Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta running. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta running. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 30 de abril de 2016

A horse named Alex

   Every single horse ran immediately, except one. Alex, named like that after the leading character in A Clockwork Orange, had stayed exactly were he was and no matter how much the jockey on top of him kicked him, he didn’t move a single millimeter. Everyone in the team was seriously pissed. They had all invested something in the race and now it was all in the trash can just because a horse had decided to show his opinion during a very important event.

 To be fair, it wasn’t that Alex was especially bright or anything, the point was he had been well trained by his former master. Lady Claire had been only ten years old when her parents had gave her that horse as a present for her birthday. It wasn’t exactly a surprise, considering the family had strong connections with horse that went for years. They had even provided the police and the army with horses and won several contests and shows with their best stallions.

 Alex was, nevertheless, Claire’s pet. He was never supposed to run in any race or to be under scrutiny of any person ever. Yet, when he grew up and transformed into a very well formed horse, more than one person started telling Lady Claire’s father that he was wasting a great horse by letting his daughter have him just running around his premises every day. They saw how he played with the girl and how he ran when she asked for a mount and all the other instruments.

 Those men were always around the house, normally just overlooking the training process for the horses that had been specifically raised to enter competitions or to serve certain institutions. But one of them, called David Byrne, got obsessed with the idea of seeing Alex run in a real race. The man insisted daily to Claire’s father that he had to make that horse run and that he could make a lot of money with him. He also proposed him to sell the horse to him and he would be the one to train him in the best conditions possible.

 But of course, as soon as Claire heard someone wanted to take her away from her pet, she insisted to her father that he couldn’t simply take something he had given to her as a preset. The horse was hers and only Clair could be the one to decide if he ran or if he just walked around their estate. And she had no intention of selling or training Alex for anything, so the answer was always a negative one to Mr. Byrne.

 Annoyed by the fact that a girl was on his way and that her father was a man that couldn’t even control his own daughter, he decided to do what he knew most: manipulate the context. He decided to end various deals he had reached with Claire’s father, which put him in very serious problems with a lot of people, like the government and a large amount of private investors that had invested their money in the very large and modern stables in which all of the horses trained and maintained by Claire’s father lived. Although the hit was not very strong at first, it became a problem after some months.

 Byrne was a very bitter human being and he didn’t like to loose at all. He hated the idea of even stepping aside to make someone’s life easier. The moment he had the idea of making Alex his horse and making him run in various competitive events, he had decided in his head that it needed to happen and he wasn’t going to stop for details, like the horse not being his or the opposition of the real owner. Besides, he was rather accustomed to winning his arguments so he knew it was a thing of time until he had his way.

 Claire’s Father, who she called Daddy even when she got older, came to her room one day and decided to ask her for Alex in the nicest tone possible. She was already a woman, almost off to college. She visited Alex every day in the stables and treated him more like a dog than like a horse. She even had the idea of going to study to a school where she could have him around in order to make some exercise and not to loose her connection to the horse. And it was then that her father realized what he had to do: promising something he wasn’t going to do, like taking good care of the horse.

 The girl trusted her father because he was who he was. She left for college months later and once she was out of the picture, her dad attempted to deal with Byrne. The man was obviously beaming with pleasure when he received the call and he even decided to play dumb and not accept the man’s calls for a while. But he eventually went to the stables and talked to him, hearing his proposal. Claire’s father was not ready to sell the horse as, legally; the horse was his daughter’s property. However, he would let Mr. Byrne trained the horse and earn money that way.

 The man accepted. Claire’s father was very glad because it meant they could do business again and he could access all of his former clients again. The money made from the horses was very important to him and his wealth. So Alex begun training under a very harsh woman hired by Byrne, who was supposed to be one of the best in the field. She was a very harsh person and used a whip to make her results even better.

 She made Alex work a lot more than he had ever worked. Called Françoise, the woman was as big as a small horse and cracked the whip every time she thought the creature was not doing what she was asking or had been doing it wrong for a while. She made him run and jump for hours, until Alex was exhausted.

 Even the other trainers, the ones supervising the horses that would go to other owners, seemed appalled by the way Françoise treated Alex and her energy around the stables. Every single horse got quite restless when she appeared and would only calm down after a while. Alex would always respond to her arrival by kicking the wall of his small room with his hind legs. He kicked so hard, he broke the wood once and that had to be mend by Claire’s father.

