John Fish B.Sc.Publishers of Tenby in Wales (UK)
ROWSE LITERARY AGENCY HUNTER by Dylan Davies
ROWSE LITERARY AGENCY
e-mail: Dylan Davies
"My name is Dylan Davies and I live in Carmarthenshire, West Wales. I am writing to you about my first novel, which is in the science fiction genre, and is about an average American who is turned into our planet's saviour. Sample Chapter Hunter
I began the novel last year  to find out if I was able to achieve this with little previous experience. After many punishing hours of work, and many hours pondering, I have now successfully completed the book, and I am trying to pursue a literary agent to assist.
I am thirty-four years old and have written many short stories, one of which was Hunter, being a big fan of science fiction, but have never approached an agent. Thank you."
"My name is Dylan Davies and I live in Carmarthenshire, West Wales. I am writing to you about my first novel, which is in the science fiction genre, and is about an average American who is turned into our planet's saviour.
The skies were dark and eerie as Jake and his brother Mark left the bar making their way toward the parking lot. There was a small spotlight above the threshold of the establishment which emitted only enough illumination to see half the cars parked outside. This was a bitterly cold September night in Seattle and the brothers were inappropriately dressed, wearing thin shirts with dungarees. This evening was drab, with the stars shining, but the temperature was sub-zero. The unkind conditions seemed to be the utmost thing on their minds.
‘I knew I shouldn’t have had that extra drink!’ Mark claimed, stumbling toward the deep green bushes.
‘You’re going to have to admit that you ain’t used to it anymore bro, you’re turning into a bit of a lightweight!’ Jake laughed as he followed Mark to try to assist.
The siblings were standing next to a bush whilst Mark was trying not to throw up.
‘Ugh, I feel rough…I think I’m going to walk home now if I can.’ Mark continued as he made his way towards the sidewalk.
‘I think you are close to throwing up, and what do you mean if you can? You only live around the corner!’ Jake replied jokingly.
The pair would frequently meet at the bar after work to put the world to rights and end up a little worse for wear. It was usually Jake that ended up having to care for his brother who caused problems with alcohol in the past, but was now under control.
They persisted in walking the dimly lit streets toward Mark’s house. The smell of local fast food takeaways made Mark feel even more nauseous as he approached the gate to his apartment. It was a white two storey building, attached to a row of other apartments in a picturesque part of the city.
‘You cumin in for an… erm… erm, coffee, yeah coffee that’s it!’
Jake whilst trying not to laugh too much replied, ‘No, I think you need a nap, plus Krystal will kill me if I’m home late again this week. I’ll call you in the morning, if you actually see tomorrow morning!’
He watched Mark fumbling with the keys, before eventually recovering the right one, and almost fell as he got inward.
‘I’m fine Jake… I will see you tomorrow.’
Mark was struggling with basic words, but managed to close the creaking door behind. Jake knew that his brother frequently had a beverage or two, and that he would be okay, being used to it, not that it helped his kidneys. Jake on the other hand was considerably built, tall and athletic, while his brother was totally different, as the alcohol was catching up with his gut. He often urged Mark to join him at the local gym, a request that fell on deaf ears.
Jake left his inebriated sibling safe in his home, and noticed there was another mile to walk before getting home, which was on the outskirts of Seattle, as he had done many times before following a drink with his brother. He peeked at his watch and noticed it was after midnight. Jake was perturbed, ‘Argh hell, she is going to kill me getting home this late on a weeknight!’ he continued to fret about his wife’s reaction, and picked up the speed of his walking pace.
This small suburban area had various bars, as well as fast-food outlets, with many people on the streets after a good night out. Jake looked around at some of these people and realized that getting into that kind of state was a thing of his past, and in a way was glad. There was a beautiful woman waiting for him at home, and had cut down on trips to the bar, especially in midweek, as the temperature continued to plummet which made Jake shiver. This made him wonder why he was out in the first place, as he approached the end of a street, which leads to a walkway through a wooded area of a few hundred yards. He frequently admitted to his spouse that this was not a safe part of Seattle, as many criminal offences had been committed there, but never to himself or any of his friends.
‘Luckily I’m not afraid of the dark!’ he chuckled nervously, and continued to feel the bite of the North American weather, while seeing the thick white mist being emitted from his breath.
