Hey, everyone, and welcome back to BITTEN! If you're here, I guess you like the series. Either that or you're coming for more cringe. As always, below are the links to the previous episodes: -/- | TEASER | Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 (Yay it's here!) | -\- WARNING! This story contains the following themes: Violence Blood and Gore Other Horror Elements Readers, proceed with caution! You've been warned. I hope you all have been enjoying the series so far. I know this episode was a bit late. I've been very busy lately, so I hope you're still interested in the story. I can't guarantee when Episode 4 will arrive, but I hope I can continue to release episodes in a timely fashion. Thanks for your patience! As always, I will tag the list of players who are either following me or have shown interest in the previous episodes. If you'd like to be taken off this list, please say so. @Alexonn @AnotherLaDevotee @Asuzo @Bheryl @CapsLock_ @GamingWithJ3n // Waffle @ISpoooookyPanda @Kokeno @Kra3tys @PartyZoneAugust @_Remmeh_ @SilverAkita @The_Spice @TheYoshinatorz @Yokono @Zero-kun Have fun! I hope you enjoy this episode. Spoiler: EPISODE 3 -/- Episode 3: It's Getting Worse -\- "Ready to go, Rose?" Rose nodded as she quickly put on her navy blue jacket. She stepped outside and felt the icy air on her cheeks. The street looked fairly normal except that it was empty; it seemed no one wanted to go outside. "Where are we going, Dad?" Lily asked as she stared up at Samuel. "We're going to the supermarket, dear," he replied softly. "We need to stock up on food, and I don't want to leave anyone home alone. We're safer together." Lily nodded and climbed into her seat in the small, silver car. Rose locked the front door behind her and inched toward Samuel. "Dad," she whispered, "you have the gun, right?" "Of course," he replied in a hushed voice, "I wouldn't leave home without it. Not now, anyway." Elizabeth closed Lily's door for her and sank into the passenger seat. Samuel positioned himself in the driver's seat, and Rose sat behind him in the backseat next to Lily. After a moment, the car whirred to life, and the family was soon on its way to the nearby supermarket. On the way, Rose observed the small town in which they lived. The streets were completely empty; several trash cans and even a dumpster were knocked over, their contents littering the sidewalks and parking lots, obviously picked through by various animals. The curtains blocked the windows in every house and office; everyone seemed to be afraid to even look outside at a time like this. Various plants in residents' gardens were uprooted; trees had strange scrapes that dug into their bark. The small car slowly stopped about a dozen yards away from the supermarket door. Samuel opened his door and stepped outside, clearly surveying the area. "I want you all to come inside with me," he said softly into the window. Rose obeyed and slipped out of the car; Elizabeth held Lily's hand as they began the short walk to the supermarket's automated doors. "You have the grocery list, right, Rose?" Elizabeth asked over her shoulder. "Yeah, here it is," Rose replied, fishing it out of her pocket and passing it to her mother. "Okay, Sam, should we split up to make this go faster?" Elizabeth inquired. Sam stopped for a moment, then continued walking. He refused; he wanted the family to stay together. After making it through the sliding doors of the supermarket, Rose could immediately tell that many families had the same idea as hers. Many of the aisles were unorganized with many blank spaces where food used to be. "We have security cameras," said the cashier in the corner. "Hm?" questioned Samuel. "I said we have security cameras," she repeated, "so don't even think about stealing anything." "We have no intent of stealing any of your products," Samuel said as he strolled toward the counter. "I just want to purchase some food for my family. Have there been shoplifting incidents recently?" "Yeah," the cashier sighed as she shifted her weight to one leg and chewed her bubble gum loudly. "People are freaked out, man. We actually had to get our security guard to come in full-time." "I'm sorry to hear that," Elizabeth replied softly. "Like my husband said, we don't want to steal anything. Could you direct us to the canned goods?" "Aisle nine," the cashier replied, apparently distracted by something on the counter. "Thank you," Rose said over her shoulder as the family turned toward the canned isle. * -/- * -\- * Rose approached the checkout lane, the rest of the family behind her, and dropped the many boxes and cans in her hands onto the counter. "Sorry," she said, "we've got a bit of a large load here." The cashier stood motionless with a confounded expression. "You're going to buy all that?" she exclaimed. "How will you even fit it in your car?" "Oh, we can manage," Samuel replied quickly. "Plastic bags, please." "In a hurry?" the cashier laughed as she speedily scanned items and placed them into bags. "Yes, we're in a bit of a rush," Elizabeth replied. "You know how it is, I'm sure." The cashier nodded silently and continued bagging items. After several agonizing moments, the counter was empty, and the bags were filled. Samuel paid for the items, and everyone carried as many bags as they could possibly hold. Rose strolled outside with her family when a loud scream pierced the near silence. Samuel immediately placed his grocery bags on the ground and revealed the rifle that was hidden under is coat - the same rifle that had killed the monster who attacked Rose. The family's vehicle was rocking from side to side on its wheels. Something was pounding on its side. Childlike screams continued to fill the air. "Stay back," Samuel said calmly. Rose, Lily, and Elizabeth stood rooted to the spot. Samuel suddenly rushed into the middle of the parking lot, aiming at a blank space between his vehicle and another's. The screams continued, and Samuel fired the rifle. In an instant, the parking lot was completely silent. The road had no cars passing, no one was entering or exiting the supermarket, and no one was screaming. Rose dropped her grocery bags and dashed to her father. She turned at the car's back and immediately understood what had happened. A young boy sat with his back to the small, silver car. He was silent; he had almost been killed by the monstrous beast that lay dead in front of him. His father, breathing heavily, approached Samuel. "Thank you... thank you so much, sir!" exclaimed the man. "You saved my son's life. You saved both of us!" Samuel nodded so as to say "you're welcome" and crouched to see the child. "Are you alright, son?" said Samuel softly. "Are you hurt?" The child, small and thin, shook his head ever so slightly. He stood up and ran to his father's arms. The man appeared to be on the verge of tears. Rose could feel the presence of her mother and sister approaching her. "Thank you so much, kind sir. What is your name?" "Samuel Lupus," replied Samuel. "And you are?" "I am Jason Walker," the man replied weakly. "This is my son, Lucas." In silence, everyone observed the beast that had been killed mere moments ago. It was large and covered with fur; it looked slightly different than how Rose remembered the previous one. It had the appearance of a dog, but much larger and more dangerous. "Thank you so much," Mr. Walker said. "How can I repay you, Mr. Lupus?" "That's not necessary," Samuel replied. "I'm just glad you're both okay." Mr. Walker shook his head, pulled a business card out of his pocket and handed it to Samuel. The card represented a vehicle rental business. "My phone number is on there," Mr. Walker said. "If you need anything, please call me. It's the least I can do." "Thank you," replied Samuel, and the family returned to the front of the supermarket to pick up their groceries.