|Join Nairaland / LOGIN! / Trending / Recent / New|
Stats: 2,670,572 members, 6,278,637 topics. Date: Friday, 07 May 2021 at 07:53 PM
|Ferocious (Chapter 23 - 26) by Chykwrites(m): 2:40pm On Sep 27, 2018|
Claire sniffed the air around her."What's that smell?," she frowned.
Larry froze in his seat. "It-It wasn't m-me," he said.
"Ugh," Claire uttered as she waved her palm with a frown in front of her face. "You're disgusting."
Tate gave a chuckle from the passenger seat infront with his eyes fixed on his Laptop. Claire, Tate and Larry were still in the car waiting for the team to come back. As she sat there in the car, Claire stared out her window into the darkness and realised how vulnerable they were. She could feel a pang of fear in her throat when she noticed thier isolation.
They were surrounded be nothing but darkness and trees.
She raised her phone to her view to take a look at the time.
It had been an hour already.
"What's taking them so long?" Tate through his head back in exhaustion and moaned. "I mean, they know we are out here alone, right?"
"Nope", Larry grinned proudly. "They know you're out here, with a cop."
Claire rolled her eyes and held back a chuckle.
"Yeah right,"Tate waved away. "Whatever."
The car was quiet for twenty long minutes, before Larry opened his door.
"What are you doing?" Tate asked as he shot his head up from his laptop to face the officer.
"Need to pee," the young officer said as he struggled out of the car and hurried to a point across the large path. Claire and Tate didn't realise how cold it was outside the car until Larry opened the door and a cold draft pushed in. She wrapped her arms around herself and sighed.
Tate spun and looked back at her. "You okay?" he asked.
Claire looked at him and felt the warmth in his blue eyes staring at her through those glasses. "I'm fine," Claire said with a smile and a nod.
She didn't take her eyes of the boy even after had turned back to his work. His gesture had sparked something in her. Something that made her want to talk to him more. She stretched a bit to see what he was working on. She didn't know what she was looking at, but she was conversant with computers enough to know that she was looking at a Microsoft word application. She used it herself sometimes.
"How's your book coming along?" She asked.
Tate quickly spun and faced the lady behind him. He clearly didn't expect that question. "Um-,"Tate uttered. "It's good."
Claire gave a proud smile and nodded, clearly having nothing else to say. She faced her window beside her again.
"It's gonna be a best seller you know," Tate said with a hint of excitement in his voice.
Claire turned to face him with a smile. "I hope so," she chuckled.
Just then, the driver's door of the car was pulled opened and Larry dropped in and jammed it again. "It's like minus two degrees out there," Larry hissed. "Jeez."
"I know," Tate said, his attention still on the computer before him. "weird for a summer night, huh?"
She listened to the two men start up a conversation and then they trailed off as she lost interest. She glanced outside her window and into the darkness again. Her thoughts immediately went home to her kids and to Edith. She wondered what they were doing right now. She wondered if they had dinner already.
She wondered if they were safe.
Claire rubbed her eyes and shook her head when the memory of the nightmare she had some days ago flashed in her head. She tightened her eyes shot.
"It was just a dream."
She opened her eyes again and sighed. Then she saw something move in the distant darkness.
Something was slowly crawling out of the shrubs and tall grasses and weeds that stretched into the road. Claire moved her gaze to Larry and Tate to see if they had noticed it too, but they were still lost in thier conversation.
She turned her eyes back to the window and saw what she was now sure, was an animal of some kind. The fact that Claire couldn't see the animal made her aware the fact that whatever it was, it was black.
Claire kept her eyes glued to the scene and didn't even hear Larry call her name.
At first, she thought it was a rabbit, a black rabbit, but then, she saw the creature grow bigger before her eyes as it crawled out of the woods; slowly exposing it's seemingly muscular body.
Claire didn't see any reason to call the attention of the deputy and the scientist infront of her, until the creature's full body came into view. Her eyes widened as she watched the animal crawl out entirely from the woods and unto the wet tarred road.
"Oh my God."
Claire had never seen anything like this in her life before. She could not explain it. It was the most beautiful creature she had ever seen, but at the same time, there was something about it that made her tremble in fear at its sight.
The creature crawled further away from the darkness of the woods and exposed itself more in the dimly lit night. It was dark, but bright enough for Claire to see the animal's silhouette. Claire's heart skipped a beat at its size.
"What the hell is that?"he heard Larry's voice from the front seat. She turned and saw the young deputy lean forward to the windscreen. Tate's head shot up from his laptop and looked in the same direction.
Tate narrowed his eyes before he uttered in a low tone. "Ho-holy shit," Tate hissed in shock as he lifted his computer and dropped it on the dashboard.
"What is it," Claire asked as she shifted her gaze back to the silhouette in the distance; confusion written all over her features.
"I don't know," Larry whispered as his attention was still fixed on the windscreen. "..but whatever it is, it's huge."
"I've never seen anything like that out here before," Claire whispered in confusion.
"That's because something like that is not supposed to be out here," Tate added as he reached for his backpack and pulled out his phone. Larry spun to his side and saw Tate hold up his phone.
"What are you doing?" Larry whispered heavily before he turned back and saw the creature crawling across the road; it had obviously not noticed them.
"What does it look like?" Tate replied as he steadied his hands to take a picture of the life form before him. There was a sudden bright flash and Claire saw the creature freeze and turn its head to face the car with lightening speed. It was startled.
"Are you nuts?" Claire saw Larry angry for the first time as he hissed at Tate, pushing his phone away. "You'll scare it off."
Tate waved Larry's hand off and kept his phone in place, steadying himself for another shot. "It doesn't look like it's running away," Tate said. "Does it?"
Larry shut a look at the creature and saw that it was still frozen in place, then he looked back at Tate and rapidly shook his head. "Nuh-Uh", Larry said as he reached out and grabbed Tate's phone away.
"What the-?"Tate uttered in shock as he stared at Larry with wide eyes as Larry yanked his phone away from him. "Give it back now," Tate hissed through gritted teeth.
"No," Larry said as he moved the phone from his right hand to his left; farther away from Tate. "You'll scare him away."
Tate shot him a confused look for a moment, like he was trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with the police man. He then reached forward to grab his phone from Larry, but he wasn't fast enough.
Larry pushed the phone further away from his grip, till his hand was sticking out the car window. "Give me my phone, you Psycho," Tate growled as he kept stretching forward with one hand and the other adjusting his glasses.