 He witnessed one day how the woman did the job and was horrified by it but he didn’t say anything because it seemed Byrne was very happy with the results. Françoise stated that the horse would be ready for a race in just a month and Byrne had already booked him for three different events taking place just within days of each other.  The only thing Claire’s father did was checking his calendar and making sure his daughter wasn’t going to be around for those dates.

 He had dodged any questions about her horse for days now. He would always answer to her vaguely over the phone and change the subject abruptly to her studies and she didn’t say anything because she was grateful to her father that he had understood her choices in life and that she had chosen to study a liberal art and not the career he had always wanted for her. So she went along and never insisted on speaking about her horse or anything else really.

 The last month of training was simply brutal. Françoise cracked her whip more times in those days that in all the others days combined. Her trained was becoming so intense, that some of the stable workers decided to ask her to relax a little and let the horse rest for at least a day or she would kill him from exhaustion. But she simply cracked her whip at him and they never insisted again.

 The day of the race, Byrne and the whip women were really confident that Alex was going to win. They had run tests with him against other horses and he had won every single one of those. So there was no doubt they had a winner in their hands. So it was baffling, to say the least, when Alex stood still and didn’t budge one bit.

 What they didn’t know was that Claire had found out some days earlier about the whole thing and she had visited her pet in secret. Having spent her life with him, enable her to just tell him what he had to do when he heard the gun going off at the racetrack. She claimed her horse back after that and decided not to forgive her father for his behavior. Claire just took Alex and moved him closer to her and away from betrayal.

martes, 1 de diciembre de 2015

Smoke and mirrors

   The sound was loud and insisted on staying. For a moment, it seemed they were really ringing at the door but it happened to be all in the dream. The sound was horrible, louder than anything he had heard in the past. He wanted to wake up but couldn’t until he forced his body to answer to his command. It hurt, like peeling of a Band-Aid. The sound then stopped and he felt he was back at his bed but the truth was his own brain had deceived him. Unable to get him out, it had just transported him elsewhere.

 First, he seemed to be sleeping in something similar to a bed but then the feeling fade away and he started falling and falling and falling through consecutive holes in a deep blackness of his subconscious mind. He felt the wind on his face and his ankles but did not worry. Somehow, he knew that he would land softly somewhere, eventually. The area kept changing color, sometimes being red and other times black again.

 Again, he felt he had woken up but this time he knew it wasn’t real. He hadn’t landed anywhere, instead having appeared in a grassy field with small hills and nothing else in sight. Then, the sky changed and it became nighttime and in the ground a forest had sprung up to life. He automatically entered the forest and hoped to find a proper exit to his dreams from there. Maybe there was a door or something special he had to do to end all of this nonsense.

 He felt trapped in a world similar to the one in Alice in Wonderland but the difference was that Alice’s world was at least funny and interesting. His dream world was seriously boring next to it. Having realized he wasn’t able to wake up by his own will, he tried to change the world he was in but all he could achieve was to make some flowers appear. As night had fallen just minutes ago, he could barely see them so he tried to change night back to day but al he could do was getting the sun stuck in the sky, casting an annoying twilight all around.

 Walking became harder as his eyes had to be covered because of the light. He walked as if he had become blind in a second, touching everything he could and doubting every step he walked. Then he reached a cliff and had to stop moving. But that didn’t change anything: he still slipped and fell, again falling through holes and for a long time.

 Then, he actually woke up for a moment and realized he was very warm beneath his blankets, so warm in fact that he had been sweating a lot. He removed his short in a moment and fell fast asleep once again. Surprisingly, he wasn’t wearing a shirt either in his dream. Apparently his subconscious liked the idea of being shirtless so much that it had put him in a tropical setting, which he appreciated.

 People he knew were all around: his family, some of his friends, even people he had never been very familiar with. They were all in the beach, playing volleyball or laughing or splashing water to others. It was a small paradise and the sun felt real on the skin, on his face. He wished the dream wouldn’t end but he knew that wasn’t possible, not even if he died in his sleep.

 He stood up and walked down the beach, smiling at his mother who was attending to a younger him and then watching how many of the guys he had dated were casually talking in a small group. They all smiled at him and waved their hands and he knew it was very strange but still waved his hand and smiled too.

