Kicking and Screaming

“So I guess we know his trigger.” I pressed my knees into Tyler’s back.

“Oxygen?” Doug grunted as he pulled the rope tighter around Tyler’s hands. “We’re going to need more rope.”

I nodded at this as Tyler kicked, fighting to free himself from his binds. I met Doug’s dark eyes. Beads of sweat formed above his eyebrows. He nods and we both jumped back. My legs tremble slightly after wrestling with Tyler all morning.

Tyler rolls over kicking and pulls his lips back like a feral animal. He is usually so quiet and controlled that this is image would be hilarious if he wasn’t actually trying to kill us. We’re not sure what happened to him, but this is not Tyler. His normally soft green eyes are sharp like daggers. They look like they could cut through you if they could focus on anything for more than a few seconds, but they never do. Tyler’s eyes are as erratic as all of his movements. It’s like he can’t see us but his whole body knows how to find us.

Tyler has clubbed Doug several times. Since Doug is definitely larger and stronger than me, he’s put himself between Tyler and me a few times. I’m thankful, but feel bad as well. Normally, I can hold my own, but it’s like Tyler’s on steroids are something. Every punch and kick is full strength. He’s not holding back one bit. It’s like he doesn’t have pain or reason, like something else has taken over his body.

My heart twists as he jumps to his feet panting. We’ve been on this forced march with Tyler for a few hours now and we’ve been hoping whatever this is will wear off, but only Doug and I are winding down. I’m not sure how long we can do this. It makes me nervous knowing I’m depended almost entirely on Doug’s brute strength and he’s looking tired. His lips are purple and his cheeks are flushed deep red.

“Evelyn, we’re going to have to wait this out a different way.” Doug pants keeping his staff pointed at Tyler.

Tyler is also planting and is soaked in sweat, but still looks like he could go another 100 rounds. I’m not sure either Doug or I am good for a single round. I nod as I feel the weight of my knife against my leg. I don’t want to kill Tyler, but I don’t want to get Doug or myself killed either. I don’t think Tyler particularly cares much at the moment, but I’m sure he will later when he comes back to himself.

I scan the street we’ve been making our way down and see a car with its windows smashed. Its trunk is open but doesn’t look too bad.

“We could put him in there.” I nod at the car, not entirely confident in this plan.

Doug nods stiffly, his dark strands sticking to the side of his face. There aren’t a lot of options at his point. Doug inches toward the car and holds his staff across his body. This puts Tyler in a defensive crouch and he steps back watching Doug closely, which gives me enough cover to grab my own stick. I bend down and get in my hands just as Tyler is readying to spring at Doug. I step forward and take his feet out from underneath him. He hits the asphalt hard and we grab him and drag him to the car. He snaps out of his daze and starts thrashing.

I scream before I even really feel the vice-like grip of Tyler’s teeth sinking into  the back of my arm. I refuse to let go, though my arm weakens at the shock. Doug loses it a little and starts pummeling Tyler’s head and gets a few kicks into Tyler’s side. I don’t stop pulling Tyler.  We get him to the trunk and shove him in. Both Doug and I sit on the top of it to make sure it stays locked. It clicked shut, so all should be good, but neither of us is willing to take the chance at the moment.

I start shuddering against the pain in my arm and Doug’s looking twitchy from exhaustion as well. He pulls out his canteen and drinks. We’re covered in sweat and need to fuel our bodies. He offers me his canteen and I try to wave it off, but he puts it to my lips and tips my head back. I guess Doug isn’t in a vocal place yet. He pulls out his med kit and pours all sorts of burning stuff over my wound. He ends up tearing a strip off the bottom of my oversize t-shirt for a bandage. Then he collapses against the only slightly shattered back window. I follow suit but I can’t look at him. I feel the fury of Tyler’s feet underneath me.

“I really liked Tyler.” I say surprised at the smallness of my voice.

“Me too.” Doug tipped his water back and drank like it was something stronger. “He was a nice guy.”

Writing Prompt: Trigger

Photo Credit: Michael Coghlan

About the author

Carley Hibbert

I just finished writing my first novel The Villain's Assistant. I'm preparing to submit it to an interested publisher.

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