01 Feb When the Pigs Scream
“When the Pigs Scream”Written by Ryan Peacock Edited by Craig Groshek Thumbnail Art by Craig Groshek Narrated by N/A
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⏰ ESTIMATED READING TIME — 21 minutes
I’m used to late nights. My job means a lot to me, so obviously, I want to keep it and that means putting my all into it when things get busy. If that means I get home at 9 or 10, then that’s fine. Success has a price.
I’m hardly a workaholic. Actually, my Dad always thought I was lazy. But then again, he told me I’d never graduate High School, then that I’d never finish college, and then that I wasn’t going to be able to hold down any of the jobs I got after College, so it shows what he knows.
Speaking of my Dad, I didn’t mind the late nights so long as it kept me away from him. I still lived at home and I was saving up for my own place although dealing with my family while I saved was nothing short of a waking nightmare. So much negativity and constant criticism… But I digress. Working late was good for me. Usually, the traffic wasn’t too bad on the way home either. I could breeze down the highway like it was no big deal with my music turned up loud. I kind of preferred that to the ridiculous traffic I could have faced if I’d left at 5. I was heading into Cambridge and that drive was over two hours on a good day. Rush hour in Toronto is a form of torture and anyone who says otherwise is a psychopath. The 401 isn’t so much a means of transportation as it is a glorified parking lot/circle of hell.
The point I’m trying to make is – Traffic at 10 at night isn’t normal, but that’s where it all started.
It was a Friday night. I was looking forward to a quiet weekend of playing Xbox and sleeping in. I’d done my due diligence. Now it was time to relax!
But there I was, an hour out of work and stuck on the 401, somewhere between Hamilton and Milton. My maps app said there’d been one hell of an accident up ahead. It must’ve been something legendary to completely shut the highway down at that hour. I don’t know if anyone got hurt but at that hour, I didn’t care. I’d been going since 7 in the damn morning. This was 10 in the evening. You do the math!
I was exhausted. I was ready to doze off at the wheel and traffic was going so slow that I just knew I was going to be there all night and I was not having it, no sir!
When the going gets tough, I get off the highway. There was an exit up ahead, I couldn’t tell which one it was in the darkness but I figured I could work around it. I knew the back roads of the area pretty well and I knew I could find my way home. Some people say back roads only slow you down. Maybe they’re right. But they give the illusion of speed and sometimes that’s just what you need.
So I turned onto the back road. It was pitch black and I didn’t see any signs that told me where I was but it was better than being stuck in traffic! I checked my phone, and after seeing no turns off the road I was on, I zoomed out and started plotting my route home. I knew my Maps app would just tell me to take the dreaded U-turn back onto the 401 and I wasn’t going to do that.
I figured out what my next few turns should be and I just kept driving.
I’d noticed the tire pressure light was on while I was on the 401 but I’d figured I could deal with it when I got to Cambridge. I didn’t imagine it was that big of a deal. I probably shouldn’t have hedged my bets on that.
When my tire blew, I was in the middle of nowhere. The street I was on didn’t even have a name. It had a 6 digit number and I don’t even remember what the number was.
I felt the rear driver’s side tire go as I drove. I felt the dead weight behind my car and I heard the sound of busted rubber being dragged behind me. I had no choice. I had to pull over.
When I got out of the car, I could smell the burnt rubber. The tire was done. There was no coming back from that kind of damage. I checked my phone. I had about 3% battery that was fading fast, no backup plan, and no idea just where the hell I was. I wisely wasted the last of my battery trying to figure that part out before I called 911 and then I was just flat out screwed.
I stood there for a few minutes, in the dark, holding my dead phone and contemplating the questionable choices that had led me to that situation as I mulled over my options. I checked my trunk and took out my jack for the first time only to find it rusted to hell. I made an attempt to use it on my car but I’d never actually changed a tire before and the jack just flat out would not budge no matter how much I tried.
