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A cool and moist wind whipped through her hair and almost shoved the cowboy hat off her head. She caught her hat and shoved it down firmly. The Lexus RX cruised on down the road and she knew Cian was driving on reluctantly. She watched the vehicle with remorse and wished she could have said more to Cian. Only now, was she fully understanding how much he had come to mean to her. Her stolen moments with Pete had been just that. A stolen moment. Not real. A fantasy. Something from her dreams. What she shared with Cian was real. It might be completely fucked up and twisted, but it was real.

Walking slowly over the cracked cement and avoiding the rocky patches overgrown with grass, she headed toward the motel. She knew The Summoner was in there. It was darker around the perimeter of the decaying building and she knew he was standing inside watching her.

“Hey!” She called out and was angry that her throat was clenched tightly. Her voice cracked.

Right before the road, Amaliya stopped. She stood at the edge of the parking lot to the gas station and stared across at the motel. She could see the Lexus' red brake lights in the distance as it pulled over. It was a reassuring sight. Cian was still nearby.

Slowly, she squatted down and ran her fingers over the sharp little edges of the overgrown grass poking through the asphalt. Tilting her head, so she could gaze at the motel under the brim of her cowboy hat, she wondered what he was waiting for. The darkness was visibly shifting around the motel.

“Just going to stare at me?”

She rested her elbows on her knees and waited. Once he appeared, she was going to tackle his ass.

Nothing, but the soft whisper of the night answered her. Slowly, she realized it was quiet save for the distant hum of the Lexus' engine and the wind. The nocturnal creatures were either not about or crouching in terrified silence.

A flash of a pale face appeared in one of the busted out windows of the motel, then vanished once more.

“C'mon. Enough of this,” Amaliya said in an angry voice.

She wanted to get this over with. Let him come out and play a real game with her. Not this following her

around stuff, but an actual all out brawl. She grew up with brothers. She knew how to hit hard. And with her new power she was sure she could draw blood.

Again, there was a flash of a pale face, but this time in the trees to the right of the building. It took her a moment to register that it was too low to the ground to be The Summoner.

Standing up sharply, she felt another rush of fear flow over her and her stomach clenched tightly. Behind her, she heard a slight scrape against the cement and she whirled about.

There was no way in hell her mind could make sense of what was standing behind her. It was wrong in every way imaginable. There were too many legs and arms, yet its body was sleek and almost reptilian. But there was nothing reptile about the very human face staring out at her from the twisted flesh that made up its torso and what appeared to be a mockery of a head. It took her a second to recognize the face of the handsome black man who had let her into the frat orgy.

“Oh, fucking shit,” she hissed and stumbled backward.

The thing swung a massive arm at her and she ducked away before the things massive claws, made of what looked like ribs, could rip into her. Twisting around, she saw the thing rise up on long legs and tower over her. Again, her mind struggled to make sense of what she was seeing. She could make out a combination of human body parts woven together into the thing, but nothing about it was human anymore. It was a nightmare.

With a growl of hunger, it lunged at her, claws slashing down at her. She dodged away and barely avoided another, smaller hand that desperately clutched at her. It had too many fingers and its claws looked like bone fragments. The reek of it was horrible and she gagged as she ran from it.

Another creature appeared from beside the gas station building. This one had a slightly different shape, but it was just as gruesome as the first one. A multitude of heads made up the torso and all the mouths opened in a scream at the same time. She barely had time to adjust her trajectory and whip past it as it swung at her.

“You're a sick fuck,” Amaliya screamed at the top of her lungs.

She felt like throwing up. All those faces lived in her nightmares. They were her victims from the frat house. Glancing behind her, she saw the two cadaverous creatures rushing after her. It was a stupid move because something massive grabbed her around the waist in that second she was distracted and hurled her straight toward her pursuers.

She slammed into them. Instead of tumbling to the ground, they frantically grabbed at her. She felt at least five hands grab hold of her arms and legs and she twisted her body as hard as she could, trying to get free. Panic was seizing her as the things began to pull on her and she realized they were trying to tear her limbs off. With a terrified shriek, she kicked and thrashed and to her relief managed to get one leg free. Quickly, she drove her boot heel hard into the thing's mass of heads and felt the skulls breaking. Still they pulled on her. She kicked one of the hands gripping her other leg as hard as she could. There was a spurt of blood and other terrible liquid as the hand tore off from the arm and she was released She fell hard onto her hip, her arms still held by the other thing.

The creature with the severed arm howled and struggled to find its balance. Meanwhile, she rotated her body around as fast as she could and felt her arms slide free of the disgusting hands as its fingers lost traction. Rolling away, she caught sight of its many hands lunging down toward her. The nails made a terrible scraping sound on the cement as it missed her.

Scrambling to her hands and feet, she crawled backward and tried to regain her balance. The creatures pursued her, howling and lunging for her. She could see now that the beasts were sewn together with what looked like thick black cord. The long nails were definitely human ribs and other cracked bones and she felt a wave of revulsion flow over her. Her gullet heaved.

One of the monsters made a mad dive for her and she darted to one side. But one of those terrible talons snagged her arm and she screamed as her skin was shredded and her cold blood oozed out. Clutching her wounded forearm, she backed away from it, her eyes skimming over the area for a weapon.

Nearby was a heap of scrap metal and she ran for it as the things lumbered after her. She now understood they wanted to destroy her. For revenge maybe? Who knew, but they wanted to rip her apart and eat her flesh. They were desperate for her.

She reached the pile and just grabbed the first thing that she saw. It was the very rusty and worn remains of a shovel. Swinging it as she turned to face the creatures, it impacted hard with one of the thing's reaching hands. Ripping it away from the terrible grasping fingers, she drove it at the seam of its arm, aiming for the black cord sewn deep into the flesh.

The thing screamed at her and drew back as the second creature reached around it, trying to grab for her. With a hiss, she drove the end of the shovel hard into its many faces and felt it wedge in. Yanking hard on it, she felt the heads giving way and a few dislodged from the torso and rolled away. Wrenching the shovel free, she swung it just in time to deflect the claw of the other creature.

Kicking a head out of her way, she ran from her attackers, trying to gain some distance. It was clear to her she would have to kill them. There was no way that they would not stop their pursuit of her. Their milky dead eyes told that story all too clearly.

Her forearm was bleeding steadily and she wasn't sure if she should risk trying to heal herself or just let it bleed.

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