The aroma of fried food actually made Jake’s stomach churn, but had to press on as his wife was waiting, and probably ready to give him a verbal barrage. He started to think of her to carry his brain away from the fact that he should have worn a jacket before meeting Mark earlier, as this part of America was no stranger to cold weather, but Jake found this evening plummeting to new depths.
He always had a little touch of trepidation as he proceeded to the next part of his journey. There was a heavy wooded region with a short walkway through the centre. There were small street lights passing through the area, but it was dimming compared to the normal city streets, and reminded him of countless stories of crime toward young women on this stretch of the footpath.
Jake approached the woods and suddenly noticed that there were two men sitting on a bench, which lead to the walkway, with a bottle in hand, and a strong smell of liquor could be sensed from a distance.
‘How’s it going?’ one of the strange bearded characters asked Jake.
Trying not to strike up a conversation, he acknowledged the man briefly.
‘Ok, it’s been a good night.’ whilst trying to make out their faces in poor light.
The shady characters continued to stare at Jake as he walked by and this was something that he despised. They began to chuckle to themselves as Jake could also make out the aroma of marijuana, and he noticed the shabby stained clothes that they were wearing. Jake had discovered many of these strange men always drinking in parks, and knew that getting into an altercation with these two men would be potentially dangerous, so he did not look back and proceeded through to the forest, which was scarily dim.
The trees in the area were very tall and Jake could smell the strong scent that they were emitting, but for him it was better than the usual smog of city life and giving him an almost tranquil feeling even though it was pretty gloomy. At this point, he was starting to be a little more clear-headed due to the long walk and was now halfway through the woods, but was not really that drunk to begin with.
‘Not far to go now!’ he uttered nervously.
The slight anxiety of the dim walkway was easing, and his mind drifted to thinking about how his wife would react to him strolling through the door at this hour. This was far more nerve racking than the dark. She loved Jake’s company, as he did hers, only most of the time they were busy people trying to make the best of their lives together. The usual large pile of bills and their mortgage sometimes felt stifling and forced the pair to work longer hours, but the fact that he went out with his brother to drink probably didn’t help his cause, even though they did actually socialize together on rare occasions. All these thoughts were forgotten, for the moment, as he continued negotiating this murky woodland.
This section of the city of Seattle was common knowledge to Jake, due to him walking the route for the best part of five years, and held no surprises with the comfort of knowledge.
However, as he walked briskly trying to fix his gaze forward, something began rustling around in the undergrowth to his immediate left, but he didn’t want to pause and investigate at this juncture.
‘Just keep walking Jake!’ he said to himself, as his pace had picked up to almost a light jog.
The sound became clearer as he could not help but to throw a quick glance toward the dark to his left. Again, nothing could be seen in such drab setting, but as his head began to turn, something leapt from the dark behind him, and there was no time for him to react.
‘Arghh, Jesus!’ he roared anxiously, and his body jolted with angst.
Something ran past Jake and he hopped into the air in fright, with a tingling feeling running through his body. He used his athletic ability to sprint away from the scene at speed.
‘What the ffff?!’
After looking back, Jake quickly realized it was nothing more than a small fox, and bent forward with his hands on his knees, trying to slow his heart rate. Another glance at his watch told him that the time was now half past twelve, and needing to get home promptly. He straightened himself out, stretching his back and neck a little, while trying to catch breath.
‘Damn, I hate this place!’ he moaned.
The perspiration began to drip from his forehead, and wiped his brow with the thin shirt that he was wearing. Jake was not usually a jumpy person, but due to it being so dark in these woods, a shock is the last thing he needed. Any regular human would feel trepidation walking this route alone, and Jake wondered whether the extra pressure was worth a few minutes as his heart rate began to revert to normal. He regained part of his composure and proceeded to stride down the track, but Jake quickly realized that the forest had suddenly become well lit, nearly close to the light that he would look at dawn. It couldn’t be the sun in the dead of night, he thought.
It was far from normal at this hour, and Jake turned to his left to be greeted with a light shining in-between the trees, and due to the extreme grandeur of the illumination, could not make it out.
‘Is anybody working in there?’ Jake wondered, thinking that perhaps local contractors had something to do with it, but heard no noise from behind the trees only the whoosh of vehicles in the distance.
At this point, he was debating whether to leave and put it down to the alcohol, or continue to investigate. Was this something that he really wanted to get involved with, especially in the early hours?
Even so, curiosity was starting to take the better of him, and with his heart racing ten to the dozen, pulled ahead toward the thick bushes to discover what this unexplained phenomenon actually was, afraid of what he might see.
