The two snapped to attention and exchanged a brief look. Bell County’s authorities couldn’t catch them. They’d have to lie about who they were and what they were doing there, stories that no one would believe. They’d tried to be as noiseless as possible, but the screaming from the residents and the soucouyant’s own vile behaviour, had no doubt caused quite a stir on the otherwise sleepy little street.
“We’ve got to get out of here, now,” Zach said, worried.
Erin agreed, but looked at the angry soucouyant, not sure what should be done next. They couldn’t leave her there for the police to see, especially with the strict rules about human encounters with the supernatural world. Erin could kick herself for her foul-up. She’d just wanted to help the family who lived there and had turned it all into a royal mess.
As if reading her mind Zach said, “You’re going to have to do it.” She’d have to remove the spells she’d placed on the household to keep the soucouyant at bay and let her go instead.
Had she done as she’d been told, containment would have rolled in, captured the beast and rolled back out all before breakfast. As it was, they’d have to do a pre-wipe, which meant that the memories of the family who lived in the house would be altered, so that they would believe that they’d been burglarised, as opposed to almost fed on by a deranged granny.
The soucouyant, still hissing at them, watched the exchange. They could understand all human languages, but seldom did they verbally communicate with any others but their own kind. Erin saw the anger fade, be replaced by confusion and then satisfaction as the soucouyant watched her lips move, removing the binding spells. Erin did it with a heavy heart, her annoyance with herself knowing no bounds as the sirens came closer and the soucouyant was finally able to break the window’s glass and flee into the night.
“Cloak me,” Zach said and she did, allowing the two of them to slip by unnoticed by the small crowd of neighbours who stood gathered around the victims. Erin heard snatches of their conversation as they passed by and realised with a pang of regret that one or more of them present had to be containment disguised as neighbours, as the father was already telling the story of a vicious burglar who’d scared them from sleep.
When they were safely back in the car, Zach turned the key letting it purr to life.
“I’m so sorry Zach, I really thought we had enough time.”
“Well we didn’t.”
Erin sighed. He always got like this when he was angry with her and he had every right to be. It wasn’t just that they would be in a world of trouble with their handler, but soucouyants never left their prey behind.
The call that had brought them to Kentucky had been about voodoo that was going on in the county. People were turning up dead and those that weren’t, were found dazed and in critical condition from extreme blood loss. Erin had been especially grateful to be on this case, as it was their first since her and Zach’s last big job in Brazil a few weeks back that had led to a major takedown, and she’d been looking forward to continuing their winning streak. Tonight, this had been far from the case. Maybe I’m rusty, she thought. Her employers didn’t like her methods, but she got the job done and figured that mattered most.
“You’re going to have to talk to me some time,” she ventured now, turning to Zach.
“Maybe, but not right now,” he fired back at her. Erin sighed heavily again and settled back into her seat. “Excuse me for wanting to save them,” she said under her breath.
Zach turned to look at her in disbelief for a moment before turning his attention back to the road. “You’re kidding right? That’s not our job Erin, how many times do I have to—”
“Maybe it should be our job then. We’re better at tracking than most of those containment guys and we’ve already got a few takedowns under our belt,” she responded cutting him off.
Zach’s grip on the steering wheel tightened. He pulled over to the side of the road, stopping the car abruptly. He turned to her with a deep frown, “Only because you forced us into it. I always just want to do my job and leave, why do you always have to be so damn difficult?”
It was Erin’s turn to get mad as she faced him. “Me? Difficult? If you’d just help me when I want you to, stop trying to block me all the time, we wouldn’t waste so much time and what happened tonight, wouldn’t have.”
Zach went red in his frustration and though Erin knew she’d been stretching it with her last assertion, she was too mad to take it back just yet. He was always getting on her case, even when her way won them the day. Now that they’d most likely be reprimanded because things didn’t quite work out, he would be even more self-righteous. Zach opened his mouth to say something; closed it. He turned away from her and got out of the car, pacing and angrily chattering to himself.
“Sure, run away from the issue just like always,” Erin said opening her car door, then stopped, looking up. Her next words almost caught in her throat, but she forced them out, a kind of irrational fear threatening to engulf her. “Zach, get in the car,” she said, then louder, “Zach get in the car!”
Zach had been so caught up in his own anger that he hadn’t heard her properly at first. He turned, wondering what she was so wound up about; followed her gaze.
Coming swiftly towards the place where they were parked, were seven translucent beings. Veins, cartilage and bone were clearly visible and their yellow eyes glowed with hate and anger. Not needing to see anymore, Zach ran quickly back to the car and jumped into his seat. He didn’t wait and was starting the vehicle again, barely checking his mirrors as he reversed back onto the deserted street.
“This is worse than we thought,” Erin murmured, mentally preparing herself for the new battle ahead.
“What an understatement,” Zach said with a slight scoff, concern etched on his face. It wasn’t just one soucouyant they were dealing with in this county, it was a nest zeroing in on Zach and Erin as their next meal.