Mac opened her mouth to breathe so she wouldn’t miss any furtive sounds of a Revenant because of the whistling in her stuffy nose. She was just getting over a cold, though why it was called a cold she had no clue; she hadn’t felt chilled, just stuffy, tired, miserable, and angry that she had been taken off gathering duty because of her incessant sneezing.

Bon repeated the action: thrusting his flashlight into the hallway and jerking it back. Still nothing. Mac relaxed a little. The light bothered the Revenants, made their skin blotch and burn and flooded their permanently dilated eyes with so much light they were literally blinded. Spearing a Revenant with a flashlight beam in a dark place was guaranteed to make it charge in a snapping, snarling frenzy.

“It’s safe,” Bon whispered over his shoulder.

Mac closed the gap between them as he stepped into the dark intersection and swung his beam down the hallway to see if there might be anything worth scavenging.

A white face loomed out of the darkness. Dark blotches scuttled under the skin’s surface in an ebb and flow of a noxious tide. Black irises swam on a sea of bloodshot white, rimmed with an incongruous sky blue.

Bon let out a startled yell and scuttled backward, flinging up his machete in a wild arc. There wasn’t time to raise hers; in the split second they had to react, the Revenant was upon them, moving with exceptional speed. A hand at each of their throats drove them backward into the wall. Grey-black lips froze in a snarl, curling back from the pointed, yellow teeth of a meat-eating predator.

“Give me one good reason why I shouldn’t eat you.”

They had found Ren Leonard.

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