The approach that Jake took to the trees was far from convincing, and it took much effort just to put one foot in front of the other; it felt like his limbs were frozen. He could feel that his face was burning up, and asked himself whether this was the correct decision. It was the point of no-return, and he was shaking like a leaf, partly due to the sub-zero temperature, and also fears of the unknown. As Jake got closer, nothing could be seen through the illumination, but felt that the light was emitting some warmth on the surface of his skin.
‘Argh, hell Jake, why didn’t you turn and walk away?’ another belated question was groaned.
Jake had now entered the woods between a few groups of trees, and kept walking slowly toward this unexplained emission that was in the background. The silence was worse than the loudest noise that he had ever experienced, and began hoping to hear something for comfort.
He continued nonetheless, knowing this should be left alone, approaching the area resembling a scared child, with good reason, as suddenly, as if out of nowhere, he heard a booming thud and vibration through the ground, with the light becoming even brighter than before. This made Jake jump, and he had a feeling of butterflies in the pit of his stomach. Again, the thought of running entered his mind, but he couldn’t move, and didn’t know why.
‘Come on Jake, move goddamnit!’
Jake was feeling pretty fearful for a six-foot strongly built man, as the loud booming sounds became more deafening with each thud, and he appreciated that it was time to get the hell out of there.
‘Holy crap, run Jake, run!’ he roared.
He turned to sprint away from the scene, but as if something was holding him back, he was struggling to get away. His boots were getting bogged down on the muddy path, and the wind was whistling through his ears to make him feel even tenser than before. Again, the sounds were incessant and loud, as he tried to avoid the trees at pace, which was proving difficult for him in the odd mixture of darkness and light. Jake could now see the concrete path which could lead to safety, and knew that if he was able to get there, would be able to move unobstructed, continuing to weave through the timber which were scattered everywhere.
However, the final thud was as loud as he had ever heard, making him stumble to the hard frozen mud. Jake felt a sharp pain in his head as it whacked the ground, and with his eyes fluttering briefly, saw a giant shadow, before his eyelids folded completely, losing consciousness.
‘What the hell happened here?’
He held his arm to his face and looked at the wristwatch, with the time reading five-thirty.
‘Heck… have I been here all night?’
Jake decided to investigate the surrounding area, whilst noticing a rather large bump on the temple of his head and his garments were stained with a mixture of blood and grime. There was no sign of any disturbance in the area, with the leaves and small branches perfectly untouched on the ground, even though he experienced something bizarre hours earlier.
‘I’m sure those loud thuds would have had some effect on the ground!’ he uttered.
The ground underneath the trees showed human footprints in the mud, but that was all that could be seen. There were no signs of anything chasing him even though it sounded like some kind of giant was following him. Jake made the decision that enough was enough, and made his way back to the walkway. He glanced back toward the trees, making his way out, not knowing whether he would ever find out, but definitely knew that something strange had occurred. Jake hoped that he would find out sooner rather than later, and continued to feel groggy.
There were very few people walking toward the city on the walkway this early, as Jake thought many of them would be heading to work later, just as he should have been, but determining that going to the office was probably not the best idea today, considering the night that which had been endured. His cell phone was stupidly left at home, and would have to wait to make the dreaded call to work, but his general attendance was pretty good. Jake probably couldn’t afford to miss work today, but in this state, it was not going to happen and continued on the short journey home from the scene.
Early morning roads began to fill with cars, with most of them being taxis after a busy night, as Jake wondered whether to catch one and get home quicker, but the fresh air was working to clear his head. There was a small trickle of blood running down his face due to the hard impact on the ground a few hours earlier, as Jake wondered why the blood had not stopped. He used the sleeve of his shirt to rub the claret from his face, knowing that the questions would come from his wife pretty soon, not something to be relished by any man.
The housing estate came to view a couple of hundred yards away, as the cold spring air gave Jake goose bumps on his entire body and the shivering begun. His wife had told him to grab a coat before leaving the night before, and would have had its benefit as the effect of the alcohol had dispersed.
