The unnatural deathly children were all around them, clawing at their faces; snapping jaws filled with needle-sharp teeth; giggling.
Carl elbowed the little boy scrambling up his chest in the face and he fell back, but when Carl levelled his pistol and fired at point blank range, although the bullet only ripped into the body, tearing out cold flesh and black blood the other side, the little boy continued to walk toward him. Continued to stare with its glittering eyes.
Continued to smile.
Marlow cried out as claws raked the side of his face and he went down, but the child over him was blasted away under fire from Kate’s machine pistol. The evil little creature rolled and came back up to its feet, ready to attack again.
The others were struggling against the children they’d only just thought they were rescuing. The limbs of the spiteful things were thin but deceptively strong. Carl went down on his knees as the nasty animalistic child raked him again and again with its dirty fingernails.
The one clambering onto Brock’s shoulders screeched in glee and bloodlust. Then it felt the barrel of his pistol under its chin and yelped as the bullet went up into its skull, knocking it clear.
Still, it landed badly, but struggled back up, healing rapidly.
“We have to fall back,” shouted Kate. “Bullets aren’t hurting them!”
“But keep firing!” said Brock. “Weapons fire drives them back!”
Annie, Brock and Kate ran but when Marlow tried to follow them, two of children leapt onto his back, dragging him down. He cried out but he was gone already; the others could see that. There was no saving him and the two remaining things were already on the street and coming after them.
“Call in!” cried Kate. Annie struggled to activate her radio while running in her heels and gave the emergency intercept signal to Team Beta. “Brock! You know what these things look like! We need wooden stakes!”
“In there!” She pointed at a ruin up the street. “Find something we can use! Now! I’ll cover our retreat.”
She and Annie turned, walking backwards, and drilled the approaching children with bullets, knocking them floundering back. Their wounds were healing almost instantly and they were still coming but it was slowing them down.
Two death screams came from the building they’d found the children in and then the pair that had remained behind to finish off Marlow and Carl emerged, wiping their mouths on their sleeves. They paused a second to get their bearings then sprinted up the street toward the two women.
“Hurry Brock!” screamed Kate, reloading, then letting rip once more. The children were getting closer. The bullets weren’t working to do anything but slow them down. They couldn’t hold out forever.
In the ruins, Brock kicked at a chair, breaking it into parts then scrambled through the detritus, trying to find a useable stake. He found one and got to his feet, just as the sound of helicopter rotas ran overhead.
Kate and Annie ran into the ruin. “We have to regroup! Follow the chopper!”
“The chopper! They have the firepower we need to hold these bastards off! And Annie! Call them and tell them what we’re up against!” She took a second to catch her breath. “We’re going to need more stakes!”