Uncontrollable! Dangerous! Do not approach!

Writing prompt:

Uncontrollable! Dangerous! Do not approach! These words were plastered across every news feeds.


Uncontrollable! Dangerous! Do not approach! These words were plastered across every news feeds.

“What is that?” she asked leaning closer to the screen.

“Hey! Honey, you make a lousy window!” One of the patrons behind her barked.

She scooted back out of the way but continued to stare at the screen. She couldn’t make out the image under the words. It was too blurry.

“Ruby!” The head bartender snapped making her jump. He shoved a tray of glasses surrounding a pitcher of beer into her hands nearly spilling the golden liquid. Quickly balancing the tray, she hustled over to the corner booth. Four business men in suits looked up as she stopped by their table.

“Damn scientists.” One of the men muttered.

“Scientists?” Another countered, “It’s those self-righteous activists’ fault.”

She set the tray down and started to pass out the glasses.

“You’d think they’d be a little more circumspect before bursting in and releasing dangerous animals like that.” A third man in an expensive suit leaned back as she filled his glass.

“Eco-terrorists are not known for thinking anything through.” The first man scoffed.

“I heard they weren’t animals. I heard they were some kind of engineered weapon.”

Ruby slowed down a little trying to stay for the conversation.

“I hear they were some kind of mutation grown in the lab.”

“All the more reason to leave them there.” The well-dressed man frowned.

“Still, “The second man added. “What kind of experiment were they doing? Sounds a little creepy to me.”

Ruby ran out of glasses to fill. She couldn’t stay any longer. She picked up her tray and went back to the bar.

“Go take your break.” The bartender jerked his head toward the back.

Ruby nodded more than happy to get a moment away. She grabbed her phone and disappeared through the alley door. Quickly she found her normal seat on the broken cinder block and started Googling the news story.

That’s when she heard the growl. She looked up from her phone wondering if she had imagined it, but she heard it again. It came from behind the dumpster.  It was low and guttural. It sang to her primal survival instincts.  She kept trying to tell herself it was a dog or something, but deep down she knew it was the thing on the news. Slowly she came to her feet. She edged back toward the door behind her but before she could escape to the safety of the bar the growling thing stepped out. She froze staring in surprised at the child. Its hair was ragged and scraggly. She wasn’t even sure if it was girl or a boy. Its eyes were huge and sad like a doll’s. There was something appealing about it. Part of her wanted to run to it and scoop it up and tell it that it would be all right. Its sad eyes drew her in tugging on her heart strings. It was a child not some beast to be hunted. Anyone would see it and want to help and protect it.

However, part of her wanted to stay as far away as possible. There was blood staining its already dirty clothes.  She had heard it growl. She knew it wasn’t just a child. Everything in her screamed RUN!

Before she could follow that instinct, it surged forward. Running straight for her, it bared its teeth.

Ruby screamed.

Her phone fell to the pavement. The screen cracked but Google stayed open displaying a picture of the child with the caption warning: Dangerous! Uncontrollable! Do not approach!


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