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Stepping out of the camper he looked carefully in all the directions he could and then jumped down off the tailgate and walked slowly to the front of the truck. The camper looked in worse shape outside than it did from the inside, as he reached the front of the Ford he stopped and stared at the damage done to the front of the cab. The hood was mashed down to the engine and between the wheel wells, he exclaimed,
“Oh Jesus!“
As he stood there in a daze he realized Beth had come up next to him and was looking at the damaged camper as well. Beth turned and asked if it was as bad as it looked. He replied, “I don’t know for sure until I get the hood up, I’ll get the tools and get started right now.“
“Is there any thing I can do to help? “She asked.
Aaron half mumbled, “Just keep an eye out for it and I’ll get started.” Regular tools were no help, finally with a crow bar and a small sledge hammer he was able to get one side of the hood up to see what kind of damage there was.
He turned to Beth and said “Were going to get out of here ...but we are going to have to do it with our feet unfortunately. This truck isn’t going anywhere.” He had an extra back pack and he filled both of them with essentials, energy bars, raisins, matches, compass, binoculars, blankets, first aid items, ammunition for the Colt and Remington. He had two canteens and after filling them they headed off in the direction he had originally come and figured they could make it out of the valley by dark.
About an hour before dark they still had at least three hours to reach the high saddleback that would take them out of the valley. They had been pushing hard and had stopped to rest. Aaron was looking back in the direction they had come when he noticed movement a couple of hundred yards away. Using the scope on his rifle he dialed the magnification up to its highest of 9 power. He saw the monster hunched down, not moving just staring at them. Aaron realized that the monster knew he had seen something so it had frozen thinking that he could not see it but the scope on his rifle made the monster look like it was only twenty feet away. It looked even more horrifying in daylight than in the dark. Aaron knew they were in trouble and that there was no way they would make it out of this valley alive unless a miracle happened. Beth asked, “Something is wrong isn’t it? Its one of them, I can feel it.”
As she spoke the last word he sent a bullet downrange with a prayer KA Boom........Boom, the sound echoed again and again throughout the mountains as did his second and third shots. As soon as he fired the first round the monster stood up and began its awful shrieking sounds. The monster came forward at a fast pace and as it came Aaron sent three more rounds by the time he had reloaded his rifle the third time the monster was only thirty feet away. Aaron aimed for it’s face and on the last shot the monster fell forward almost crushing Beth and him. The monster stank really bad and countless hundreds of ticks could be seen moving under and over it’s wiry hair. Aaron figured he would be rich if he could preserve the monster for all to see, for it truly was the deep forests’ King of all animals.
Aaron and Beth held each other for what seemed to be an eternity, promising each other that when they got out this they would they would spend the time to get to know each other. They felt that a strong bond had developed between them. Suddenly a terrible shrieking began coming from somewhere close by. Looking around Aaron could see at least five other monsters coming towards them. He knew they were going to die. He had only once chance to make it out alive.
Aaron pulled his Colt out of his holster and shot Beth once in her right leg. As she lay moaning he apologized for shooting her and told her, “Only one of us can make it out of here and its going to be me!“ “You’ll be bait and buy me some time.... won’t you? Sorry it had to end like this.” With that he took off running up the mountain seeking safety but before he had gone a hundred yards he heard Beth screaming and as he looked back he could see she had been literally torn in half by the monsters. Some of the creatures were already looking in his direction. He ran like he had never run before, he let his pack drop to the ground and looked back one last time and then was knocked to the ground by something that had been thrown at him. He recovered quickly and stood up. He saw Beth’s head and her lifeless eyes staring up at him, her body was surely parceled out as head was. He looked up and saw himself being surrounded, he fired his rifle three times at three different monsters then threw it to the ground as there was no time to reload, he pulled his Colt and emptied it’s magazine, they were now ten feet around him and there was no escape. One of the monsters picked him up by his stomach and back with one hand then to his horror each monster grabbed one each his arms and legs. They began shrieking as loud as they could and his scream was as loud as theirs when he saw his arms and legs come off and his blood shooting out with each pump of his heart. The monster that was holding him by the back and stomach stuck Aaron’s head into its mouth, he would have puked from the monsters horrible breath if he had had a body to do it. The last thing he knew was he saw the forest spinning around after the monster spit his head out then everything went black...

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