Eye Contact

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     Blood seeped into the already rain soaked ground, Clayton didn't get up. The hound inched closer its eyes piercing Eleanor's, the blue in its eyes made it hard to believe that such beauty could bring with it such destruction.
     At first the beast was little more than a silhouette in the distance. A slender doglike figure, lit up by the moons will, darting from tree line to tree line. As he neared, the stench of his breath became unbearable, and his fur became distinguishable, the dark blood red patches on his black palate of fur barely covered the ribs poking from beneath his coat.
     Eleanor stood not breaking the stare shared between them. His head sunk low as his lip curled up, uncovering a broken row of decaying misplaced teeth, a mouth full of rusty kitchen knives. Eleanor took a step back her heel brushing the foot of the cave wall. Her fingers searched the bit of wall behind her slowly and quietly until they gripped a small pebble. Eleanor squeezed the rock hard enough to break through her callused palm, she flung the rock moving only her fingers breaking the animals stare. An ear twitch incited a head turn and Eleanor took the opportunity, she took the sword from her belt, stepping away from the wall and kicked the hound a few feet from Clayton. He let out a whimper but did not slow down it just seemed to make him angrier. Eleanor struck the animal in the rib cage piercing through his tough skin. Unphased by the bleeding wound on his side he kept inching forward, the spines on his back arose and his mouth opened slightly more to expose a forked tongue. Eleanor stood over Clayton’s body. She glanced down and saw his breath fighting to rise and exhaustedly falling. The hound saw her break their eye contact and he surged forward, hurling his body into hers. Eleanor fell beneath his weight, knocking her sword from her hands. The animal snapped at her, drool began to spill over his curled lip, his hot breath singing her face.
     Eleanor knew she would end up just like Clayton if she stayed as she was, human. The only option she had, she hated. She closed her eyes and let go, no longer holding back. She blinked allowing her eyes to go black and her fangs to pierce through her gums, she felt the burn of adrenaline scraping through her veins and the chaos she feared- the chaos she loved.
     Her eyes opened and Eleanor smiled. She shoved the animal off her and away from Clayton but not far enough. She took the knife from her boot without looking away, he jumped back on top of her. Using his momentum against him, she drove the blade between his ribs. His body slowly went limp as blood dripped down her arm. She grabbed his neck, pushing him off her. Eleanor could feel his pulse weaken, he had all the malice of a wolf, but all the intelligence of a human. Even still, as he was dying he attempted to stand, ready to fight until he couldn’t any longer. He stood unsteadily, shaking and lowered his head, not breaking eye contact. In a way, Eleanor and the beast were the same, fighting their way through life because they didn’t know what else to do, driven by hatred and the need to survive.
     Clayton moved to grab the blade tucked in his belt, he attempted to be quiet but his trembling fingers caused the blade to scrape the cave floor. The beast's head spun and he threw himself, with little strength he had left, at Clayton. His jaws locked onto Clayton’s throat, the animal let out one last whimper and all feeling from his body fell to the ground.                                                        Clayton made no noise. Crushed bone and torn flesh, Eleanor ran to Clayton, blood was flowing past the wounds. She pushed the body of the chupacabra off of Clayton and pressed her fingers against the wounds on his neck, attempting to slow the bleeding, but failing horribly. He angled his head looking up at her, saying nothing, he smiled. The muscles in his face relaxed and the corners of his c***eyed weak smile drooped as the green in his eyes that made them dance before left, he was gone. 

     Eleanor let out a deep breath falling back to her knees, “Damn it.” She closed his eyes, barely touching his skin. She blinked pushing the chaos back once again, her eyes went back to the ‘seen-too-much’ grey and her fangs receded back into her gums. She stood up, placing her sword back in its sheath, and pulled the small blade from between the carcass’ ribs. Eleanor wiped the blood off the blade onto Claytons shirt, then she placed it carefully on his chest. She sat down next to Clayton just looking at him for a moment.

     She hadn’t known him for very long, she met him that morning when she was assigned to be his partner on this job. Eleanor never got used to people dying for her, she never would. She reached into her pocket and retrieved her cell phone, she doesn’t usually use it, she doesn’t believe that the era of talking face to face should end. She pressed the first name on her phone, it wasn’t necessarily a name, just a familiar number, the only person she thought she could call. “Hey, so something happened on the hunt. It’s not good, Clayton’s dead and so is the Chup. I’m about three miles off the main road leading out of the camp, on his property. I need you and Eli, please.” She shut the phone without giving the person on the other end a chance to speak, she put it back in her pocket.
     After all the deaths she’d seen, all sentimentality has faded away. No matter how cruel it was, once she saw the light fade from their eyes, they just become another body to bury, another thing, a thing to hide away. There is only so much grief someone can take in and understand until their mind snaps, her mind had snapped long ago. She lost all feeling for the dead, she made cruel jokes, she looks for ways to deal with it. Eleanor barely knew the man but he died because of her, and that’s something she’ll never get used to.






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