Pathways and ambushes. I hated that place.
I picked up the head. Even in death it looked angry. I wasn't afraid of it anymore though. I let go and kicked it. Stupid dog. It landed further down the road.
We turned our backs on it and walked on. I held her hand and the knife. Once again he had proved that he protected us. He had both recovered my favorite knife and given us a weapon. I felt safe holding on to it.
The church was dangerous ground. I led us around the back. There was no need to go closer. We returned to the main road after the gas station. Up on the bridge. I wanted to go down to the water if only to wash myself. But there wasn't time.
A wall and lots of water. The bridge was up. We could not get past the river. There was nothing we could do. He obviously wanted us to take another way. There was a road close to where they crashed. Down by the lake there were several. I didn't know what was closest.
It sat on the railing when we left the bridge. A messenger or guide. There was blood on the road leading back to the crash. That was a bad sign. I nodded at the bird. Or was it a bat? It could have been a dinosaur too. It was oddly familiar.
I was about to go toward the lake when it cackled and shook its wings. Not that way either? It shook its head. I took another step in the same direction. It was too much for the messenger. The lizard proved that it could fly.
Suddenly I could see the resemblance. It was like the one in the alley. Same body, same wings. Just bigger. It wasn't completely identical to the dinosaur. It was just a dumb bird.
Others answered its call. They came along the road leading to the lake. They were trying to surround us. We ran for it. Back toward the school as fast as possible. We didn't get very far. Just in front of the church. They cut us off.
I heard the church door close as we stopped. There were people inside. They couldn't help us. I tightened my hand around the knife. Waited. And waited.
Slowly we drifted to the west. We moved and they moved. Little by little. Constantly keeping eyes on each other. Step by step. I felt relief getting away from the church. I heard the church door slam in the mist. We stopped.
The leader uttered something and the others all sat down on the ground. All except for one. It kept hovering and staring at me. I told the girl to sit down. The knife was strangely cold in my hand. It was now.
The ugly lizard shot forward and attacked. I rolled under it, avoiding the wings and mouth. It glared and tried again. I clenched my fist and hit it in the face, dodging it again. It squeaked.
Another bird suddenly attacked. Two on one. Cheater. They cheated. I dropped to the ground and slashed it with the knife. Squishy sound. It yelped and crashed. Desperation. Silly bird. It cried out and tried to get up. Guts were spread out on the road below it. So much blood.
The first one attacked again. I hit the wing. It started bleeding, but stayed in the air. It kept gazing at me as it moved to its wounded friend. I smiled. I felt good. I had killed one of them.
The leader, the largest spread its wings and left. The remaining three still surrounded us. Pink bodies. Wingspans as large as an adult. They had seen the knife. They'd attack together now.
I whispered to the girl. She got up and took my hand. We were like the birds. Same appearance and different size. Parent and child. Mother and daughter. Or maybe not. I couldn't help thinking there was something wrong with it. We were different.
I squeezed her hand. We ran. They went for us. Attacked again and again. We turned toward the lake before reaching the church. One of them hit me. I fell. Gunshots.
Blood. Two were dead. Someone stepped out of the mist. Blue shirt. Police uniform. It was the cop. She was staring at the girl. The last lizard fluttered up above. As it dived she took aim.
Bang. Bang. It fell. It fell from the sky. I saw it. It fell right through the ground and disappeared. No squashing. It wasn't there. The cop followed it with her eyes. As if it landed down below us. She looked at the girl. She called out for her.
Why didn't she move? She didn't go any closer. She wouldn't. She looked at the road again. Like there was something wrong with it. I motioned the girl to run.
The cop kept staring after the girl had left. Shaking her head. She didn't lay her eyes on me once. She just turned around and left. Was she blind?