Untitled Short Piece

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((Because untitled stuff is COOL!))

Up the edge of the building; a jump, and she soared across the gap, landing on the other building and stumbling slightly before continuing her run. She didn’t dare look back; anything that might slow her down was a danger—jump! Over the bedding of pipes, nearing the edge of this building; another jump and she cleared the space, this time sprawling to the ground upon reaching the next building.

No! She pulled herself forward with her hands as fast as she possibly could and continued the run. She could almost feel it behind her, and she doubted it would make a sound even if it was there. What was it? And what had it done with Mark?

There, a door! She skidded to a stop, altering her course for the small building now in her sights. If she could just reach it…

There it was in front of her, seemingly out of nowhere—almost human in appearance, but impossibly thin, with white, sickly-looking skin, a bald head, and mutilated ears plastered to the side of its head. It was still wearing the suit from before—but it was ripped nearly to shreds. The monster snarled at her, and she stared into its putrid green eyes for a brief second before screaming and punching it, then hastily turning around and sprinting off in the opposite direction. She heard its unearthly, sickening scream, but she didn’t look back, didn’t slow her pace.

She could feel tears running down her face, clouding her vision—jump again, this time miraculously landing safely, allowing her to keep at her pace. She had to keep running… she heard it scream again, and she dared a glance backward—it was racing after her, just landing on the building. Back around—duck just in time to dodge some wayward beam, raising her head to see another building’s edge. More jumping, more running, seemingly endlessly; but the beast was catching up as they raced across the rooftops. Twenty feet behind her, fifteen feet, ten feet… and then its sounds vanished; she looked behind her, and it was gone.

She stopped running, crouching down clutching her side, wheezing heavily. Where had it gone? What was it doing? It already had Mark—couldn’t it just leave her alone? The tears were still there, and she wiped her nose and sniffed, then straightened back up. She had to get out of here…

Another small building, near the far edge of the building—a way off the rooftops, into safety. As much as she hated to, she forced herself to run; she had to be fast, or it might come back.

Oof! It was in front of her again–she had collided with it, sending it sprawling to the ground. “No!” she shouted, stumbling back. “Get away from me! Leave me alone!”

It spoke in some garbled language, standing up. It was right at the edge of the building…

Screaming, she lunged forward, ramming into the beast’s chest. It staggered backwards, snarling again—she rammed it once more, and it went toppling off of the building, shrieking for a moment before falling horribly silent.

But that scream… That wasn’t the scream of the monster.

It was human.

Trembling, her body racked with nausea, she turned around and found herself face-to-face with the beast.

“Mark…” she choked as the monster closed in, its mouth opening to reveal rotten, yellow fangs…

No.

Growling, screaming, she punched it just like before—right in the face, causing it to stagger back and scream again. But it recovered quickly, quicker than she expected and it hurled forward, knocking both her and it to the ground. She screamed, pushing her head forward to collide with the monster, but it hardly reacted, grabbing her and sniffing her neck.

She was crying again, feeling dead already, but she wouldn’t give up—instead, she tried kicking it, tried scrabbling at its grasp, scratching it, trying anything to make it stop, but the beast seemed impervious.

Pain. Sharp pain, in her neck, burning and forcing its way through her head, down to her heart, through her body.

She went limp, not moving for minutes, oh so painful minutes. But then, ever so slowly, she realized the pain was fading until it no longer existed; just a memory. The monster wasn’t a memory, though, laying on top of her and apparently dead. If it wasn’t for the creature, she would have thought she was dead too. She felt only its weight; nothing else.

Groaning, still crying, she sat up, the monster’s body falling to the side, its legs still on top of hers. She then stood up, shaking furiously and looking down at herself.

Was that a white tone in her skin? No, it couldn’t be—it couldn’t be. But it was growing, wasn’t it? Right from that point on her wrist, pushing away the tan color and leaving a horrible white. She pushed the wrist against her nose, examining it with a horrible, sinking feeling in her stomach.

The tears were coming down even harder as she threw herself off the building.

((This was originally written for the ImpishIdea forums for the Impish Stories “project” (in quotes because it’s not really a specific thing) and posted here after applying the critique I received.))

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