Chapter 9- Now
CJ’s brain raddled in his head as his skull collides with the wheel, causing a quick black out. One nostril dripped with blood, he moaned in pain. The front windshield shattered by a low hanging branch. The sound of the engine dying was all he could hear. Killing the engine, he took deep breaths as he looked down to see a shard of glass protruding from his left leg. Oozing with blood, CJ let out a few tiny yells as he tried to move it, causing pain like lightening to shoot through his entire body. Help! Please! He heard Jacob’s voice again, ringing helplessly in his head.
Opening the driver’s side door, he slowly was able to crawl out, sweat dripped down his neck as he moaned loudly. Falling to the ground below, he was able to use the truck’s still working headlights to see what he was dealing with. Getting to Jacob would be impossible to do if his left leg was out of commission.
Closing his eyes for a moment in thought, he was able to get to his back pack, which housed a giant strand of medical gauze. He also found a pair of black leather gloves, the ones he used at the school. It was the closest thing to sterile he had.
With a desperate eye, he put the gloves on and looked at the small piece of glass sticking out of him. Grasping the sharp edge, he held his breath and slowly yanked at it, causing his flesh to make a sickening squishing sound.
Tears filled his eyes as the lightening pain came through again. Come on CJ! Do it you wimpy bastard! PULL! Being able to ignore the pain for only a second was all he needed to make the final pull. His flesh became a bit mangled as he did so, warm red fluid covered one side of his jeans as he yelled loudly into the night.
He didn’t have much time to wallow, he wrapped the wound tightly and quickly. His breathing erratic. Pulling it even tighter, he yelled one last time, after letting his heart rate get back to normal, he stood up. Certainly, it stung if he put too much pressure on it, but he could walk. Fight through it. Get to Jacob. Let the nightmare be over.
Being careful where he stepped wasn’t hard, if this wound got worse, it truly could mean the end of finding the human he loved so much. Going uphill was the worst, he thought he’d get used to the searing throbbing, but every step caused him to sigh deeply as he tried to block out the strain. He whispers a few profanities. As if the night couldn’t get any worse, a rumble of thunder caused his ears to pin back in pure annoyance. Reaching for his bag again, he thought he had a jacket-but he had left it in the back seat of the truck.
“Damnit!” He yelled into the bag as he tossed it over his shoulders again. The rain started soft, a slight drizzle wouldn’t mean much. After walking through sticks and leaves and swatting away flies, the water soon became more than a slight annoyance as it began to pour. Seeping into his white t-shirt, his mane becoming flat with heavy water, his brown coat damp. Dirt soon became mud as his boots sloshed through puddles, making his pants even wetter.
“Help!” he froze in his spot. The call was muffled, he knew it was in his head. “Help me please!” Hearing it again, he wasn’t so sure if it was his imagination. He yelled back as loud as he could. “HELLO?!” A moment passed.
“CJ?!” All the annoyances went away. His damp clothes, the pain in his left leg, through the rain which aimed at his face, CJ trudged through the wilderness. Jacob’s voice was closer.
“Keep yelling Jacob!” CJ’s feet were wet from dirty water beneath him, sludging through deep puddles from heavy rain fall. He slid on slick ground, catching himself as he stuck his two hands out, getting drenched in wet dirt, his shirt covered in speckles of grime. His left leg wasn’t fairing too well as his pants had ripped and he thought he felt the gauze slightly tear, causing blood to trickle softly down his leg. His ear pricked forward as Jacob yelled into the night again.
The horse’s run was more of a tired jog, a tinge of relief hit him when he saw a large, wooden cabin. If Bateman would show up, he’d show up during this time. Running to the side of the house, the rain falls only became harder, hitting the roof of the house beside him. He was so close to the wall he could reach out and touch it. The muffled yelling was not coming from the trees beyond. Where are you Jacob?
CJ panicked. WAS it his imagination? Was he standing by some cabin that had nothing to do with his hunt and he was going crazy? Standing out in heavy rain fall, clothes slightly tattered and sodden with mud, water and who knows what else from the ground? He would have cried out in pure disappointment, but he heard Jacob again. BELOW his feet. CJ knelt, pressing his head to the dirt. “Jacob! I’m here!” He heard Jacob again, so close and yet so far. He wished he could see his human friend this second, but he’d have one last task. Digging him out.