"No," Larry fired.
Claire stared at the two of them for a while and couldn't help but wonder why she had to be stuck with these two men in the same car. She turned her gaze away and towards the creature and saw that it had lost interest in the car and was starting to move away.
Tate and Larry had gone from a simple disagreement, to a physical tussle. Claire watched as the two men began struggling infront of her like two kids in a play-wrestle. "Give me my phone," Tate growled louder as he climbed and struggled on top the young officer with what seemed to be all his might. "You asshole."
"I said no," Larry said. He didn't seem to be struggling as hard as Tate was. His struggles seemed effortless.
Claire was about to turn in the direction of the creature once more, but then, she jumped when the loud and startling sound of the car horn cut through the quiet night air like a knife and she was so shocked, she almost screamed.
She shot her gaze forward and saw that Larry had pressed Tate's body to the car horn on the steering wheel. "Are you guys kidding me right now?" Claire shouted in rage; clearly getting enough of their nonsense.
Claire's utterance seemed to have disrupted Larry's concentration a bit, and then Larry's grip on Tate loosened a little as he spun to face Claire.
"So...sorry Mrs. Ha-......Ouch!." Tate took the opportunity and dug his teeth into Larry's arm, making the officer release the phone immediately.
"Son'ava bitch," Larry said as he looked at his arm and looked up at Tate in disbelief. "You -You bit me."
"Well," Tate shrugged as he licked his lips with a passive aggressive smile; pulling back to his seat. "That's what you get."
At that point, Claire noticed something from the corner of her eye. She spun and looked out the window.
Claire opened her mouth slightly in confusion as she watched the black creature crawl towards the car. "Um-guys," she said; her eyes still planted on the window.
The two men ignored her and kept growling at each other like mad dogs. Claire stared at the animal as it approached the car, like a predator approaching it's prey.
She thought for a second, trying to figure out the cause of the animal's sudden interest in them. Then it hit her.
She turned to Larry and Tate who were still arguing infront and then she faced the animal that was approaching the car. Claire was no animal expert, but she knew when an animal approached humans like that, it wasn't coming to say 'Hi', or play with you.
"Guys!" Claire shouted.
Larry and Tate spun to her in shock.
"It's coming," Claire said. Her eyes never left the approaching animal.
The two men spun and saw the large creature just a few metres away from the car.
"Shit," Tate hissed. "It's the horn".
"Oh", Claire said sarcastically. "You think?"
"I'll scare it away," Larry said as he pulled out a pistol from his pocket.
"What the Bleep are you doing?" Tate shouted as he reached out and held Larry's hand.
"Relax Dexter," Larry said as he snatched his hand away from Tate's grip. "I'm not shooting it."
Tate and Claire pressed thier palms to thier ears and watched as the deputy threw his hand outside the car window and pointed the gun straight up in the air.
A Loud and deafening bang struck the air like thunder, and then everyone shifted thier gaze to the animal outside. Their eyes all widened in shock at what they saw.
It didn't flinch. It just....kept coming.
"You gotta be kidding me," Tate said.
Larry squeezed out another loud bang which caused Claire, Tate and even him to jolt, but the creature didn't stop. The creature didn't even pause. Larry shot a nervous look at an astonished Tate.
"Is -Is this normal," Larry stuttered as he darted his eyes from the approaching animal to Tate and back again. Tate said nothing. His eyes were fixed on the approaching creature.
"Start the car, Larry," Claire tapped the deputy's shoulders urgently. It was clear now that she was scared.
"No," Tate finally uttered. "We're safe in here."
"Are you sure?" Claire uttered in a trembling voice as she stretched forward with nervous eyes to get the current location of the approaching beast.
Tate spun to face her. "Yes I am," he said.
Suddenly, there was a thunderous bang and the car began to rock side ways.
"Shit!" Larry screamed.
Claire let out a loud whimper. Everything was moving up and down for a moment and then as fast as it had all started, it all settled.
Claire raised her eyes and saw it first through the windscreen. "Oh my god."
The animal was on top the bonnet of the car. It's head lowered for a better view. Its yellow eyes boring into and studying every single person in the car. At that moment, Claire saw Tate lean forward and narrow his eyes towards the animal. It was almost as she if he was studying something that was below the beast.
"Larry?" Claire uttered in sobs. "Do something."
Larry kept his wide eyes on the creature that had now climbed the bonnet of the police car as he shuffled into his pocket and pulled out a bullet. He pulled his pistol to his view and fixed in two bullets. He was trembling so hard, the gun almost fell of his grip.
"Larry," Claire called as she watched the creature's yellow eyes scan them one by one.
Tate later pulled back and sat in shock, his back pressed against his seat and his wide eyes fixed on the creature behind the screen.
Larry steadied himself and trained the gun at the animal.
The animal shut its eyes at Larry and then snarled, exposing it blood stained fangs. Larry heard Claire give a loud gasp behind him.
Then, with lightening speed, the animal leaped up into the air and disappeared above the glass, rocking the car from side to side as it did so. Sudden silence fell over them in the darkness.
"Where -where is it?" Claire stuttered in a trembling voice. "Where did it go?"
Tate raised a finger to his lips; a gesture he used to tell Claire to be quiet, as he slowly looked up at the top of the car."It's on the hood," he whispered. He slowly brought his eyes down to face Larry. "Start the car and let's get out of here," he whispered.
Claire stomach flipped when she heard Tate's voice. She had never heard Tate sound like that before. The fear in his eyes was unmistakable.
Larry spun and faced the steering wheel, then he froze.
"Shit!" Larry hissed as he slammed his palm on the steering wheel.
"What?" Claire looked at him.
"The keys," Larry said as he spun to face then slowly. "They're with Brent."
"Bleep," Tate shouted as he punched the dashboard. Suddenly, a loud bang hit the top of the car; denting it immediately.
"Oh God!" Claire screamed as she shot her gaze up, pressing her palms to her ears.
Tate and Larry looked up; their breaths were quick and they were beginning to sweat. Even Claire could tell the men were as frightened as she was.
Another loud bang dented the hood of the car. It was so loud, even Larry let out a whimper this time.
"What are we gonna do?" Claire cried.
Tate swallowed hard as his eyes were still fixed on the hood above. "It's-It's trying to--to get in," he stuttered.
"Can it?" Claire sobbed as she felt pain down her throat and regret in her chest.
