To fight monsters
They came, like all monstrous things, in the night. Tore through the valley, shredding fully grown trees into dirty brown pulp. My father woke me, his face pallid and ashen as he shoved a rifle into my hands.
"Get your sisters, I'll get your mother".
I didn't need to ask him what was wrong, for I could hear murderous wailing while those things ripped our neighbours apart. The same sounds that had plagued my dreams those many sleepless nights. I caught glimpses of shadowed masses outside as I ran past the hallway window. I burst through the bedroom door and scooped both of my sisters out of bed, their tiny bodies frozen in a paralyzing fear. I wanted to sit them down, stroke their hair and tell them everything was going to be okay, but there was no time.
My Mother and Father were waiting by the back door, and I looked at my Father's sunken face. He raised a gnarled finger to his lips, and we all understood: silence was our only chance. My Father and I quickly checked our guns while my Mother and sisters silently put their boots and jackets on. Then we heard a window smash upatairs, a demonic growling that shook the floorboards: we were out of time.
With my Father in front and me at the rear, we ran outside into the chaos. The black sky behind us was awash in an eerie orange glow, and I knew in an instant that the town was being burned down to the ground. Our people were fighting back, trying to purge the terror in a fiery blaze. If only we could warn them, tell them how futile their efforts were.
Our family managed to reach the forest high above the town, and for a moment I dared to hope. Maybe, just maybe, we had done it this time. I glanced over at my Father, our eyes meeting and a slight smirk dawning on his face. I smiled then too, for perhaps the last time in my life.
When I saw my Father reach for his gun, I knew. I knew before I heard them. I knew before I turned around and saw them. Their thirst had yet to be quenched on this night.
Then many sounds filled the air. Two gun shots, one for each of my Mother's legs. Her anguished screams. My sister's stifled cries as I covered their mouths.
"Please, please, it has to be this way" I said through my own sobbing, more to comfort myself than the two precious girls I held in my arms. We ran, through the forests and over the mountains, away from the death and on to a new life.
To start again.