The only other option I had was to find a stranger. Either someone else would use that road or someone lived nearby. I had passed some lights from dark houses on the road so at least that gave me some hope. Looking around, I was sure I could even see some distant lights.
My eyes took a bit of time to adjust to the darkness but I was sure that just a bit further down the road was a field with a house in the middle of it. There were a few exterior lights on. Enough to give me an idea as to where I was headed. Considering that I didn’t exactly have a lot of other options, I got to walking.
Slowly I drew nearer to the distant house. I heard the grass rustling beneath my feet and I heard animalistic grunts nearby. Pigs, from the sound of it. That was hardly surprising. I was out in the middle of nowhere. I was probably visiting a farmer. The grunts sounded… off, I suppose? I was sure they were pigs but they didn’t sound quite right. Then again, I barely knew the first thing about pigs so I was hardly in any position to judge.
I spotted a dark shape in the distance and I figured that was a barn of some sort. Obviously, that was where the pigs were.
If anything, I figured the presence of a barn and pigs was a good thing. Someone would almost certainly be in the house and they’d be able to help me! This was exactly what I needed!
My pace picked up as I approached the house. I could see just a little bit more of it. It was big, at least two stories tall, and one of the lights illuminated a quaint wooden porch.
As I stepped up onto the porch, the wood groaned underneath my weight. The brick exterior of the house was dark, almost black, and looked a bit grungy, but I wasn’t exactly bothered by it. Beggars can’t be choosers, after all.
I knocked on the door as loudly as I could. Whoever was inside was probably asleep. I was actually kind of surprised when I saw a light go on upstairs. I’d expected it would take a bit more effort to rouse whoever was inside.
In the silence of the night, I could hear movement inside the house. I thought I saw a shape in the window, looking down on me before vanishing.
For a few more moments, all was quiet… Then I heard the click of the lock behind the door. It opened only a crack and the man on the other side peered through it at me. I didn’t get a good look at him, but I could smell the alcohol on his breath.
“What do’yuh want?”
His voice was deep, raspy and mistrusting.
“I’m sorry for waking you, sir!” I said. I used my best customer service voice. “My car broke down a little ways down the street. My phone is dead. I was wondering if I could use your phone to call for a tow?”
The man behind the door leered at me, weighing my words before he scoffed and pulled the door fully open. He was massive, standing a full head taller than me. He was wider than me as well and had a wild, untamed beard that covered most of his face. His hair was long and fell down to around his waist. He would’ve fit right in with ZZ Top.
“C’mon in. Phone’s in the kitchen.”
“Thanks so much, sir!”
I didn’t want to let his generosity go to waste. I stepped inside and let him lead me to the kitchen.
His house had seen better days and looked as if someone had started building the interior but never finished. Some of the walls were bare down to the joists. Drywall was torn off in some sections, revealing pink fiberglass insulation underneath. The hardwood floor was scuffed and covered in muddy boot tracks. It wasn’t outright filthy. But it was run down. The kitchen was arguably the nicest part of the house and even that was far from perfect. The sink looked like it belonged in a laundry room; the wooden counters were marked with scratches from being used as cutting boards. Both the fridge and oven were ancient. It was all as clean as it could get but it still looked like crap. I didn’t complain though.
The phone was, unsurprisingly, an old rotary phone. The man picked it up off the hook and without saying a word or asking me a question, began to dial a number.
“Are you calling CAA?” I asked.
“Won’t do you no good out here. Got a local friend. He’ll get’cha goin’ again.”
I opened my mouth to protest but thought better of it. Car help was car help, right?
As the phone started to ring, the massive man pressed it to his ear.
“Scott. Sorry to wake you, boy. It’s Jonah Prase, out at the pig farm. Got a feller here who’s having some car trouble. Was wonderin’ if you might be able to make it down to take a look…”
I heard a voice respond to him as the man, Prase gave a solemn nod. He glanced over at me.
“I got ‘em right here. Lemme put ‘em on…”
He offered me the phone and I took it. The voice on the other end belonged to someone closer to my age.