"Ofcourse not," Larry said. "It's steel for Christ-." Larry was suddenly cut off by a loud screeching sound from above.
The three of them looked up and saw four razor sharp claws tear through metal roof of the car like paper.
"Nnnno-No-No," Tate stuttered in disbelief. "That's...that's impossible."
"What the hell Is it doing?!" Claire screamed in horror , her eyes looking upwards as she sank into her seat.
"It's getting in," Tate's voice was haunting as he reached for his door slowly.
"....It's - its getting in."
|Re: Ferocious (Chapter 23 - 26) by Chykwrites(m): 2:45pm On Sep 27, 2018|
"We-we've gotta get out now," Larry stuttered as he reached for his door and pushed it, with his eyes trained on the hood of the car above.
The creature continued to tear slits of metal off the hood of the car, slowly exposing the interior of the vehicle to the dark night sky.
Claire could feel the cold night air hit her face as she stared up as the creature tore through with the star-filled skies glittering behind it.
"We can't do that," Tate replied Larry. "If we do, it'll definitely follow us, and there's no place to hide out here."
"So what the hell do we do?" Larry uttered with a hint of urgency in his voice. "It's getting in the car gadammit."
The three of them gave out short loud screams as a large piece of the metallic hood was ripped off and the animal's black furry arm stretched into the car.
"Oh My God!" Claire screamed in horror.
The creature pushed its arm through the hood of the car and began swiping its large claws in the car, trying to grab what it could. It kept stretching further and further down; swiping and scratching.
The arms even got low enough and swiped at the top of Tate's head, barely missing him and making four slashes at the top of his chair.
"Tate, Look out!" Larry screamed.
Tate spun and then dropped down in time to dodge another swing that would have definitely torn his face off. "Shit!," he shouted as he dropped.
The animal's large arm rose back up through the large tears it had made in the hood. Then it began tearing again, making a bigger space for it get into the car and take its meal.
"I say we make a run for it!" Claire uttered in what sounded like a mixture of sobs and heavy breaths with her eyes never leaving the hood above.
"No!", Tate uttered. "No-Not yet".
"Are you crazy!?" Larry screamed with his eyes darting between Claire and the hood above.
Tate tore his intense eyes away from the roof and faced Larry. "If we run now, it'll still get us," Tate uttered. "We'll make a run for it, but not now."
"Oh really? When?" Larry said in a sarcastic haste. "When we're in its ripping us apart?"
"Shut up Larry," Tate said in frustration and fear as he looked up and watched the animal tearing through, as if waiting for a signal. "Just shut up and wait."
Claire was bent down between the back seat and the driver's seat, with her two palms pressed to her ears and her tear filled eyes looking up to the horror above her.
At this point, Claire wasn't sure she was going to see her kids again after this night. She wasn't sure she was going to see Edith again after this night. She could hear the sound of her heart beating loudly in her ears. Her mouth suddenly felt dry and tasted metallic. The night was evidently cold, but she could feel her t-shirt sticking to her back because of the fact that she was sweating profusely.
"When I give the signal..," Tate ordered with his eyes fixed to the top of the car. "We make a run for the truck."
Claire shot a look at him in confusion.
She then stretched her neck high enough so she could see through the the side window; there was nothing but darkness.
She tilted her gaze and looked out the back window and saw it. The white Van that paramedics had left behind. It was a few yards away from the car.
"What makes you think it won't tear through that too," Larry uttered as he raised his palms to his ears to drown out the screeching sounds of the animal's claws tearing through the car.
"You got a better idea?" Tate said sternly as he spun and glared at Larry.
"Look," Larry uttered. "All I'm say is-."
Suddenly, four large claws made a swirl at Larry, barely missing his face as he fell back in shock. His reaction was involuntary. "Bleep!" Larry exclaimed as he slammed his back against the dashboard.
He heard Claire give out a scream he had never heard in his life before. He spun and looked up and saw the animal force its large head through the hood of the car.
"Jesus-fucking-Christ!" Tate screamed as he squeezed himself infront of his seat and below the dashboard. The creature stuck it's head through the hood of the car and stretched out its large paws and began swiping violently at the car seats, ripping them to shreds.
"Tate!" Claire screamed out sobs as she sank further into the car. "Tate what is this!"
The car rocked from side to side as the animal kept forcing it's way in. Growling and snarling.
It darted it's demonic yellow eyes to Claire at the corner, before swinging in her direction. "Tate!" Claire screamed till her throat burned. "Tate help me!"
The entire vehicle began rocking from side to side as the large animal wiggled its body to get through the hood of the car. It started to lower itself in Claire's direction, exposing its bloodstained teeth in a menacing snarl.
Tate noticed the the creature had managed to squeeze its way in up to its chest. "Now!" Tate shouted as he pushed his door open. "Run Now!"
Claire heard Larry and Tate force thier doors open and head out into the night. She spun and faced the creature growling just inches above her. Its white whiskers were raised up to its eyes as it snarled at her.
Claire tried to turn and reach for her door, but the space wasn't wide enough. If she raised herself up to an inch, she would be close enough for the creature to rip her head off. She looked back at the animal above her with her eyes wide with horror.
She started to fill herself giving in. Her throat began to ache and her eyes began to well with tears. "Tate!", She called out between a loud sobs.
"Larry!" She cried.
There was no answer.
They were gone.
The realisation that Claire was all alone in the car made her heart hurt and her head spin.
She thought of lifting herself up so she could have enough space to turn and open the door, but she knew that if she moved any inch higher, she would immediately be in the animal's grasp and that would be the end.
Claire was trapped.
She laid there, helpless and confused and began to give out loud sobs.
"I'm gonna die."
"I don't wanna die."
The creature immediately swung its claws at her and even though Claire was fast enough to dodge, the creature pulled in small strands of her blonde hair after it swung.
"Larry!" Claire cried as she sank deeper.
The creature pulled in lower and closer. It was so Close, Claire could feel its warm, humid and stinking breath on her face as it growled and snarled at her.
The Creature was snapping its jaws at her, even though it wasn't close enough. Claire knew this thing wouldn't waste a second in ripping her apart if it got a hold of her. It reached reached down again and swung.
"AHHHHH!" Claire screamed as white hot pain tore through her belly. She looked down and saw three bloodstained slashes on her t-shirt.
Breathing heavily, she looked up just in time to see the animal raise its paws again, preparing for another swing.
