Raptors (Clever Girl)
Mark heard the soft pitter patter on the pavement behind him, but he didn’t process it in time. He began to turn around right as the lead raptor pounced. He panicked just in time to drop his groceries in his driveway, but not in time to cry out for help. Mark only felt the predator’s savage impact slam into his back and neck, then he knew no more.
Eight minutes later, black blood dripped from the muzzle of the lead raptor, pit pit pat on the pavement. Temporarily sated, the pack retreated from the vulnerability of the dull streetlight as one, to the calm safety of the shadows. With a flick of its head the lead raptor motioned to the next house down the street, and again the pack moved as one.
In the quiet black of night, the house was silently surrounded. Front and back, from the sides and always in the shadows, the raptors took their positions. Velociraptors are amazingly fast learners, and they had gotten the gist of setting this trap by now. They lay in wait with a predator’s disciplined patience. Five minutes of motionlessness became ten, became twenty. No newcomers, all quiet. It was time to move in.
Smooth as instinct, the pack of raptors converged to the lawn in the backyard, to the back door. As usual the lead raptor took position at the front, next to the door. Silently, gingerly, it just barely teased the doorknob with its foreclaw, testing. Raptors don’t understand luck so much as opportunity. The door was unlocked, and the opportunity was there for the taking. They took it.
A sharp twist opened the handle and the pack of predators flowed in like water. Three immediately sought the staircase and ran up the carpeted stairs, making heavy thuds on the steps that might have sounded like a man sprinting, but just a little too fast. The rest of the pack fanned out on the ground level, quickly and deftly seeking the proper positioning. Each unit moved with energetic purpose, occupying the entirety of the space completely and suddenly.
The unlucky family members, the ones who had been roused by the sudden noise at the door and on the stairs, were barely even conscious long enough to register a sense of danger, but most of them were lucky. The pack attacked as one and left no room for compromise. It was over in minutes.
Temporarily sated, the pack filed back out the backdoor and into the shadows. The lead raptor exited last. Black blood dripped from her muzzle, but made almost no sound as it fell into the grass. With a flick of her head, she motioned to the next house down the street, and the pack moved as one.
Always lock your door.