Flash Fiction: Behemoths

Larry James ordered the soldiers forward to the next position. He shot at two of the behemoths before his men were noticed. The behemoths turned to his position in preparation to charge. The soldiers crawled around the boulder to come up from behind the creatures. Two soldiers, Hentz and Franklin, brought their rifles around as the third, Arkness, covered their six.

James fired tat the creatures before Hentz and Franklin had their targets. The creatures closed in on James, their neck gills flaring and nostrils snuffling. Definintely going to charge, he thought.

His aim was onlyh in distraction but he caught one in the eye; it popped and sprayed red goo.

“Anytime you’re ready,” he told the others. The monsters were close enough now that he would be unable to dodge a charge.

His companions were at twenty yards, but he could hear the faint charge of their rifles. The monsters did too as they craned their necks around before returning their gaze to James. He squeezed off one more blast just before the others fired.

The behemoths began their charge just as Hentz and Franklin fired. The shots that should have downed the beasts only made them turn back to the source of the blasts.

Crap, James thought. Now they would charge Hentz and Franklin.

“Guys, they have you,” James said into the radio. He needed something bigger, like a bazooka. He did his best to attract the monsters’ attention. They charged the two men. The bigger of the two, the one missing an eye, rolled Franklin. They concentrated their fire on the smaller one – not much difference in size really. Between the three blasters, the small one finally went down.

James had enough of this. He yelled to Arkness, “Break out the cannon.”

Arkness gave an affirmative, despite the incredulous look he gave. Franklin was still down. Hentz tried to draw the big behemoth away, hoping Franklin wasn’t done.

James pulled his clip, put in another. He aimed at the hindquarters. The new clip was almost empty when the beast finally turned, preparing to charge him. He fired until he was empty again and did another switch. He aimed at its head. It shirked off most of the blasts, its scales being thick as rocks. James continued to fire, yet it kept dodging as James aimed for its eyes and mouth. James switched aim to the ground, hoping the blasts would raise enough dust and debris to allow him to escape from the behemoth’s impending charge.

Arkness had the cannon out now. James rolled at the last second, hoping to clear enough of the blast as well. Arkness fired, enough concussion to know the beast off its feet, if not out. Its momentum carried it forward several yards before it came to stop in a heap. Dead.

Dirt, rock, other debris showered the area, pelting the hunched soldiers and the downed beasts. The carcass remained inert. The recently fallen shuddered. James looked around after the dust cloud settled enough to see.

Two large heaps of behemoth were in front of him, one much closer than the other. Hentz was moving slowly to check on Franklin. Arkness crouched on bended knees, cannon on the ground at his side, his face drawn.

The low cries they heard earlier were strong and vicious. Those were gone, replaced by quieter, less intimidating growls. James stood and searched for its source, careful to not stand too fast. He was wary of more behemoths. Arkness came out of his stupor and looked around as well.

“Boss, what’s that noise,” Arkness asked. “Sounds like more of them.”

James nodded. He had his rifle at the ready. The weak growls sounded louder to their east. Arkness was within arm’s reach now. The both scanned outward. James took the left, Arkness took the right. Arkness put his left arm out after about 20 steps.

James turned to look. A small (the size of a large tractor tire) outcropping of rocks – low on one side, high on the rest – held six tiny (football sized) eggs. James slung his rifle and let it hang. He reached down to pick up an egg.

The egg’s surface was bumpy and a sickly grey. The scientists would have a field day with these.

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