As Jake approached the dark tarmac road leading to the small estate of houses, he began to appreciate the picturesque backdrop of the mountains in the distance, which had snow covering on the tips of each. This was one of the reasons that his wife Krystal had fallen in love with this part of the city, as well as the friendly feeling that his neighbours consistently gave. They had always wanted children one day, but only when they had settled in such a friendly area, plus needing the financial security to do so, as the previous neighbourhood that they had lived at was far from that, with muggings and assaults happening frequently. These thoughts and dreams helped ease the freezing cold as Jake continued to toil on his way home knowing that his wife had been waiting all night, and was almost certainly furious.
‘This ain't’ gonna’ be pretty!’ Jake declared, approaching his home.
The previous night’s event continued to trouble the young American’s mind and telling the truth would probably sound too strange for his wife to believe, or she would presume that he had been attacked and call the police, so the only option was to keep the whole thing to himself for now. Krystal would think that he was imagining things due to the alcohol consumption with his brother, and fell on the journey home. He never usually kept anything from his wife, but Jake was sure that his wife would realize, as it wasn’t every day that someone had a weird experience in the forest, plus she would always urge Jake to take a taxi ride home. In his mind this was lazy and a massive waste of his hard-earned money, especially with the fact that he was very athletic and the walk would help keep the weight down after consuming so much alcohol.
A thin pathway led to his home, with the interrogation getting increasingly closer, and continued walking at a steady pace, looking around at the peaceful neighbourhood as he did so. Since it was still early morning, there weren’t many things to see or hear apart from birds chirping and vehicles on the freeway in the distance.
The smell of sausages and bacon being cooked from one of the nearby homes was as enticing as anything gets after a night on the beer, as Jake wondered whether there was any in his own in the refrigerator at home. Either that, or knock on the door of the house and ask to join them, and he began to smirk at the thought.
The little front gate creaked slightly as Jake opened it and he went on toward the front doorway. He managed to get the key out of his pocket and entered his home to discover that his wife was lying asleep on the couch in the living room, presumably tired of waiting for him.
There she was, sleeping beauty, with dark brown hair and looked so peaceful wearing only a bathrobe. Krystal was the one for him from the first time that Jake saw her. She was perfect in every way, his soul mate. They had been through so much together in their short lives, which made them stronger. Jake knew that she would support him no matter what had happened, but the occurrence earlier was something different and also the fact he had never stayed out all night before.
‘Hey babe, you ok!? Jake asked, whilst grasping her hand softly and deciding to wake her.
Krystal’s eyes began to open as she saw his face near hers, and she got up suddenly.
‘Where the hell have you been Jake? I have been worried sick all night!’
He grabbed Krystal’s hand whilst pulling her close and gave her a small kiss with a loving hug, trying to hide his heavily stained shirt.
‘You’re a sight for sore eyes. I love you!’ Jake declared.
Krystal noticed the blood stained clothes and also noticed the slight bump on his head. She grabbed both of Jake’s hands as he sat next to her on the sofa. The warmth that was radiating from her as she touched his skin was comforting, but her face was far from looking calm.
‘I love you too, but what happened to you last night… did somebody attack you?’
Jake had to think of something quickly, and felt the sweat stream down his brow whilst being put on the spot.
‘Well…err, on the way back I walked through the woods and something jumped out on me…I think it was a fox or something, and like a big girl I jumped backward and must have hit my head on the floor!’ he claimed.
‘That is not like you Jake… you must have been out all night in the freezing cold!’ Krystal gasped.
Jake looked at his wife and nodded while trying to keep her from panicking. The pair shared a quick embrace as Jake continued calmly with his story.
‘I must have, and the next thing I knew, I was waking up lying on the ground!’ he answered nervously.
Krystal took another worried glance at her husband, noticing that he seemed a bit shaky and needed warmth.
‘My god Jake anything could have attacked you, or even killed you!’ she roared, before adding, ‘This can’t happen again, Jake, in the future you have to use a cab!’
Jake continued to play the whole incident down, while Krystal was looking increasingly concerned for her husband as he tried in vain to make her feel better.
‘Nothing would have attacked me, I’m Jake Hunter, everybody is too scared of me!’ he joked.
However, this was not the time to joke with his seriously stressed wife, and took the smirk off his face immediately. The past had not been kind on her, with her father being beaten to death by a group of thugs whilst walking home from work when she was just a teenager. The old memories must have resurfaced at this point, and was the whole reason why she needed to move to the outskirts of the city in the first place.
Jake noticed that Krystal had got to her feet while reaching for the key to her car.
‘We have to go and see the doctor to check you out, and don’t worry, I will phone the office to tell them that you are not going in there today!’ Krystal said assertively, and added, ‘Come on, we are going now.’
