CHAPTER TWELVE

THE VET-CO WAS A HUGE BIG BOX PET STORE LOCATED ON THE EAST SIDE OF 14th STREET.   IT SOLD RETAIL AND WHOLESALE PET PRODUCTS FOR DOMESTIC, COMMERCIAL AND VETERINARIAN USE. THEIR ADORABLE LOGO WAS A WHITE GERMAN SHEPHERD DRESSED LIKE A DOCTOR WITH A SIAMESE CAT AS AN ASSISTANT NURSE.

The store had been closed several hours when the rear door burst open from the outside, leading into a dimly lit access hallway.  The Creature from the park had pushed the door open by hurling all its weight against the door handle.

The Creature listened for any sound that might indicate it had been heard.   No siren, no footsteps of a security patrol.   Just silence.   Thank God for cheap employers looking to save a dime.

Weak from the gun wound, the Creature propped itself against a wall.   It tried to catch its breath and over a few moments its breathing slowed to a steady if labored rate.   Its eyes didn’t have to adjust, because the augmentations the doctor made to it allowed it perfect vision even in almost pitch darkness.

Which is how it noticed the blood on the floor.  Its blood.

It fell to its stomach and gingerly licked the blood from the tiles. Covering its trail.