“Evening, stranger. Mr. Prase says you’re having car trouble?”
“Yeah, my name is Liam Harper. I was on my way home and I blew a tire. I’m parked on the street. Any idea how soon you can get someone out to take a look at it?”
“Not until mornin’, I’m afraid. I can swing by first thing, though. Help you get everything all set up. You got a jack or a spare?”
“I’ve got a spare. I need a jack.”
”Got’cha. I’ll get it taken care of. Don’t you worry,” the man replied. “I’ll be out at around 6, give or take a bit.”
“Are you sure you can’t send someone out now? It’s kinda an emergency!”
“Son, I am the someone. I’ll be out at six so hold tight.”
That was not the news I wanted to hear but I got the feeling that it was the only help I was going to get.
I muttered a begrudging thank you before they hung up.
Prase stared down at me intently, silent and with an expression I couldn’t read.
“I don’t suppose you have a spare room, do you?” I asked. I felt a bit embarrassed asking a complete stranger for this but it’s not like I had much of a choice.
“Got a couch. It’ll do,” Prase replied and I wasn’t in any position to argue with that.
The couch was an ancient, flannel thing that sagged from years of abuse from the massive Mr. Prase. It wasn’t the most comfortable place I’d ever slept but I was still happy to have it. Prase hadn’t had anything I could charge my phone with so that was going to have to wait, but I could live without it. The quilt he gave me was hand sown and warm and there was an old throw pillow I could rest my head on. Awful as my day had been thus so far, I felt like this was the best possible ending I was going to get. I’d catch a few Z’s and be on my merry way in a few hours when the mechanic stopped by. I was tired enough that the lumpy couch didn’t keep me from sleeping for long and I drifted off in Prase’s bare living room.
It was the slam of the heavy door that woke me up. It took me a moment to figure out just where I was. My mind was groggy and disoriented but I could hear the heavy footsteps of Prase outside the window and I saw his shadow move past it.
I sat up, rubbing at my eyes. I instinctively checked my phone for the time but it was still dead. Some time had passed, though, since the sky was starting to light up. It wasn’t dawn. Not quite yet. But it was getting there.
I absentmindedly wondered if Prase had any coffee and if he’d be good enough to share it. Then the distant squeals of pigs stole my attention away.
The pigs… I’d forgotten about the pigs.
Pig squeals were not the most pleasant sound at any point but these seemed a lot worse than any squeals I’d ever heard before. There was a genuine sense of panic in them. A fear I could feel in my core. There was something about it that seemed almost human… It sent a chill through me.
It occurred to me that Prase was doing more than just feeding his animals, and I suppose that meant that bacon was probably on the menu for breakfast. I liked bacon. I just didn’t like listening to it scream as it was killed.
I stayed in place, listening as the pigs screamed before I stood up and went to the window.
In the light of the early dawn, I could see the barn I’d passed the night before. Prase was out front and trudging back towards the house. He had something slung over his shoulders although it was hard to tell for sure just what it was…
At first glance, I thought it was a pig but the shape of the body was all wrong. It was too narrow. The limbs were too long. I wondered if maybe it wasn’t a dog or something, but… No, it was too big to be a dog. A deer, perhaps? The limbs looked too thick to be a deer and the head wasn’t the right shape. As Prase got closer to the house, I almost could have sworn that what he was carrying was a person!
My heart seized in my chest, just a little bit as he disappeared around the back of the house. Through the thin walls I heard a door opening somewhere. Possibly a cellar door of some sort.
Sure enough, the heavy footsteps and the creak of stairs confirmed that Prase was going downstairs. I heard the rattle of something that sounded like a chain before Prase ascended the stairs again. Like clockwork he headed back outside to the barn. He was probably getting another pig, or… whatever it was he’d brought in.
There was no way it could have been a person, right? I’d heard the sounds from the barn! Those were pigs! I was sure that those were pigs!
