Radio Static–Transmission #4 (Wednesday Briefs)

Welcome to my weekly Wednesday Brief flash fiction entry! This is just a free piece of flash fiction (between 500-1,000) words based off of a prompt. I’m part of a wonderful group of flashers 😉 and I’ll have a link to a site where you can read other stories, after my piece.

This week is Radio Static Transmission #4. Jackson Meyer is a 22 year old monster hunter. Blogger and home video extraordinaire, he’s convinced that there are creatures that walk alongside humans. Through his various hunts, adventures and interviews, he finds that he’s right. He’s always been right–there is something that stalks in the shadows. It’s coming for him, and it’s not happy.

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“He’s just worried.” Brody muttered, penlight clenched between his teeth. “Keep still, I’m going to clean the wound and bandage it. Then you’re going back to camp, and we’re monitoring you for the rest of the day.” The penlight disappeared into the front pocket of Brody’s shirt.

The sting of the alcohol wipe did absolutely nothing for his raging headache. Jackson hissed between his teeth, hands clenching as automatic tears watered his eyes. The liquid cooled almost on contact, evaporating, leaving behind a slight film. He caught sight of bloody gauze and winced.

“Do you think we should pull out?” Brody asked.

“He’s just worried.” Brody muttered, penlight clenched between his teeth. “Keep still, I’m going to clean the wound and bandage it. Then you’re going back to camp, and we’re monitoring you for the rest of the day.” The penlight disappeared into the front pocket of Brody’s shirt.

The sting of the alcohol wipe did absolutely nothing for his raging headache. Jackson hissed between his teeth, hands clenching as automatic tears watered his eyes. The liquid cooled almost on contact, evaporating, leaving behind a slight film. He caught sight of bloody gauze and winced.

“Do you think we should pull out?” Brody asked.

“That’s what she said.” Killen muttered with a snort, somewhere to their left.

“Really?” Jackson said. The antiseptic cream smelled funny and it burned too, but he’d rather choke than tell Brody that.

“Don’t judge me bro…”

“I’m not judging you, I can’t sink to your level of idiocy.”

“Can you give me just five minutes to get this done?” Brody said. “I mean without the two of you bitching at each other.”

“He started it.” Killen muttered. “Getting his head bashed in and shit.”

“Killen, please.” Brody said. “I know you’re upset but let me get this done. Then we can go back to camp and discuss whether we should leave or not.”

“We can’t leave. Not after this, we could be onto something.” Jackson sat up once Brody moved away. He touched the bandages on his forehead, He took the offered hand and allowed Brody to haul him to his feet.

“You can’t be serious Jackson.” Killen, for once was serious. His face was still pale, anger two twin patches of red on his cheeks. “You could have been seriously hurt.” He waved his hand around them. The forest had gone back to normal, birds chirping, little rustles in the underbrush. “What if Brody and me didn’t hear you? What if you bit it earlier before you could tell us where you were.”

“But there’s something here.” Jackson said. “Large enough that it could throw significant branches. That has to account for something right?”

“So it’s large enough that it can kill us.”

“I didn’t take you to be the first to puss out, Killen.”
“Fuck off, bro.” Killen threw his hands up. “So it’s large and bipedal. It’s a pissed off logger.”

“A logger would have responded when Jackson called out to it.” Brody cut in. He was watching Killen pace, the man’s boots scuffing a trail in the pine needles. “Let’s take a look around here and see if we can find anything. We’ll head back to camp and continue this discussion based on our findings.”

“What do you mean by that Brody?”

“I’m simply saying, Killen, that we look around. If we find traces of what attacked Jackson, I think we could stay another day or two. We’ll cut the trip short, but we won’t abandon it completely.” Brody shouldered the medical pack. “That should satisfy everyone.” Jackson clenched his jaw and nodded. Met Killen’s eyes watching the other man until he shrugged, shoulders slumping.

“Fine man, whatever. But from now on, no one goes out alone.” Killen brushed past them, bumping a shoulder against Brody’s. They fanned out, walking in pace with each other, a few feet away sweeping the space around them. Killen had pulled out  small digital camera, recording the patterns in the underbrush and ground cover.

Jackson hesitated before heading a little left of the others. He could hear them, Killen singing softly, off tune, and Brody walking nearby. He ducked between two trees, climbing over exposed roots and wiggling as the trees grew closer together. He slid down a slight embankment and sat on the ground for a few minutes, dizzy and disoriented.

“Guys?” He called. The ground had leveled out into a sheltered clearing. Perfectly round and clear of debris, a few of the trees were missing branches. The wood splintered and chipped.

“Right behind you.” Killen said. Jackson heard him push his way through the trees and land with a thump on his ass next to Jackson. “Whoa, Brody man you gotta see this.”

“I’m coming.” The other man said, voice muffled. “Kill, grab the pack, I can’t get through with it on.” The red medical backpack was wedged between the trees.

“Lard-ass.” Killen said affectionately. It wasn’t that Brody was fat, just broader than either Killen or Jackson. He worked through and managed to step down.

“It’s a nest.” Brody whispered. “We shouldn’t be here.”

“This is fucking amazing.” Jackson said. He got to his feet and took out the video camera. Next to him Killen was snapping pictures, photographing everything. Jackson paced him, recording the space.

“You can see the clearing perfectly from here.” Brody had walked away from the pair, standing on the far end of the circle. “It would be a good place to watch prey from.”

“Like idiots who go wandering off by themselves.” Killen said. “Shit! I got hair.” The camera was wedged into his hip pocket, an evidence bag and tweezers coming from another backpack.  The hair sample was a clump of golden brown short strands. “We’ll take this with us. You think Meredith has time to do us a solid?”

“She should be able to.” Jackson looked at the hair through the plastic. “Any guesses Brody?”

“Could be cat, we’ve got cougars up here.” Brody squinted and handed the sample bag back to Killen.

“Do you guys hear that?” Killen said.

“I don’t hear anything.” Brody said.

Jackson gripped the video camera a bit tighter. Held it up, and circled slowly. “It went quiet like this before I was attacked.” He couldn’t see anything through the viewfinder. “We should probably get out of here. Let’s go back to camp and take a look at what’s going on. They climbed back through the trees, Jackson keeping the camera on.

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To be continued.

Check out the other flashers this week! Show them some love.

Wednesday Briefs Flash Fiction Site

Rob Colton

MA Church

Lily Sawyer

Andrew Q. Gordon

Cia Nordwell

Jon Keys

Victoria Adams

Elyzabeth VaLey

Renee Stevens

Tali Spencer

Sarah Hayes

Julie Lynn Hayes

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