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 #6. 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.
Three ATVs burst into the clearing, the rangers disembarking quickly. They made their way over to Jackson and the others. Jackson listened half paying attention, mainly focused on Killen as the rangers and Brody talked in rapid fire medical jargon.
“Jackson,” Brody cut in, he was on his feet, offering a blood soaked hand to him. “I’m going with them. You go with the other ranger and break down camp. Jackson allowed Brody to pull him up.
“Is he going to be okay?” He stared wide eyed as one of the rangers put together a way to carry Killen out.
Brody followed his gaze, and nodded. “He will be. He’s got to get some help that I can’t give him here. Go now, and meet us at the hospital in town.”
“It’ll be okay.” Brody thumped him hard on the back. “Don’t lose your shit now. Let’s get everything squared off, and then we can get all touchy feely later.”
Two of the rangers lifted Killen onto backboard, causing the man to cry out. They carried him to the trailer attached to one of the ATVs loading Killen into it. “They’re hurting him.” Jackson said, pointing at the two rangers.
“He’s going to hurt no matter what we do.” Brody stepped in front of him. A bloody hand clutched at Jackson’s shirt, hauling him down, forehead to forehead. “Keep it together. He needs to stay calm. Go break camp and meet me there.” He shoved Jackson as he stepped away, and joined one of the rangers on the vehicle.
“Ready?” The third ranger, a petite blonde woman appeared at Jackson’s elbow. “I’ll take you to your camp, keep watch in case the cougar comes back.”
Any snide remark that Jackson could have come up with died on his lips when he saw the size of the rifle the woman was carrying. He slid onto the four wheeler behind her, the rifle across her lap as she fire the vehicle up and took off through the woods. They pulled into camp, Jackson numb with shock, bones thoroughly rattled from the trip.
“Is this how ya’ll keep camp?” She asked lightly when she had turned off the ignition.
The trailer stood open, their belongings strewn all over the clearing. The tents were smashed, tatters of nylon and gortex hanging off the trees like sad Christmas decorations. Jackson bit back a howl of rage, rubbing hard at the back of his neck feeling Killen’s blood flaking against his skin.
“No, it’s not how we keep camp.” His voice shook, rage barely contained in balled fists and tense shoulders. “It wasn’t like this when I left.”
“That sucks.” She came to stand next to him. “Do you know if anything’s missing?”
Jackson started toward the command center, the table full of laptops and computer screens that monitored everything within a ten mile radius. “I don’t think so.” The electronics looked to be still in working order, and nothing was missing. Save for the six thumb drives that had all of their data on them.
“Our research is gone.” He carded his hands though his hair. “There were six thumb drives we keep everything on it.”
“We can file a report back at the ranger’s station.” The ranger said. Jackson stared at her over the edge of a monitor in absolute disbelief.
“Yeah, because someone will just walk in and hand them in.”
“If you feel that you have a criminal case the best thing to do would be opening a report.” She tipped her head, watching just past him into the woods. “Do you want help with that?”
Jackson muttered harshly under his breath as he started to unplug the various electronics, carefully coiling the cords. “No thank you. I’ve got it.” He shoved the cords into their bags before putting screen into protective cases.
“I thought it was just us camping here.” He said locking the cases and stacking them in a pile. “One of the other rangers had commented on that when we arrived a couple of days ago.”
She shrugged, pursed her lips. “You were the only legal camp site. There might be poachers or hunters.” Her voice tripped over the word hunters and she smiled sweetly at him. “When the game comes out, so do the predators. Both natural and man”
“What’s going to happen to the cougar?”
“If we find it we’ll handle it.” She patted the riffle, the smile not quite reaching her eyes. Jackson shook his head, unsure if it was a trick of the light, or his imagination that the ranger’s eyes glowed golden for a moment.
Jackson looked away first, acutely aware that the sounds of the forest had stopped once more. His heart pounded in his chest as he looked around, the hairs on the nape of his neck rising. His ears strained against the silence wanting to hear something, anything other than the frantic beating of his heart.
The ranger was at his side, and her eyes were amazingly bright golden. Lighter than hazel, a distinct yellow ring around the edge of the iris. Her hand was on his arm, fingers curled around his elbow, fingers a steel trap.
“Fine,” Jackson muttered, his mouth dry. He tugged out of her grip, feeling her gaze as he continued to break down camp, shoving everything haphazardly into the trailer. It wasn’t until he was safely behind the wheel of the truck that he realized the forest had come alive with sound once more.
To Be Continued…..