There was no way that Jake would be able to talk his way out of this, so he agreed to go with Krystal and see his general practitioner. He figured that this would probably put her mind at rest, at least for the time being, and laboured to his feet, following her through the front door while also getting his sore head checked out after a hard impact. They left together and got into Krystal’s car, ready for the journey to the city.
The trip to the doctor's clinic usually took around half an hour, and while during that period, all Jake could think about is how weird those strange lights and sounds were. In fact, that’s all he wanted to talk about, but couldn’t give anything away.
‘Are you sure that this is necessary Krystal?’ Jake asked.
‘If you cannot remember much of what happened last night, you might have a concussion or something!’ was her reply.
This made Jake panic a little and began to wonder whether the incident was a dream after falling over and hitting his head. That had never happened before after such little alcohol consumption.
‘What if I hit my head too hard and now I have done serious damage?’ he exclaimed nervously, looking toward Krystal for reassurance.
‘Look, let’s just go and see the doctor. Everything will be fine Jake, okay?!’ she replied, with a hint of concern in her voice.
This was the first time that Jake could recall being uncertain about anything, and never felt this level of anxiety in the past. These feelings brought more confusion as the questions begun to spiral in his mind. There was no need for a one way ticket to an asylum he thought, as maybe a simple concussion was probably the answer. Jake’s awkward evening was beginning to catch up, as his eyes were trying to close, before eventually succumbing.
A cluster of tall buildings were now upon them, and in the blink of an eye the journey was at an end, as the small car pulled into the parking lot next to the clinic. Jake wakened as the car was switched off, and remained feeling slight apprehension, similar to a first visit to the dentist, with the early morning sun affecting his sensitive eyes.
‘Come on Jake!’ Krystal instructed.
The pair walked from the vehicle, heading toward the surgery entrance together holding hands, as Jake was getting ready to hear good news.
‘I hate these places Krystal… I hate the sound of people suffering!’ he whispered, as his level of anxiety reached an all-time high, again an unusual occurrence.
‘Shh, calm down Jake, we will be fine!’ Krystal quickly replied.
Krystal took Jake’s hand and led him to the waiting area where they sat as Jake continued to try to block out the sounds. However, the distinct smell of the waiting room got to him and knew that they had a little while to wait yet.
The pair sat patiently and Jake could still not remember much about the previous night; in fact, he couldn’t even remember leaving the woods at this point. He kept going over and over it in his mind and had no rational explanation of what had happened; all he did know though that was the strangest thing he had ever experienced. Maybe the knock to the head was beginning to take effect on some of his short-term memories, as the uncomfortable tickly feeling of sweat from nearly every part of his body begun, partially because of the sweltering heat in the waiting area and also the high level of anxiety.
The queue to see a doctor got shorter and shorter every minute, and Jake gazed around to see a mixture of different people from all walks of life. There were mothers trying to keep control of their children, obviously bored with waiting in near silence and to his right members of the older generation finding it difficult to even walk due to various illnesses. He felt a little out of place among the genuinely ill people while continuing to observe everyone’s behaviour. These people had serious health problems and he was just a fully grown man who had a little blow to the temple, but could sense that his wife was staring at him.
‘Are you feeling better now Jake?’ Krystal asked.
Jake reached for her hand as she sat next to him with her skin as soft and reassuring as ever before.
‘I feel generally okay, but I still hate doctor’s clinics and hospitals though…it’s probably making me feel worse!’
She gave a smile and said, ‘Stop being a little wimp will ya’!’
This remark made Jake smile, and help forget about his sudden anxiety issues. The blood flow had clotted on his forehead, and was constantly checking by rubbing with his shirt. Jake wouldn’t have to wait long, as his name was called out.
‘Jake Hunter next please.’ shouted the middle aged woman at the reception desk.
Jake took Krystal’s hand and walked toward the small corridor which led to the door of the doctor’s room, which had a plaque on the door reading ‘Dr. Ralph Stanwick’.
As Jake entered the small examination room, he could see a short bed, a desk covered with instruments, and some informative posters on the wall.
‘Hello Mister Hunter, please come in and take a seat.’ the doctor requested, to which Jake and Krystal obeyed.
The doctor spoke with a thick English accent to indicate where he was from, and was well built for the usual stereotypical general practitioner.
‘Now, what can I do for you?’ the doctor asked.
