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The beginning

By Lystra VestalPublished 5 years ago 4 min read

Harper rolled over, grumbling as she smacked around her nightstand for the EBS siren. After a few tries her hand curled around her phone. The screen illuminated the room, hurting her eyes, and she squinted at the screen.

"Stupid bloody government alerts," she said, unlocking the phone. Her frown darkened to a scowl as she read the words. "What the bloody hell are they playing at?"


"Some git's idea of a practical joke." She laid back, rubbing her eyes with the heels of her hands. What time even is it? Three AM. Fuck this is too early.

She rolled out of bed, shoving her phone into the waste-band of her shorts. From the corner of the room, Cheyenne's tail thudded once. The old golden retriever look up at Harper, her eyes still droopy from sleep.

"Lazy thing," Harper laughed. "Don't let me interrupt your beauty sleep.

The dog yawned and stretched before walking over towards Harper. Harper grinned, scratching the dog's ears, as they both headed downstairs to the kitchen. Harper tossed her phone on the island next to the coffee maker as she started it up. She grabbed her mom's favorite chipped cup from the cabinet, and hit the button for her pour. As the coffee started the brew, her phone went off three times in quick succession.

"Who wants my attention this early?" she muttered, swiping on the screen.

It's such a beautiful night tonight. Look outside.

She scowled again, scowling through the new messages. As she watched, five more appeared. All of them were from an unavailable number, and they all said the same thing. Cheyenne walked to the doorway, her hair sticking up along her back, and her jaws trembling as she showed her teeth. What the hell? A growl rumbled deep in Cheyenne's chest, as she glared at the hallway that led to the front door.

Harper moved, reaching into the top drawer of the island, and pulled out her silver Judge. She stuffed the four speed loaders into her pocket

"Chy, to me," she ordered, checking the cylinder.

The dog stepped back towards Harper, not taking her eyes off of the hallway.

"What's going on Harp?" a drowsy voice said from the basement doorway.

Harper rushed to her brother, putting her hand under his chin to make him look at her. "Go back down, get dressed, and grab Bucky, Jax. We have to go."

Confusion crossed his face, the sleep making him lag behind her words. "Wha-"

"Now, Jackson."

Cheyenne growled again, her tail standing straight behind her. Jackson looked towards the dog for half a second before following orders.

"Chy, hold," Harper said as she darted upstairs.


Jackson joined her while Harper rummaged through the closet gun safe. A duffel bag laid open at her feet with boxes of ammo, and a few guns sticking out. She held out a sheathed hooked machete to him, dropping her own beside her.

"Sis, what's wrong?"

Harper pulled out the Kimber 9-11 from its place holder, and checked the chamber before dropping it in the bag. "Did you get any weird messages on your phone?"

"You mean the moon thing? Yeah. It's what woke me up. That EBS siren is blaring." Jackson unbuckled his belt, and worked on fitting the machete at his hip. "Why was Cheyenne growling? She never growls."

Harper took out a leather quiver and a black cross bow, laying them both against the door of the safe. "I don't know."

"I thought you got rid of all Mom's crazy stuff?"

Harper looked over her shoulder at her little brother. he had only been about five when their mother had died. Mom, what would you tell him? She shook her head. "No. Mom may have been a little warped in the head, but I never got rid of it. You were only just born when Dad left. Something about that spooked her into the woman you knew. She wasn't always like that."

"Is that why you kept up with some of what she taught you?"

"No, that's why I tried to teach the same things to you Jax. Whatever scared her was real, no matter what that shrink said. I remember the night she came home after going after Dad. She was as pale as milk, and shaking."

Jackson looked doubtful, but they were interrupted by a knock on the door, followed by a bark from Cheyenne. Harper tensed, slipping the quiver over her head, and hooking the crossbow opposite the machete on her hip.

"Grab the bag and stay quiet," Harper said, pulling the Judge out from her waistband, and heading down the stairs.

Cheyenne had moved up the hallway, all of her fur standing on end. Harper pulled back the hammer, and walked towards the door, pressing up against the peep hole. The awning over the porch blocked out the night sky, but the porch light illuminated the front stoop. Standing there was a kid, no older than ten still in his pajamas. He was holding a stuffed dinosaur, and staring up at the peep hole. His face was vacant, his jaw drooping open a bit.

"Son of a bitch" she muttered.


About the Creator

Lystra Vestal

Welcome! Grab and chair, pick a story, and stay awhile. Just be careful of the beasties, they do tend to nibble.

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