Huffing as he stood, he eyed a shed close to the cabin, racing to it, he found a small metal shovel leaning by it. He ran back to the spot and dug. Using all the stallion’s might was hard. He was so tired from the past days of being depressed and searching. This was it. He grunts as he began to move the earth below him, thunder rumbled a few times. Water stung CJ’s eyes as he looked down, praying to find some semblance of a helpless teen. The shovel soon hit a wooden surface. CJ’s heart skipped a beat.
It was a wooden coffin, thinly built. Had a human been searching, they probably would have never heard Jacob’s muffled cries, but anthros, especially dogs and horses had exceptionally acute hearing. Once the form of the wooden container was revealed through more poking with the shovel, CJ knelt again and began to tug at the lid. Come on CJ! This is it! THIS IS IT! Pull you lazy bastard!
The coffin came apart after what seemed to be a good five minutes, the sound of wood snapping had never felt so satisfying. And there Jacob lied, only for a fraction of a second before sitting up and wrapping his arms around the brown horse. Jacob’s clothing was merely a hospital gown, he looked pale and terrified, as perhaps should be expected. The hug was tight, the best bonding either of them had ever experienced. Jacob cried softly, CJ merely held him close taking deep breaths of pure tiredness.
“Jacob. We need to go. Now.” He helped the human up, groaning in pain as his left leg was beginning to hurt again. The evening would have ended in victory at that moment, if Bateman hadn’t come out of his cabin, smiling condescendingly. Eyeing someone who was so good in the community and seeing him perform such a sick act was something out of a horror movie.
Jacob hid behind the horse, whimpering in fear, CJ could have as well as he saw the fox pulling a pistol out of his overalls, aimed right at the two. Shaking excess rain water off, Bateman walked to the two, CJ stepped back, holding one of Jacob’s hands. Bateman’s eyes were missing emotion, sympathy for the most part. Like a rabid dog with no feeling.
“No one’s going to believe you, CJ. The principle of a school kidnapped and assaulted a human. Anthro schools got over that YEARS ago. But now we’re much better. Now, bring Jacob to me and I won’t have to shoot you. Tell them you found nothing of your human.” CJ snorts at him in agitation.
“Let him go. You had your fun. Let this kid live. He won’t tell.” The two anthros stood, facing each other. One had a pistol, one had someone else’s life. Jacob eyed CJ’s bag. Slowly, he began to unzip it, Bateman kept his gaze on CJ. The fox approached closer.
“How many humans died here, Bateman? Hm? How many?” He shrugged, pressing the gun into CJ’s neck. The horse would have normally stood down, ran away. The emotion ‘timid’ was no longer in his soul. He was bound and determined to stay with Jacob. He let go of the teen’s hand as he slowly fumbled around in the backpack. Bateman cocked the pistol.
“I don’t have to tell you shit, CJ. Now, I hope you have your last words ready. Once you’re nothing but a bloody mess, I’ll go back to my life as a school figure. Jacob will be a missing human. Among MANY missing humans and it’ll be a sad fucking tragedy in the town of Havenport.” The fox’s finger was now placed on the trigger.
The horse’s ears perked suddenly, Bateman yelled in excruciating pain, dropping his weapon. Like lightning, Jacob had found a pocket knife in among all the other items, took a chance and rammed the blade into the fox’s stomach. The large amount of blood made CJ feel queasy, but he still stared, picking up the discarded gun while he was at it. He felt quite uncomfortable holding a firearm.
Jacob rammed the knife into the fox again, this time into a large artery in his throat. His orange fur was caked in pools of blood, jetting from his open airway. Bateman collapsed on his back with a thud, convulsing, the sound of red liquid covering his throat made a horrific gurgling sound that ended almost as soon as it began. Bateman’s eyes glazed over. Jacob stands over the body. His hands covered in blood, the hand which held the pocket knife trembled. He took deep breaths. CJ placed a hand on Jacob’s shoulder, hoping to calm him. Probably it was no use.