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October 2017 Writing Contest: Run

By StormyPhoenix29 #100849

That was the only thing Butch could do. His legs ached and his lungs burned, but he kept on running. Behind him, he could hear the screams and roars of his partner Stargleam Shimmer, as well as something else.

Butch hadn’t been worried at first when he’d received the call. In the department where he and a few of his closest friends worked, cannibalism was an everyday occurrence. And with his friends (and a few guns) by his side, the most they ever had to do was bust in whatever building the cannibal worked in and hold them at gunpoint, overpowering whatever sharp tools they had at their side. So that’s why when he was sent on the trail of a missing Wickerbeast who had last been seen with a weasel who had some interesting eating habits, Butch hadn’t worried about it. He was used to the excessive amount of blood and body parts by now, what would it matter if the victim was a bit bigger than usual? But it had turned out so much worse than that.

Indeed, the weasel had been a cannibal who enjoyed feeding on canines, rodents, and birds. But he had also been an experienced alchemist. After a rather tough battle, the friends Butch, Stargleam Shimmer, and Butch’s beloved partner Silver had the criminal backed up against a rather thick wall, the weasel’s only weapon being a meat cleaver he held firmly up against him. But then the weasel had made a lunge for a button hidden behind a shelf, and the wall had lifted. What emerged from behind had stunned the three friends so that the weasel was able to bury his cleaver in Silver’s gut and then her shoulder, nearly chopping her arm off, but he was quickly taken care of by the hands of the beast.

Butch couldn’t help but shudder as he gazed upon the weapon sticking out of his hyena partner. He was carrying Silver in his arms as she was unable to run due to exhaustion, and all the movement was causing her to lose blood fast. She let out a whimper and looked up at Butch, and he felt his heart ache as it hurt him to see his loved one in so much pain.

Suddenly, Butch heard a loud thumping sound coming from the long halls behind him. With a horrified jolt, he realized the screams-and sickening crunching noises-had stopped. After the beast had emerged and mauled the weasel with one snap of it’s blood-stained jaws, Stargleam Shimmer had stayed behind to fight it with all her might, yelling at Butch and Silver to run as she would hold it off long enough for them to get away. And so Butch had scooped Silver up in his arms and taken off.

And now he was beginning to tire out. His breathing was labored, and each stride became harder and harder to maintain. The thumping noises behind him grew only louder, and he knew he was not going to lose the beast. There was no escape.

“Butch…” The doberman’s ears pricked at the sound of the voice of his beloved. He took his gaze away from the dark corridors ahead of him to stare down at the hyena in his arms. There were long, dark streaks running in wavy lines down her cheeks-she must have been crying for a while-and she gave him a pained smile. “Just... leave me behind. You will run faster without me, and you can… escape…. I’ll always love you….”

The thought horrified Butch, and he expressed the emotion through an exaggerated grimace. Leave behind his one and only beloved? He could never do such a thing! But she did have a point, and if he was to keep carrying on in such a state, they would both be doomed. Plus, wasn’t Silver already experiencing her last moments? He doubted he could call in reinforcements in time for them to mend her arm and stop the bleeding, even if they were able to stop the beast rather quickly. “No,” he finally managed to wheeze with a small shake of his head. He had made up his mind-he was not abandoning Silver.

Before Butch could get out anything else, there was a loud crash and an enraged roar behind him. He risked a glance behind him and his heart nearly stopped. The beast was now in the same hall as them, having crashed into a wall as it was unable to make the sharp turn. It’s haunting yellow eyes glowed in the near-darkness, and the light fur around it’s fanged snout was covered in dripping crimson blood. It’s brownish horns were long and curling, and it’s deep pink mane was shaggy and spiked in fury. It plunged it’s claws into the metal floor and drew long lines in it as if it were nothing but paper, and bellowed out a crazed cry as it resumed the chase. And it was closing distance fast.

Butch yelped as he pushed himself to go faster, his breaths becoming shallower as he pursued an exit that would never appear. There was no outrunning the mutated Wickerbeast behind him. Spotting a door off to his side, he quickly dashed towards it, despite the fact there was no implication of it being an exit. Butch had to take what he could get-it might just be his last chance of survival.

Slamming the door behind him and nearly dropping the pained Silver in the process, Butch surveyed the dimly lit area. Large, empty cages littered the floor, and glass bottles with suspicious liquids inside them lined wooden shelves. Butch gently placed Silver on the floor before searching for another way out. Silver sat up, one arm dangling limp and almost detached, as she watched her desperate husband’s search with hopeless eyes. “Butch,” she whispered, her voice filled with anguish. “There’s no way out. Just… escape while you can…. Please?”

“No, no!” Butch cried out in response, stumbling around all the quicker. “There has to be at least some way out, or something to help us fight it! There just has to be something!” In his anger, he grasped at potion and was about to smash it on the floor below, before he noticed the label. Stopping, he lowered his hand to read it more carefully.

‘Beast Mutation Potion: Will turn any villager into a hulking, frenzied, twisted amalgamation that knows only pain, rage, and hunger.’ Below were some notes scribbled below. ‘Extra batch of potion; will be trying out first batch on a pink Wickerbeast.’

Butch’s mind raced, searching for a way to use the potion to his benefit. If he drank the potion, he could have a fighting chance against the monster-but that would mean losing his sanity and endangering Silver! What was the point of drinking it if she would end up dead? But as he spotted a set of keys hanging off of a nail, Butch knew what he had to do.

Slowly, Butch walked over to Silver and picked her up, the set of keys secured in his teeth. He ignored her questions, acting as if he couldn’t hear her over the pounding and scratching of the beast at the door-it would undoubtedly get in soon. Soon, the hyena’s questions turned to protestations as he set her inside one of the cages and locked the door.

“Butch, what are you doing?! Let me out! You can’t do this!” Silver cried, but it did no good. Butch set the keys back on the nail, walking back over to the potion on the shelf. He picked it up, turning it over in his paws. He gave Silver one last, loving look as she pulled on the bars with one paw and screamed and cried as loudly as the pain would allow her to.

“I love you,” Butch whispered, a single tear running down his face. And as the door flew off it’s hinges and the beast entered the room, announcing it’s presence with a bloodthirsty roar, Butch downed the potion in one gulp.