was stuck on what to do.
It was then that the creatures started to circle around the Crown Victoria. Getting a closer look at them, they were apparently trying to find for something inside it, certainly me. After a few moments, of a fruitless search, they made a few more animal language noises, then they went on to stand on spots around the Crown Victoria. After that, they turned their flanks towards it, and then I was horrified at what happened next. They were bucking the Crown Victoria with their hind legs, smashing everything the crash didn't! Several things I couldn't take with me were still in there. I looked with a light feeling of horror as personal things that were still in the car were bring destroyed. My insurance papers! Ray's tools! The hedge shears! My car was being busted!
After a few tense moments of destroying the Crown Victoria, the blue and green ones stepped back to let the brownish-grey antelope like creature to step forward near the wrecked vehicle. It turned around, and suddenly it kicked the Crown Victoria harder than a dump truck running over some unlucky squirrel. The Crown Victoria sailed through the air, flipping madly all the while as twisted glass, metal, and fiberglass flew madly about like a firework was being set off inside the car. Fortunately, the car landed down upright at the corridor's entrance. The trunk was right in front of me.
This was my lucky break. Right now I could get the hedge shears I needed to cut down the tree blocking the exit and finally escape from this hostile place. I just needed to fetch the car keys from the ignition and use those to open the trunk, then I can start looking for civilization. My only problem was being sighted, but now that there was some distance between the creatures and the hedge shears, I was fairly certain I could just book it and hopefully lose them before they caught up.
I started towards the driver's door as quietly as I could. Unfortunately, because of the gunshot and noises from the creatures totaling of the car, the forest was now dead silent after the Crown Victoria had been bucked to my area. It did not take much effort for the creatures to hear me open the door as they turned around their heads. Shoot! Upon eye contact, they turned around to face me, and did a loud growl I was pretty sure was meant to intimidate. In response, I drew the Beretta, pointed it in the air, and fired a waring shot, hopefully scaring them off. They only responded by growling even louder, and preparing a charge or attack of some kind. It they didn't look like they were going to back down anytime sooner, I pointed the Beretta at them in disgust at having to use it again.
To my bad luck, the creatures did not stop. In fact, they looked like they were going to spring into action any moment now. I kept the Beretta aimed at them, feeling that this would not end peacefully. I was right. The animals started charging at me. They're coming right for me! Not again! Why does this happen to me of all people? Was everything here hostile and crazy? I frantically pulled the trigger of the Beretta to fire a shot at the blue one, hoping the gunshot and bullet whizzing by would scare them so they would retreat. The bullet zoomed through the crash site and hit the blue one square on, in the chest. Can I go just 5 minutes here without harming animals? I then heard a weird noise, best described as a gunshot hitting a metal surface. I turned pale as the creature did not seem like it had just taken a gunshot, only making a short wince in pain, the gunshot looking like it might heal soon. I fired another shot in panic, and another, only to be met by the same bullets hitting metal sound. At this point I was only succeeding in making it angry, so I hightailed it out of the clearing towards the corridor as fast as possible, at the brink of screaming wildly.
The creatures followed in hot pursuit, quickly gaining ground. I was almost at the tree blocking the way out when the animals caught up to where the Crown Victoria was at. The blue and green ones stepped aside to let the brown one get through this obstacle, as it was charging straight at the Crown Victoria. As it dashed wildly toward it, the animal started to lower its head the closer it got the car. The moment it got close enough, the brute bucked the Crown Victoria straight into the air. The twisted heap of metal and fiberglass spun around like it was sucked up by a tornado as it hurled toward me. I dived to the ground in a survival reflex as the car sailed on straight into the tree blocking the way out, the wreckage snapping it in two.
Luckily the hurling shell of a car missed me, but on a second look, it didn't really look like the brown one was trying to hit me with it. Instead he and the other two creatures resumed galloping closer and closer, probably to dish out the pain up close and personal. Even though the way was clear, there was no way I could outrun them now. I needed to slow them somehow. I searched to tool box and my suit pockets in desperation of something to use, when I caught a look at the flashlight I took with the tool box. it was one of those large 12" ones, though I have no idea why they make flashlight that long anyway. Maybe I could trip them with this? It's worth a try, I guessed. I did not want to think of the alternative.
My heart was pounding like some angry child wanting out of a locked room as I fished it out as fast as humanly possible, and then I made an underhand throw of the flashlight towards the three creatures. It rolled along the ground, and I could only hope that in the best case scenario that this crazy plan would succeed. Maybe the flashlight wasn't enough, I thought, maybe I needed something else to trip their legs? The feel of cold plastic suddenly came back to my hands, as I realized I was still holding the Beretta, safety off. The idea on what to do next quickly came into mind. As disgusting and wrong as it was, I really don't think those animals wouldn't let me walk away from this one if I let them. The blue creature was more or less unaffected by bullets, sure, but what about the rest of them?
When the creatures reached were the flashlight had dropped, I took aim, hands shaking like crazy, at the green one, as he looked the most frail out of all of them. I fired the shot. To my utter amazement, the bullet had struck it's intended target, and the creature was clearly showing signs of pain, panging my conscious with guilt. When the green one's hoof landed on the flashlight, the combination of a wounded leg and no friction from slipping on the flashlight bulb caused it to careen towards my left, heading straight for the other two. They collided and fell like dominoes, struggling to get up in what looked like the end of a really bad round of Twister, right hoof blue.
I scrambled for the newly created exit, deathly afraid for my well-being and never looking back.
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