 There was a pier he hadn’t noticed before, made of cement pillars and wood planks on the floor. He walked slowly on it, feeling the wood on his feet and the warmth of the sun on his cheeks. He really wanted this to be real, to be the world he lived in. Not only because of the beautiful setting but because he didn’t feel any worry, he didn’t feel he had to do anything. It was just perfect.

 At the end of the pier there was a man, taller than him and shirtless too, that looked at the ocean. All he could see of that person was his back, which didn’t look bad at all. And as he saw him, he realized he knew who he was and that he had to talk to him, to see his face and to hug and kiss him and share his life with him and cherish every single moment they were able to be together.

 But just when he was able to touch the man’s arm, the scene changed and the guy was behind him, with his arms around him. He had no idea why, but he wasn’t compelled anymore to see his face. Maybe deep down, in some other level of consciousness, he already knew who that person was or at least what he looked like. Maybe that’s why he didn’t mind turning around and stop watching the sunset beyond the perfect blue ocean. It was the first time in his life he finally felt at home.

 As it happens often, his body chose that exact moment to wake him up. He opened his eyes sad, frustrated to know all that had happened was a lie and that there weren’t any arms around him hugging him, making him feel alive and safe. He turned his head for a minute, realizing it hadn’t been his brain that had woke him up, it had been the rain in the window. It was very dark outside and he knew he had some more hours to sleep, after all it was Saturday the next day so he wasn’t precisely going to wake up early for anything.

 This time, it took him a while to fall asleep, as he kept analyzing what he had seen in the dream, trying to remember more about the man in the pier. But his mind finally let go of the thought of someone that didn’t existed and just surrendered to the few extra hours of sleep.

 This time, he ran through some destroyed street. There were bricks all around and graffiti on the wall and he felt he was in some serious thing because he couldn’t hear anything besides his feet stomping on the ground. He finally stopped running and went up some stairs, to the second floor of a typical movie motel. He had never seen one of those in actual life, but he had seen so many in movies and TV series that his brain must have design it from similar memories.

 He entered a door on the second floor and locked it. The room was all done in a clear ‘70s style, with the orange and brown curtains smelling of pot, silky sheets on the bed, furniture in gold and silver and a TV set with no remote control. Everything was on point and he knew, again thinking of himself as asleep, that he had seen some place like this one before. He was sure of it.

Suddenly, someone entered the room and he just had seconds to run to the window and jump towards it. Whoever was behind him had starting shooting and his only option had seemed to jump through a window. He landed on the pool below, which was rapidly tainted with his blood. He had no idea how but he managed to get out of the pool and run down the street again. His body was aching but he had no idea where it hurt exactly. He just ran, preventing more damage.

 Out of nowhere, a neighborhood of tall skyscrapers and perfect sidewalks appeared in front of him. He entered the closest door, which happened to be a department store. He went up one floor on the working escalator and sat down by all the men shoe section to check his body. Only one bullet had hit him, on the right thigh, but it didn’t really hurt. He cleaned the wound with a shirt he grabbed from a table and decided to look for supplies or at least something to eat.

 Common sense drove him to the lower level of the department store. The supermarket was there and he suddenly felt very young and happy. He grabbed a cart and started grabbing various things he had eaten throughout his life: cookies, beverages, fruit, vegetables, cooked meals that smelled delicious, water and even deodorant. He went around with his shopping cart, happy about life and all it had to offer.

 Then, the man from the pier stood in front of him. He knew it was him, even if he couldn’t see his face. The man had been the one firing at the motel and this time he wasn’t going to miss. He had him in his hands and one last horrible thought crossed his mind: “What if I really died here? What if I never wake up? What if this was all a trap?”

jueves, 15 de octubre de 2015


   As she walked, careful always to land on one of the many steps set for the tourists not to fall into the floodwater, she thought of the whole thing as very funny. Well, it wasn’t really funny if you thought about it, but there was some humor in seeing a bunch of people that looked like tourists (flip flops, maps, binoculars and big backpacks included), crossing a large square at five in the morning, all in their version of a pajama. To the native, the people from Venice, Jean knew all of he situation looked funny as hell. I mean, they had been staying in a hotel that wasn’t very good and now the hotel was slowly decaying into the lagoon. That was the part that wasn’t so funny and maybe the one that worried the neighbors and the people in general more.

