I hadn’t marched like this for a long time, but then again it had been a while since I ventured so far from the nest. I rechecked the straps on my backpack, again. The desperately needed supplies were still secure. Not much further to travel, but that last step is a doozy.
Where the Market Street Bridge ends, the destruction begins. Wreckage fills the city streets, rusting cars moldering in the summer heat. Many of the cars still have their former owners inside. Skulls lean on steering wheels and empty sockets stare blindly through passenger windows. All of that hot steel is steaming to ruin in the sun. The ripples of rising thermal heat distort my optics.
As I march north, I catch a skittering noise from an alley. My lamp illuminates about a hundred beady red eyes at two feet above ground level.
Sprinting now, I’m shifting up and still accelerating. The morats pour out of the alley behind me, a living tidal wave breaking around and over the abandoned autos. Their claws tear at the heated asphalt and they bound after me. Each is easily as large as a border collie. Their kangaroo-like hind legs make for awesome leaps, from the ground to a car’s roof, sometimes clearing smaller vehicles entirely.
The genetically modified little bastards appeared out of the sewers at rush hour and took the city’s gridlocked commuter population down in hours. For all of their vicious nature, they’re remarkably quiet on the hunt and bloody fast. My feet bang away at the sidewalk like a machine-gun, and my best speed is just a hair better than the swarm bounding after me.
I bounce hard off a mailbox with a clang, and use the momentum to vault over an empty Hyundai with a parkour turn to the east. My weight leaves a handprint in the Korean-made hood.
The spire of St. Christopher’s is only a quarter mile down the street. I risk a head check. The tsunami of morat flesh is growing steadily larger, new hungry teeth and red eyes join the hunt with every alley and sewer grating I pass.
That gap between the crashed semis is just too narrow. Desperate, I plant my feet with a clang and make the sheer eight foot vertical leap to the roof of the cab on the right, and scramble over.
In the church, I slam the steel shutters closed and ignore the sound of thousands of hungry morats banging against them. I have faith that my extensive modifications will keep the bastards out.
Climbing the stairs to the bell tower, I shake out of the backpack. Close, but my cargo is secure. My mainspring will definitely need a good, long winding after that pursuit.
“Puss puss puss.” While I pour the milk, a dozen furballs climb over my titanium feet, mewling. Big Mama climbs out of her nest and laps at her bowl with a seismic purr.
Mokittens are just too adorable.
495 words. In response to Finish That Thought prompt 2-45.
Whoo hoo! Grand Champion winner, thanks lyssa!
This tale now has a prequel, “Careful What You Select For.”