Krystal leapt in before her husband to speak, ‘Jake fell on the way home last night and hit his head on the concrete pretty badly; we just want to get his head checked out if that’s okay?!’
‘Of course it’s okay!’ the general practitioner answered, ‘That’s what I’m here for!’
The doctor moved toward Jake and began examining him, touching the bump on his head and looking into his eyes with an ophthalmoscope. The bright light affected his eyes, and they began to pinch and stream with water. This light created some flashbacks of the light he saw in the woods.
‘Tell me exactly what you remember Mister Hunter.’ The doctor asked, as he began to write some notes on a small notepad.
‘Well, as I walked home, I must have tripped on some paving and fell unconscious after hitting my head on the concrete… I woke up a few hours later and decided to walk home as quickly as possible!’ Jake declared.
‘Do you feel dizzy or any kind of nausea?’ the doctor continued.
‘I did at the beginning, but not now.’ Jake replied.
After listening to what had happened and examining, the doctor made an assessment.
‘Well, you do have a small bump which doesn’t look too serious… there are no obvious signs, but I still want you to book in for some scans just in case.’
Krystal gasped with relief as Jake continued to listen to the doctor, and prompted her to clutch at his arm.
‘With head injuries you can never be too careful…’ the doctor continued, ‘A few years ago a young man came to see me after hitting his head a few hours earlier, and we sent him for a scan which probably saved his life in the end because he had suffered an injury which could have killed him without treatment, so I will send you for an appointment later on today.’
The doctor then made a few notes on his computer and Jake realized that he was glad that they came to the surgery, but this was not the first time that his wife was right.
‘Do you have trouble passing water Jake? the doctor asked.
At first Jake was taken aback by the question as he had never been asked this before, but tried to lighten the mood with the reply.
‘Well, I did have a dizzy spell when I crossed a bridge earlier!’ Jake laughed to himself, but no one else did.
His sense of humour was not shared by his wife or the doctor, and she gave him a scornful shake of the head.
‘Funny, I haven’t heard that for years!’ the quack replied with a straight face.
Jake realized that this was not the correct time to be cracking jokes and decided to answer quickly, ‘Err, no I don’t have any trouble going!’
As the tapping of keys continued, Jake looked at the doctor in anticipation of leaving. Something started coming out of a printer on the desk and the doctor looked back at Jake.
‘Okay, the hospital will contact you shortly, but in the meantime, if you feel unwell at all come back to see me!’
‘Thank you very much doctor!’ Jake said, as he stood and shook the doctor’s hand firmly, with relief.
As they walked out through the double doors and toward the parked cars, Jake saw that his wife had a happy demeanour after the news seemed good. The twosome arrived back to their car and got in. The intense heat from the sun had made the inside of the car feel like a sauna.
‘I’m sure that it won’t take long to get the appointment for your tests, probably this evening’ Krystal said, with more than a tinge of relief in her voice.
‘Yes, I’m sure everything will be fine… just one of those things I guess!’ added Jake.
The car pulled out of the parking lot and joined the highway, heading home as the beautiful conditions continued.
‘I think I will go and see Mark later, you know, just to let him know about last night and stuff.’ Jake said assertively.
‘Yes, fine as long as you lay off any alcohol for a while and don’t walk home!’ Krystal answered.
Jake nodded in agreement as the pair continued to head home past many of the tall buildings draped with great sunshine in the morning sun, as the sound of wind rushing through the partly open windows of the car lulled Jake’s mind into a semi-conscious state. He rested his head against the seat behind him as his eyes flickered through exhaustion, drifting toward the inevitable.
However, as the car completed the next bend to which Jake noticed, a scene from hell awaited as they did so. It was a truly horrifying scene, with various buildings on fire and limited visibility due to the smoke. Just down the street there were people screaming in pain whilst others were on fire and people jumping from buildings. Jake opened his eyes, while quickly moving his head toward the windshield to get a better look, as he now felt no sign of exhaustion. He looked toward Krystal who was driving, and she looked horrified, almost in a trance.
‘PLEASE HELP US, PLEASE, MY SON IS DYING!!!!’ squealed a young mother who was cradling her small son, whilst in the backdrop there were hundreds of people running for their lives in panic.
Jake climbed from the vehicle and screamed, ‘Krystal, stay here…. this is fucking hell!!!’ and added, ‘Have I died and gone the wrong way?’
