The night exploded with sound and light.
From the bizarre twisting luminescence, the gargoyle creature leaped out and onto the other's back. I could see its hideous teeth snapping at the dark ape's head. Its claws ripped at the beast's shoulders and I heard an enraged howl as they tore away strips of flesh. The awful purple and green light transformed the attack into a violent nightmare.
I stood transfixed as though bolted to the forest floor.
The gargoyle's tongue slapped back and forth while its elongated jaws kept snapping at the ape-creature's head. Its back claws cut the earth and its front claws dug frantically at the beast's flesh.
The snarling beast jerked its body to one side and slammed the gargoyle ferociously against a tree trunk. A shower of wet leaves shook loose from the tree and came down like an angry colony of bats. Both creatures snarled and hissed at each other. The inside of the gargoyle's mouth glowed a hideous frothy yellow as it tried to bite off chunks of the beast's face. In a mind bending Hulk Hogan parallel I saw the infuriated dark ape respond by swinging its arms upward in a double hammer fist and then slam them down onto the gargoyle's head, knocking it down so hard I thought its flailing legs would break.
The gargoyle regained its footing and hissed at the beast. Drops of its saliva sprayed out and I saw smoke rise from where it landed on the ape's long hair. It howled in pain and leaped at the gargoyle again. The two rolled back and forth across the forest floor like monstrous wrestlers in a death match.
I forgot that I was on the run from the government. I forgot Emily and her alien artifacts. I forgot I'd been dumped in the middle of nowhere with no food or water.
The greatest story of my life was playing out before my eyes in those brooding Kentucky hills. Standing in a primeval fight ring of mud and monsters, I was witnessing something no writer had ever before been gifted to see. It dawned on me in the midst of my horror that I could only write the story if I survived the night.
Suddenly the gargoyle creature reared back and opened its jaws. The struggle was almost over.
But something astonishing changed that.
From overhead, a haunting, high-pitched sound so sharp it hurt my ears to listen caused me to look up in terror. It was a familiar whirling silver disk hurtling directly at us. I looked back at the raging battle in time to see the ape-creature claw its way onto the gargoyle's back and try to snap its neck. But the gargoyle dug its claws into the beast's leg, causing it to howl in pain and let go.
But instead of attacking the beast at that critical moment, the gargoyle looked up to the sky and saw the careening silver disc coming right at us. The beast saw it and quickly backed away. I started running, but kept glancing over my shoulder. The trees lit up with as unearthly white light, that entirely washed away the purple-green rift that the creature had burst through.
The gargoyle seemed mesmerized by it. The craft wasn't just descending, it was out of control hurtling at us like an incoming missile.
Too close, so close I dropped to the ground and covered my head with my forearms. Trees snapped one after the other like machine gun fire as it mowed down the forest and slammed into the ground.
The impact rumbled the forest floor like an earthquake and showers of light shot skyward.
It crashed into the exact spot where the gargoyle had stood looking skyward.
Crackling, hissing, arcing sounds took the place of the former monstrous howls. I slithered behind the thickest tree trunk I could find. The ground was so wet and muddy from the continuing rain that it slathered my pants and chest. I clutched the locating device Mark had given me in my one good hand.
I held up my injured hand like a cap visor to protect my eyes from the rain. Smoldering fumes came from the spacecraft. The smell of curdled milk and burning chrome filled my nostrils.
No sign of movement or life.
I'd forgotten momentarily about the dark ape creature. Then I saw it limping away from the crashed saucer as fast as its injuries allowed.