He flipped his still glowing cigarette out of the wrecked windshield.
“Well, shit,” Arnie said, “what the hell do you propose we do now?”
“He’s not gonna be happy you got his truck stomped,” Millie said. The hood of the car was crumpled in and claw marks pierced the roof of the old pickup.
“You’re not helping,” Arnie grumbled and lit another.
Millie got out of the truck and looked at the broken trees and wreck of cars behind them. People were crawling out of windows and pulling out loved ones. She threw her brown hair into a messy ponytail and tightened her hiking boots. Her brother had finally gotten their dad’s permission to take his truck on a road trip, now they had a long hike to make it back home.
Arnie slammed the door shut and forced the hood open. He took a hammer and tried to knock the dents out. Millie peered over his shoulder and saw the engine was ruined anyway. Their dad told them they should take the back roads because of migration season. Instead, the two hopped on I-35 and were following their friends to Oklahoma for a metal music festival. Now they were stuck in the middle of Kansas, along with a line of ravaged cars, and the next wave of beasts was sure to come soon.
The migration of the hellhounds, better known as, “The March of the Grim,” is always better left to the imagination than to be experienced. The hellhounds were mistaken for bears for a long while before some big game hunter made a name for himself by gunning one down. They are ridiculously fast creatures, it took his leg off before he managed to kill it. He dragged it to a local vet who declared it was actually a huge dog and the media went crazy. Twice a year, cities experience random power outages, farmers lose portions of their crops, and massive damage is done to cities that lie in Hound Alley. No one has yet tracked where they are traveling to and from. A few hunting parties have tried, but they usually wound up dead or missing.
The pack that ran through Arnie and Millie’s portion of interstate was made up of about twenty of these beasts and was toying with a terrified horse. The horse had dodged between the cars while the hounds launched off of them. From what they could tell, they chased the creature for miles based on the wreckage stretching in either direction. The horse wound up in pieces and the hounds fought over the scraps. There was hardly enough horse to feed one of them, so the two grabbed their bags and headed back east towards home. Hopefully they could hole up in one of the towns on the way back to Kansas City and avoid the wave of packs.
Their friends, Joe and Laura, caught up with them.
“Your car smashed, too?” Laura asked.
Millie nodded and Arnie just scowled at the ground.
“It should count as an, ‘act of nature,’ right? Insurance should cover it, shouldn’t they?” Laura had just gotten her clunker paid off.
“Will you lay off, Laura?” Joe said, “We can’t get any cell reception out here, you guys?” Millie shook her head and Arnie put out his cigarette.
They distanced themselves from the road, keeping it to their left, and started their trek back towards Kansas City.
TO BE CONTINUED
This was a flash fiction intended to be 2000 words. I chose an opening sentence that someone else wrote (the story hive, I’m looking at you!) I’m only floating around 570 words right now. I’ve got a couple of life-excuses I could throw out there, but I felt like she should at least know that someone chose and used her sentence! Even if it’s an incomplete story at the moment 🙂 But, boy do I have ideas!