A/N: Okay, so yeah, this is where my language gets REALLY confident. Hope you don't mind the F-bomb. Apologises if that just ruined my reputation. :D Other than that, enjoy!
A horrified silence fell over the whole neighbourhood - As it already wasn't damned quiet, Stephanie snarled mentally - pierced only by stressed swearing.
Never, ever panic, her father's voice sounded sternly onto Stephanie's mind as she quickly checked all three firearms. Stephanie forced herself to take a deep breath, her pulse just slowing as she gathered her wits - panic had caused more deaths than any weapon ever could.
Full magazines and extra ammo. Stephanie's eyes ran over the weapons. Check.
Unexpectadely, the front door banged, Stephanie's heartrate pounding in her ears, throbbing in her head like a kickdrum locked in a staccato rhythm.
Stephanie's hand flew to the shotgun - it was a powerful, effective weapon at short range. Great for propelling high-speed pellets into those creatures' heads.
Grabbing the double-barrel shot gun, locked and loaded, with extra ammunition stuffed into her jean's pockets, Stephanie ran do the door handle, seeing the front door just before the staircase.
She prepared herself, throwing the door closed and pushing her back into the closed bedroom door.
Another bang as those creatures continued their siege of the house, the wood - the only barrier between her and war - snapping and protesting. The thought of them shoulder charging the doors would've been laughable had it not been such a severe situation.
Shame I can't use all this wood to make a fire for food - would alert every -
Stephanie's eyes widened as the gears in her mind worked, connecting the dots.
But all too soon, the door was finally breached. She held her breath - over the last few days, Stephanie had learned two things: blood and breath.
Both were intertwined - you needed to breathe the provide the vital oxygen that your body would disperse via your blood, and give it it's characteristic red pigment; through blood you could breathe.
But now, blood would kill you. Breath would too.
Those creatures had forced their betrayal, their seemingly acute hearing even noticing the silent life of a mouse.
They just had to eat Sniffles, Stephanie scowled, listening to the curious, inspecting prowl downstairs as they searched again for signs of prey.
Stephanie guessed it was probably the man's fall that alerted them.
But none the less, it would be better to let them find nothing, because a loud gunshot would - her lungs ached and screamed with a sudden outcry, and Stephanie reluctantly took a slow, controlled exhale, repeating the process again with an inhale.
More moments passed before they finally decided it was a overreaction or that they'd moved on, and Stephanie breathed a sigh of relief.
And it seemed that the whole world froze in shock, the rush of air just too loud. Feet scurried up the antique treads, and Stephanie knew.
She whirred around and flung open the door, her finger taking no mercy or prisoners as it started to fire, three pale, hungry, yet enraged and almost maniac expressions falling as Stephanie shot them accurately in the foreheads. Another scrambled up on it's hands and feet, almost crouching, it's long, black nails clawing into the wood.
They were fast, but Stephanie had known guns since she could say the word. She snapped open the empty shotgun, pulled out two more bullets, smoothly pushed them into their respective barrels, and snapped it close.
Her finger nudged the trigger, and it was down. There seemed to be no more. Stephanie sagged, relief and tiredness overhwelming her, pushing on the door and locking it.
Cold - icy and threatening, like a evil laugh that made your skin crawl - ran through her blood, Stephanie feeling ragged breath on her skin.
"I would kill you," she heard it rasp, her body frozen with shock, and fear, like she had actually been injected with thier paralyzing poison, "But may have other uses..."
Her imagination ran wild with the latter, the finished products terrifying her even more. Stephanie's heart rammed continuously against her ribs, Stephanie replying with what scare courage and fearlessness she could, gripping the nearly-empty shotgun tightly.
It noticed. "Dare and I'll eat your guts out."
Stephanie knew that it wasn't joking.
Yet, she hated being threatened, imagining her dead father rooting her on. "Not before I," Stephanie snarled, enraged, turning slowly to meet the burning red of it's eyes, raising her firearm, "Blast yours fucking out."
And simultaneously, it lunged as Stephanie shot, pathetically missing the creature. The weapon clattered out of her hands, sweaty and no use in holding smooth wood, the creatures heavy weight making it hopeless in much defense. Stephanie squirmed, now seriously regretting her impulsive swearing.
She could almost see her father's disapproving scowl - swearing was a big no-no in the Kepler family, the rebuke two days of unforgiving chores and spanks depending on the number of letters or syllables in the taboo word - depending if Mr. Kepler was being merciful.
Swearing is for those impulsive, he'd admonish sharply, and impulsiveness is like a sickly disease in the Army.
The creature's hiss brought her back to the present, glaring angrily into her eyes. Stephanie desperately tried to reach for the shotgun, the tips of her fingers frustratingly millimeters away.
Fate was such a tease.
A hand swept the gun far out of reach, any hopes of surviving this being brushed away as quickly as the firearm. The creature licked its pale, blood-stained lips, exposing its sharp fangs and dripping poison, before swooping down, aiming for the classic neck. Stephanie only managed to shove her hands up, her arms shaking as it fought the powerful neck muscle. More anger flared in its eyes, boiling-hot hands and black claws attempting to pry away her grip.
A talon pierced Stephanie's hand, and she cried out, pain already pulsing through her tired, straining arms. Her arms sagged, and the fangs continued down.
She waited for the ineviatable pain, having a general idea after witnessing the twisted, contorted, agonized expression, of the man, frozen when she'd found him, surrounded and hordered by seven of those creatures like newborn puppies or piglets to thier mother's teats.
Yet, nothing came, and as she opened her eyes, she was shocked and astounded by two sights: The creature's head lay lifeless, a steak knife sunken deep into his skull, blood running out steadily.
And the lowering of the man's hand, a crazed, terrified look on his face.