Claire tightened her eyes shut as she prepared herself, but suddenly, the door fell open behind her as she felt a blast of cool air hit her back.
She opened her eyes as she felt hands pulling on her and shuffling her out of the car. "Come on Claire!" Larry's voice was unmistakable. "Come on!"
Tate and Larry pulled the blonde doctor out of the car just before the the animal took another swing that ripped the car's back seat to shreds. The last swing that would have torn Claire to pieces.
Larry and Tate got Claire to her feet and slammed the door shut just in case the animal came after them. "You okay?"Tate asked as he studied at the woman with utmost concern.
Claire didn't say a word. She just looked down at the three red scratches on her t-shirt. "Shit," Larry whispered when he saw her wound. "We'll get-," Tate was cut off.
The car began to rock violently. Claire, Tate and Larry spun in shock and watched as the car began to raise itself in the air and slam the floor as the animal was clearly trying to pull itself free from the hood of the car.
"What the -?" Larry uttered.
Tate watched in shock as the car rocked violently from side to side. At a point, he could swear the car was about to tip over.
"What the hell are you?"
The creature finally pulled its body out of the car with the vehicle bouncing below it. It gained its balance for a moment and then shook its entire body like a dog that had just had its bath.
It began to search; slowly turning its head until it stopped when it saw the police officer, the scientist and doctor a few yards away.
When Claire saw the way it narrowed its eyes and snarled at them, she felt her belly flip.
"Run," Tate said as he slowly and gently pulled on Claire shoulders, with his eyes on the creature. "Run. To the Van. Now."
The creature began moving towards them while it was on the hood. It stopped short and gave a loud and deafening roar.
"Go!" Larry whispered as he slowly backed away with the others.
Then, the animal leaped up into the air and landed to the floor a few feet from Larry.
"Go!" Larry screamed as he backed away with increased paces as he fumbled for his pistol in his pocket. "Go!.....Go!"
The three people spun immediately and began sprinting for the paramedics van a few yards away. "Go! Go!" Larry kept screaming.
Claire was afraid of looking behind to see if the animal was coming up behind them or not, but she could see the horror in Tate's eyes whenever he spun back to take a look.
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Three deafening shots struck the air. Claire and Tate bent thier heads as if they were trying to dodge the bullets, even though they knew what Larry was shooting at.
"Son'ava bitch!" Larry shouted, panting heavily. "Tate! What the Bleep is this thing!?"
Still on thier heels, Tate and Claire spun in time to see Larry squeeze another shot and watched in horror as the black furry animal dodged every speeding bullet that came out of Larry's gun.
"Bleep!" Larry screamed as he turned and kept running.
Tate and Claire got to the van and pulled the back doors open. Tate then helped Claire up the platform of the Volkswagen crafter. "Maybe you should get on the stretcher," Tate said as he pointed to the stretcher behind her.
"No," Claire groaned as she winced and pressed her palms against her belly. "It's just a scratch."
They both spun and watched Larry sprinting over to them. "Larry Hurry!" Tate shouted as he raised a leg to the platform.
Larry kept running as fast as he could with his heart beating heavily in his chest. He heard the animal growl just inches behind him before he stole a glance at Tate and Claire in the distance.
He saw as thier eyes widened as they stared at him. He did not need to look back to know that he was in trouble. All Larry could do was to increase his speed.
"Shit," The young officer muttered to himself. "Shit."
"Oh God," Claire gave a heavy whisper as she squatted over the platform of the intensive care unit in the vehicle. "He's not gonna make it."
Larry was only a few metres from the van now, running as fast as he could. He was beginning to loose his breath. He could feel the cold air pour into his lungs as he ran.
Tate looked out at the police officer, running for his life, with the large black creature behind him. "Oh God Larry,...Run!", Claire screamed in sobs beside Tate. She was obviously seeing things the way he did. The creature was too close. Larry wasn't going to make it.
"Come on Larry". "Come on man."
Suddenly, Larry felt something grab his left leg so hard, he could not move anymore. The sudden force that stopped his movement caused him to stagger forward a bit,....
....before he finally fell to the ground.
"Larry!" Tate shouted as he shut himself forward to help, but was pulled back by Claire who was sobbing now.
Larry raised the upper part of his body, supported himself with his hands and spun to see the creature crawling slowly over to him. It's yellow eyes were fixed on Larry.
Larry was breathing heavily now and even from the distance, Claire and Tate could see him tremble.
"Shoot It!", Claire screamed from behind. "Shoot it!"
Larry wanted to look back at her, but he knew that would be a stupid thing to do, considering his current situation.
"Shoot it!", Claire screamed again. "It's closer now and you have a better shot!"
Larry raised his back higher off the ground and brought himself to a sitting position. He then slowly raised his gun again and trained it at the animal. His hands were trembling.
The animal stopped and snarled at Larry again when he aimed the gun at its head.
"Die you bastard." Larry hissed, and then he pulled the trigger.
The gun just clicked.
"Shit," Tate hissed.
Larry lowered the gun slowly, his eyes never leaving the beast before him.
"Larry!" Claire cried as tear rolled down her cheeks.
Larry was still staring at the animal as it roared at him.
"I'm not gonna make this easy for you", The officer hissed.
Then he quickly spun and shot himself off the floor, but wasn't fast enough. In a flash of lightening, the animal dropped it's giant paws on the young man's lower back, rendering him immobile.
"Bleep!" Larry exclaimed as he felt the animal's claws dig into his back.
He tried to move, but it was like a 10,000 tonne rock was placed on him. Larry struggled and struggled till he felt the warm breath of the beast on his neck.
Then he stopped struggling. He became weak. He felt Helpless.
He raised his bloodshot eyes to Tate and Claire in the distance, aware of the fact that they would be the last people to see him alive.
"No!" Claire was crying now. "Larry please don't-."
Tate's face was equally filled with panic and sorrow. They both knew what was about to happen. They both knew Larry was about to die and they couldn't do anything about it.
They watched in horror as the beast lowered its large head down towards Larry's neck and opened its jaws for a bite that could crush Larry's neck at once.
"Noooo!" Claire Hayes screamed out into the night.
|Re: Ferocious (Chapter 23 - 26) by Chykwrites(m): 2:47pm On Sep 27, 2018|
BANG! BANG! BANG!
Three thundering shots struck the air and Larry immediately felt the paws of the beast lift off him. He was free now.
