Tony Riggs had a big fat tattoo on his arm and a claw of a nose, the two most memorable traits Felix noticed as the big meat bludgeon of a fist came down onto his nose, breaking it in two places and spraying blood all down his white wife-beater. Nobody in the crowded bar seemed to notice. The next memory Felix had was riding in the back of the blacked out ’70 Chevelle, watching a cigar pass between the driver and Riggs. It was dark out. He could just barely make out the shapes of the dashboard as they drove along some sort of gravel road, and the tip of the cigar burning put him in a trance as it wandered between the front seats. Tony and the driver laughed. The radio crackled and hummed quietly, playing an old western song.
The driver ashed the cigar. “Guess he won’t be screwing your sister anymore.”
Felix felt like a thousand degrees, the heat was cranked and his red leather jacket was sticky against his arms. His chin lolled down onto his chest and he could see how much blood he had lost all over his favorite blue jeans. Long blonde hair swept down over his eyes, also covered in blood.
“Look who’s up,” the driver watched Felix in the rearview mirror, “best go back to sleep hoss, for your own best interests.”
Felix closed his eyes and folded his chest down over the tops of his legs, his arms hanging down with his hands touching the floor.
“Don’t puke” Tony said flatly.
“Eddie better have the gasoline,” The driver said “are you sure nobody owns the barn?”
Tony stubbed the cigar out in the ashtray. “Frank owed me one, you think he isn’t serious?”
The driver’s eyes went wide for a second and he locked his gaze back onto the road. “No, of course not. Franks solid.”
As slowly as he possibly could, Felix reached into the top of his boot, fingers touching warm metal and grasping for the derringer hidden there. He palmed it in his hand, rest his hand under his leg, and sat up in the seat. If he had more time, he might have been able to contemplate who to shoot first, but instead the car veered off to the right and plowed into two large men. The old Chevy skidded to a stop over top of them, the suspension rising.
“Did you see that?” the driver yelled, “There was like 20 of em’ on the road. What the hell were they doing?”
“I don’t know, but you just hit a couple people and I think it would be in your best interests to get the fuck out of here.” Riggs said.
The wheels of the Chevelle span in the same spot, gravel shooting out from them as they dug grooves into the ground. The bloated bodies under the front of the car were lifting the whole front end off the ground and the car was going nowhere fast.
“Ditch the car. Tell the cops it was stolen. Let’s go.” Tony grabbed a revolver out of the glove compartment before opening the door and swinging his legs out.
“Didn’t you hear him?” The driver said, looking at Felix, “Get your ass in gear.”
Felix pushed the front seat forwards as Tony slammed his door and after the driver had stepped out of the car.
“Woah buddy, nothing to see here, ” The driver was talking to one of the group of people that was standing on the road staring at him, “hey, what’s wrong with your face?”
The moonlight glinted off blood trailing over the place where the mans nose should have been. The man cocked his head at the driver, sniffing with raw cartilage. He was fifteen feet from the car, standing on the gravel road with a backdrop of cedar trees behind him. More people were appearing out of the trees, seeming to be wandering and sniffing the air. The others on the road turned towards the Chevy, also sniffing the air and watching the driver as he scratched his head.
“Are you seeing this Riggs?”
Riggs had the revolver pointed at the man without a nose. Tony could sense the evil, smell it’s presence in the air. When somebody has been to the depths of murder and crime, they get a feel for it. He was shaking slightly, the cold flowing through his bones. Only it wasn’t just the cold of the night, it was the company of something much more sinister then himself.
Then no-nose was running at the driver at full speed, teeth gnashing and clicking open and closed.
Felix could sense the evil as well, although in a different way then Tony Riggs. His thorough contemplation of the world left him with a keen eye for the strange. He knew enough about sticky situations to see when there was something wrong. And this felt so wrong. He reached forwards and grabbed the door handle, pulled the door shut, and watched as the people outside began running towards the vehicle.
Tony fired a shot, hitting the man without a nose in the chest where his heart should be. The man didn’t slow down, he kept running full speed at the driver. He was upon him in seconds, arms encasing him in a great bear hug. He bit down on the driver’s neck, flesh and sinew tearing away like butter. The driver gurgled as he went down to the ground in a heap. Tony opened the passenger side door and jumped in the car without thinking twice, his large frame jostling the car as he slumped into the seat and slammed the door.
The crowd of people, now even larger from the ones who came out of the trees, surrounded the car. Clawing at the windows, biting air and sniffing wildly, they looked like rabid dogs in human form, not a single one without some sort of strange wounds all over their body.
The revolver snaked around the corner of the seat, pointed at Felix’s chest. “I’ll take that pistol off you now.”
The Hollow, Part 2