Was I sure? I’d never actually heard a pig squeal in real life before, and even then those squeals had sounded off. It was a crazy idea! It made absolutely no sense! But Prase was headed back over to the barn. I was sure I could find a way downstairs and see just what it was that he’d brought down…
What harm could it do, right? It was just a quick look.
I turned away from the window and started searching for a basement door. It didn’t take me that long to find one. The stairs were bare wood and there was a nasty, rotten, coppery smell coming from down there. It was faint but present. Still, I walked down those creaking stairs.
I saw another set of stairs leading outside in a corner and I could still hear the screams of the pigs. The air was cold, colder than the rest of the house. This basement had been better maintained than everything else. It was insulated, there was a large room with two chest freezers in it and metal hooks hanging from the ceiling. Hanging from one of those hooks was a shape.
The body was too narrow for a pig. I was right about that, but it wasn’t quite human either. The lights were too dim to tell exactly what I was looking at. Blood pooled on the floor from the creature’s fleshly-slit throat and I recognized what seemed like a porcine hoof at the end of one lifeless limb. This thing was far bigger than any pig I’d ever seen. It was about as tall as I was, and had smooth and leathery skin and a distorted body that sent an uncomfortable chill through me.
Gingerly I reached out to touch the thing that hung from the hook. Its body turned, revealing its twisted face, and I’ll never forget what I saw.
The eyes were still open and they seemed human, as did most of the face… Most of it.
The ears were long and pig-like, as was the nose which elongated into a pig-like snout. The ‘hoof’ of the thing had human fingernails. Its limbs were bent and distorted. I couldn’t imagine that the creature had been capable of walking in life but then again, all of my logic told me that this kind of creature should not have been! It was in defiance of nature itself!
I felt myself starting to retch as I recoiled from that hideous, hybrid creature. My eyes were wide in shock and disgust and I nearly tripped over my own two feet.
Then I heard a low, deep chuckle from the stairs in the corner.
“Snoopin’, are we?”
I spun around and was greeted with the looming shape of Jonah Prase. Another human/pig hybrid was draped over his shoulders and he dropped it unceremoniously to the ground. Blood pooled from the fatal gash in its throat. The body twitched and the eye fixated on me in its final moments. I heard a weak wheeze escape the corpse but that creature was beyond my help!
“W-what the hell is this?” I stammered. Prase stood ominously before me, grinning from ear to ear as if he was proud of the horror show he’d kept down there.
“Meat,” he replied. “Let’s just say the folks in this little community have a very particular taste… Wouldn’t do for too many passers-by to go missing, no sir. So I worked out a little alternative… Pigs fill in the gap just fine. Similar taste. Easy to breed and crossbreed.”
I felt sick to my stomach and I recoiled back a few steps. Prase advanced on me slowly. He loomed over me like a monster and I knew there was nothing I could do to get away from him.
“Now, ya understand if I can’t let ya run ‘round willy-nilly. This here is a private business. Wouldn’t do to have trade secrets out. But don’t you worry… Liam, was it? Don’t you worry, Liam… I’ll take good care of you. You’re gonna make an excellent sire. Gotta keep the gene pool fresh, after all.”
He grinned as one heavy arm shot out towards me. I tried to run but Prase was faster. He caught me by the shirt and dragged me over to the freezer room. With what felt like no effort, he tossed me inside. I crashed against one of the chest freezers and before I could stand, he’d closed the door in front of me and locked it tight.
I kicked at it. I felt it shake but it didn’t budge.
“Hold tight, boy. Get comfortable. I’ll deal with ya when time permits. Scott’s still on his way, ain’t he? I’ll have a word with him ‘bout your car first. Get it towed down to the shop. He’ll take good care of it.”
Prase chuckled, then I heard his heavy footsteps stomping away as he turned and headed back to work. I listened as he strung up another hybrid carcass on a hook, then as he climbed the stairs once more and closed the storm door.
I was alone in the basement now, with only the smell of rot and decay to keep me company.