He spun to the side and heard the animal snarl loudly. It was snarling at something, or someone.
Larry followed its gaze and saw Chief Kent and Donovan with thier rifles trained in its direction. Liam was beside them, struggling with what looked like a dart gun.
"Larry!" He heard Patrick scream. "Get the hell outta there, now!"
Larry spun and saw the creature snarling at the group as it stood there, contemplating whether or not to attack.
The young deputy shot a glance in Tate and Claire's direction in the ambulance.
"Come on you idiot!" Tate yelled as he beckoned with panic written all over him. Claire was beside Tate and beckoning as well.
Larry spun again to face the creature and make sure he was in the clear. The creature still had its attention fixed on the men; snarling and growling.
It had obviously lost interest in him.
"Larry Come on!" He heard Claire scream.
The young deputy faced the tarred road on which he laid, took deep breaths and started to count.
Suddenly, with lightening speed, Larry threw himself into the air and got on his feet. The young deputy began sprinting towards the ambulance as fast as he could.
He didn't want to look back and he had a good reason not to, because the animal had caught him running off and that had somehow reignited its interest in the police officer.
The creature began sprinting after him again.
"What the hell are you doing!" Larry heard Chief Kent yell.
Several thunderous shots were fired while Larry ran as he lowered his head. He knew none of the bullets had hit the beast coming up behind him because he could still hear its footsteps and its breathy growl.
He could still hear the growls and the panting eight behind him.
"Hurry!" Claire yelled with widened eyes as she stretched her hands forward as if wanting to catch him.
Larry equally stretched out as he was just a few metres from the door. He looked forward and saw Tate and Claire beckoning with one hand and the other, fixed on the door; ready to slam it shut as soon as Larry was in.
"Come on Larry."
The beast had obviously had enough of Larry playing had-to-get, so it leapt up into the air and swung it claws at the young deputy who was equally making a dive for the ambulance now.
Larry lifted himself into the air and headed straight for the open door.
He felt the claws of the animal rip a part of his Jacket while in mid air.
He didn't know what happened, but he suddenly felt his entire body hit the metallic floor of the van hard, knocking his head on the stands of the stretcher in it.
Tate and Claire barely allowed the officer in before they slammed the door shut and felt a loud and heavy impact on the other side as the animal collided with the van.
Larry lifted himself up to a sitting position and spun quickly to see if the beast had made it in with him. He was slightly delighted to see Claire sliding down the closed door, panting heavily, and Tate bent over with his palms on his knees, equally out of breath.
Larry gave a weak smile on his face as he darted his eyes between Claire and Tate, who both began to smile weakly too.
Then Claire's smile dissolved before it was full and her eyes narrowed as she began to observe Larry in confusion, totally ignoring the loud scratching on the metal door behind them. "You're -you're bleeding," she uttered as she slowly lifted herself from the floor.
"Huh?" Larry uttered with a puzzled look.
"Your head," Tate uttered as he touched his own forehead. "It's bleeding."
With confusion written all over his features, Larry raised his hand and searched his head. He stopped at a spot where he felt wetness; a warm wetness.
He brought his hand back down to his view and stared at his bloodstained finger tips.
His eyes widened.
He raised his eyes from his finger to Claire and Tate just as a rough line of blood drew itself down and beaded down his nose.
"Blo-blood," he stuttered in shock.
Tate and Claire watched as Larry's eyes rolled back into his head and as his body became limp before his shoulders dropped.
"Motherfuuu-," Larry trailed off as he fell back to the floor.
Claire and Tate stared at the unconscious officer for a while before Tate raised his arms and crossed them on his chest while shaking his head.
"I can't believe this guy's a op," Tate uttered.
Patrick stared at the creature in awe as it kept scratching at the back door of the ambulance. The Zookeeper was amazed and afraid at the same time. He definitely knew what it was, but he didn't believe that this was what had killed ten people in the past couple of weeks.
"A Black panther. In Cherrywood. In the United States. How?" For some reason, deep down inside him, Patrick felt he knew the answer to that question, but he wasn't so sure.
"I've got a clear shot Chief", Ronny; the fat officer, had uttered as he trained his rifle at the beast.
"Good," Chief Kent said. "Fire."
"No!", Patrick fired as he stretched forth and lowered Ronny's rifle. "Don't Shoot."
"Why not?", Donovan turned and frowned at him as he equally lowered his rifle.
"We need it alive," Patrick hissed.
Kent turned and glared at Patrick as if he wanted to punch him right there. "Alive?" Kent roared. "What are you, Nuts?"
"Chief look at this thing," Patrick gestured towards the creature. "you can't tell me you're not amazed."
Kent glared at Patrick like he wanted to rip his head off. "Listen to me you Psycho," he hissed as he came close to Patrick. "I don't know what you and nature-boy over there have planned, but my orders are to kill this thing and kill it now."
Patrick's face contorted as he opened his mouth to say something.
"Outta my way!"Liam's voice echoed in the night. Patrick and Kent spun to see Liam lift his dart gun and aim it at the beast behind the ambulance.
"How many CCs," Patrick asked in a haste.
"Five," Liam uttered as he shot one eye and aimed. Then he squeezed the trigger and there was a silent thud as something shot out of the rifle.
The animal gave a quick and high pitched roar as it jolted, like there had been an unexpected and sudden impact on its body. It immediately lost interest in the ambulance and began spinning around as if it was trying to catch its tail.
"What the hell was that?" Kent asked as he watched the animal in confusion and alarm.
"Azeperon," Liam replied, with his eyes fixed on the troubled and confused creature while he slowly lowered his dart gun.
"What?" Donovan spun to them in confusion.
"Tranquilliser," Patrick uttered as he watched on."To put him to sleep. Knock him out".
"Her," Liam corrected as he kept glaring.
Patrick turned to him in confusion. "How do you-."
Liam raised his hand and stopped Patrick from talking, and then he began to count.
The animal was still spinning in confusion at the pain caused by dart that had pierced into the upper thigh of its left hind leg.
"This thing is huge," Donovan whispered in awe.
The animal then stopped spinning and began struggling to gain balance.
Patrick, Liam, Kent, Donovan, and the deputies just stood there watching the creature. Observing.
"You think it's working?" Ronny asked.
The animal shook its head and then shook its entire body, its eyes darting to every point in the darkness.
The entire area was silent as everyone watched and waited for the tranquilliser to take effect.
