We last left our hero, or rather our victim, alone, in the dark, paralyzed by fear as something brushed past his leg on that wet Nebraska highway.
Whatever it was, it was big. It certainly wasn't a cat.
Shivering from the cold is replaced by shivering in fear, cold replaced by a sudden flush of heat as my body fights itself as an urge to run competes with crippling fear.
A low growl from behind answers that question and I'm running. Cold muscles screaming as they're pushed into sudden action. Direction doesn't matter, the fact I can't see anything doesn't matter, all that matters is escape.
Forward, with all my might, legs screaming from being pressed into service in the cold, I run. Sprinting hard.
The growling becomes snarling, and it's right behind me. The highway vanishes beneath my feet and I'm running on mud and gravel, And suddenly I'm running on air. Falling. Falling, falling....
I awake in a tangle of weeds and barbed wire. I can't know if my eyes are open or closed, or even if my eyes are still there. My face is a sticky mess of blood and heat.
Growling in the dark.
The last I remember is a light, red, reflected in glaring eyes.....