The Harkin

IMG_0067The warm water from the shower massaged Tracy’s back.  The steam from the heat of the liquid filled the room but left the view within the small bathroom window.  Tracy reached for the shampoo when she saw a frightening shadow passing in front of a the church next to the house.  The creature had tall, thin legs.  It’s keratin-covered abdomen stood six foot over the asphalt.

Tracy, unconsciously, reached for the window shelf and knocked over a bottle of shampoo.  The noise started her and she screamed.

Tracy took in a sudden breath and held her mouth as the insect-like creature stepped from the shadow or the church.

Tracy scooped the shower curtain to the right and stuck her head out.

“Darrin!  There is a Harkin outside.  What are we going to do?”

She could hear someone moving around, outside the bathroom door.  The thought, quick and terrifying, of an invasion within the house swam within her head.

“What did you say?”  Darrin replied.

“There is one of those Harkin bugs outside.  Where are the kids?”

Tracy could hear her husband search the room next door.  Items fell to the ground.  He cursed, as whatever he was looking for, eluded him.

“Darrin!  The crossbow is on the shelf next to the AR-14.”

“Why did you move it,” came the reply.

“Just get it.  The Harkin just stopped at our driveway.  Where are the children!”

The horror of the situation suddenly got worse when Tracy heard her middle child scream.  The Harkin stuttered movements proved that it was surprised by the sudden noise.  It turned its arrow-shaped head to the right and began to step forward.  The driveway was covered in stones.  The Harkin struggled to stand upon the stones.  It’s thin legs pausing and stepping carefully.

The back door slammed shut several times and  Tracy could hear the children talking.  She sighed till she saw her husband step past the window.

Darrin was dressed in ratty shorts and a white t-shirt.  He loaded a bolt and pointed the crossbow at the Harkin.  Tracy banged on the glass.

“You have to shoot it between the head and abs?”

The Harkin turned toward the noise.  Darren grimaced but dutifully grinned then waved.

Tracy watched as her husband began to approach the insect.  She banged on the shower window again as he approached.  This noise distracted the Harkin but also her husband.

She opened the small window and waved. Darrin grumbled and refocused on the Harkin.  Tracy watched as he held the crossbow to his shoulder and zeroed in on the soft section between the plates of keratin.

He fired but the bolt  bounced off the insects armor.  It did attract attention and the Harkin turned toward him.  Her husband skipped toward the back of the creature.  Tracy suddenly noticed he had no shoes on.

“What an idiot,” she thought as he avoided being seen.

She banged on the windows again drawing attention back to her.  The Harkin began to approach the house.  The grass beside the driveway would make it easier to move.

“Darrin, you have to keep it out of the grass.”

Her husband approached the large insect.  He was crouched and moving carefully.  The crossbow trained on the target.  The bolt flew from the weapon and struck the creature.  It didn’t scream, as you would expect, but it sighed and sank.  It’s abdomen stood three feet from the ground as Darrin loaded another bolt.  The creature began to struggle as the poison in the bolt began to work.  It was unable to free the bolt from beneath the armor.  It swung its right-front legs near the wound.  Darrin got closer and fired a second bolt into the creature.  The Harkin retched.  It tried to reach out and tear into its attacker but the poison infected it’s blood.  It’s energy level dropped every second as it was starting to die.

Tracy suddenly heard the door open and close and knew the children had left the house to check out the creature.  She took a final look at the creature.  It sat upon the green grass beside the house.  Darrin, motioned to the children to stay away.  She then stepped from the shower, grabbed a towel and got dressed.

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