Lieutenant Michael Harrigan watched carefully, as the girl sitting in the interrogation room began to twitch slightly. She was only eighteen. He could tell she was upper class, with her Vuitton jeans and Uggs. Her normally long, smooth, light brown hair was wild and unruly. Her crystal clear light blue eyes were hidden behind a stocking cap. Earlier she had seemed very poised and confident. Now her hands were constantly fidgeting, and her eyes darted around nervously.
"It's amazing what crystal meth can do to you, "Harrigan said shaking his head. He stood up and walked over to the other two people in the room. Detective Cantrell was talking to some woman doctor from some hospital.
"The effects are just beginning to wear off. We need to talk to her now if we want to get all the right information," Dr. Anniston insisted.
"I saw it on the cameras in the van. Why do we even need her statement?"
"Because, you weren't in the building. You weren't physically there at the time."
"And I wasn't snorting crystal meth."
"Exactly," she said. "Let me ask you something Lieutenant. Do you know all the side affects of crystal meth?"
Harrigan glanced briefly at the girl, who was beginning to murmur to herself. The doctor followed his gaze and continued, "Yes, twitching, restlessness, and paranoia are common, but there are others that aren't talked about quite as often."
She paused a moment to watch the girl. She then began to speak again, "They include alertness, concentration, and energy. I think if it wasn't for the small dose of meth that she took, she would have never made it out alive."
Cantrell raised her eyebrows and asked, "Well, what do you suggest we do doctor?"
All three of the looked back into the room and she said, "We need to talk to that girl right now, if we want to know what really happened in that slaughterhouse."
* * *
I stared at the table silently, as I heard the door open.
"Sweet heart," someone said softly.
I looked up to see a black woman walk in with a black man and Hispanic woman. The black woman sat across from me, while the other two sulked in the corner. I avoided eye contact with both of them. I could tell they already didn't like me. They probably thought I was just another dumbass tweaker.
"Darling," the woman said putting her hand on mine. I jerked my head towards her and my hand involuntarily smacked hers.
"Sorry," I said putting my hands in my lap.
She smiled warmly and said, "That's ok. My name is Dr. Anniston. These are Lieutenant Harrigan and Detective Cantrell. Can you tell me your name?"
"Ok Taylor, I know this might be hard, but I need you to tell me exactly what happened last night. Can you do that for me?"
I nodded slowly and began to tell them the horrible and terrifying event that had taken place the night before.
"Come on Taylor!" Sharron groaned as I slowly climbed out of my bedroom window on the second story of my house.
"Well I'm sorry, but I don't feel like breaking something while sneaking out of my house."
"Well they might start without us."
"Fine," I said jumping and landing in the bush below. Sharron began snickering as I crawled out with twigs and leaves all over me.
"Laugh now, but you won't be when my mom finds out about this," I said looking at the crushed bush.
"It's not like she can't just buy a new one," she said shrugging it off.
We jogged to her car and drove off. After a while I asked, "Where is this slaughterhouse anyways?"
"We're almost there. The others are still waiting."
We pulled into a back parking lot. We went up to the door where the others were standing.
"Took you long enough," Sampson grinned.
"Shut up, and let's go inside," I said pushing open the door. Sampson, Sharron, Lexie, and Emanuel followed me inside.
"Jesus, it sure is creepy in here," Lexie shivered.
"Don't worry baby," Emanuel grinned holding up a Ziploc baggie filled with a white powder. "This shit I got from my cousin Jose well make you fly so high, you'll think you're on the sandy beaches of Mexico."
"I don't see why we're using something you got from your sleaze ball of a cousin," Sharron said rolling her eyes.
"Why ask questions?" Sampson shrugged sitting down. "Let's just get started."
We all sat around him, as Emanuel passed out straws. He took the first snort than passed the bag around. I was the last to go. I cringed as the coarse powder burned the inside of my nose. We passed it around one more time. That was enough for me. I passed up a third time
and the fourth
and the fifth. I quit counting then. Suddenly Sharron started to strip.
"This stuff makes me so horny," she moaned.
"Me too," groaned Lexie.
I walked away just as they started to
well, you know. Curiosity got the best of me as I started to snoop around. I was high enough that I wasn't too creeped out, but I was alert enough to take in everything around me. The sides of beef hanging from racks WERE pretty spooky. I giggled a little, as I pushed one with my finger.
