Gregson trusted his revolver, petting its trigger like a rattlesnake in his pocket. Even the police, with their automatic weapons, were no match for a well-placed shot. Shrieking labor pains cut the cold air with palpable terror.
“It’ll be every man for himself,” Bob said. “I’ve got Billy-Boy here to save my bacon.” The squat balding man clenched a double barrel shotgun.
“That’s only got two shots; this here’s what I carry,” bragged the fat man. “My grandpa gave it to me— left over from World War II. He held up a BAR that hadn’t been oiled in 50 years.
“That barrel is rusted up, certain sure. When the Misses has one of her tentacles up your pant leg and you’re defending your manhood, you’ll want one of these.” Standish buried a bowie knife into the wooded table. He looked like a monster at 6′ 4″.
“Gentlemen, wait for the police. Otherwise, you’re liable to kill the neighbor’s dog,” Murphy said.
“What do you know, city man?” Standish yelled. “It sounds like the monsters out there are multiplying. We’ve got to hunt this thing in the swamp before it decides to knock on the front door.”
Bob looked at the floor. The fat man cringed. Gregson was amused. The barkeep wanted to sell everybody one last drink before his customers got eaten.
“Alright, I’ll follow,” Murphy said. “Anybody with a gun is welcome. Let’s go kill this thing.”
Standish took the lead with his knife in his fighting hand and a torch in the other. Everybody walked where he walked; the swamp was more dangerous than the creatures in it. One false step and it would suck you in like an oatmeal raisin pudding. The water was like black volcanic glass, glinting in the moonlight with razor sharpness ready to emerge. A shadow past and then another. The horrific bird song was silent; only the wind or the creatures in the wind could be heard.
Up ahead, a lonely cabin was propped out of the water between two trees. What looked like glowing blood dripped into the swamp.
“Chemicals. That loon, McMasterson has been experimenting again; gone and woke the hounds from hell and a few other creatures. What was he trying to do?” Standish asked.
“What any man wants who hasn’t lived his life long enough,” a voice rang out. “Eternal Life.” A canoe cut through the water and McMasterson stepped onto the dock.