(If you want, buy their previous rampages for $2 by clicking on the covers below.)
The hunters can sense that their prey is nearby even though the forest has been plunged into darkness. With the sun having set and clouds blocking the moon, they rely on Thomas using his night vision goggles. The device has only helped them kill two deer and scare off a bear that Gordon is still angry about leaving alone. Movement in the branches causes them to aim for the trees, but it is only a family of opossums that are heading to the ground for a meal. Johnny hisses to stop the others from firing and giving away their position. He is about to signal for Thomas to search the area again when he hears the vest-wearing hunter trip. The tell-tale shattering of glass makes all of them groan, the loss of the goggles making their situation more of a challenge than they originally wanted. Needing to regroup, the brothers head for where they think their dirt bikes are parked, all of them feeling around for the trees. Everyone jumps when Gordon’s gun goes off and the bullet hits something metallic in the distance.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Johnny asks in a frustrated hiss. He is thankful when the moon emerges from the clouds and quickly grabs his brother by the shirt. “Something isn’t right here. We’ve been hunting for eight hours and are nearly at the Wyoming border. Those two shouldn’t have come this far on foot. You were doing the tracking, so what the hell went wrong?”
“I have no idea,” Gordon admits with a shrug. Smacking Johnny’s hand away, he trudges towards the barely visible dirt bikes. “There were scraps of orange fabric and denim that led us here. I found footprints for one of them, so they probably split up. Cassidy could have run ahead to plant things while Lloyd led us here, but that doesn’t make any sense. Unless he’s leading us away from her for some reason. None of this is right. Those two would be naked by now considering how many pieces we found.”
“And we didn’t take any of them,” Thomas whispers while he scans the area. Not sure what he is looking for, the hunter backs toward their bikes. “It’s possible that they got their hands on a vehicle. There’s plenty of abandoned ones in the forest that might have worked and been faster than our dirt bikes. We got out and checked at least twenty times. That would have opened a window for them to grab an older mark and move it ahead. It’s a ridiculous theory though, but here we are near Wyoming.”
“You’re no fucking help.”
“At least I haven’t wasted any bullets.”
“Too much of a coward to shoot.”
“You killed Mack!”
“It was an accident and I’m sure it was Mark!”
Johnny fires his gun into the air, causing a terrified owl to soar out of a tree. “Would both of you shut up? Something is very wrong here. They shouldn’t have come this far and we still have no idea where they went. Those are the only facts that we have, which is practically nothing. I say we go back to the lodge and gather enough men to do a real search. Forget the game because we need to kill those two.”
The snap of a twig causes the hunters to whirl around, but they hold their fire until a target appears. Nothing moves in the woods, which puts them on edge and drives them to hurry back to the dirt bikes. Thomas hops onto his and tries to start the engine, but only gets a few clicks before a plume of smoke comes out of the engine. He leaps off the vehicle a second before it bursts into flames, which consume the other three bikes. The fire makes it difficult for the hunters to see in the dark, but they quickly spot a figure looming out from behind a tree. Spotting long, blonde hair, Johnny fires at the person’s head and runs to check his handiwork. With a curse, he picks up the cutout of Cassidy, which is missing the top of its head and has writing on the front.
“Stare at these tits,” Johnny angrily reads before throwing the decoy down. He notices more writing on the back, so he cautiously picks it again. “Not her tits, you pervert. I meant those boobs you call brothers. There’s a science fiction movie joke here, but I can’t figure out how to make it without getting sued. I win first dip in the hot tub if you’re stupid enough to read this whole thing out loud.”
“Thank you for helping me win the bet!” Lloyd shouts from the shadows. He laughs when the hunters fire in random directions, none of the bullets coming close. “Oh, one of you hit me in the arm. I’m wounded and bleeding and coughing and whimpering for my mommy. If you believe any of that then toss your worthless carcass into the fire now. Did you idiots really think I’d be that easy to kill? Please feel free to scream as much as possible because that’s how I know I’m doing a respectable job.”
A body drops from the trees, causing the hunters to open fire and riddle the deer that they previously killed. Acrid smoke explodes from the corpse, which drives the four brothers away from each other. Gordon turns in time to see a cloaked figure leap at him, so he empties his rifle at the enemy. He watches another cardboard cutout flop to the ground, but knows he heard the grunt of someone getting shot. Running ahead, he bumps into Thomas and Johnny, who are standing over the dead twin. With watery eyes, the pair look at their brother before smacking him in the head at the same time. Gordon stumbles backwards and comes close to falling into the burning dirt bikes. He breathes a sigh of relief when he regains his footing, but it is a short-lived victory when three ipecac-filled paintballs hit his mouth. The brown-haired hunter falls to his knees and vomits, the empty rifle acting like a crutch instead of a weapon.
