alright, i've got a quick read for you guys. i made it in just the last hour, and thought i'd use it to get something in the thread. so here ya go!
The patter of a heavy rain filled the air of the quiet ruins, the cloud cover blanketing the earth below in melancholy grey. The rain fell upon rough edges, rusted gates, and all of the other wreckage that lay all over. This had once been a busy suburban neighborhood; but nobody would know that just by looking at it, and there wasn't anyone around to behold it; that is, except one figure, clad in a white poncho, trodding through the muddy, unkempt paths.
The figure seemed to know the area, even in its current state. The figure manuevered through the wrecked houses and cracked roads with relative familiarity, knowing where to step and what to avoid. At the same time, however, there were some parts of the path the individual would stumble upon, or would slide a little as mud misdirected the footing. The figure uttered a small sigh and righted themselves, then ducked under the cover of the closest house; or rather, what remained of it.
The figure pulled away her hood, revealing long black hair with bright red accents at the tips. Her young teenage face was soft, but a bandage on her temple and the look of stress etched into her features told a story of hardship. She pulled the poncho away from her body as she sat against a wall and lightly tossed it upon the dusty ground in front of her. She adjusted her clothing, her loose light-gray tee shirt and jeans a little wet despite the protection of the poncho.
She looked at the crumpled poncho, noticing the dirt and grime that had gathered on it from the ground. She sighed with annoyance, having not realized how dirty the floor had been. She could remember how it used to be, and she surmised it had been habit that had possessed her to lay it on the unkempt floor. For this abandoned suburb was not just one she was passing through: it had been her home.
This was the home of her childhood friend, actually. The two would often come running through the front door, carelessly toss aside their shoes and jackets, and watch movies well into the night. When she had went to college, her friend had stayed behind: something about online school, if she remembered correctly, it had been so long. And then, in only a few short weeks, the world as she knew it ended, along with her friend.
It still wasn't clear what exactly happened that day. The news didn't immediately report on the strange phemonena, and the communications went down hastily. It left her and everyone else to learn for themselves what had happened, and with that came only fragments of information.
What they did know was that what had happened tangibly had been mechanical.
The girl stood up abruptly. Something had crashed down to the ground, presumably some home too unstable from months of decomposition. She was used to that kind of thing; that wasn't what worried her. What worried her was the garbled, almost alien sound that had accompanied it and outlasted it, a surprised screech followed by a low buzzing murmur. It was a sound she'd learned to fear, and had trained herself to fight against.
She stepped out of the house, each footfall landing slowly and softly. Her ears were peaked, straining to keep the sounds of the creature in her soundscape. It was hard in the rain, but the creature was moving through the ruins with abandon, and that gave her a good idea where it was. It was close, too, and she moved as such, every muscle in her body sensitive to whatever noises she could possibly make. She knew that if it saw her first, she was dead.
She peeked through what seemed to be the remains of a bed frame, now only a heap of twisted metal disfigured past recognition. Through the heap, she could see what had fallen: a pillar had broken, and the part of the building it had been holding up collapsed, leaving a pile of rubble and a cross-section of one of the house's rooms. As she scanned the surroundings, she found she couldn't see any signs of the creature left around. She didn't know much of anything about these things, but they'd certainly never turned tail and ran so easily. It must be around here somewhere.
Her eyes locked onto a large piece of rubble, a good few feet away from the pile, but still relatively close to the house. It looked rather dry, and she could guess it had fallen off the creature as it moved away from the rubble. Looking around it, she could see another dry piece, then another; it almost formed a makeshift trail for her. Her eyes followed it as it stretched out to her right, then moved closer and closer and... it ended around her, at the pile of twisted metal that now roared to life.
The loud report rang out, and a metallic ping could be heard. The girl clambered backward and watched in terror as the disguised creature pulled itself up on four legs and sprouted long metallic tentacles from its roof. Standing up, it was rather weedy for a four-legged creature, looking almost like the head of a cattail in figure. It's body, however, was twisted beyond understanding, and in the grey lighting of the afternoon shower, its form was even more incomprehensible. The sounds it made were metallic, almost robotic-sounding, but when it roared at her, it sounded more like a living, terrible beast. As it closed the distance between the two of them in mere milliseconds, it's tentacles closing in all around her, all she could do was pull all of her limbs in tight around her and wait to be no more.
A second loud report, and the sound of flesh and metal being pierced reached her ears. The creature didn't touch her, backing away and making such a horrible sound she thought her ears would bleed. She clamped her hands over her ears, turning her eyes to watch as a tracer round flashed through the air and torn off the top of the cattail silhouette, ending the monster's screams. It crashed to the ground a few feet away from her, and she stared at it with wide eyes and bated breath, waiting to see if it would get back up. But it didn't, and she allowed herself to breathe as she realized that it was truly dead. She had evaded death once more.
But she was not to credit for her own salvation. She looked towards the origin of the tracer, looking to see who had saved her. Beyond the suburbs, she could see the forest, and amongst the trees there was the glimmer of movement. She couldn't tell, but she could only assume that was the person who had killed the monster. She stared off at the forest longingly, wanting to find that person, and not just to thank him.
That was the closest she'd been to another human in two weeks.