Hound

Excerpt from a Speed writing trial.


 

“Get her!”

A young girl scrambled along the rails of the subway track. Her bare feet were bloodied, leaving marred red marks over the worn iron piping. Blond tendrils of hair stuck to the red on her shoulders and cheeks, it was like glue and she could feel it running from her eyes.

She stumbled and the echo that her cry left made the walls waver. The stone vibrated and the cold air hummed.

“She can’t get away!”

The child’s eyes filled with desperation and horror at the pinging and plinking of massive paws scattering pebbles. Dogs were terrifying, they were horrible creatures. Her small hands clasped over her ears and she let out a deafening shriek. Again the tunnel’s stone walls rippled, like a bubble had risen to the surface of a still pond and erupted. She forced herself to get back to her feet. The ground unsteady under her open flesh. Her head whipped around and she took off again, feet slipping in her blood as she bolted on the silvery tracks.

The low panting of hounds sizzled in the air and the girl hurried along her way, a squealing sound coming from the far distant place were the tracks sprawled out from the darkness. Her mouth opened and her eyes flickered to the wall with a growing confidence. The men chasing her wore navy blue, and were tugged by ropes harnessing large black and copper hounds. They were horrible.

Their beady black eyes were at an angle in their skulls and even though they looked similar to a German Shepherd, the resemblance stopped with the body shape. These beasts were huge, heads reaching six foot, their ears erect and feathered with matted fur. Their paws looked too large for their limbs, feigning clumsiness, and arcing claws topped each toe. The talons were curved and plated with reinforced metal. The face of the creatures was ghastly, the snout long and pointed like a shepherds, but the nose was mis-shaped, and pointed, and the mouth was larger. It looked as it a knife torn straight through the corners of their jaws and drawn a jaggaed curved line towards their eyes.

They panted, with dark forked tongues dripping with black inky slobber. Perfect white lines of teeth pointed like spears of ice in a black cavern. They even had teeth that overlapped the lips and were curved like a saber tooth tigers. Unlike the oversized mouth, the body was lean and gangly, the ribs protruding and the stomach sunken with a spine that ended in a docked tail.

The girl launched herself to an adjoining pair of tracks, her legs wobbling and her feet slipping with a quiet huff of exertion. Her eyes caught something and she stilled, balancing out before trotting along the beam. The roaring of the subway train lit the tunnel and the hounds cried out. The sound thrummed in the air and the young child leapt.

Her screams reverberated as she slammed straight into the solid wall. The stone wavered, split, suddenly liquified and she fell through, her hands reaching out to catch herself. The moment her mouth closed the stone knitted itself back together. No trace of the disturbance.

She scrambled to her feet and then was knocked down again as something slammed into her. There was a grunt as the other object rolled a few feet away. The girl gasped, horror setting in as she stood up slowly. The situation was laid out in front of her, a hound groaning as it began to clamber to its paws and it’s handler collapsed against a tree. Heaviness filled her gut. She hadn’t been fast enough in closing the chasm.

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