Buddy elbowed Tony and pushed him into the wall as he unlocked the glass door. He loaded a shell into his hunting rifle, turned off the safety, and opened the door. Pressing the stock into his shoulder, he squeezed the trigger. The deer was so close there was no need to aim as he loaded another shell and fired again. The enraged animal charged him, knocking him into the tempered glass where he fell onto the oily concrete. He brought his rifle up and fired one more shot at close range, finally dropping the animal.
Tony snatched the rifle from Buddy, who was pushing the large bloody deer off his pinned legs.
“Don’t move,” Tony said, aiming at Buddy.
Before Max completed his walk from the Hummer over to Tony; Vin, Jewel, and Half-Pint ran through the waiting room and into the garage.
“Drop it, dude,” Vin said, pointing his rifle at Tony while Jewel aimed hers at Max.
“There’s more coming,” Buddy said as he stood and began dragging the dead animal aside so that he could close the door.
A herd of white-tailed deer ran across the parking lot and began hammering the doors, trying to get in.
“Let’s get out of here,” Buddy said, grabbing his rifle back from Tony.
Vin pushed the button to raise the garage door as they ran to the SUV. The overhead door hesitated and clanked as it began to rise into the ceiling. Deer swarmed into the garage, ramming tool chests, compressors, and the side of the Hummer. Buddy floored it and plowed through the herd with the newly installed brush guard until he was out of the parking lot and no longer in sight.
Max was trying to remove the rubber wedge, which had been crammed under the door between the garage and the waiting room.
“Move it, Max,” Tony said, pushing Max aside as he forced the doorstop out, then slammed the door closed. “Get away from the window, they might jump through it.”
Max was shaking so bad it was as if he was having an epileptic fit. Then his legs gave way, causing him to collapse to the floor.
“What the frickin’ hell, Max,” Tony said, grabbing him under the arm. He lifted him up and began pulling him down an aisle. “Let’s get to the pharmacy and find the professor’s medicine.”
“Let me go,” Max said, forcing his arm away from Tony’s tight grip. He rubbed his skinny upper arm as they passed the sports section and rows of bicycles. He stopped in front of a mountain bike, admired it for a moment, then swung his leg over the top tube and sat comfortably on the cushioned seat. “Hey Tony, we should get some bikes. They’ll make it easier to outrun those crazy critters out there.”
Tony was several feet down the aisle when he stopped and turned around. Max was pedaling toward him. “Max, you’re about as much trouble as those kids.”
Max squeezed the brakes and skidded to a stop. “I’m glad those thugs are gone. Grab a bike and I’ll meet you at the pharmacy.”
Tony exhaled forcefully as Max rode past him. “Okay, get the medicine. I’ll be right there.”
Tony picked out a bike and rode it up to the pharmacy. He leaned it against the counter next to Max’s bike and walked into the drugstore. Max had already taken some bottles off the shelves and was inspecting their labels.
“I think this is the blood pressure medicine that the professor uses,” Max said, adjusting the glasses on his nose. He thumbed through a drug book that was sitting on the counter. “I’m going to take a variety of medicine and doses, just in case.”
“Get some antibiotics, too,” Tony said, handing Max a plastic bag so that he could drop the bottles inside.
The deer continued to slam against the distant waiting room door as if they were Rocky Mountain bighorn rams clashing horns.
“Done,” Max said, gripping the bag of medicine as he ran back to his bike. “We’d better find Father before those damned deer break-in.”