As time slowly drifted by I could hear Prase moving about the house above me. His thundering footsteps shook the roof above me. The stink of decay that lingered in the air was almost overpowering and it burned my nostrils and as I sat in the dark. I had no idea what was waiting for me. Prase had used the word ‘sire’ and I wasn’t too keen on thinking on the implications of that.
In the low light, I could see that unlike his upstairs, Prase had taken better care of the rooms in his basement. The unpainted drywall was newer than its upstairs counterparts, but the job that had been done on this room was still half-assed at best. There were still missing panels that exposed pink fiberglass insulation. I remembered that there was still more drywall on the other end of that insulation… That said, I also knew I could break said drywall, as long as I got the insulation out of the way. I’d heard it wasn’t wise to touch fiberglass insulation bare-handed, but my situation was a little dire, so an exception could be made. This room was not meant as a prison. Not long term, at least. Prase must have had somewhere better to hold me, but for now he was preoccupied. The tow truck I’d called was still on its way. He’d need to deal with that first and then I knew I’d have my window.
If I just started attacking the drywall, I knew he’d hear me and he’d stop me. My timing needed to be perfect.
I tugged a bit on the drywall in the room with me. I felt it give, just a little. With a bit of effort, I was able to pry it away from the wall, exposing more Fiberglas underneath. I didn’t need a large space. I figured I could fit between two joists. All I needed to do was clear out the fiberglass.
I heard a knock on the door above me and paused. Prase’s heavy footsteps shook the ceiling above me as he went to answer it.
“Scott, right on time,” he said. His booming voice was softer and more welcoming than it had been before.
“Mornin’, Mr. Prase. Your guest still around?”
“In the basement. Seems he’s become a bit of a more permanent resident. I’ll be moving him to the barn shortly. Get some use out of him before I decide what to do with him.”
Prase let out a chuckle that sent a chill through my spine. I was quietly thankful that I hadn’t called out for help the moment Scott had arrived. Prase was clearly feeding the community with those… things…
“Smart man! You sure he’d secure down in that basement, though?”
“I ain’t worried about it,” Prase said. “We’d hear it. Besides. Storm doors locked. We’re up here. No way out. What I am worried about is that car sitting in the road.”
“Don’t you worry, sir. My brother’s hitching it to the truck as we speak. We’ll be off shortly. Still, it would be remiss of me not to pick up a little somethin’ for supper. My wife’s been fixing for some of that pork tenderloin you serve.”
Their small talk was a blessing in disguise, honestly. Prase was distracted and I had a chance to move. The fiberglass was itchy and uncomfortable against my skin but I didn’t have much of a choice but to grab it and pull it out by force. I could see the drywall on the other side and I ignored the burning itch on my hands and arms to throw my weight against the drywall.
“Had a feeling you’d ask for that. Got a bit in the fridge from my last pig. Tell you what, it’s on the house. My thanks for getting rid of that car.”
The drywall shifted but didn’t break. I’d been hoping to avoid loudly punching through it but that really didn’t seem like an option. I knew that Prase would hear me and then my goose would be cooked… Although…
Prase had been stringing up those pig things down there. It stood to reason he also was butchering them down there too. Maybe he had a knife or something I could use!
I knew I’d only have a minute or so at best. Not a lot of time to grab a weapon but it would make getting out of that house a lot easier!
I inhaled before I took a few steps back and charged at the wall. The drywall broke this time and I clumsily collapsed through it.
“The hell was that?” Prase snapped. I could hear his footsteps above me. He was coming for the basement.
I picked myself up and stumbled over towards the hanging carcasses. I saw a workbench nearby and what looked like a leather case that I presume held some knives.
Prase was at the top of the stairs. He was coming down and fast! I ran for the case and threw it open. Sure enough, there were butcher’s knives in there that gleamed in the darkness. I snatched one up and turned just in time to see Prase descending the stairs.
He surveyed the damage I’d done with minor annoyance.
“Suppose I should’ve put you elsewhere.” He murmured. “Still, you ain’t got nowhere to run, boy. Put that knife down before you hurt yourself.”