 Jean tried to stop smiling like a fool and asked her brother Peter to take her hand, as they finally reached the other end of the square and waited behind a long line of people to continue their journey through Venice. It was a late tour of a city that Jean hadn’t particularly loved. She had noticed how many lovers and people who adored romance could see all the beauty of the place but she had founded boring after only two days. And she had to stay there with her brother for a week until their parents arrived to Europe. They would meet them somewhere and share a city, most likely Paris, and then go back home. Jean at least thought the midnight tour to the replacement hotel was the best thing that had happened in a while.

 Her brother wasn’t of the same mind. He was very worried about people that were older that them and had to be at the end of the line, being helped by the people from the hotel. He was one of those people that care about everyone but himself, which is always seen as a very good thing but his sister thought it was his worst trait. He cared about others so much he wasn’t able to see when his own family or even himself was on trouble. For a time, he had been in a very difficult financial situation but he had failed to address it as he was using the few bucks he made to help a poor family. His family had to intervene because he was about to lose it all because of his kindhearted nature.

 When most people had finally crossed the square, the people from the hotel indicated with lights the way they should follow to get to the replacement hotel. Apparently, according to a map Jean had, the place was crossing the side of Venice they were on. So they started walking and thought it wouldn’t be long until they had a bed to sleep in, as the city wasn’t so big. They thought, initially, that the city would be asleep and quiet as the roamed around, but the truth was just the opposite. They could her people talking in Italian very fast, some people going around the streets and disappearing with ease. Something was wrong, they could all feet it. Maybe the news about their hotel had spread.

 But it wasn’t about their hotel. At one turn, they heard a woman screaming at the top of their lungs from a building. Peter, savior to all, was about to run and save her but she was just an older woman being dramatic. Her building was fine and if she could scream like that there was nothing really bad going on. The explanation to her screaming came in the form of a gossip, which came from the back, where an older man had been hearing the radio since he had gotten out of the hotel. He wasn’t very good at Italian but he could easily understand from what he was hearing that other buildings in the city had started to sink like their hotel. When the news reached the front, people just stopped and some even fell to the floor, causing a small chaos when people got pushed and stepped on.

 But the people from the hotel ignored the news and just asked people to keep on walking. Eventually, they reached Campo de la Maddalena, a very small open space were they could feel a little less trapped and were people were able to just sit down on the floor and have something to drink and eat. The hotel people still weren’t talking about the news but they were talking amongst themselves and they looked very worried. Their hand gestures were enough to confirm the news. Then, screaming some more news, the older man told the crowd that tram and train service had been cut off and that the bridge to the mainland was only open to buses getting people out of the islands.

Some people checked their maps with haste and realized that the train station wasn’t that far away, and as the road ran alongside of the tracks, maybe they could be able to walk to the mainland or at least reach on of those buses. They formed a little committee and send a person to talk, which happened to be Peter as he was deeply concerned for everyone around him. He talked to the people from the hotel and tried to convince them to go to the train station or the bus station instead of the other hotel. They heard what he had to say but then explained they couldn’t do anything that wasn’t approved by the company. So they had to ask first.

 One of the staff, a very young man, called on his cellphone and started speaking a very fast Italian, trying to get as far from people as he could. Everyone could see him gesturing and trying to convey every thought in what he had to say but then he turned to everyone. He was one of those very pale people but now he seemed to look even paler. He hung up, walked towards the crowd and demanded their attention. He had received orders to get them to the replacement hotel as some areas of the city were beginning to flood, namely the train and bus stations. He had also received news that their hotel had fully collapsed into the water, as it was located just at the Grand Canal.

 People stood up to keep on walking but others thought it wasn’t a very good idea to stay. Their best chance, they said, was to get to the mainland by anyways possible. But it has to be explained that those who said that were young tourists, people that could walk and run if they needed to. Most of the people that wanted to do as the hotel said were older and they couldn’t afford to go hopping around without a real plan or a real way of doing nothing. Peter intervened, saying the most important thing for everyone was to be safe and that the elderly were first. Then a battle of voices ensued and Jean was bothered now by the fact her brother always needed to be a hero instead of trying to worry for his own.

