BEAST Part Two, a short story by actung. Date added: 2011-04-10. Times viewed: 985.
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Roland wondered that if it did come down to it would he be able to take care of Rachel. He didn’t want to but maybe he would have to, though he also had other things to consider too, there was an island to survive and Roland needed to get Rachel out of his head, that wouldn’t be easy. Even though the two had barely spoken and the whole incident only lasted a couple of minutes she had made quite an impression.
Hours passed without incident until from out of the thicket of forestry to one side came a man running out into the open space where Roland had been standing and ultimately collided with Roland’s arm before falling to the ground. Colliding with Roland was just as good as colliding with a tree with the exception the trees don’t move.
Looking at the much smaller man lying on the ground Roland asked ‘what the hell?’
The bruised and battered man raising one arm towards Roland, trying to move away from him and while clearly being out of breath said ‘…please…..they are… coming…..they are behind me’.
‘Who are?’ There was hurried movement coming from the same direction the small battered man came from. A wolf like canine pounced, moving in the direction of Roland’s head. When it got close enough, Roland hit the canine in its own head just as if he was swatting a fly away. The wolf whimpered upon landing and it quickly got up. It soon became obvious that the wolf was not alone.
Fairly soon the two men were being circled by seven wolves. Roland looked around slowly with no idea of what he was going to do or even what he could do. The other man feared the worst, as far as he knew he was about to die and had already given up to the fact that he was a dead man. Maybe it was because he had shown fear that the wolves went for him first. With one pounce, the man had been taken down and pretty soon he was being devoured by three of these animals.
A sizeable gap had now opened so Roland took the opportunity to make a run for it in through the thick forestry. For a man his size he moved well. His momentum carried him through the undergrowth and thin branches that confronted him. However the wolves were coming and they were moving faster and with much more ease than Roland. With another pounce in Roland’s direction one wolf crashed and burned, meeting a tree head on with Roland’s own momentum taking him out of the line of fire. Another gained quickly, when this one was ready to pounce it wouldn’t miss. Roland kept moving; he could hear the movement behind him. That rushing movement sound altered, becoming the sound of death. A whoosh followed by a tumble along with a whimper. Roland turned his head to one side; he wanted to see what had just happened but he kept moving. There were other wolves and they were still coming. Tiring quickly now, Roland didn’t know how long he could keep the pace up. He was breathing heavily and sweating quite profusely and just had to stop when he came to another opening.
With one hand outstretched against a tree and the other placed over a knee, a bent over Roland struggled to stay standing. Before he could look to see if there were any wolves nearby; Roland noticed a bare-chested muscular man standing forty feet or so away from and in front of him. This man was holding a long piece of metal. Not only did Roland notice this man, he also recognized him. The man came running towards Roland holding the piece of metal over his right shoulder with both hands just as if he was holding a baseball bat. Roland dropped to the ground raising both his hands over his head in anticipation of being hit and he was more than surprised when this did not happen. Instead of hitting Roland, the man clonked an oncoming wolf clean on the head instantly killing it. He stepped back, looked Roland directly in the eyes and made a quick departure.
From behind Roland, Rachel arrived carrying a bow with a satchel of arrows strapped to her back. Her arrival surprised him and upon sight of the bow and arrows Roland dropped to the ground once more this time with the anticipation that his earlier good deed had come back to bite him in the ass.
‘Relax’ she told him, ‘I am here to repay a debt. As for killing you; well I may just have to leave that until next time’. Rachael giggled while Roland only just realized that the wolf which had suddenly fallen, well that was due to Rachael.
‘We are even now’ she continued.
Changing subjects Rachel asked ‘so who was that?’ referring to the bare-chested man who had run off moments ago.
‘You don’t know who that is?’
‘No, should I?’
‘And you don’t know the history of this thing do you?’
Rachel explained the circumstances that brought her to the island and Roland told her of its history along with his own story.
Claude Raymonde was the sole survivor and therefore the winner of the ‘Animal’ show from the year before. Roland couldn’t recall seeing Claude prior to arriving on the island.
