Caught in the very same predicament she’d saved me from, the girl’s screams cease and her gyrations double when the creature covers her mouth with its body. I take this blessed quieting as my cue. Its attention will be wholly on parrying her grasping hands each time she reaches for it. I check the parking lot and adjoining street. It remains empty of movement, but that will soon change with all this noise we’ve been making.
Drawing a stubby hammer from my belt, I hold it in one white-knuckled, numb fist. I pick up the shotgun and hold it tightly in the other.
I make a passionate oath to myself not to drop either weapon this time.
Under no circumstances will that monster be reclaiming its position on my face.
The abused nostril itches and I sneeze a blood mist into the air. More blood trickles down the back of my throat and flows through my moustache. My face is coated with mucus, blood and vomit. Bleeding lips dribble stringers of red saliva into my beard, completing the drooling imbecile look.
I use the rage I feel at being mutilated to harden soggy muscles. This motherless hell-spawn is getting a flogging, make no mistake.
Approaching the fighting pair is a hyper-cautious affair. The girl’s muted screams have become sobs of hopeless despair. I loom large over her and the creature turns up its head and once more I’m under the thrall of those bulging, black orbs. They recognise the threat of the hammer I hold above my head. With no further thought I swipe at it, and miss. The girl is twisting and rolling on the ground wildly, uncooperatively. I tut loudly in annoyance. Can’t she see I’m trying to help?
The Parasite changes tactics, leaving off its effort to numb her mouth to shift around, trying to keep me in sight. An unblinking stare from those depthless eyes holds me at bay. I almost believe it achieves some sort of hypnotic mind-lock. Stupid thoughts such as these are common-place in my head these days so I shrug off the feeling as nonsensical.
Meanwhile the girl has turned over onto her hands and knees, attempting to regain her feet. Her actions break the creature’s line of sight on me. Able to move again I take the chance to stamp hard on her back. She collapses on her stomach and the Parasite scuttles around her head, moments before she hits the dirt.
Damn! I was hoping she’d kill or injure it with that face-plant. The creature bunches its legs, ready to leap onto my face again. Either it has slowed down or I’m allowed a tiny sliver of luck. Acting without thinking, I swing the hammer down. Caught between her skull and the chunk of hardened steel the bulbous abdomen pops, spraying gore. I swear a shrill cry strikes inside my head.
The woman’s skull takes a proportion of the blow. I have not held back so I’m unsurprised when she slumps to the ground, unconscious or dead. I raise the hammer high and aim the shotgun with a heavy forefinger firm on the trigger.
The squashed creature twitches as it dies.
The girl does not move at all.