Sample Excerpt

A glance downward and I find myself locking eyes with the foremost Minotaur. It frowns, a small trace of foam seeping out of the side of its elongated jaws. They’ve found me, and they seem obviously angry that they left someone alive.

These creatures used to be men. Maybe I can reason with them. Maybe I can convince them not to attack me, and they can tell me why they killed all of these people. Was it revenge for what was done to them? Maybe they were as consumed with rage as I was a while back, and they were attacking everything that moved. I mean, why would anyone agree to have that done to them?

Then again, why did I?

Another unnerving howl snaps me out of my thoughts, and both that Minotaur and its partner run up to the plexiglass separating us, beating on the pane as if their brute strength would be enough to get through it.

These guys must have had their humanity stripped away: they haven’t thought to walk around to the back of the cage and open the door. If I head out, I might be able to get a head start, and get to the exit before they get to me. Sounds like a plan, and I can’t think of anything better. Fighting those things is suicide. Reasoning probably won’t work. Running definitely will.

 I bolt out of the cage in whatever direction my feet will take me. Behind me I hear growls and angry howls, then the sound of stampeding hooves.

Why do they sound like they’re getting closer?

Crap! I try to will my legs to move faster.

I don’t know which way I’m going, I just know I’ve got to keep some distance between me and them. I zigzag through the room, eyes darting back and forth for something that would give me some kind of advantage. I stop as quickly as I can, and make a sharp turn down another hallway of cages. I still hear the stampede behind me. The cages eventually give way to a plaster wall, strewn with about three open doors. I glance into each room. One is a janitor’s closet, still full of all kinds of chemicals and items I can use as weapons. No time to get anything out of there, those beastmen are probably gaining on me. I keep running. The next doorway opens into some kind of cafeteria. The third room is an empty office, I think I see some TV screens in it.

Nevermind all of that; the exact thing I need is right in front of me. The rumble of hooves behind me gets louder. I race towards it, but have to slow down to get exactly what I need out. It’s another security guard, or at least what’s left of him, lying on the carpeted area before me. He must have come down when the other one did. The hole protruding from his prone back shows that he wasn’t able to get his gun out before one of these beastmen ran him through. Bad for him, but good for me: his gun is still in its holster.

I dive to his waist and grab the black leather pouch on his belt. Come on! This stupid button has to unsnap! Now I see why the guard couldn’t get his gun unholstered in time. Whatever; I’m not him. The stampeding hooves are getting louder, now joined by a chorus of angry roaring and bellowing from the approaching horde. Sounds like the two Minotaurs chasing me added a few friends to make a hunting party.

Come on, open, damn it!

They’re closing in!

With all of the strength I can muster, I rip the clasp holding the gun inside the holster off, and quickly reach inside, pulling out the weapon. I turn, lay on my back, and fire. The Colt 1911 in my hands coughs lead death at the fast encroaching Minotaurs – now I count four of them. The handgun jumps in my hand, popping the air four times with wild abandon.

The Minotaurs are still coming.

I missed every shot.

This never happens in the movies.