“Faster Zach,” Erin hollered as he spun the car around on squealing tyres.
“I’m trying to, just shut up and let me drive.” Erin tried her best to remain silent, but from the rear-view she could see the soucouyants coming towards them at lightning speed and the thought of them getting their hooks into her and Zach was gut-wrenching.
The creatures usually took blood from the softer areas of the body and if they drank too much, the unfortunate victim met a swift death, unable to recover even if they were given transfusions. Erin glanced worriedly round again. One, or even two soucouyants was okay, but seven was a serious challenge. She wasn’t sure if they could fend off an attack if they caught up to them.
“We’ve got to hide, it’s the only way,” she said now, craning her neck as one of the withered beings separated from the rest.
“Where do you propose we do that?” Zach asked sarcastically.
“I don’t know but we’ve got to try something,” Erin said exasperated. She was still looking into the blackness of the night sky, interrupted only by the bobbing and weaving of the soucouyants. They were getting closer and Erin was frantically trying to think up a plan that could save them both. Before she could form another complete thought, the soucouyant that had veered off the others’ path came flying out in front of them. Zach swerved, pulling the steering wheel hard to the left and Erin was thankful that no other drivers were on the road.
“Hang on,” he said now and pressed his foot down hard on the accelerator. The lone soucouyant was only thrown off for a moment though and came charging again, this time smashing herself head-on into the vehicle’s windscreen. Erin jumped back as the phantom face, wrinkled and worn, stayed plastered on the glass. She snarled, baring her teeth which were yellowing and broken, but vicious-looking things. Erin felt her hand pulse and wanted to create a mini explosion that would get the revolting creature away from them but didn’t. This was just one and the last thing they needed was broken glass inviting a car full of nasty out to get them.
She looked back again. “Uh, Zach … ?”
Zach glanced into the rear-view mirror he’d been avoiding since the chase began. The other soucouyants had gathered together and closed in. Their features seemed to fade in and out, gaunt bodies becoming one as they merged, weaving together like snakes. They were intent on their mission, no doubt seeking revenge for their hunted sister.
Seeing this, Zach sat back dejectedly in his seat, “Fuck,” he said with a heavy breath and ran a hand through his dark hair, “Remember how I said to hang on before Erin?” She nodded, squeezing her eyes shut for a moment, “Try not to die.” For the next few seconds they lived a kind of waking nightmare. Erin grabbed Zach’s hand, holding onto it tightly as she whispered a protection spell. He squeezed back, liking her strong grip and smaller hand in his, but was not able to focus on the feeling long enough for it to mean anything but what it was. She squeezed her eyes shut again, waiting for the impact.
When it came the car rocked as though shaken by an earthquake. It spun out of control and ended up some feet away on a grassy embankment. Glass shattered, sprinkling painful remnants on them and the soucouyants continued to push as if they wanted to turn the car into a mashed tin can. With nothing to stop her anymore, the soucouyant who’d been on the windscreen came confidently through and looking up to face her, now inches away from her own face, Erin saw it was the same one from before. Erin knew soucouyants were vengeful, but this was downright ridiculous.
Realising that their sister was now able to get close enough to her prey, the soucouyants stopped their constant pushing and began to chatter excitedly among each other in a language that neither Erin nor Zach could understand. They wove in and out of the car, teasing wickedly as they played with their food. In the end they gave way to the one now sniffing Erin’s fiery red hair and Erin supposed she was the leader.
The soucouyant bared her teeth at the warden again, licking a black tongue across lips that weren’t quite there. More like phantom lines, thin and vein ridden, making Erin pull further back, not ever wanting to feel them on her skin. She felt Zach squeeze her hand again, wanting to reach for his gun. So far the protection spell she’d laid on the two of them was slowing down the soucouyant’s appetite, but the tricky thing about using spells like this, was that they rapidly wore off and Erin wouldn’t be able to use it again until some time had passed.
She didn’t release Zach’s hand and he looked over at her sharply, not understanding. This exchange caused the soucouyant to let out a loud hiss in his direction, spraying Zach with phlegm-like spittle that left thick red spots all over his face. Her action made the others crowd in, hissing and snarling at them furiously. They bit at thin air, frustration rising when they couldn’t get close enough to break the skin of the humans. Erin’s spell worked like a barrier, which allowed them to get only so close and no further. She knew this wouldn’t last much longer though and had thought of another plan of escape.
Zach tried to drag his hand away from her again, not liking how close the soucouyants were and hating the disgustingly gritty feel of the spittle on his face. He imagined that it was old blood from victims, combined with anything else the crones chose to eat. Erin was pissing him off too, not letting him get his gun at least. In fact, he didn’t even understand why she wasn’t using their time under the protection spell to repel as many as they could. He soon saw why.
“Through my door now,” Erin ordered suddenly and Zach, accustomed to acting quickly in tough situations, didn’t ask any questions. She’d slammed her hand infused with magic against her crushed car door, ripping it from its hinges and leaving it crumpled in the street, before jumping from the car, still gripping and pulling Zach along with her. He followed suit, using his special brand of agility to quickly manoeuvre his long legs over the handbrake, seat and out into the night.
The soucouyants screeched heatedly amongst each other, their prey lost. Erin had cloaked them both and they ran as fast as they could away from their deaths.
Continue to Chapter 5 . . .