There was a loud squeaking sound that came from the ambulance door. Someone was trying to open it up.
"Tate!" Liam yelled. "Do not open that door!"
Then there was silence.
The animal tilted its gaze from the van and stared at the armed men that were standing a few yards away. "Come on Baby", Patrick whispered. "Fall."
"Dude," Donovan spun with anxiety written all over his features. "You sure this shit is gonna work?"
"Shhhh," Liam raised his hand to him with his eyes still on the beast. The creature lowered its body and focused its evil yellow eyes on the men and snarled.
"Oh Bleep," Ronny hissed as he raised his rifle and trained it at the beast and all the other deputies followed suit.
"Hold your fire!" Liam yelled as he raised his hands to stop the officers. His eyes were still on the creature and Patrick could see a hint of bewilderment beginning form on his features.
The creature snarled louder and began moving slowly to the men.
"You've gotta be kidding me."
Liam and Patrick exchanged looks that were filled with confusion and astonishment.
They had administered 5CCs of one of the strongest sedatives known to man on this thing, and nothing had happened. Patrick saw Liam's face contort to that of uncertainty and fear as he spun back to watch the creature.
The creature snarled again as it increased its pace.
"Bleep this," Donovan yelled as he raised his rifle to fire.
"No!" Liam yelled. "Wait!"
Suddenly, the creature stopped moving. Its face dropped and its eyes became dull. Donovan lowered his gun and Liam could hear him breathing heavily. The animal staggered for a while, and then its large yellow eyes rolled back into its head.
It then fell to the ground; totally unconscious.
"Holy Shit," Ronny whispered heavily.
"Is it dead?" A deputy called from far behind.
Liam moved closer a bit, away from the gathering and was able to focus on the unconscious animal enough to see that it was still breathing.
"Nope," Donovan replied.
Liam moved closer and closer until he was beside the slumbering beast. He slowly leaned in and squatted beside it.
It was at that point he realised how large this animal was. He was tempted to run his hand through its beautiful pitch black fur. He watched as the body of the animal rose up and down as it slept while he kept wondering were it came from.
"Be careful Liam," he heard Patrick call from behind.
Liam placed two fingers on the neck of the animal to make sure it still had a pulse, before he spun and faced Kent and the others. "Get a cage down here," he said. "Now."
Patrick nodded as if he already knew what his colleague was thinking of. He then raised a walkie-talkie to his mouth and began mumbling into it in a low tone.
"So we got him?" Donovan uttered with a smirk on his face as he and Ronny moved over to meet Liam. Liam looked up and smiled at the two deputies.
"Bleep yeah!" The two young men yelled as they came in for a high five.
Liam shook his head with a chuckle as he turned his eyes back to the creature below him.
"Hey Doc," Ronny uttered. "How about a picture?"
Liam looked up and saw Ronny pulling out his phone from the pocket of his Jacket. The two police men pressed themselves against Liam at his sides as Ronny raised his phone to a position for it capture the three of them, along with the slumbering giant black panther below them.
Before Liam knew what was happening, there was a blinding bright flash and both deputies chuckled in excitement as they both huddled together to take a look at the picture on Ronny's phone.
The invasion of space was somewhat annoying to Liam at that point, but he couldn't blame them, they were excited, like everyone else.
Suddenly, the back door of the ambulance van swung open and Liam spun to see the peeping face of Tate.
"Ca-can we come out now?" He stuttered.
Liam stood to his feet and walked over to the Van immediately. "Where's Claire?" Liam asked as his eyes searched behind Tate. "Is she-."
Liam then stopped short and deflated in a hidden relief when he saw Claire sitting deep in the van with an unconscious Larry beside her. She had one palm on the deputy's head and the other palm on his chest.
When she turned to face Liam, he immediately spun his eyes to Tate who had his wide gaze at what was behind him. "Holy Shit," Tate uttered and Liam immediately knew he had seen the unconscious animal some yards from the van.
"Sedated?," Tate spun to Liam and asked.
Tate immediately jumped down from the van and moved past Liam to join the officers beside the sleeping animal.
The expression on Tate's face made him look like a little boy who had just gotten a new toy for Christmas.
"So," Kent said with a proud smile as he moved towards Liam. "I guess your method paid off after all."
Liam spun and faced the police Chief with a fake smile. "Yes it did."
Liam and Kent then spun and watched as Tate, Donovan and Ronny kept observing the creature in awe.
"How long do you think its gonna be out for?" Kent asked.
Liam bent his lips and corked his head in thought. "At least six hours.".
Kent gave an Impressed nod.
"Liam," Patrick called from across. Liam spun and faced him and saw him waving him over. "We've got a problem".
"What's wrong?" Liam frowned.
"There are no leftover cages or crates at the zoo," Patrick said in a frustrated tone. "They've all been used for some shipments to a zoo in Chicago."
"Jesus Christ," Liam hissed as he hurried past Chief Kent and moved towards Patrick. "Excuse me chief."
Kent watched as Liam walked over to Patrick and then he moved his gaze to the scene before him.
Donovan and Tate were on thier feet now discussing about the creature before them; a few feet behind Ronny who was still squatting beside the Black panther still taking pictures.
Kent saw Ronny slowly reach down on the animal's paw and lift it up slightly. "What the hell do you think you're doing Ron?" Kent yelled.
Ronny jumped at the sudden sound of Kent's voice that had obviously startled him so much, he almost dropped his phone.
"Are you nuts!?" Kent hissed.
"I-I'm sorry Chief," Ronny stuttered. "I was just trying to-."
The bloodthirsty beast shot its head up with lightening speed, opened it jaws and grabbed Ronny's neck.
"Jesus christ!" Kent screamed as he shuffled for his pistol.
Ronny let out a high pitched yell of pain, gagging at the same time as the animal pulled him lower and trapped him down with its giant paws when he tried to get up.
Blood was beginning to spill all over the tarred road as Ronny began to hit the animal on its head; punching it as hard as he could, fighting for his life.
"What the Bleep!?" Donovan screamed as he ran for his rifle.
A loud and thunderous shot struck the quiet night air and made Claire jump to an upright position in the van. She heard men screaming outside the van and suddenly felt her heart beginning to race.
She struggled and got herself off the floor, leaving an unconscious Larry behind. Claire was close to the door when she saw Kent, Tate and Donovan flying into the van.
Kent and Donovan had thier rifles trained at something outside the van and they were firing shots.
