They crashed through the banister as they fought, smashing it into splinters to fall the six feet to the floor below. David rose up and brought his fist down on the black-armored creature’s skull, stunning it but not killing it. The thing lashed out blindly with its razor-sharp fingers, and David rolled away from it, escaping with three fine scratches across his right shoulder that beaded with blood.
He stood up before the creature could fully recover and brought his boot down on its head — once, twice, three times. Dark, blackened blood oozed from the shattered skull. David stood looking down at it for a moment, catching his breath.
“What’s going on, David? What is that thing?” Michael, his little brother, standing on the stairs and looking through the ragged gap in the rail.
“It doesn’t matter, Mikey,” he replied without looking. “Go get your backpack, quick as you can. We need to get out of here before the rest arrive.”
David heard him scamper up the stairs, and he took another deep breath.