Jake looked through a broken window of a hardware store, whilst the strong vapours from the fires were choking him. He tore a part of his shirt to cover his nose and mouth, as he peered at his face in another shop window, noticing that there were cuts all over his face and his clothes were partly burned. How was this possible when he had been in the car all this time?
‘What the fuck is goin’ on here?’ he roared.
Loud sounds of jet fighter engines screamed overhead, and sirens from emergency vehicles came from everywhere. This couldn’t be real as there was nothing to indicate any problem a few blocks away. Surely not another terrorist attack!? He gazed across the street and saw an old man sitting on the kerb at the roadside, with his arms resting down beside him, looking at a loss with what was going on, and wearing clothes stained by the smoke.
Jake ran across the street to aid the grimy man and asked, ‘Hey man you ok?! What the hell is all this?’
The old man gazed back with a resolute look, and faintly whispered, ‘They knew this day would come… I guess we all did… this sir is our day of judgement, hell on earth…. God bless us all!’
Jake had no idea what this man was blurting, but needed more information than that, as this comment just created more confusion in his mind. What did he mean by ‘They knew’? What had come? However, before any more questions could get asked, the old man fell rearward, hitting his head with a thud on the kerb, and lay motionless. The pale face of the old man was chilling.
Jake ran to him and yelled, ‘Hey, hey wake up!’ as he grabbed the pensioner’s wrist and checked for a pulse, but there was nothing.
Jake tried to resuscitate the victim, but to no avail, he was gone. This innocent man had died with a grave message that possibly this was the end of the world. Was this a nuclear war or an act of terror? Jake could not process anything that was developing in front of his eyes, and continued to feel disorientated as he got back to his feet. The stench of thick smoke felt like it was attacking his lungs as he started to cough, feeling like his chest was on fire. A look further down the street did not give any clues, but as Jake tried to peer through the smoke, he began to feel goose bumps on the back of his neck as if someone was watching his every move.
Almost paralyzed with fear he did not move an inch, even though his brain was telling him to. This was another first for Jake as he never felt this level of panic before. His temperature was rising, with the sound of his own heartbeat, ringing in the ear drum and trembling with fear. He turned slowly, against his better judgement, and stood frozen with what was confronting him. With disbelief there was a massive robotic type figure slightly obscured by the haze, and it moved toward him. It was unmanageable in his state to look at such an awful sight, as his eyes began throbbing. All Jake knew was this being was double his size and frightening to say the least.
A sudden loud blast and a flash of light shot toward Jake, and knocked him off his feet. The pain in the lower part of Jake’s back was crippling, and made him unable to move, so much so, he could not move any part of his body, as there was no way of seeing such an attack through the dense grey smoke.
‘Fuck, this is it Jake!’ he roared, accepting his fate, as the creature moved toward him.
The piercing bright eyes from the unknown creature added to the terror that the human was feeling. He couldn’t see or hear anything nearby, and lay stagnant on the pathway, but this giant monster moved into his blinkered vision.
The robotic creature stood menacingly over the human and paused briefly. Jake could only see a dark mass lurking behind the smog, but saw an object thrust toward his face.
‘Holy fuck…….’ Jake shouted, as he cowered on the ground.
He heard Krystal’s voice scream for him, while hearing a screech from brakes of a car, prompting him to jump.
‘Holy fuck… where am I?’
Jake observed the surroundings, and realized that it had been a dream as he continued to be seated in Krystal’s car, but in reality was more of a nightmare. He glanced out of the car window and saw the city with all of the buildings standing tall, with nothing out of place, while trying to regain his focus feeling slightly embarrassed by it all.
‘Sorry Krystal, I had a bad dream!’ he roared, feeling relieved while shaking his head, as if to clear it.
‘There is definitely something wrong Jake!’ she claimed.
Jake sat back in his seat, knowing that his wife was right, and felt perspiration dripping from his forehead once again. This was not a regular occurrence for him, and again thought back to the previous night, being sure that something must have happened to make him feel this way, with anxiety symptoms followed by the strange dreams. It was time to get answers, and the only way was to investigate the woods once more, but not before getting some rest at home. The air coming through the windowpane of the car quickly dried his sweaty forehead, as he attempted to stay calm for the remainder of the journey home. Krystal remained shocked by her husband’s actions, but remained silent for him to rest. This time Jake decided to stay awake to avoid a repeat of his nightmare.