Reinder games Chapter Six
With both of us in above average physical condition. We broke into a jog plowing aside brush, knocking aside branches, and, using the Bowie knives, slicing whatever else got in the way. We only Stopped long enough for Mike to check the tracks.
After two hours, we covered a lot of ground and were deep into the forest. The huge tree tops blocked most of the sunlight, but enough filtered through for us to see.
I stopped walking. as a familiar feeling took over. In my mind the area was bathed in a yellow glow coming from my amulet. I heard the now familiar eerie music begin to play.
Dark wispy shapes began falling from the tree tops. Landing softly on cloven hoofs as they took form.
Gremlins as it turns out was an accurate description.
The creatures ranged in height from three feet to no more then four. Faces and bodies covered in dark fur. Except for the area around their eyes, which was ringed with white.
Their eyes were huge and dark as pitch. Saliva dripped down to their chests, as they snarled, revealing teeth a shark would have been proud to call his own. Their hands were clawed. Three fingers with eagle like talons.
They swiped at the air.
Off in the distance and interspersed with the music, I heard malevolent laughter.
Then Mike's hand was on my shoulder, shaking me.
"Trap." I drew my Glock, spinning around to face behind us.
Mike had no sooner drawn his, when the music began to play.
"They're in the trees." I reached into a side pocket on the field pack and removed the Glock's scope, which served as both light and laser sight. It slid on easily.
Mike did the same.
Carefully we searched the tree tops. The brilliant white light from the scope, with the red tracker from the laser following the beam. Turned dark into day.
Just as I had seen. They came. Falling straight down from the trees to the ground. Landing lightly on their cloven hoofs.
As they surrounded us one large, and particular nasty looking creature held up its arm. A torn piece of cloth clutched in its talons.
As Mike zoned in on the fabric. I could see part of a red candy cane. Next to that a dot of red. Kids pajamas with a Christmas pattern. And a blood stain.
"How many did you see?" Mike asked
"Not sure." I answered "A lot."
"Fine, lets start narrowing the playing field."
Mike and I went back to back.
"Pick you targets, but that ones mine." He aimed at the creature holding the fabric and fired.
The gremlin screamed as the arm holding the cloth left its body. A second later gremlin and arm simply vanished in a swirl of black smoke.
The fabric fluttered the ground.
The gremlins were fast, very fast. One actually got close enough to swipe at my leg.
Each time we hit one, it disappeared in a swirl of black smoke.
Unfortunately, each time took one out. Two more fell from the trees.
As I jammed another magazine into the Glock, Mike yelled
"Houston we have a problem."
"I know." I said releasing the slide.
" Mike fired twice Two gremlins screamed than vanished.
Four more fell from the trees.
He fired again. "Damn things breed quicker then thought, and that music they're playing sucks.
The gremlins had slowed their frontal assault, and had taken to taunting us. Their language, was unintelligible, but the meaning was clear.
I took out one that was getting to close.
"I'm thinking we'll be out of ammo, before we run out of gremlins."
"When we do, we'll throw the magic amulets at them."
My brain clicked as I remembered what Mrs. Ellis had told Mike. "You have many gifts. the amulet will help, but only if you ask."
Same goes for me I guess.
Keeping the Glock steady in my right hand, I gripped the amulet with my left. Now what? I asked feeling more then a little foolish. Then a single word popped into my mind.
Fire I thought. Fire. Then it came to me.
"Mike, I released the clip in the Glock. Switch to the tracer rounds."
"Tracers?" He sounded puzzled Then "What pocket are they in?"
"Back. Hold on." I replied.
I turned flipping open the pocket on his back pack. I handed him a clip grabbing another for myself.
"Nice." He said "Wonder what goes with barbeque fuglies?"
"Potato salad." I said. "And I don't think fuglies is a word."
Before he could reply I picked the closest gremlin and fired.
The creature screeched,( think nails on a blackboard raised to the nth power) as its body exploded in a shower of light and heat.
Nothing fell from the trees.
"Rock and Roll." Mike aimed and fired continuously. Each shot found its mark.
I followed his lead.
In less time then it takes to heat a Hot Pocket, and two clips later the music stopped.
The area was Gremlin free, but not fire free.
The heat from the tracer rounds had set some of the drier wood on fire. In other spots, it was simply smoldering.
We stomped around, until satisfied we weren't going to burn down the woods.
Mike picked up the piece of cloth.
It was just as I had seen and feared. Flannel with a Christmas pattern. One tiny spot stained red.
He stuffed it into a pants pocket.
"How are we fixed for ammo?
I did a quick inventory. "Two full clips of tracers, one partial. 35-40 rounds total."
"We're going to need more then that."
Mike shoved his cell phone back into his pocket.
"No problem." I fished around inside my field pack. C'mon dad, I thought. Tell me you put one in the packs. My hand closed around a hard square box.
"Yes !" I exclaimed causing Mike to jump.
I removed the phone and flicked the switch. As the phone powered on, Mike grinned
After being switched by the Sheriffs office, I spoke with Jess, filling him in on what had happened and what we needed. I sent him our coordinates then powered off the phone.
"Jess is rounding up some men. State Police and the other Counties are involved now. They're pulling out all the stops. Atv's, some 4x4's. They're raiding the Armory and my house for tracers Should be here in an hour or so."
"In less then an hour or so, those kids could be dead."
I put the phone back into its box and fitted it into the field pack.
"I didn't say we would be here." I slung the pack over my shoulders.
Mike pulled out his knife. I'll mark the trail so they know which way we're going."
"Go for it Daniel Boone. One question though."
"And that would be?"
"Which way are we going?"
"Right then, lets go."
Reindeer can't fly
The same goes for kidnapped children.
We headed off in the direction Mike had picked.