This was the day that George Elliot dies. He is a survivor in many ways. He was in Special Forces in the military. He did undercover work for the FBI. He was now a freelance real estate agent and part time investigator for the local police. The investigator bit gave him access to locations and information, while the real estate job was more of the bill payer. But all this training would not help him avoid his fate. Instead, it would help him reach it.
It took George three hours of nonstop driving to reach the cabin. It was a little purchase he made for himself as a place to get away from everything. And now he needed to get away more than ever. He hadn’t had time to fix it the way he wanted. In fact, the cabin was mostly bare. It had a few things that George felt were most important; a cot, a change of clothes, a towel, and a few firearms. What it did not have was electricity or and connection to the outside world. These both were choices to help distance himself from the hustle and bustle of the world.
Now, in the midst of Winter, George was happy to make it to the cabin. He turned off the truck and waited for a few minutes. He took time to look around, through the windows and through the mirrors. He wanted to make sure there was nothing outside to surprise him. The last minute, George cracked the window, closed his eyes, and took a few slow breaths. As the bitter cold crept through the opening, George slowed his body and became one with the arctic conditions. As the frigid air filled his lungs, he slowly opened his eyes and exited the truck.
George only had a couple hours of daylight left and there were things that he had to accomplish before night fell. He slung on the coat he was carrying and grabbed the bag off the passenger seat. Once at the door of the cabin, George dropped the bag and walked to the back of the cabin. Behind the cabin was a stack of quartered logs that were there before he bought the place. He grabbed several logs and took them to the front door and dropped them by the bag before going back for another armful. He finished grabbing enough wood to get him through the night and went inside the cabin.
The cabin was small and had only three separate rooms. One room was a toilet. One room was a bedroom, and the main room was a living area and kitchen combination. In the corner of the large room closest to the bedroom was a large stone fireplace which had a brick oven above it and opened into the bedroom as well. George went over to the hearth and placed a few pieces of the wood in the opening. With a large knife which he produced from under his jacket, George shaved away some fibers from one log and stuffed the fibers into some of the holes in between the logs. He took a lighter to the fibers and within a minute, a nice blaze warmed the cabin.
George watched the fire for another minute before continuing his preparations. The windows were already boarded on both the outside and inside of the cabin, but George needed to secure the front door. In order to do so, he had to remove the bathroom door and attach it to the front door. He removed some tools from his bag and within five minutes, he had secured the second door to the front door. Nothing was getting into the cabin, and George wasn’t getting out.
George went back into the bathroom and reached around the toilet as if giving it a hug. With a little twist, George moved toilet to the side and set it down gently. Behind the toilet where the tank rested, was a panel which George began to pull at. He tugged it loose and set it to the side. He reached into the bottom of the hole in the wall. His hand came out with a thick rope in it and tension continuing down in the wall. His hands started alternating and pulling at the rope until a large flat box appeared at the top of the hole. George finished pulling the box out and he set it on the floor with a thud. After replacing the panel and toilet, he took the box to the main room and looked at his watch. He had a few hours and decided it was best to take a little nap.
As he slept, George dreamt about the day’s events. He began his day in his house in the city. As he left his house, George looked around the sidewalks and watched as two dozen people or more were being swallowed by dark shadows. He ran to his office building and when he pulled open the door, there was nothing inside except shadows and tiny stars. He jumped onto the top of the building and watched the street below. The people George saw get attacked by shadows were back on the streets, but each person that they passed were in turn attacked and torn apart by the shadow people. From the rooftop inside his dream, George watched as more and more people were killed by the shadow people. When the last person was attacked, all the shadow people turned and looked at the rooftop and directly into George’s eyes. This was when he woke up.
George threw a few more logs on the fire before giving his attention to the box. A great smile spread across his face as he opened the box which contained an assortment of guns and a couple rifles. The remainder of the space in the box was used to stockpile ammunition for the weapons. He took each weapon out and inspected, loaded, and cocked it. After, he placed each one strategically throughout the main room. From his bag, George took a belt which held ten grenades and draped it over his shoulder.
Throughout the cabin, George had prepared for situations like the one that he would soon face. On each wall and in each room, he had cut an opening near the ceiling. Afterwards, George had gone back through and placed a carved wooded plug to fill the hole. Each one appeared to be a decorative piece of the cabin. It was at each of these areas that George had placed one of the firearms. A total of eight places where he could access views of the outside. Under each one was a niche that he could use to lift himself to sight level with the holes. His final part of the plan was to lock the truck and set the alarm. He reached into his pocket and with a squeeze, a chirp could be heard from outside of the cabin. George sat motionless with his back on the center of the front wall. He was now ready.
