The Darkness in the Tree – Part 12

One of the men unholstered his service revolver and Lai said, “No! For God’s sake no! We are not going down in history as the squad that shot its way out of a bunch of stray cats!”

He looked about the Control Centre and saw what he was looking for. The foam fire extinguisher.

“Lo, Chuen, get behind me. Everyone else stays here where you’ll be safe”.

Picking up the extinguisher he made sure that it was ready for use and nodded to one of the PCs to open the door. Moving outside quickly he sprayed foam through 180 degrees. The cats screeched and scampered out of the way. He gestured for Lo and Chuen to follow him and just at that moment, an enormous calico tomcat landed on his shoulder. This was no stray. It was a well-fed domestic cat, it was even wearing a collar with a bell attached, and it bit into his neck, puncturing the jugular vein. In shock, Lai dropped the extinguisher and as it rolled away spraying foam, he grappled with the cat that had fastened itself to his neck.

Lo rushed forward to assist and grabbed the cat, the second time he had done such a thing in just a few moments, but the cat held fast, its teeth and claws fastened to Lai’s neck.

“Get if off!” Yelled Lai and Lo gave an almighty tug…and wished he hadn’t.

There was a spray of blood from Lai’s neck that shot a foot into the air. Stunned Lo stood there with the cat in his outspread arms when Chuen moved around in front of him. The PC drew his service revolver and for a dreadful moment, Lo thought he was going to shoot the cat, and him. The PC, his face still a nightmare of streaked blood reversed the gun in his hand and struck the snarling animal on the head, smashing its skull. The cat went lifeless in Lo’s hands and he dropped the dead animal to the ground and together, they helped Lai back into the Control Room.

The Darkness was enjoying itself so much that it failed to notice the approach of the five mortals until it was too late. When it sensed the danger it sent out feelers and realised that they had surrounded the tree in which it perched.

The Control Room was in near pandemonium. They had gathered the little that remained of the First Aid, tissues, towels, anything that might staunch the bleeding from Lai’s neck. Chan even took off his necktie and offered that. He watched helplessly, as they sat Lai in one of the chairs and held an ever-reddening compress to his neck. Then one of the PCs shouted out, “Look at this! Look at this!”

To a man, they turned to one of the last remaining monitors. The tree where Angie Yung had been killed was glowing white and even in the interference of the monitor they could just make out the figures of five people linking arms around its base.

(c) Copyright John Stewart Sloan – 2017 – Not for Distribution

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