‘So is he part of this year’s competition?’ asked Rachel.
‘I don’t know, as far as I know no previous winner has ever been invited back for a second spin on the island’.
‘So he must have stayed here, maybe he never actually left the island’. ‘That could be possible, maybe’.
Roland’s thoughts began to wander, and then he began to think out loud. ‘You know out here on the island everyone kills each other, but last year at least half of all the kills were attributed to Claude, that sort of thing is unheard off, for any one person to take out half of the competition. Each year when this show comes to an end, whoever wins is returned normality, given a new identity and life goes on. You can’t go around in regular life killing at will so maybe Claude did stay and maybe he is not done killing’.
‘Perfect’ Rachel said out loud. If she was to go up against anyone she’d rather not know anything about them. She didn’t want any thoughts about her chances of possible success or failure to enter her mind. Thoughts that she could be going into an unwinnable situation would let doubts set in and that would lead to her fight herself in some ways as well as taking on that opponent.
‘We could stick together’ Rachael suggested, ‘for the time being at least anyway’.
This surprised Roland and he stuttered his response, ‘eh … y-yeah …I g-guess we could’ while also feeling quite happy with that prospect.
‘We have had each other’s backs already. Not that I am keeping score or anything but we are level at 1-1 so sticking together increases our chances of survival’.
Rachel never thought she could trust anyone again so the idea she trust someone on the island prior to this moment was unthinkable, but she did like Roland. There was something about him and Rachel’s suggestion had made him smile. Smiling was definitely something that Roland was not used to.
‘You know you are not as mean or as tough as you think you are!’
Roland had been finding himself becoming surprised quite a bit since he came to the island. Rachael’s latest statement came as no exception.
‘I am tough, what are you on about?’
‘You may have had a lot of anger in your life but believe it or not you do have a soft side’.
‘Soft side? Me?’
Rachael had just made Roland smile again. He failed to be able to recall a time in his life that he ever had a reason to smile.
‘You actually are quite a nice guy’
‘Me? A nice guy?’
‘Stop questioning everything I tell you will ya?’
Roland moved closer to Rachel and kissed her. She slapped him in the face and took a step back. Their eyes locked for a moment, and then Rachael took a step forward and kissed Roland. After a couple of moments Rachel suggested that they should move, there may still be wolves’ close by.
Early the next morning, just as daylight was about to show itself, Roland awoke to the sound of movement. He shook Rachel by the shoulder whispering to her to wake up. Her sleeping body barely responded as she lay against him. He shook her again.
‘What? What is it?’
‘Ssshhhhuuussshhh, we have company’.
Rachel reached for her bow and arrows but couldn’t feel them. She turned to look. They were gone.
‘Did you move my bow and arrows?’ she quietly asked.
‘No’. Roland meant to ask her as to how she came to have them but knew that this was not the time to do so.
Roland and Rachel got to their feet. They both could hear the movement but were unable to see anything. They couldn’t even be sure as to where the movement was coming from. It didn’t help either when it began to rain. The rain started out falling lightly and soon turned into a heavy down pour. It stung as Roland struggled to keep it out of his eyes. A gap in distance opened up between him and Rachel as they both attempted to discover where the movement they had noticed was coming from.
Roland wiped his eyes and forehead just before a moment where he would only be able to nothing other than watch as Rachel fell to her knees. She had been a little ahead of him. Roland ran up to her. Rachel had been hit from behind with an arrow. Her eyes opened wide and she was struggling to breath. Roland pulled out the arrow and placed his hand hard up against the wound trying to prevent the blood flow. He tried to keep her upright but it was useless. Blood began to flow from her mouth and she fell over to one side. There was nothing Roland could do but hold Rachel and watch her die. He let out a roar placing blame for this moment on one man whether that man was responsible or not Roland would hereon in seek revenge and swear that he would get it.
Crying was something else which Roland had not experience much of. The rain may have hidden his tears from the cameras but it couldn’t hide his emotion. When the rain subsided he buried Rachel. He would now go after Claude and kill him, either that or be killed trying. For right now, winning the show that he was a part of no longer mattered…….
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