We backed away from the bunker doorway. I hoped that we would look different enough that the townspeople wouldn’t associate us with the monsters chasing us, but we weren’t so lucky.
They lifted their pitchforks and torches at us and held their ground.
Together, we huddled against the wall of the bunker to the right of the doorway. At least there we weren’t immediately in front of the beasts’ line of sight.
“Leave them be,” said the largest and most scarred of the pitchfork holders. “They’re the kids who came from the desert.” Apparently they’d kept lookouts posted. Though I couldn’t tell how they’d been able to see us in that absolute darkness we’d appeared in. But that was the least of my concern.
“We’re here to help. What are those things?” Rachel said.
But before anyone could answer, they leapt from the bunker, right into the mob. And I couldn’t help but think that our escape had meant their deaths.
“Hold your ground,” said the scarred man. “Pin the Wendigo to the ground, then burn them. Noose to pin their necks if you can. Move! Move!”
Wendigo. The word sounded vaguely familiar, but the creatures I was thinking of were straight out of folklore. Still, these things looked hungry for flesh like the cannibals-turned-monsters that came to mind. And they were chowing down.
For each Wendigo pinned, at least three men were lost. The tide was heading the wrong way. So we leapt in too.
Campbell swept the beasts aside, matching their height and making up for their speed with his strength. Soon he was dragging a tail of five Wendigo who’d bitten into his back and sides and held on with their jaws. Rachel pitted Wendigo against spectral Wendigo once she realized they weren’t scared of much. They swung at thin air long enough for men to get pitchforks in them, ropes around necks, and a torch to them. I leapt from body to body, helping men dodge and sending Wendigo flailing into the weapons of men.
But most impressive was Sara.
She stood in the center of the crowd of men, a big ball of pink and green auric fire swirling around her, shouting orders. And as she shouted, the men reacted without question, their eyes glowing pink and green. She’d created a perfectly oiled unit of solders that brought to mind the legions of ancient Rome. And after a while, I could have sworn she was hovering.
But we were too busy to ask questions.