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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Chapter 5

Eve was the first to jump out of Josiah's squad car. Quickly the three men followed her lead.  There was an eery quiet about the dwelling. Almost as though the place had been abandoned.  There was  no activity outside the premises accept for one man, who had now dropped to his knees in the court yard.

The figure was now  bent  over something or possibly someone.  The four of them stood together watching as the man made no other motion keeping his back to them.  Josiah led the group towards the man calling out to him loudly "what happened, do you need help?".   As he  moved  closer  Josiah felt an uneasiness grow stronger inside him.  He slowly placed  his hand on the top of his pistol that rested in his hip holster.  Loudly he called out to him again.  "What happened. Are you hurt?" He moved closer motioning for the others to stay back. There was no answer or  even a gesture that the man had heard Josiah call to him.  Eve eyes darted from one end of the building to the other.  Nothing else seemed out of place.  There was no other movement or stirring of life.    Josiah  took another step closer with Cody, Eve and Doc Keller ignoring his gesturing  that they stay back and   followed right behind him.

 The man turned his head and began to rise. His shoulders hunched forward as he staggered to a standing position.  His feet  moved in a pigeon toed manner as if they were being dragged   along with every step he took..  On the face of the man he noticed  a large gash along his forehead.  His mouth hung open as he snarled loudly towards them with a blank expression.  Then from behind this male figure suddenly appeared another body. Smaller in size but also moving in the same manner. Hunched and dragging its feet.   "What the hell happened" Cody said softly.  More out of impulse than anything else. Not really intending anyone to respond in particular and knowing very well none of them had an answer,  but  unconsciously hoping somehow an explanation  might be offered from one of the other three at what they were seeing.

It was Doc Keller that finally spoke first.  "The man appears to be sick  or drugged and unable to respond to us". Watching him closely he spoke again. "Look at how he moves, its as if  he is dazed and randomly walking, almost lifelessly."  Josiah stepped forward again then stopped.  Fear enveloping him, for the first time in his career he was unsure of what to do next.  He pulled the gun from his harness.  Cody watched him.  Softly  he offered  a thought out loud " He acts like a rabid animal. Gnarling and unbalanced.  They watched as   his arms moved, swinging out awkwardly at the air every so often.  He appeared to be drenched with blood. From behind the figure it was Cody who noticed first, what he had been bent over.  It was another body on the ground.  Laying motionless on its side.  Bloody and disheveled. Eve also saw the lifeless body, just as the smaller figure now dropped to its knees to bend over the figure on the ground. A revolting queasy feeling filled her stomach as she realized what she was seeing.    Josiah and Cody exchanged looks.  Josiah yelled out again to the the figures to stop and continued his approach.

Josiah had dealt with men and women strung out on drugs before.  But this did not seem like they were aimlessly wondering while under the influence of some drug. It appeared they were eating the corpse on the ground. His mind found it difficult to accept. But there was just no other explanation for what he was seeing.  The figure continued to approach them.  He aimed his gun to wards the bloody man in front of him.  "Stop" he yelled once again.  The smaller figure behind him now rose too and awkwardly began to walk  towards them. Bloody and messed. The rabid man still  made no attempt to heed Josiahs request and wildly swung out.  Josiah cocked his pistol  and  demanded him to stop a third time.  Cody rushed the body and knocked him down. He swung wildly at Cody gnashing teeth and growling loudly. Cody backed up as the man attempted to stand. Josiah pulled the trigger as a shot fired out towards the bloody man. He fell to the ground again.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Josiah found Eve sitting upright in Dr Keller's office. The look on her teared streaked face made him  concerned for her. The few times he had spoken with  her she seemed so confident  and happy. Cody joined them in the exam room now too. The three men stood at opposite corners of the small  room, not quite sure what part they all were to play. Cody and Josiah gave  each other the amicable man  nod then turned to address the situation with the Doctor.

But it was Eve who spoke first. "We need to get to the center now" she began still trembling. "There has been a terrible accident involving  a few of the participants in the study." Cody moved to her side. He wanted nothing more than  to hold her and comfort her. She looked at him  as she spoke again. " I don't know exactly what provoked or caused the change. Somehow things got out of control in the night. We need to get there now. Can you take me?" Josiah looked at Doc Keller his brow furrowed. He was confused with just  how Cody Everett fit in.  They had become acquaintances shortly after Josiah's arrival to take over as Sheriff.   But his being there  hardly seemed of any importance at the moment.  "Eve are you sure you are up to  it?"  Cody asked looking from eve and then  over to where the Sheriff stood.  Josiah locked eyes with Cody as he spoke. " I can take us all there in the squad car right now."  Eve stood up. She needed to get there and fast.  She needed to help get the situation under control as soon as possible. She also some how knew, she  needed the help of both these men. " I am fine". She said trying to convince herself as well as the others. 

"Are there injuries?" Doc Keller asked. Eve paused and then started for the door and then stopped again,  turning as she spoke. "Yes.  I... she stuttered momentarily.  " I-um remember seeing someone bleeding on the floor." Images flashed in front of Eve. She had heard running then screaming. She remembered being scared backing away from something or someone and then running away. Running until she fell down an embankment of some sort a slope and then nothing. She woke up bloody and injured and some how found her way to Cody's ranch. She shook her head nodding as she answered him.  "Yes yes, I remember someone  had been hurt." Her heart raced as she recalled the scene in her mind. The  night nurse I saw her lying on the floor.  The image flashed in front of her.   She had tried to help her and then something came after Eve.  She was not sure who or why. "We have to hurry". she cried.  

It was the ringing of Sheriff Cody's phone that startled them all. His face grew pale as he listened to the voice.  He turned towards the other 2 men. The dispatcher was short with her report.  He told them Someone from the center,  a man had called in  for help. He had said there was blood and bodies. They all moved towards the door. Josiah instructed his office to call for back up and an ambulance.  He also told her be on . stand by should they need to call for more medical emergency help.  He then  led the way to the his squad car. Doc Keller following in the rear  announced with determination "I am coming with."

It was 20 minutes be fore they pulled up in front of the concrete building.  The place seemed deserted at first.  Then from a side service entrance they saw a man staggering towards them.  His shirt and pants  caked with blood.