Chapter Nine -- Getting Into the Groove
Jay tripped and landed flat on his face, with the gun still miraculously in his hand. As he twisted, he saw the terror on Allie's face as she tried to outrun the boars.
Still running, she looked over her shoulder and saw Jay on the ground and a boar shaking itself awake up right behind him.
"Widford! Behind you!"
Jay turned and found himself arm's length away from a boar. So close, in fact, that when the boar exhaled suddenly, it ruffled the hair on Jay's head.
"Shoot, Widford!" Allie screamed. The tips of the boar's battle-scarred tusks were mere feet away from touching her.
Jay swung the handgun across himself and fired. The sound of the gunshot was deafening so close to his ear. He winced, struggled to his feet, and raced toward the grooves on his side.
"I have a first name!" he yelled.
Allie would have laughed at the absurdity of Jay's gripe if she wasn't so busy fighting for her life. If her calculations were right, she had about three seconds before she was either stabbed by a tusk or had a row of jagged teeth attached to her.
Damn, they were big! They had to be seven feet tall, but the thing that amazed Allie most were their eyes. They were almost humanlike, except they were an odd color. They looked to be black in the center and gold around it.
She dove headfirst into the groove on the opposite side of the crater, hands out in front of her, legs straight out behind her. She wished she could have tucked them into her body, but she probably would have hit the groove, giving the boars and opportunity to grab her and pull her out. The way it was, she would be lucky to get inside before one of them latched onto her.
She wouldn't complain no matter how many scratches or bruises she collected along the way if Widford made it safely inside his groove. As her elbows hit the bottom of the groove, intense pain simultaneously shot through her calf. If that wasn't disconcerting enough, she suddenly felt her body stop mid-trajectory.
What the--! The pain in her calf increased a hundred-fold,and she felt herself being pulled backward. She twisted her neck to see what was going on. The boar had her leg in its jaws.
"Let go, you sonofa--" she growled through gritted teeth. She began kicking and clawing her way toward the back of the groove, clawing the bottom of the groove in an attempt to find some sort of anchor. Instead, she found dried cakes of dirt and leaves. Even more disturbing, it seemed each time she kicked, it gave the bastard a better hold. She twisted sharply and when she did, she saw Jay. And he wasn't inside a groove yet! He was looking her way to see if she was all right.
"Get inside!" she yelled.
A boar was only yards away from him. The thunder of its hooves was deafening even in the confines of Allie's space. It also caused a vibration that sent a fine mist of earth down like a curtain a little further up her groove. She saw Jay swing the gun toward her in what seemed like slow...