This week I’m featuring the opening of Sheepsquatch, story 2 of Monsters of Pittsburgh.
Not every victim of a reaver bite became a reaver, but a city as big as Pittsburgh was never rid of the vampires, either. Once a month, Matty and his sister scoured the parking garages to keep the number from getting too high. Reavers might be solitary scavengers, but they were also fast, strong, and vicious. Keeping them at manageable numbers was easier for Matty and his family than for any human demon hunter.
The fur along his spine rose with the sun. He’d been hunting as a wolf all night, and there was just one more vampire to go before heading home.
Reavers slept during the day, and this one was nearly comatose. His prey convulsed on the concrete ground as unlife left it.
A flash of gold eyes in the shadows off to his right was all he could see of Mina. He leaned forward, ready to attack when she did.
This should be the easiest kill of the hunt.
Mina limped out of the darkness of the sub-basement parking garage. Blood glistened thickly in the cream and gray banded fur of her right front leg. Sam’s bandage had already slipped, but Mina had insisted on this one last fight.
Matty froze, unsure of what he should do as she hobbled past him. She was in no condition for a real fight, and the reaver might not be completely asleep yet.
He darted to the now still body. Before he could clamp his jaws on its neck, a long hiss issued from the corpse.
It rolled away from him, gained its feet, and jumped. Like all reavers, it appeared to fly away. This one had been a woman. As bald as any of them, it also had the typical reaver mouth full of sharp teeth and blood shot eyes.
Mina snarled as she launched herself upwards. They collided with a fleshy smack. The vampire righted itself mid-air, landing lightly on its feet. His sister fell with a thud and a whimper.
Matty darted towards the vampire’s knees. The reaver batted him away. He smashed into the concrete wall, then collapsed on the cement floor. Pain shot through his ribs as he struggled to his feet.
When he turned back to the fight, his sister dangled in the air, her jaws locked onto the reaver’s outstretched arm while she slashed at its chest with her claws.
Matty had a few feet to build up momentum this time before he launched himself. He landed on the reaver’s back, clamped his jaws on its neck, and severed the spinal cord on the way to the ground.
The reaver’s body stiffened. Its skin cracked moments before the vampire turned to ash, coating his tongue with an acrid dust.
“What the hell, you two?” Sam trotted over to Mina, Rick on his heels. The squat Speaker immediately cut the blood soaked bandage from her leg. “If you had just waited a few more seconds that thing would have been asleep.”
Rick knelt beside Matty. He pulled a bottle of water and Matty’s clothes out of his backpack. “Hey Matty, you want to change back into a human before you wash the reaver dust out of your mouth?”
It wasn’t phrased as a command, but that didn’t matter when a Speaker used the Voice. Matty’s body went numb as every bone broke, and he slid to the floor. The change into a human took less than a minute.
By the time it was over, Sam had cleaned Mina’s wound again. “I already texted Jeff. He’s waiting for us at Rita’s. We have to hurry. He can’t be late for soccer practice.” The scars that criss-crossed his right cheek tightened with worry as he pulled a fresh bandage out of his first aid kit. “You staying wolf?”
Matty’s heart sank when she nodded. This wasn’t going to be pretty.