He was tired. Dog tired. The Van Man was tired as hell. He had not slept in three days. He blinked in clustered flurries. Three days. Three days of running. No sleep. Terror. But he had escaped them. The children. He wondered how long he would elude their chase. Their hunt. They were a pack of children, all on horseback. And he was not. He was just a Van Man without a van. The van had been destroyed in the chaos of the past three days.
Van Man gasped for breathe and slumped against the tree. A thought flashed through his mind like a blown bulb. They're close. Van Man looked out over the Valley. He was atop Mulholland and looked down onto the blackness that was. No lights, no sounds, no nothing. Just death. Millions dead. But not him. He was The Van Man. LA had been turned into a crypt and he was the keeper. But he was not alone. The Pack was made up of close to twenty children and each rode their own stallion of doom. Van Man closed his eyes and his body slumped to the ground.
He remembered. It had been the eleventh of February. The day he escaped. He was doing laundry at the Laundr-O-Mat. There was a sweet-faced child seated next to her grandmother. Van Man took his clothes out of the dryer. The Child stared at him. He did not think much of it and folded his clothes. Explosions. Hundreds of explosions happened in an instant. The Van Man was too shocked to be surprised and just looked outside. The Grandmother screamed. The Child screamed. Van Man looked to them and saw the gruesome scene. The Child laughed and wielded a knife. She carved in and out of her Grandmother's throat. The Child jumped off the chair and ran towards Van Man. The lifeless body of The Grandmother fell to the ground and he was surprised. He backed into the dryers and grabbed The Child's wrist as she lunged at him with the blade. They struggled. She clawed and bit. Van Man opened the dryer and forced her head into the opening. He slammed the dryer door over and over again. She clawed and wailed as her face became smashed and teeth scattered on the tiled floor. Over and over, he slammed the door. Then her body went limp and collapsed in a heap. He stared at the red and pink clumps of mush that had once been a sweet, cherub face. Van Man gasped. He vomited onto the pink and red chunky mess. He looked at the colors as they mixed. He wanted to cry. But he would not. The Van Man did not do that sort of thing. He picked up the knife and ran out into the chaos.
Van Man opened his eyes. Happy fucking Valentine's Day. Something had caught his eye and he looked down into the Valley. There it was. A light. Not from the moon, but from a lamp. It slowly moved in his direction. The light travelled on one of the boulevards. Van Man was not sure, but he would swear it was Van Nuys Boulevard. It was them. He was sure of that. They had found his scent.
Van Man gathered himself and ran. He would find a way out of the nightmare. They would not win this time. He would stay on Mulholland. Then to Sunset. To the PCH. Up the coast. Oregon.