Jenny had more than done what she was supposed to do. When that door opened, Mr. Jenkins sprung into action; ducking when the shots were fired and grabbing Jenny up before anyone on the inside of the house could get a hold to her. Mr. Jenkins hustled Jenny off to safety ducking back behind the rocks that initially provide them cover. But Mr. Jenkins was familiar with the mountain too. He kept his eyes wide open; not just for the two legged monsters but for the four legged ones too. Jenny was visibly shaken but more than relieved when the person that grabbed her was familiar. From their vantage point they could scarcely make out movement from behind the cabinet. Grabbing Jenkins shirt for reassurance, Jenny hunkered down peaking not sure if she really wanted to see what jostled through the snow.
There were still sounds, muffled sounds coming from within the cabin but the sounds immediately before them took control of Jenkins and Jenny’s senses. Whatever it was was moving away from then and Jenkins was grateful for that. By the sound of the snow he could tell that. The moon cast off just enough light for the two to get a glimpse of two people hauling toward the ranger’s truck.
“It’s Jayde! It’s Jayde,” Jenkins whispered loudly over his shoulder. This time when Jenny grabbed him it was from excitement and not fear. She was more than relieved and excited to hear that their rescue mission had been successful. Hearing the truck engine rev and move away from the cabin, Mr. Jenkins took the next step in their journey by getting Jenny as far away from there as possible.
Was his brother really dead? The ever increasing crimson circle of life giving blood seemed to suggest it did but Kyle had more pressing matters on hand. Norm had singled him out, well, actually, everyone else was either dead or dying and Kyle was the only one standing between Norm and the treasure they initially set out on as a group. The stench rising from Norm’s grotesque body was enough to choke him. The fury on the inside for what he’d done to Manny, what he wanted to do to Jayde was enough to literally blind Kyle with rage, blighting out the rest of his senses. Kyle’s fury temporarily dulled his fever and took the sting out of his wounded leg.
Kyle knew in his weakened state he’d never be able to completely overpower Norm. He would have to rely on steel to act as the equalizer in this situation. But Norm, psychotic or not, criminally minded or not, didn’t seem too bothered by the fact that Kyle was armed. As the two men stared at each other, sizing each other up, there was a glint of something in Norm’s eye that may possibly level the playing field. Norm was injured too and just for a millisecond, Kyle could read pain in his otherwise vacant eyes. The synapses in Kyle’s brain started to fire quickly as he leaned on his years of training in assessing the best course of action.
Mid thought, Norm made his move reaching out his fatty, sweaty, blood stained hand and wrapping it around Kyle’s unexpected neck. Norm’s thick pale fingers pressed deeply into Kyle’s reluctant neck. Norm showed his strength by lifting Kyle slowly but purposely off the floor. Kyle strained against the force tiptoeing to keep himself grounded. The tension between the two men was palatable as they offered the death stare to each other.
There was a stir. Neither man could tell where it came from and neither was willing to relinquish their gaze to investigate further. A second much louder noise and Norm was the first to break slightly diverting his eyes from his prey giving Kyle a chance to act. Kyle whipped the gun around and put the muzzle to Norm’s grimy forehead. The cool of the steel brought Norm back to his present circumstance.
Still finding it difficult to speak, Kyle did the best he could but the gun gave him the necessary leverage.
“Put me down.” It came out as a raspy whisper but the bulge in Norm’s eyes let Kyle know the message got through. Norm was slow to response and Kyle was intolerant of his insolence. With a shaking thumb, he cocked the hammer. Norm could see the intention in his eye no matter how much he tried to deny it. Slowly and methodically he began to lower Kyle back down to the plank tiled floor. Kyle made the adjustment with the gun to keep it poised against Norm’s forehead. More noise but Kyle dared not relinquish his advantage by venturing a gaze in that direction. Norm still held Kyle by the neck although more tentative but Kyle was not satisfied.
“Let me go.” It was easier for him to breath but Kyle wanted absolute freedom. Norm started to say something but Kyle pushed the muzzle further in leaving a visible imprint. Norm had little choice but to do as he had been told. When the pinch on his neck finally waned Kyle sucked in the “Norm tainted air” as though it were fresh. He resisted the urge to double over to fill his lungs faster. The noise was closer but still undefined.