 She was decided to leave that place. As people argued, she took a look at her map and realized it was all very near: the bus station was probably only fifteen minutes away, less if they made good time. So she decided that she would walk and try to get into one of the buses. Then, a very loud sound interrupted the voices and the thoughts. Something was doing a very haunting noise, like of something about to snap. Some people even felt the environment move a little, like shaking beneath their feet. Then, they knew something bad had happened because the sound was awful and it seemed like a thousand people screamed at the same time. Some people fled, others couldn’t. Jean grabbed Peter and ran.

 He fought her initially but then stopped opposing her and just looked over his shoulder from time to time. Some others were running, and then walking with them. They crossed a canal and noticed there were many bricks and pieces of walls and roofs floating on it. They reached the train station and were amazed to see it partially collapsed. That may have been the reason why the closed it, and not for just safety. They crossed the square in front of it, crossed another bridge and then reached the bus station. The place was full of people and they were all complaining. Apparently, there were no buses there to get to the mainland. Some policemen could be seen on the rooftop of a building, possible trying to control what couldn’t be controlled.

 For Jean, the response was simple and it got simpler when people started screaming because they started to fill the puddles of water grow larger beneath their feet.  Again, Jean grabbed her brother and pulled him through the crowd following the road. People were so scared they were barely moving, others had taken the route Jean had thought to be the only way out: just follow the road to the mainland. They started walking, being joined by many people, but they didn’t get too far as another one of those horrible sounds broke the chaos of the march towards the mainland. The sound, however, was much stronger now. People felt it inside, in their hearts and all other organs.

 Then, the ground just started to collapse and people just ran like crazy. Many died there, been trampled by other people that were as scared as them. Jean took Peter’s hand hard and they ran too, trying no to lose each other in the process. The sad thing was that the police had failed to tell people the bridge had collapsed in its middle part. So running was of no use. They had to find another way to live.

jueves, 3 de septiembre de 2015

Mutant mountain

   The arrow pierced exactly between its two eyes. The creature shrieked in the most awful way and then it collapsed, making the ground beneath it tremble. It tried to breath for a few seconds, but then it all stopped, his belly going still fast. Archer came down and checked the body. He was dead. Gunman approached too and congratulated Archer for his handling of the situation. The creature had come out of nowhere but they had been prepared. Doctor arrived with Bio, both women, and as one checked the state of the humans, the other checked the body of the collapses animal. It wasn’t uncommon for them to wander out of the highlands that were their home but this one had seemed particularly vicious. He had been drooling ever since they had seen him come into their lands and his eyes were red.

 The four of them decided to go back to the research facility to change clothes and have some food. In the facility there were only five people, all identifiable by their profession and not by their real name. This was because the agency that hired them didn’t wanted them to risk their personal lives for any task at hand so they call themselves whatever they were. Archer was an archer and gunman a very skilled shooter. Those two were the security team in the group. Then there was Bio, who was a biologist dedicated to preserve the last few animals that lived in this region. And there was Doctor, who tended the wounded people. The fifth one, and the one that hadn’t come out when the gigantic boar attacked, was Vet. He was key but was very strange.

 When they came back to base, a rather small house with a lab on its basement, they noticed Vet wasn’t there. He normally took long strolls all over the place but as his destination always changed, it was impossible to know where he was. Any way, the team went back to pick up the body of the big boar but found out there were only bones there and they also seemed to be decaying. It was very strange and uncommon for this to happen. Coming back again to the base, they found Vet and had a very heated discussion about how he was never there when needed. The women demanded for him to be always available but the men had decided not to say a word.

 Vet apologized and explained to them why he had left. He wasn’t walking around or anything. He had actually stayed behind because he had seen a group of birds flying in an uncommon pattern. He knew it was strange so he tried to follow them with his binoculars but it wasn’t necessary. The birds landed not very far and as fast as he saw them, he realized something wasn’t right. The birds were bigger than normal, even surpassing the height of Pet’s knees. They had red-blooded eyes and very black feathers that appeared to shine with every move they made. And then they heard him coming and two of them attempted to attack. Vet ran like crazy and found shelter in the forest where he stayed until they had left.

 The team was amazed by the story but the women were still upset that he had missed the opportunity to check the boar’s body in order to know what was happening to him. Vet told them that it appeared to be a contagious disease but it was strange that it passed from one species to the next, with the same results: the infected animal seemed to be bigger, with red-blooded eyes and very aggressive. He suggested that they needed a live specimen or at least to have a well preserved body at hand. But then they explained to him what had happened to the boar they had left in the hills. Vet had no idea what to do or how to proceed. He told the team that they had to really think their plan through, as they had no idea if humans could be infected by whatever the animals had.

