First off, I have had a number of inspirations for this story: the new Predators movie, and Kopeht and Hikarin-Love's wonderful stories. They are awesome authors!

I had great fun creating this story, even if this is my first Predz fanfiction.

Predators don't belong to me, but my original characters do.

Happy reading!

~SpiritOfMetal

.*.

I shakily brought a white porcelain cup up to my mouth and took a sip of cool water.

"Errp! GEKBLAHAHCACK!"

My hot, ravaged throat is torn open again by inhaling some flippin water. Piss.

I cough so hard that I nearly feel my lungs detach themselves, but it passes as I drink more water.

I sigh, squinting at the blinding light of the flat screen in my living room. The volume is turned down super low...loud sounds aggravate me when I'm sick.

I wrinkle my nose and attempt to form a loogie to try to dislodge some of the scum in my nasal passages, but its like someone poured concrete down there.

"Bleh..." I breathe pathetically through an open mouth.

Leave it to my luck to catch a cold...a cold...in summer time.

I set the cup down on the floor and sprawl myself out over the couch, trying to cool down. The ceiling fan above my head rotates and squeaks at its maximum effort, but it doesn't even put a dent in the sticky sweat that has been on my skin for days.

I grumble and wipe some lovely perspiration off my upper lip and forehead.

I would turn the air on, but my parents (especially my frugal dad) instructed me to only use the air a few times a week if I really have to.

I've been avoiding the inevitable...

My parents went on a vacation...a cruise around the Gulf that they have been saving especially for their 20th anniversary.

Anniversaries = strictly no offspring allowed.

My younger brother (thank god) went to Florida for two weeks with one of his friends families.

And this leaves me to watch after the house and animals. Ah, I would be mad that I have to be the one stuck here, but I conveniently got sick when the earlier plans were made.

Now I don't mind it because, well...I don't feel like doing much other then sitting around when I'm sick.

It actually ended up being a win-win-win situation (very rare)!

Not so much for me because I'm sick. But I like being alone when I'm sick. Dunno why.

I peal myself off of the suede couch, ignoring the painful rush of blood to my head, and walk to the kitchen.

I always leave the kitchen lights on...because, well, my house is creepy as hell when the lights are out. I live out in the middle of nowhere, and the eerie silence is unlike anything I have ever experienced. It has a deadly, foreboding feeling to it, and I do my best to get rid of it. Plus, leaving the lights on kinda detours robbers/psycho paths...if they were lazy or had any kind of common sense left.

The hanging light above the counter island is on, casting a friendly warm yellow glow around the kitchen. Its a comfort, but I still look at the black windows nervously.

I hate those windows at night.

That's why I never sleep in the main room.

I put my hands on the cool stone counter top of the island and try to draw the temperature into my body, taking a long sigh. It works for a few minutes, but soon my hands warm up the counter.

I sigh again, this time longer, then yank open the freezer side of my fridge and take out a few small ice packs. I put one on my neck, find the temperature just right, then close the door.

Geez, its such a relief.

I smile, then look down the dark hallway leading to my parents room

They are so paranoid they locked the door with a master lock.

"Jazzy, c'mere!" I call, my voice breaking.

I wait a few minutes, looking into the unmoving shadows.

I hear a small thump, then the sound of claws clicking on tile.

Jazzy, my black-and-tan coon dog comes trotting into the kitchen, tongue lolling and skinny tail wagging.

I kneel down and greet the lovable booger and he showers me with gentle licks.

Jazzy is kinda smallish for a coon dog, I think he was mixed with a miniature pincher. But anyway.

Jazz has a great personality, and we are great buds. He doesn't bark much and has great respect for personal space and our other two cats, Keta and Oz. He has never wandered farther then our yard and always follows his people around. He loves to chase insects, which I find hilarious. He hates the sound of mini-blinds.

He does a circle around the kitchen then comes to his food bowl and crunches away at his food.

With Jazz in the same room as me, I feel a little more secure.

I stare out one of the windows with one of the ice packs on my neck.

Many people think I'm scared of the dark. Complete bs, I love the dark. I do fear what could be in the dark. More so because I'm alone in a house out in the middle of nowhere, and the closest neighbor is a mile away.

I guess if something is chasing you, a mile is more like fifty feet.

Why do I keep having thoughts like that? It really isn't helping.

I put the ice pack down, gulp and walk across the kitchen into the living room and flick two switches near the front door (which is locked) and the porch light and floodlights go on, illuminating the deck that surrounds a section of the house.

I hear Jazz stop eating.

I unlatch the deadbolt and turn the doorknobs lock horizontally. I creak open the door and I hear Jazz making his way over.

I peek outside and I see nothing on the deck , the dark shadows forced into the thick foliage around our small lawn.

Thank goodness.

Large beetles dot the brick around the porch light. Moths start to smack themselves against the bulb.

I open the door wider, then glance down at my feet where Jazz is sitting, looking up at me expectantly and wagging his tail.