It was the middle of the night before the alarm of the truck started to go off. Immediately, George reached into his pocket and squeezed a button. Instantly, there was an explosion that came from outside. Although there was a sealed wall between him and the outside, George still felt the impact of the explosion as dust fell from the ceiling. Without a second hesitation, George made his way to the first niche and pulled the plug from the wall to get a glimpse of the outside. The moon reflected enough light to make the snow on ground glow. He saw a human shape attached to the driver side of the flaming truck. In the brush to the passenger side was another figure charred and motionless. Phase one of his plan was a success.
George picked up the rifle and placed it through the hole. Through the scope, he could see some motion a football field away. It was the distressed motions of the shadow people. They moved fast and sporadic. He targeted one up as it moved towards the cabin and gently pulled the trigger. The first shot hit at the shoulder and the arm dropped limply to the side. Quickly, George chambered another round and shot again. This time, he hit the woman in the left eye, and a pink mist shot into the air and the body of the woman dropped to the ground. George looked at the body through the scope and watched as it twitched a couple times and then stopped all motion.
He looked around and saw another shape running towards him. He targeted the head and hit the man in a business suit in the side of the neck. Blood immediately squirted into the air in pulses. He pulled the hammer back again, putting a round in the chamber. As the form increased in size, he let another bullet fly and this one tore threw the man’s nose and dropped him to the snow. George looked around again but saw nothing. He knew there were many more shadow people, but he only destroyed four of them. It was only a few seconds of silence before he heard a loud scratching coming from outside the bedroom.
George plugged the hole and went to the back room and stood climbed up to the hole in there. He removed the wooden plug and looked out. As he did, a blood-shot eye popped up from below and made George fall back hard to the floor. He tried to get up as quickly as he could, but he found it hard to move when the air gets knocked out of the lungs. He struggled and managed to get to his feet. He grabbed the pistol from the ground and stretched his arm up to the hole and pointed the gun through the hole. When he fired the pistol, the force caused the gun to fly out of his hand and tumble to the ground. From outside, he heard a howl of terror as the bullet hit a target. George grabbed the gun and wedged himself into the niche. When he looked outside, he saw several forms on the outskirts of his vision. There were two directly in front of him, one of which laid motionless on the ground.
George quickly took the pistol and aimed it at the other that was closing in on the hole George was peering out of, He squeezed off two rounds of the semi-automatic into the woman’s skull. She flew backwards as both bullets popped her head. One eyeball dangled by a cord like the ball at the end of a paddleball. It was then that he noticed the group that was mounting an assault on the boards protecting the window of the bedroom.
There were at least six figures slithering in unison at the boards. A few seconds later, George heard the glass breaking behind the boards on the inside. The beasts were making their way through the outside boards. George took a leap from his post and aimed at the boards protecting the window from the inside. He shot a random shot and it knocked a board in half. He reached onto his belt and pulled two grenades from the belt, releasing the pins as he yanked them off. With careful aim, George tossed the grenades one at a time into the hole of the shielded window. He quickly ran towards the front door and a second later, an explosion rang through the air causing his ears to give off a streaming squeal of their own.
He looked back toward the room. His vision was blurred. He saw smoke pouring off the ceiling into the main room. There were signs of motion in the form of shadows that danced from the flames of the burning wood of the window covering. There was a sharp pain in his back. He reached to where the pain was and brought back his hand covered in blood. George grabbed another grenade and tried to throw it towards the opening of the room. It hit the ground and rolled inside the room before creating another blast.
George crawled to the farthest wall that he could and grabbed two pistols off the ground. He held one in each hand and aimed them both at the area that was the bedroom. After a few minutes, his hearing began to clear and his vision along with it. George remained sitting in that same position for the next twenty minutes before giving way to darkness.
When he came through, he was lying face-down in the back of an ambulance. There was no medic in the back with him. Instead, there was a man wearing a nicely fitted suit. The man handed him a card. The card had the words, “Scott Francis, Relocation Specialist” printed on it.
“You, my friend, have created quite an issue.” The man spoke with a strange kindness in his words. “There are twenty, to twenty-five bodies scattered across your land. Most of them were officers. They believe you were drugged.”
“Wait, what?” His voice was harsh and pained but George was confused.
“I have received your information, and someone believes you need a second chance at life.” A smile spread across the man’s face. “George Elliott is dead, along with several other people. Inside this envelope is the information that you will need to get a fresh start.”
“What do you mean?” George softly croaked.
“You will have everything you need to start a new life, Frank. We will be in touch.” And with that, the man exited the back of the moving ambulance.