NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge, Round 2

250 word limit. My prompts for this round: genre – suspense/thriller, action – throwing a rock, word – endless

Into the Woods

“Mom, hurry, in the woods, it got Lucy!” I drop whatever I’m holding. Is Pete safer with me and my gun, or at home, alone? There’s no time to think it through. I grab his hand and we run.

The dark woods feel endless. “Not your fault,” I whisper. First his father, now his sister. I knew we didn’t kill them all last year.

His palm is sweaty, or mine is. He tries to pull away but I shake my head. I remember the mangled bodies strewn all over the woods last time. It wants us to separate, to pick us off one by one. Was that a footstep? A twig snaps. My God, it’s right there. I turn, pushing Pete behind me, and raise the gun. I fire again and again at the hulking shape and it finally falls. I reach for Pete, but he’s gone.

Another one rushes past me with a grunt, knocking me to the ground with a shaggy shoulder, and the gun goes flying. I scrabble around in the dead leaves. My hand closes on a rock. Better than nothing. I hurl it at the thing as I get to my feet, and by some miracle, I connect. It drops. More footsteps. I search for another projectile.

“Mom!” It’s Lucy, holding up her pocket knife, dark with blood. “The throat, just like you taught me!” I look around in a panic for Pete, but she’s already helping him up. “Let’s make sure they’re dead.”