The story's informal tone broadens into a twisted, underlying theme, both immoral and political: fiends created by man achieve man’s detestable covert scheme under auspices of two mega corporations. The first credible child victims do not escape from unpredictable beasts that conduct devious interactions in storm drain tunnels under Brownsville, Texas where fathers band together to war with them.
EXCERPT: In the still evening, Garcia hears vibration from inside the tunnel, a sound that rapidly crescendos to a roar.
He stands, slaps the handle on a concealed nine millimeter and pulls it from the waist of his pants, “Do y’all hear that? What’s that noise?”
In a split second, the rest of the men hear the sound and rise to their feet. Dark clouds briskly move into a dusk skyline. Drizzle begins, cooling sweaty faces that focus on the tunnel opening. Ortiz stuffs the newspaper under his arm and shuts the truck door. Walking back in the fine rain, he witnesses a horde of familiar beasts charging unbelievably fast toward the men.
“Get back to the trucks!” yells Ortiz.
But it’s too late. The friends immediately act out their defensive strategy in groups of three, standing back to back while Gabriel scurries to join one of the groups. Ortiz drops the newspaper that blows so strewn about by high wind, pages dance amongst the men and menacing beasts, all the way to the tunnel opening.
The beasts slow and maintain their distance while forming a circle around the friends. Having heard of the odd savage attacks, the men freeze and frown at hideousness. Silent, they aim .44 Magnums and stand strong, waiting… waiting for the right moment. Created from dogs and insects, the intelligent beings instinctively sense the fortitude of the men and realize this confrontation may not compare to others when defenseless, shocked animals and humans do not defend themselves. As if they are not frightening enough, the larger, antagonized Master flies his beefy body out of the pitch dark tunnel, immediately stops to an upright stance, gently dropping spike-like wings at his sides. He inflates a massive torso, holds a large insect head high, lashes out and squirms a long forked tongue, and with bulging–half–shut–bloodshot–eyes that swiftly shift from one man’s eyes to the next, he disappointedly reads their low level of fear.
When Ortiz reaches the men, his trailing wind falls upon the Master that instantly demonstrates disgust, spewing saliva in all directions then turns toward his small battalion and lifts his head like a howling dog to scream a shriek that can rattle glass, for he realizes not only that Ortiz is their leader but possesses the strongest urge for battle, a big fighting heart searching for its young.
Like a disturbed mound of army ants, the attack commences toward Ortiz. Marksmen pick them off like hogs at a hunt, without wasting a shot. Bodies explode into pieces at such close range, they scatter as far away as the trucks, alarming remaining beasts to retreat into the tunnel. The flock leave a sulfurous stench behind when launching over the groups who dodge prehistoric-looking claws that dangle beneath the archenemies. Communicating a plan with their wickedly clever Master, the hideous jet toward the loop while realizing the extent of these demoniac men’s power shatters their own yet surely only on the outside of their abodes, their abodes where they reign.
- Nancy Reil Riojas, June 2011
- Download options:
- EPUB 2 (DRM-Free)
You can read this item using any of the following Kobo apps and devices: