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They sat quietly in the dark listening to the scraping outside of the makeshift barrier that Morgan had erected. Morgan realized that there was no use trying to wait them out. Somehow, the creatures knew that Morgan and Aja were inside.

Morgan struck the flair and light stabbed their eyes causing Aja to cry out. She realized that it was just Morgan lighting the torch and not the creatures attacking.

“It’s okay,” Morgan said. “There’s no point in cowering in the dark; we’re going to have to make a break for it.”

“What the hell are they?” Aja said as she crawled closer to Morgan. The sounds of clicking and metal on metal were quite distressing.

“They’re Peepskins and Derrydrugs,” Morgan explained.

“And what does that mean?” she said now clinging to his back.

“Peepskins are like giant, metal sand spiders with long needles and Derrydrugs are their riders. After the Peepskins inject you with their venom, the Derrydrugs latch onto your face and fill your insides with poison.”

“Seriously! How in the name of Nightshade are we going to get past them?”

“We bomb the bastards and then we run like hell. They don’t like direct sunlight; they keep to shadow and darkness. If we can get back outside and if the storm has completely passed, then we should be able to get away.”

“Geez, Morgan! That’s way too many if’s for me to feel like this is going to work. Is that the best you got?”

Morgan pulled one of the grenades from his bag and handed the torch and the grenade to Aja. “Kid, that’s all I got. I’m going to pull the debris from the door and when I tell you to, you have to use the torch to light the fuse. Don’t let the flame light too much of the fuse, though. Just touch the tip to the flame and then you toss it through the hole I make. Make sure you get it out there and not in here. Got it?”

Aja nodded her head as she looked warily at the flame in one hand and the round bomb in the other.

Morgan took a deep breath and said, “After the bomb is dropped out there, get against the wall over there. The explosion is gonna be huge and you don’t want the debris hitting you. But right after the explosion, we’ve got to run like hell. You stay between me and the wall all the way up.”

Aja’s face was etched with fear. Morgan placed his hand behind her head and kissed her forehead. “Don’t worry, Aja, just keep the torch in your hand and they won’t attack you,” Morgan said. It was a lie but he needed her to believe that there was a fighting chance of getting out.

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