"Get back!" Tate yelled as he pushed on Claire.
Claire resisted long enough for her to get a good look at what was going on outside the van. It was pure chaos. She saw red, crimson liquid streaming down the black tarred road.
Then she tilted her gaze in time to see the giant black panther rip out a large tissue from Ronny's neck; blood gusting out of the gagging police officer's throat.
"Oh my God!" Claire heard a man scream in horror. "Oh my God!"
Heavy shots thundered all around with men screaming at the top of their lungs.
"I can't get a clear shot!"
"What the Bleep is this thing!?"
"Kill the motherfucker!"
"Claire!" Tate cried as he kept pulling on her. "Come on!"
Claire gave little resistance this time, but she was able to see more of the carnage as she stretched form behind Kent and Donovan.
The last thing Claire saw was Ronny's headless body struggling and staggering away from the creature and the animal snarling at the shooters with its bloodstained face.
|Re: Ferocious (Chapter 23 - 26) by Chykwrites(m): 2:49pm On Sep 27, 2018|
"No," Liam gave a haunting whisper. "Tha-that's impossible."
"Li-Liam?" He heard Patrick's trembling beside him. "What are we gonna do?"
Liam spun and stole a glance at the terrified zookeeper before him and realised he was as frightened as he was. He moved his gaze back to the snarling beast and narrowed his eyes his eyes in thought.
"It's just a fucking animal."
Liam lifted his dart gone to his belly again and loaded two more darts coated with tranquillisers. He corked the non-lethal weapon and trained it at the animal.
"Liam No," Brent cried from behind. "It won't work."
Liam ignored the plea of the deputy, squeezed the trigger and fired. The animal jolted and faced Liam, giving out a menacing snarl. Liam lowered his rifle and started fumbling with two darts again.
He then looked up in time and saw the creature moving towards him slowly.
"Liam," Patrick hissed. "Ge-get back".
Liam spun and saw Patrick backing away slowly along with the other officers. He then turned and faced the approaching animal.
"You're just an animal." Liam growled as he began walking towards the animal, his jaws clenched with rage.
"Liam!" Patrick yelled. "What are you doing!?"
Liam ignored his friend once more as he walked over and stopped a few metres from the approaching beast.
"What is he?" Kent uttered from the van. "....trying to get himself killed?"
Liam glared at the beast. He was determined to win this war. The creature snarled at the scientist again; as if it was challenging him, telling him to give it his best shot, mocking him.
Liam then raised his dart gun and aimed.
"You're just a fucking animal!" He roared.
Suddenly, the black beast darted forward in lightening speed. It was so fast, no one, not even Liam saw it coming.
Before Liam knew what was happening, the animal was right infront of him. Liam's gun was knocked off his hands with a speed and force that made him stagger.
"Oh Shit," Brent yelled.
Liam turned his astonished gaze and watched in shock as his dart gun bounced off on the road and went far away from him.
"Liam Look out!" someone screamed from behind. He spun in time to feel the hot pain caused by the sudden impact of the back of the creature's giant paws on the side of his face.
He didn't know what happened or how it happened but he felt himself lift up into the air. He felt himself floating for a while, before he his entire body struck the hard tarred road so hard, Liam could swear he heard a rib cracking.
"Oh no," Tate uttered in a trembling voice. "No."
Liam was dizzy. Everything was blurry. pain shot through his entire body and he felt so weak.
He grimaced in pain as he forced himself up to a sitting position. His vision was beginning to clear up now as he looked down at his body to make sure there were no serious injuries. He felt a warm and salty taste in his mouth as blood beaded from his nostrils to his lips.
"Liam gaddammit!" Patrick screamed. "Move!"
But Liam was too weak to do anything. The swing the beast took at him had taken a lot out of him. Liam looked up and saw the black beast stroll towards him with its yellow eyes fixed on him as it lapped its tongue around its bloodstained face.
"Shoot!", Kent screamed an order to his men.
"No!" Patrick countered. "You'll hit Liam."
"He's right Chief," Donovan uttered as he lowered his rifle slowly. "He's too close."
The creature moved for a while and then stopped several inches from the injured man. Its entire body tensed as it lowered a bit, preparing itself for a pounce.
"Jesus," Patrick whispered as he looked on. He was about to watch his friend die.
"No!", Tate screamed as he fought his way past the middle of Kent and Donovan and jumped off the van, heading straight for Liam.
"No! Tate!", Donovan hissed as he reached over and grabbed the young scientist and pulled him back. "No!" Tate screamed in sobs as he struggled against the grip Donovan had on him. "Let me go!"
Meanwhile, yards away, on the floor, Liam sat there, staring into the large yellow eyes of the creature before him. He was certain now that he was about to die. The creature snarled at him loudly, preparing to pounce.
Liam slowly closed his eyes. He heard his heart beating loudly along with every single breath he took. He prepared himself for the for the excruciating pain that would come before his demise. He prepared himself to meet the same fate as Ronny.
A high pitched shrill of a whistle cut through the chaotic night air like a sharp sword.
The creature froze. It stiffened and slowly spun. It was almost as if it had recognised the sound. It spun and then faced the origin of the high pitched sound before then it snarled aggressively at the source.
Everyone turned thier gaze to see what the creature was snarling at and what had produced that sound.
"What the-?" Brent uttered in surprise.
"Son'ava bitch," Kent whispered when saw the figure down the road; the source of the sound.
It was Jelani.
He was standing a few yards from the entire scene with his entire torso moving up and down with heavy breaths. He brought down his hand from his mouth after he had made that sound.
He was holding a large bow in his left hand and a quiver of arrows strapped to his back. He glared at the beast in the distance. His shoulders still moving up and down as he took heavy breaths.
"Oh, yeah," Donovan uttered in realisation with his eyes on Jelani. "I was beginning to wonder were he was."
"(Step away from my brother, demon", Jelani hissed through gritted teeth.
The creature snarled at Jelani as if it had understood what the african native was saying. It snarled as if it heard him. As if it understood him.
"(let my brother go and come to me)", Jelani hissed in a more audible tone.
The creature roared at Jelani.
"(Come to me!)," Jelani screamed at the top of his lungs as he kept hitting his left chest with his right fist. The beast roared louder and began sprinting towards the African warrior.
"Oh shit," Donovan hissed as he looked on.
Jelani stood his ground. He positioned himself and prepared for an attack. He reached to his back and pulled out an arrow.