"You wanna go out with me?" I ask him in a whisper.

He smacks his lips a few times.

I step out in the cool night air and Jazz follows after me. He makes his rounds around the deck, doing his perimeter check, then begins to watch the beetles fly around the deck light.

I pull up a deck chair and plop into it.

Ah...the serenity of coolness.

Katydids and crickets make up the nights deafening song. Its never quiet around here in the summer...Cicadas party in the daytime.

I look out into the unmoving forest. Tons of trees loom in the distance. I shiver, but not from a chill.

Jazz has noticed the small white dish that I had set out on our wooden steps. He starts licking it and smelling it intently.

I put the dish out there after I heard something trying to get in the trashcan a few weeks ago. It didn't scare the bejesus out of me because I knew what ever it was was just desperately hungry. I tried to catch what was making the noise, hoping to find a raccoon or a coyote, but I couldn't catch it.

I mean, I camped out by my front door with books and some blankets. The moment I heard something fiddling around with our plastic dumpster, I jerked open the door.

Nothing.

It creeped me out, that's for sure, but I figured it was a stray cat.

A strays life out in the boonies has gotta be pretty rough with the coyotes and all, so I thought I would show a little bit of friendly hospitality and set out my dinners left-overs.

The thing has an amazing appetite. I would wake up every morning to find the plate completely clean. Some nights I even left out fruits and vegetables and they weren't even spared.

Jazz really liked that plate. I watched him as he snuffed and sniffed, even getting his nose underneath it.

That plate must smell incredible.

I cracked my knuckles.

"What shall I feed it tonight, Jazzy-boy?"

He glanced at me, then continued with his merry smelling.

I sighed, then began tapping my fingernails on the arms of the chair.

Jazz soon lost interest. He looked around the yard a few times, then took off down the stairs and trotted behind the house.

I guessed he had to go relieve himself.

...Now it was just me and the forest.

I stood, not feeling comfortable in the chair anymore.

I put my hands on the wooden railing and watched.

The bugs stopped, like an orchestra director swished his fancy little stick-thing and bam.

Goose bumps prickled up my spine.

It was too quiet. Like the quiet before the storm. It wasn't the profound quiet in my house, but it was just strange.

Like something was watching me.

I heard a noise. My eyes snapped to the left of the forest before me.

There it was again. I stared. The deck creaked as I leaned forward in morbid curiosity.

There was at fain hiss, like an exhalation of breath. Then a skittering tapping noise, like mice running around in an attic.

Now the loudest sound was the blood pumping through my veins.

I heard the small crunch of dried leaves. I focused on one particular spot of the yard...off to the left corner, behind some rocks.

Something is going to jump out...I braced myself, adrenaline making my head spin...

Jazz bolted from the right side of the house, then clambered up the stairs.

I nearly shat myself, and Jazz stood before me. He was was very capable of the "are you on something" look.

"I heard..." I whispered, grasping the guard rail for support. I'm sure my mouth was hanging open the whole time.

Jazz felt the sudden urge to knip at his back.

I sighed, the buzz of adrenaline and skid-marking terror lifting off me.

"I swear I heard something."

Jazz was distracted by moths.

"Well, if you can't tell anything is wrong and your senses are a ton better then mine, then I have nothing to be worked up about."

Another shaky sigh, then I opened the front door and let him in.

After skimming my fridge for quite some time, I found a container of microwaved lasagna that I had had for dinner a few nights ago and threw that on the counter. I made myself some oatmeal, then ate it at the dinner table. That was when I became aware of the time.

Nearly ten 'o clock.

"Ugh...I should turn in."

I put my dishes in the sink then quickly retrieved the white dish from the steps. I made sure not to look into the forest. It was still too quiet.

Once inside, I warmed up the lasagna and globed it onto the plate. I stared at the red mess when I was finished.

"Its missing something."

My creativity strikes at the oddest times.

I went to work dressing the meal up, making the lasagna look edible, sprinkling pepper onto it, then placing some old cooked asparagus to the side.

When I was done, the dish looked like it might have been served at a restraunt, but left out for a few days.

I set the plate outside on the very bottom step, glancing at the forest against my will.

The bugs had began to sing again, but that feeling of being watched...

I shuddered, then double locked the door.

Nyquil was my best friend at this point. I hadn't been able to sleep well at all for the past few nights, my nose dripping with snot and the horrible sensation of sticking to everything I touched.

Best friends can accidentally be left behind.

I passed out on my bed, sleep winning me like the epic battle of ninja versus senior citizen – no fight at all, and the only complaint would have been be a fart or two.

Nyquil was left to sit on the counter top with the darkness.

Jazz curled himself up at the foot of my bed on the floor before I lost consciousness, and I remember nearly body slamming poor Keta as I flopped on my bed.

Yes, that ninja wrapped me up in his cloak and we were off to the land of dreams.

.*.

Sleep ninjas...I have a few of em in my closet.

((Short chapter, I know...))

Review, please! They really motivate the author!