The Terror Squad
Liv leaned against the brick wall under the streetlamp and stared at the smoking end of her cigarette. Her parents named her Olivia, and they still called her Olivia, but she preferred Liv.
“All my real friends call me Liv,” she thought to herself as she put the cigarette to her mouth. She tried not to breathe in the smoke, because she knew it would make her cough showing those around her that she was not as hip as she pretended to be. Not that there was anyone around her.
Her boyfriend, if you could call him that, left earlier, with another girl. “He always called me ‘Olivia,” Liv thought to herself. “That should have been my first clue.” She kicked an empty beer can and watched it skip across the street.
A few people had been hanging out around the back of the cinema when she first arrived about an hour earlier, but they all scattered when the rain started. They had climbed into cars and trucks and vans with their friends and headed to drier, nicer accommodations. But, she decided to stay put. Not that she had anywhere else to go.
Where should she go? Back home? Why would she want to hear her parents screaming at her again? Back to her boyfriend? He wished. She twirled the ends of the black streak in her hair, the same streak that had caused her parents to blow up this time. She smiled. They still didn’t know about the tattoo.
A few boys wandered out of the shadows across the street from her. One of them slammed hard into the side of one of the deserted warehouses and slumped to the sidewalk – obviously drunk – while his friends sat or crouched beside him. They were talking or yelling or arguing, but she couldn’t understand anything because of the rain and the distance.
“Why can’t you be more like your sister?” she heard her father yell again.
“Yeah, well, your precious Danielle wouldn’t do this, would she?” she smirked and walked up to the edge of the street.
“What are you guys doing? Wanna hang out?” she called to the boys who were still tussling with one another.
One by one, the boys stood and began swaggering toward her, leaving their drunk friend sprawled on the sidewalk in the shadows. She squinted to make out their features, but it was impossible in the darkness. As they came closer, Liv recognized one of the boys as a schoolmate by his distinctive black and white leather jacket.
Liv eased back against the side of the cinema and tried to strike a sexy pose. She placed her cigarette limply between her lips, and rested one hand on her hip while the other continued to twirl her hair. When she looked up, the first of the boys – the one from school – had crossed into the light of the streetlamp. Liv let her eyes wander up the boy’s boots and jeans and leather jacket, then looked directly into his eyes. She froze, her hand stopping in mid-twirl.
The boy was staring at her. Blood covered his nose, mouth, and chin and ran down onto his t-shirt. As each boy walked into the light, she realized that they were all covered in blood. Liv put her hand to her mouth, burning her palm on the cigarette before letting it fall to the sidewalk. She couldn’t scream; she couldn’t move. The fear was so heavy that it took all her strength to breathe.
Her schoolmate was only a few steps away when Liv finally found the ability to move. She shuffled to her left, slowly at first but gaining speed with each slide. When she finally turned to run, she felt icy fingers clamp onto her arm. She jerked her arm away, and the boy’s grip failed against her wet skin. He flailed out with his other hand and managed to grab the sleeve of her t-shirt. Liv felt herself starting to move backwards, then heard fabric rip as her sleeve came apart under the strain.
She spun away from the boys and ran into the dark alley behind the cinema. Her eyes could not adjust quickly enough and, after only a few steps, Liv ran headlong into a stack of wooden pallets her breath exploding out from the impact. She sprawled uncontrollably on the ground and felt a huge weight fall on top of her.
After a few moments of trying to fight off her attackers, the girl realized that the pallets had landed on top of her when she fell. As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she could see through the gaps in the pallets that the boys were continuing to move toward her. Coming to the edge of the pile of pallets, the boys grunted and kicked and shoved clumsily trying to reach their prey. Although they managed to push a couple of the wooden obstacles out of the way, they could not get to Liv.
“There!” Liv heard a voice call out in the darkness, and saw a small red dot on the forehead of her schoolmate as he turned toward the sound. In the next instant, his head exploded, covering his friends, the pallets, and Liv with blood and brain matter. She grunted as his body fell across the pallets that covered her.
Other shots rang out and the other boys began falling. Suddenly, Liv felt a jolt in her side that pushed her along the ground for several inches. Lightning shot through her body. She couldn’t move her left arm, and she could barely breathe. She could taste metal as blood trickled out of the side of her mouth.
“Make sure they’re destroyed,” Liv heard a voice call out again. She tried to answer, but couldn’t get more than a groan to come out of her mouth. She struggled to push and squirm to free herself from the pallets and body that covered her.
Live could see three helmeted men in dark uniforms carrying assault rifles as they kicked and nudged the bodies of the fallen boys. She somehow managed to squeeze her head out from underneath the pallets, and called out, “Help me,” but it sounded more like “hrrrggggghhhh.”
The closest figure spun and aimed his weapon at Liv and squeezed off two rounds in quick succession.