Out of nowhere came that weird feeling, when you know you're being watched. I looked around slowly. I could hear a faint rustling in the meat. I carefully weaved between them and kept looking. There was something up ahead. AT least it didn't quite blend in with everything else. After a couple seconds I could faintly hear an odd clicking noise. I stepped a little closer and suddenly I heard a loud shriek.
It was Lexie! I quickly switched direction and sprinted as fast as I could back to where the others were. I gasped at the bloody scene that lay in front of me. ON the ground were Sampson, Lexie, and Emanuel. I turned away to vomit, when I felt a hand on my shoulder. I jumped and screamed only to find Sarron standing before me. Her eyes were wide with fear. She was clad in only her underwear. Blood was splattered across her face.
"What happened?" I asked frantically.
She just stared into space. I grabbed her by the shoulders and shook her a little.
"Sharron, snap out of it. What happened?"
She looked at me and mumbled something inaudible.
"It killed them, Taylor. Oh! It killed them all," she said louder. Then she just broke down and began sobbing, as she fell to her knees. I walked over the Emanuel's body. His face was unrecognizable. I carefully took his big coat off and hurried back over to Sharron. I wrapped the coat around her and knelt in front of her.
"Sharron what happened I need to know everything."
She looked up at me with red eyes and sobbed, "I don't know. All I can remember is a flash of red light and they were all dead. I didn't even see anything around us."
Off to our left I heard the same clicking noise I had heard earlier I grabbed Sharron's arm and pulled her behind the meat. We crouched down and watched. Emanuel's body seemed to move ever so slightly. That couldn't be though. He was dead. Then I saw it. It was invisible, but you could faintly see it whenever it moved.
"Do you see it?"
"Yeah," I whispered.
"What are we going to do?" She whimpered.
"We're gonna stay put, until whatever it is leaves. Then we're gonna get the hell out of here."
We watched in silence as it dragged Sampson's and Emanuel's bodies beside each other. It was then that it revealed itself. It was massive, maybe around seven feet tall. It had a mask on. It had long black hair like appendages coming out of its head. It figured it must be a male, beings it didn't have a shirt or anything. He had armor that reminded me of mid-evil times. It didn't cover much of his body, and I could see his tan-ish green skin. Truth be told, I had no idea what we were dealing with.
He had a knife, with which he began to skin Sampson. Sharron gasped and I quickly motioned for her to stay silent.
"What is he doing?" She whispered.
"He's skinning them."
The thought hit me and I almost shrugged it off at first. But after I thought about it, it began to make sense; the ambush attack, the invisible stalking, and now the skinning. He was doing what my own father did whenever he traveled.
"He's a hunter," I said finally.
"Yeah, a hunter of men," Sharron frowned. "And one that can go invisible. Not to mention the size of a freaking truck."
"Do you ever really feel safe?
When you being hunted by those you can't see?
In this world, do you ever feel like a waif?
Not knowing who or what to be
The slow deliberate footsteps proceeding
One after one, they keep on feeding
Are you scared out of your mind yet?
There's no escape plan that you can set
Don't try to run away
My delicious little prey
It's absolutely no use
You're so pathetic and confused
So amusing to see you try
And in the end, break down and cry
To see your dreams being crushed
Your voices gradually becoming hushed
Hope doesn't exist in this world
And the wings of faith will never be unfurled
It's true that we're all a little insane
But it's so clear, now that I'm unchained
You poor sweet innocent thing
Let your last cry be the song you sing
After you dry your eyes and testify
What you could never be able to deny
Soon you'll all see
That you're too weak to be like me
Out on your own
Forever cold and alone
So just blame it on me
And set your guilt free
You carve your mask out of shame
So let's just play this quick little game
You can't find your own way out
No one can hear you when you shout
Because of your kind
I'm barely alive in this mind
So I'll give you a head start
A chance for you to use all your smarts
With your friends you'll all depart
And say goodbye to your loving sweetheart
Drain away the trust your heart harbors
Running around in circles in these acres
Do you still feel brokenhearted?
Can you ever end what you started?
Life isn't one of those fairytales
And the ones you love won't leave you a trail
You say you feel others' sorrow when they fall
But you don't feel anything at all
Watching you risk and fail
Slipping and holding onto the rail
You stupid insecure creatures
You care about nothing but your own "special" features
So bow down
Don't you see?
I wear the ultimate crown
You all hail to me
Freedom no longer survives
Pouring from your blood the will to revive
Tear your heart out and put it on the ground
Leave it there and hope it's found
Blacken the bright day
And blow all the ashes away
Erase what's left of your life
And pierce your heart with the sharpest knife"
"What was that," Sharron asked.
