The Clancy sisters, Emily, twelve and Kate, eighteen never once broke the rule: be home an hour before sundown, and lock the doors and windows. As with every night, Kate ensured that the doors and windows were impenetrable. It’s been over a decade those monsters were defeated but the laws of Dante City were clear. Kate recalls Emily being only a year old when her parents went missing along with millions of people around the world. She was just glad that things were getting back to normal. The strict lockdowns were no longer enforced. The citizens of the city no longer suspected each other of being infected. A year ago, schools opened for the first time in a long time. Emily seemed to enjoy going to school and interact with kids her age.
The skies were starting to clear up too. The military stopped bombing buildings fighting the monsters, leaving the outside air clear and fresh again. Kate saw one of those animals once and still gives her nightmares. She couldn’t get those demonic eyes out of her mind.
Kate didn’t take any chances. She gave each window and doors and good shake to make sure that there weren’t any chance of those things getting in here. The sun began to set later at night now, summer was just around the corner. It was a long and cold winter and the two incidents shook the city to its core. Kate was just tired of living like a helpless animal. She was just glad that things were starting to get better by the day. She could hear the military patrolling outside. The sun had finally set for the night. Kate stood at her front door holding her rifle for about twenty minutes after dark.
“Kate, come upstairs and eat with me” Emily said gently
Kate clicked the safety on, on her rifle and made her way upstairs. Emily’s become quite the chef. The two sisters went to the Saturday markets and bought some fresh produce, meat and pasta. Since the beginning of the year, the city mayor opened various community events where people got together and mingled. Even cinemas were starting to show movies, of course the movies were over ten years old. Kate and Emily made a list of things to do this summer as the restrictions became increasingly eased. There were talks that the bridge would even be opened in the next couple of months, meaning the sisters could hit the beach.
The two sat down to dinner. Kate hasn’t tasted fresh salad in a long while. The two sisters were used to getting weekly supplies of freeze dried ready-to-eat meals dropped off by the military. After all these years, people could go outside and buy things that they’ve been missing. Emily made a nice pasta dish with tomato sauce. Kate knew that things were going to get better.
Emily turned the TV on and a movie was on. It was black and white and the two didn’t recognise it, but they kept it on. The sound and the music from the movie comforted them. They finished their meals and started washing up when they heard the loud growls outside. Emily clenched her eyes shut as she grabbed a hold of her sister. Kate held her sister back as she turned to look at her rifle. She prayed to God that it was a cat or some stray animal. They stood for a moment holding each other when they heard gun fire and screeching wheels of patrolling vehicles. Kate picked up the rifle and turned the lights off. Adrenaline ran through her veins. She hasn’t felt the terror in years.
The growling sound outside was unmistakable. It wasn’t from this world. With every passing minute, the gun fire became intense. The two sisters found a corner and sat holding each other. Downstairs, she heard something or someone desperately hitting the door. The thought of one of those things getting in here was unthinkable.