“Screw you!” I snapped. I held the knife in front of myself defensively but Prase hardly seemed intimidated. He advanced on me slowly, as if he didn’t have a care in the world.
“Them knives are expensive, boy! Put it down!”
In an instant, he was on me. I tried to swing the knife but he carelessly knocked it out of my hand and launched it across the room. With one meaty fist, he sent me down to the ground.
“Boy, you’ve monopolized more of my time than I am comfortable with,” he growled. I tried to pick myself up but he grabbed me by the back of the shirt and tossed me towards the hole I’d left in his wall.
“I suppose it’s my own fault. Should’ve planned for somethin’ like this. Should’ve… But didn’t… Ah well…”
I looked at the fiberglass I’d torn out of the walls. It wasn’t so much a plan as it was a really crazy, half-baked idea but I didn’t have a lot of options. Prase was advancing on me again. The floor shook with his every footstep.
“Live and learn,” the man grunted.
He bent down to grab me again and as he did, I grabbed a handful of fiberglass. In one fluid motion I stuffed it into his face. Prase let out a frustrated cry and stumbled back a step. I kicked out a leg and sent him tumbling to the ground with a mighty crash.
I grabbed more of the torn out fiberglass. Even though it stung my hands, I had a feeling it hurt his eyes even more and I was more than happy to crush it onto his face. One of his massive arms swung and struck me in the head, knocking me aside as Prase clawed at his face.
“Holy hell! Jesus! Scott!”
I could hear footsteps on the stairs and I saw a scrawny looking man race down the stairs. He froze at the sight of Prase writhing on the ground ripping fiberglass off his face and he didn’t do much to stop me as I hurried to my feet and ran for the stairs.
I bodychecked Scott against the wall, stunning him just long enough for me to get past.
“Scott! Go get ‘im!” Prase yelled but by then I was most of the way up the stairs and back in the main part of the house.
I burst through the front door and into the morning sun. I could see a rusted tow truck by my car, down the road. I did consider trying to steal the tow truck but Scott’s brother was still there. By the looks of it, he was a lot bigger than I was and I was out of tricks.
There was only one place to go. In the daylight, I could see a forest behind the long metal barn. It was my one chance at escape and I took it.
I took off at full speed towards the woods and I made it halfway across the field before I heard the crack of a rifle.
I glanced backwards to see Prase storming out of his house, gun in hand and taking aim at me. He’d missed his shot, but I wasn’t going to count on that happening again.
The barn was closer than the trees and I ran for it. If nothing else, it would offer me some shelter from the lunatic with his rifle!
The agitated cries of the hogs barely registered to me as I bolted towards the barn and through the open door of it. I didn’t think about what would actually be in that barn… Not until I was actually inside.
I’d seen pig farms on TV before. Industrial looking buildings with metal bars keeping groups of pigs separated. The inside of the barn I was in was a lot like that… But those things in the cages… Those things were not pigs, not entirely.
Their eyes were the part of them that were the most human. Looking into them, I saw recognition and understanding. I saw sentience. They regarded me with a mortal fear that I understood all too well. The sight of their warped, distorted bodies made me sick. A few of the healthier ones limped to the edges of their cages to look at me. Many others simply lay still, waiting for merciful death.
In the barn, I could hear their squeals and screams. I’d noticed there was something off about them before… Now, I could finally put my finger on it.
These screams were distorted and sounded almost human. I thought I heard fragments of human speech in there but I wasn’t sure. If these creatures were even capable of speech, they probably had never been able to truly learn it.
There couldn’t have been more than 40 or 50 of the creatures but that was still far more than ever should have existed.
They looked at me, silently begging me for salvation but that wasn’t something I could offer them. I knew Prase was coming and I didn’t have much time.
I forced myself to keep running down the single aisle in the center of the barn.
I was no more than halfway through the barn when I heard their squeals intensify. I knew it was Prase even before I heard the gunshot.
