Cloth snapped to cloth as ancient torn tarps toiled against the wind. A great grey gale crept from the sea, growing by the moment.
It wailed outside the warehouse, humming tuneless musics, looming just beyond the shore. Feet tapped tenuously against the concrete within.
They dashed from crack to crack, casting wide each time like fishing line, weightless against the air. Each step landed as effortlessly as falling leaves.
But though their grace was undeniable, their pace, and placements were hurried, steeped with worry and positioned beneath a face split by fear. The silence of each step was by necessity.
Another soul slinked somewhere near, searching the whistling winds for any sound or sign of life.
Lingering on the light tips and taps of toes to floor that barely breached the screaming seaside breeze.
Gripped between this creature’s spindled fingers lurked a long barrel with four bullets itching to leave the chamber.
As the distant sound of falling feet reached its ears, the man-shaped thing shot across the shore, shifting and bounding like a ribbon being twirled.
Its eyes were embers aching for the end of life. The hunt was all it knew.
Its spidery hands snuck around the edge of cracked glass and rusted iron, barely caring that its skin was slit on window shards. Its knuckles closed carefully on the curved crest of its trigger.
The target still stepped slowly, unaware the warehouse was now presumed to be their tomb.
The creak of flesh on metal crept into their ear only a moment too soon as a blast clashed with the drafts of salty air.
Three bullets now as the hammer slammed back and aimed again, chasing after its mark. The steel stretched and swerved to sling another slug into the stone, narrowly skirting delicate skin.
Two bullets left, and the bloody hand that held the handgun hesitated, chances at its conquest crumbled with each unseemly defeated round,
and now the sound it chased was bound for open ground around the warehouse’s outer mount - a catwalk brown with rust and crumbling beneath the weight of salt and sea.
It followed swiftly, cursing, counting, one to two, as if the chant might bring the botched bullets back.
Its eye moved erratic as it exited the egress, exploring every wind-blown hill and patch of ashen grass until at last it landed at its aim.
The barrel stable, the eye fixed, a final flashing fracture cracked against the sky, and sailing seaward it severed tendon, slipped through bone, and dove into the sand.
The thing traveled out to retrieve it’s token from the earth but found only sands sodden with sanguine pools and stripped skin.
Along the ocean’s edge grew a trail of blood and bone, expelled out across the expanse in a line.
As the storm stepped ashore and swept up the sands into a cyclone, the thing clutched its pistol and began to plod along the path. It pushed forward, always forward for its prey.