The muscles of the giant black panther were stretching and wrinkling as it sped towards Jelani. Jelani stayed calm as he fixed the arrow to the string on the bow.
He pulled, and then fired.
The black panther swiftly dodged the incoming weapon with ease.
"Shit!", Patrick hissed in frustration as he watched.
Everyone watched with thier hearts in the mouths as the creature kept sprinting towards the African native. Jelani, still looking calm; gently reached to his quiver and pulled out another arrow.
He placed it on the string, drew and fired.
The arrow seemed to be heading for the creature's forehead, but when it came close to what appeared to be an inch, the creature dodged again.
"Are you kidding me?" Brent shouted as he punched his lap in frustration.
"He should start running." Donovan uttered. The creature was just a few metres from the Jelani now and was still gaining on him.
"Jelani!?" Liam gave a somewhat weak utterance as he watched on.
Jelani was still calm.
He quickly reached for another arrow from his quiver and placed it on the bow.
"Jelani!", Liam shouted louder now. "Get away!, Move!"
Jelani ignored him and maintained his concentration on the approaching Beast as he stretched for another shot.
The large panther was close enough to pounce now.
"He's gonna die," Kent uttered in disappointment as he watched on.
They all watched as the animal immediately lifted itself up into the air, stretching its two large paws for the black man.
"Oh my God!" Patrick whispered
Time seemed to slow down as Jelani drew and then fired.
The arrow seemed to be heading straight for the creature's throat, but it dodged again and the tip of the weapon sank into its shoulder.
The animal, still in the air, stretched further and grabbed jelani's face, corking it head and opening up it jaws, aiming for his neck.
Liam felt his heart leap and his stomach turn as he watched the animal land on the only person in the world he had trusted all his life.
"Oh God," Tate groaned. "No."
Suddenly, the animal let out a loud roar. A roar that was out of the ordinary. A roar that didn't sound dangerous, or intimidating. A roar that sounded like that of a creature in sudden pain.
Everyone watched in confusion as something burst out of the creature's back, spraying red aerosol of blood in the air.
Liam's eye widened at the sight of what looked like the tip of a large knife; a machete, tearing through the black fur of the beast.
The creature fell on top Jelani, its weight finally throwing him to the ground.
After struggling for a while, the creature fell limp and there was no movement anymore. No one was moving. Not Jelani, not the panther.
Everyone watched on in fright. Thier hearts in thier mouths.
"Come On Jelani."
The night was suddenly thrown into silence and tension as everyone hoped Jelani was still alive.
There was still no movement.
Patrick heaved a disappointing sigh as he raised his hands to his waist and shook his head. Donovan spun slowly and faced Tate and from his expression, Donovan knew he feared the worst.
"I'm Sorry bro", Donovan said.
"No." Tate uttered through gritted teeth. "His not dead. He can't be."
"Tate look, I know -."
"He's not dead okay?", Tate hissed as his welling eyes were still fixed on the creature's body in the distance. "He's Jelani. He's a warrior."
Kent and Donovan exchanged sad glances at each other. Liam was still on the floor, pain tearing through his body. He stared at the black furry figure on top the man in the distance. He did not want to accept the fact that Jelani could be dead. He didn't.
He decided he was going to check for himself. He was about to turn away and lift himself from the floor when he noticed movement.
He shot his head up for one more look.
The creature's back was jerking upwards, even with the large blade sticking out. "Something's happening," a police officer yelled from behind.
The entire scene was swallowed in silence as everyone watched with thier hearts in thier mouths. Suddenly, the limp furry mass of the animal's body slowly lifted up into the air and was moved to the side.
Liam heard a loud cheer erupt behind him when he saw the black man stagger to his feet in the distance.
"Bleep yeah!" Donovan screamed as he punched the air. Then he turned and pulled an equally ecstatic Tate who was screaming at the top of his lungs.
"That's what I'm talking about Baby!"Brent screamed as he wrapped his hands around a fellow officer's neck in jubilation.
Patrick threw his fist in the air and yelled out loud. "Yeeeees!"
Claire struggled through Tate, Donovan and Kent. She quickly shot her gaze to Liam sitting on the road not far from the side of the van. Her eyes darted all over the place in confusion. Everyone was cheering. Everyone clapping.
"He did it!" Chief Kent yelled in disbelief. "The son'ava bitch did it!"
Claire even caught sight of deputies hugging each other and right before her, Donovan grabbed Tate by the face and kissed his cheeks aggressively, before pushing him away and rustling his hair.
Tate spun and caught sight of Claire staring out in confusion. "It's dead Claire!" Tate yelled in excitement. "Jelani killed it!"
Claire then looked out in the distance and saw the reason for the mass euphoria. Jelani was standing over what appeared to be the dead body of the large black animal, with a large knife through its chest.
"Oh my God."
Claire moved forward and leaned in at the door. Tate moved towards her and stretched his hands to help her out of the van. "It's dead,Claire," Tate said with a smile. "It's over."
Claire jumped out of the van and looked up in time to see Jelani pull his machete out of the dead creature's body. His entire body was covered in blood that Claire was pretty sure wasn't his.
The cold night breeze was tugging on his long braids.His tall, slender, and muscular body rising and falling in heavy breaths as he tuned his gaze to Liam.
Liam gave a proud smile and nodded slowly, ignoring the celebration in the background.
Jelani; for the first time since he came to Cherrywood, lifted his chin and smiled at Liam. He then lifted his right hand, tapped his left pectoral and raised his palm to Liam.
Liam's smile widened to a toothy grin as he lifted his left hand, tapped his right chest and raised his palm in response to his brave brother's salute.
|Re: Ferocious (Chapter 23 - 26) by Ndahimo: 8:15am On Sep 28, 2018|
Lovely episodes. I enjoyed reading every bit of it. Wish u more grace. Up jelani. He's the man.
|Re: Ferocious (Chapter 23 - 26) by Chykwrites(m): 1:04am On Oct 01, 2018|
Story isn't over yet Bro.
|Re: Ferocious (Chapter 23 - 26) by damselposh(f): 6:51am On Oct 01, 2018|
we dey wait
|Sections: politics (1) business autos (1) jobs (1) career education (1) romance computers phones travel sports fashion health |
religion celebs tv-movies music-radio literature webmasters programming techmarket
Nairaland - Copyright © 2005 - 2021 Oluwaseun Osewa. All rights reserved. See How To Advertise. 559