“You guys should have stuck to fighting defenseless animals,” Lloyd declares from his hiding place. Acorns rain down on Johnny and Thomas, but neither of them fire blindly. “I guess you mutts can learn some new tricks. You know, I had a good bloodlust going when you were following my path. Borrowed this all-terrain thingy that helped me do circles around you. Now, I feel so sad for you guys. None of you have the vicious, aggressive, brutal edge that you find in this country. Makes this feel like I’m wasting my time. Thankfully, I had a better fate in mind for you than a casual stabbing.”
“All talk and no action,” Johnny nervously declares. His eyes straining in the dark, he scans the branches for signs of his dangerous prey. “This country is so fucked up. Savages tormenting good people who only want to live good lives. People like you are the reason the world turned on us. Our father didn’t want to come back and fix this mess, but he knew it would take a great man to get the job done. A maniac with a paintball gun and knife won’t be able to stop what we’ve already started.”
“That’s why I work with a partner,” the serial killer points out. Without making a sound, he drops behind the two brothers and darts behind a tree. “Almost had me. I think I’m growing bored with this. One of you will die quickly. The other will die slowly. Captain Fratricide over will get the slow one too.”
Lloyd moves among the trees to get around the hunters who are slowly turning in a circle in the hopes of catching his movements. Spotting an opening, he sprints toward the two and slams his machete into Thomas’s head with a meaty thunk. The brother reaches up to touch the weapon, which is parallel to his slumping shoulders. As he falls, Lloyd catches Johnny’s rifle and pulls the hunter forward, the gun firing a bullet into the dying man’s back. Delivering a kick to the groin, the serial killer knocks his enemy down, but is elbowed in the stomach before he can knock the man out. Both men on their knees, they wrestle over the weapon until Lloyd yanks it free and pokes Johnny in the eye with the muzzle. Wrapping the rifle’s strap around the other man’s neck, the determined maniac gets behind his enemy and grinds his knees against the struggling man’s back. They continue to struggle and Lloyd comes close to losing his advantage when he risks kicking Gordon in the head. Seeing a pair of familiar headlights coming through the trees, the serial killer plants his feet and straddles Johnny, who is facedown and clawing at the strap. With a guttural snarl, he yanks up in the hopes of snapping the hunter’s neck. Instead, he pulls his potential victim off the ground, so he quickly uses the rifle to hit the other man in the head.
“Not much finesse, but I’ll take the win,” Lloyd mutters as he goes about stripping Johnny and Gordon. Walking to a nearby bush, he pulls out a fire extinguisher to put out the fire and a roll of duct tape. “Maybe I’m losing my touch. Then again, my heart wasn’t into the killing since I had another plan. You guys need to learn what it means to kill an animal. Not for a trophy, but to survive. This will be a lethal lesson that I won’t be around for. Did you bring what I asked for, kid?”
“Here you go,” Cassidy says, holding out a large picnic basket. She scowls when her offer is refused, but continues to go along with her friend’s plan. “Ketchup, mustard, wine, a jar of olives, and relish. I’m really confused on what you’re doing here. None of that will be interesting to kill with. Oh, I have the megaphone over here. Care to tell me who you plan to talk to? There is nobody else in this forest. Just us and the animals of Colorado and . . . Wyoming. You sadistic bastard.”
“Thought you would like that.”
“Is this therapy for you?”
“Maybe. Grab a dick, but not by the dick.”
“Give me a second to throw up.”
The pair drag Johnny and Thomas towards the Wyoming border, which is marked by the remains of a rusty fence. They toss the unconscious brothers over the line, Lloyd hurrying to put the picnic basket between them. He rushes back to relative safety and wipes the sweat from his brow. Cassidy holds up her hand to stop him from using the megaphone, the mercenary running back for the jeep. She returns ten long minutes later with the other bodies hastily strapped to the hood. While his partner adds the corpses to the pile, Lloyd climbs onto the side rail and prepares to make his announcement. He excitedly waves for Cassidy to get into the jeep and start the engine, the serial killer wanting to make a quick escape in case his plan works better than he ever dreamed.
“I will admit that this isn’t a surefire plan, but it will entertain me,” Lloyd admits with a wild smirk. He taps at the megaphone to make sure it is on and watches for signs that they are no longer alone. “To the hono . . . wild . . . hungry people of Wyoming! High class meal is waiting for you at the border! Come and get it! Don’t forget to use the condiments and wine that’s in the basket. Enjoy and don’t forget to floss!”
Lloyd gets into the jeep and tosses the megaphone into the backseat, the device screeching since he forgot to turn it off. He is about to retrieve it when he hears rustling bushes and crunching underbrush in the distance. The temptation to watch what happens is strong since he fears the brothers will return if he does not make sure they are taken. He is about to tell Cassidy to turn the engine off when she throws the jeep into reverse and drives them away from the border. Before Lloyd can ask what she is doing, he sees shadowy figures rush out of the bushes and pounce on the offering. The last thing Lloyd sees is the four hunters being carried away, the still breathing brothers screaming and begging for their lives.