 After agreeing they needed rest in order to think straight in the morning, the team decided to have the rest of the day off. The men were really happy about it and the women realized they could use some rest after a very strenuous day. The man took off their shoes and jackets and decided to repair their weapons and clean them. Arrow by arrow, bullet by bullet. The truth was that the security team consisted of very efficient guys but that were not really useful for much else. They were big and muscular and tall but they didn’t have much in their heads. Maybe they were a stereotype but at least they could be funny when they wanted, telling jokes and anecdotes about their lives.

 The girls decided to do different things: Doctor decided to clean her equipment and then have a shower with hot water, which they had to heat themselves in the kitchen. It had come as not surprise to them as the base was very far from any trace of civilization. On the other hand, Bio decided to check on a small fragment of bone she had been able to take from the decaying corpse of the boar. The fragment was now bone but she was confident she could achieve something by testing it with everything she had at hand. Bio was a very skillful woman and loved a good challenge when it presented itself to her.

 Vet just took off his clothes and tried to get some sleep. It was the afternoon but he wanted to rest. He had various reasons for this but mainly because he felt that, in the next few days, he wouldn’t be able to relax as much as he was in that moment. And also because he had been having problems sleeping. He had always had those problems but now they seemed to be getting worse. For the last two nights, he hadn’t been able to sleep at all, instead guarding the base and letting Arrow or Gunman sleep. He would often use this wasted time to think about his mission there and about his decisions in life. He had been wrong to take the job. But there’s was nothing he could do now. It was too late.

 Somehow, Vet fell asleep pretty fast and had a nice dreamless nap for several hours until someone woke him up very late at night. It was Doctor and she seemed very scared. He sat on his bed and realized they were all there, in the bedroom. True, they all shared the space but it was a weird scene because they all stare at the stairs and no one was asleep. He stood up and realized that they had put some sort of big plank on the space of the stairs. And that something was pushing from downstairs. The banging was scary but whatever was downstairs was not strong enough. Vet turned around and looked through the window and saw nothing, except the blackness of the night.

 He told everyone that maybe they could escape jumping from the window. It wasn’t that high and it was better than staying there and wait for death or whatever was going to happen. They agreed, so the girls went through the window first. Bio fell landed nicely but Doctor apparently smashed her ankles against the ground and had serious problems walking. Bio helped her up and they waited for Gunman to jump and join them. Arrow, who had foot on the plank in order to prevent the beast from entering the floor, told Vet that he had to go first and that he would run just after him. They needed to be ready down there in order to catch him to avoid hitting his face against the ground. Vet nodded and jumped, landing in a rather weird way but with no injuries.

 They only had a minute to organize in order to catch Arrow, who landed almost perfectly flat on their hands. They saw the room fill up with noises and shadows but the men pressed on in order to run downhill, towards the river. For transport, they had a small boat there that could take them downstream to the house of the forest ranger that had a car to take them to civilization. The walk, or rather run, towards the boat was very erratic and difficult, as two people helped Doctor walk and then Gunman decided to take her on his back. They run without rest and without looking back until they finally reached the small pier.

 The river was enraged and the boat wasn’t there. There was only a piece of rope hanging from the pier. Then, it seconds, Vet told them they should keep running downhill until they were able to escape or loose them. But the sound of the animals, a combination of buzzing and shrieking and growling, was nearer and neared. It didn’t seem to them that the animals got tired, different to them who were already having difficulties breathing. After a long run, they arrived to a point where they could see big rocks on the river. They could jump on them to go across and then run downhill to the ranger. Arrow jumped first. The rocks were slippery but he made it. Bio went second and then Vet.

 But when the turn came for Gunman and Doctor, the man slipped and hit his behind against the rocks. The women stood up on the big rock as she could and helped the man up but it was too late. The animals were there and the members of the team on the other side of the river saw their companions being attacked by pecks and feet and paws. They decided to keep on running and not to watch. They ran for several hours until they reached the small house were the park ranger lived. But he wasn’t there. He was behind his cabin, dead on the ground. The body had no eyes and had been bitten all over.

They had no way out…