"It's a poem called predator and Prey, by Trina Nguyen Dao."
"Well it's very fitting," she whispered wrapping the coat tighter around her. I patted her shoulder and stood up quietly.
"What are you doing?"
"I'm going to look for another way out of here."
"And leave me here alone with that. It's like your poem. He's the predator and we're the prey."
I looked over at our predator. He seemed very engrossed in his skinning. "If you stay quiet, he won't even notice you're here," I reassured her.
"She nodded and I silently slipped away. I passed some metal stares, but stopped short. Was it just me or were there people talking up there. As quietly as possible I walked up the stairs. The voices were becoming clearer. Oh yeah, there were definitely voices. I peaked over the top stair.
Standing in a circle were maybe five or six men in weird white suits. I listened closely to what they were saying. They were saying something about they're lights. We could be the lights, maybe? Oh my God. They were saying that HE could SEE the lights! The predator was there somewhere. I looked around quickly to no avail. It was pointless though. I kept forgetting that he was all invisible.
"Where are you," I whispered.
As if in answer, he appeared above the men. I watched in horror ass he began to kill all of the men. IEach and every one fell to his hand. I sunk back down and slowly descended back down the stairs. There was no hope left. Maybe if I could get Sharron and quickly go back out the way we came, the predator won't even notice. Hopefully he'll take up a lot of time skinning his new kills. For some reason, though, I just knew that wasn't the case.
When I reached the place where Sharron was last hiding, I was surprised to find her no where.
"Sharron," I whispered frantically. "Where are you?"
I scanned the area were the guys' skinless bodies were lying. There was an unidentifiable lump by them though.
"Oh no," I breathed. "Oh God, please no."
I ran over and knelt down to look at it. Sharron's lifeless eyes stared up at me. Carefully I lifted her up and held her close to me.
"Why?" I sobbed rocking back and forth.
Something suddenly grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled up on my feet. It spun me around so I was face to face with it (well face to chest). It was him. Without thinking I began twisting and squirming. It was a sad attempt to get free from his vice-like grip. After a couple minutes of absolutely no progress, I stopped. Looking up at him I realized that he was a different predator. His armor and mask were different and there was a weird symbol on his mask and shoulder. He looked down at me and cocked his head to the side.
"Who are you?" I whispered.
Before I could get a response, something hard hit me on the back of the head. Then there was nothing.
All three of them were staring at me intensely, when I had finished. I could tell they were hanging on my every word. The other two quickly looked away when I looked at them. I bet they were a little less quick to judge now.
"Is that all you remember?" Dr. Anniston asked.
"Isn't that enough?"
"Oh yes dear, it's plenty. Now I have a few more questions. What school do you go to?"
"New Haven. It's a Catholic school. I don't know the exact address."
"Are you involved in any sports?"
"I sprint in track."
"Do you excel?"
"Are you fast?"
"Uh, yeah I guess. I hold the state record for the hundred meter dash."
"Very nice. Now, what about your friends."
"Sampson was our football team's first string QB. Emanuel didn't really do sports, but if you wanted drugs, he was the man. His cousin Jose runs a big drug ring. Lexie and Sharron didn't really do anything."
"Ok, now I have one more question, did you know that Emanuel had a handgun in his coat pocket?"
"No I didn't. What is the relevance of all this?" I asked confused.
"It seems that what you call a 'predator' only kills people for two reasons; either for a challenge or because they have some kind of weapon. Lexie seemed to just be right behind Emanuel when he was shot. IN your friend Sharron's case
" Lt. Harrigan said.
"No!" I exclaimed shooting up from my chair.
"Miss Reinerston, please. You need to calm down," Dr. Anniston warned.
"Don't tell me to calm down!" I screamed at her. "I just killed my best friend!"
"You didn't know," she said backing away from me.
"It doesn't matter! I left her alone! If I was with her we could've hidden better!"
Lt. Harrigan grabbed me and said, "Taylor listen to me."
"It's all my fault," I sobbed.
"It wouldn't have mattered Taylor."
"Taylor, look me in the eye."
I looked up at him.
"He uses infrared. He would've found you no matter how well you would've hidden."
"What if he comes looking for me?" I asked frightened at the mere thought.
"Trust me," Harrigan said wiping away my tears. "You will never see him or the other one ever again."
I just had to believe him. I'm sure why. I just had to.