“Get back here!” he snarled.
The center aisle was no longer safe. I was a sitting duck. I only glanced back quickly to confirm that Prase was lining up his next shot before I leapt into one of the cages.
The hybrids recoiled from me at first. Prase fired his gun in the instant after I hit the ground. I could hear his thundering footsteps following me.
Glancing at the bars, I saw that they were narrow enough for me to slide through. The hybrids were too wide for them, but I was not.
Staying low, I slipped through the bars of the first cage and crawled frantically to the bars of the next one. The hybrids watched me suspiciously but they did not interfere. If anything, they kept their distance.
“Where in the hell are you?” Prase screamed. From the sounds of it, he was close and I didn’t know how much longer I could keep running! His footsteps got closer as he stormed down the aisle and I paused, not wanting to move or risk attracting his attention. I glanced at the door of the cage and spotted the latch for it. It was a simple sliding latch. Prase hadn’t locked it. The hybrids didn’t have the kind of hands that could open such a latch anyways. But I did.
I shuffled towards the front of the pen. Prase had slowed down, checking each pen for any sign of me. He was only a few feet away.
I slipped my hand through the bars and undid the latch before I pushed the door open. Most of the hybrids in the pen with me looked up. I could see the gears in their head turning. Then one of the braver ones stood. It glanced at me, its expression unreadable before it made a run for it. A few other brave creatures followed it, making a desperate bid for freedom!
“Goddammit!” I heard Prase snap. The hybrids didn’t run towards him. They ran away but they served as an ample enough distraction. Prase took aim at them and pulled the trigger. This time his aim was true and one of the creatures collapsed in the middle of the aisle. He’d stepped forwards, into my line of sight but he hadn’t seen me just yet.
I lunged for him, catching him off guard and pushing him into the bars of another pen. Prase snarled and swore as I grabbed at his gun. He was stronger than I was. I knew I couldn’t wrestle it away from him, but I could cheat.
I raised a knee into his groin and heard him grunt in pain. His grip on the rifle slipped, just enough for me to rip it free of his grasp.
I’d never fired a gun before in my life, and in my panicked state I had no time to learn, or even to think.
I just aimed it at him and fired blindly. I heard Prase scream. I saw a meaty hand press against his shoulder as he braced himself against the cage for stability and my pulse spiked.
I’d hurt him! I’d actually wounded him.
His eyes met mine, burning with rage and hatred. Blood seeped through his gushing wound.
If I was thinking straight, I would’ve fired again… But my brain was running off of pure adrenaline. I’d never actually killed someone before and in my current state, I’m not sure if I was ready to start.
I’d stopped him! That was enough!
I kept a grip on his rifle as I backed up and continued to run for the back of the barn as fast as I could. There was a door near the back and I burst through it. The treeline was right there!
I didn’t hear any thundering footsteps. Prase wasn’t still after me. I was as free as I was going to get. The woods sat ahead of me, ominous yet safe and I ran into them, letting myself vanish into the trees.
I abandoned Prase’s gun somewhere in the woods. I was hardly a gun expert, but I managed to figure out that it was out of ammo. It only seemed to hold about four rounds and I wasted the last of them wounding Prase.
It was a few hours before I made it to a road again and a few more hours after that until I found a passing car that I managed to flag down.
I went to the Police, of course, but it didn’t do me much good. I didn’t exactly have the best idea of where I’d been in the first place and what I told them was… Well, judging by the look on the Officers face, I don’t think he actually believed me.
Truth be told, I’m not sure what to do now. It’s been a few weeks since my encounter. I haven’t heard anything from the Police. Nobody’s found my car and I haven’t heard a thing about a pig farmer named Jonah Prase.
I know he’s out there, though.
I’ll always know he’s out there.
At night, I can hear the inhuman screams of the pigs. I can see his burning eyes and I wish that I’d managed to kill him when I shot him that morning.
I know that I got lucky, and I’ve got a sick feeling that whoever runs into Prase next won’t get that luxury.
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