Monday, November 3, 2014

Day Seven-Seventy-Seven: Quoth the Chimera

“This, this, this, is the greatest of indignities.”

They thought otherwise.

“This is ridicule at its peak! Its tip-top! Its apex! Its climax! Its… it is… ohhhh…”

They disagreed.

“We are far too important for this. We are worth more. We deserve more. I, I, I should have my claws buried in that thing’s stomach… dissecting him… not, not, not searching for some bastard traitors…”

They would have argued this point, but they could not. Their mouths were, metaphorically, sewn shut. 

Cedric sighed. It was the most potent form of discontent he could express without getting in trouble. Anything larger - a grunt, a yell, a verbalized complaint of even the slightest caliber - earned him a painful jolt and the loss of what little motor control he still possessed. He’d lost control often in the early days, while still learning his lessons, and consequently he’d been subjected to some rather horrendous punishments from his master.

Master, Cedric mused, lip curling. Little fuck ain’t no master of mine. Call ‘im a captor at best.

Something smacked Cedric’s left ear hard. He knew what it must be at once, as one of their legs was dragging a little. He clonked his head in the opposite direction. “Hey, wake up, dipshit.”

The head next to his, heavily-scarred yet still handsome and sinister, snorted and straightened at once. It shook a few times, then turned to glower. “I’m awake. Don’t tell me I’m not awake.”

“You’re usin’ my fuckin’ ear as a pillow again, Dris. You know I hate that.” Cedric sniffed. “Lean on Bernard. You never bug him.”

“He does so,” Bernard complained from the other side, whiney as ever. “All the time. I bet I get it worse ’n you, asshole.”

Cedric growled, but he didn’t bother with verbal retorts. He knew he couldn’t do anything to stifle Bernard. The three semi-corpses could separate, but they only did so when Doc relinquished mental control of his science experiment. Any attempts to maul Cedric’s former subordinate would get no further than raising Cedric’s hairy left arm a short distance past his waist.

The creature known as Freak bickered back and forth for a time, though quietly. They were plodding through a narrow valley, thick with browning foliage and falling leaves, their every mangled footstep crunching loudly. A sparse, ripped cloak lay across their misshapen shoulders, barely covering the spider web of glowing purple veins that pulsated under their ashen skin. Two years ago, the three men might have cared about the lack of clothing; after so long together, though, they didn’t give a shit anymore.

“Be quiet!” The voice, coming from the massive Non in the lead, was high-pitched and imperious. “We’re talking, Freak! Do you need a reminder that you keep quiet in my presence?!”

Three heads swivelled as one, immediately silenced. The bulk of the Non shifted, apparently satisfied, though Cedric knew Titan Blue was anything but satisfied with her condition. Being attached to Driscol and Bernard was bad enough; being joined to Doc would be absolutely terrible.

No doubt wriggling in impotent fury, merged as he was with Titan Blue’s torso, Doc continued his tirade. Cedric did his best to drown the little tyrant out, instead focusing on the sky. There wasn’t much to see, as dark cloud cover had eclipsed the early morning orange of the sun, threatening rain. Cedric tried to craft a poem from his surroundings, but they weren’t quite inspired enough to rouse his inner muse.

I need my quarters, he thought. I need my desk. I need my quill. I need my bed. I need my fuckin’ mutt. I need to sit down, for fuck’s sake. I need this shit to write. Maybe then I could stop churnin’ out drivel. Man, who thought I’d ever miss that shitty-ass job…

Cedric smiled a little, thinking of his former home. Yet, as ever, his memories soured almost immediately when he considered what had happened there - and how his body had been cherry-picked to create a monstrosity.

“I need some practice,” the Non said, caressing Cedric’s bloody torso as he died. “I’ve been cooped up far too long, yes? Aha, yes, practice…”

Cedric shuddered. He shut the memory away. He’d always been good at locking down shit he didn’t want to consider.

Eventually, Doc ordered a break. Despite not doing any work of his own, the tiny tyrant had apparently grown weary of the long walk to their destination. Freak gathered wood for a fire, the three heads arguing over which twigs were best suited to a dry, warm blaze, and soon Doc’s foraging party was seated around a modest, impromptu fire pit. Untouched by the cold, Freak sat furthest from the fire.

Carefully fed scraps of dried meat from a side satchel by Titan Blue’s enormous fingers, Doc snarled complaint after complaint while biting ferociously. He was nothing more than a face, now, a small but vocal blemish on Titan Blue’s otherwise smooth hide. Cedric swore that the Non’s griping visage sometimes moved, occasionally inching to the left or right, but Titan Blue was so large that it was difficult to tell.

“Bullshit, I say,” Doc rambled. “Bullshit! If I still had a body we wouldn’t be out here. I’d be, I’d, ah, I’d be knee-deep in that hybrid’s guts, I’d be finding the source, ah, yes… yes…”

“Of course ya would,” the final member of the party replied, voice cool and modulated. “But you don’t have a body. So it’s moot, innit?”

“It’s never moot to complain!” Doc declared, quavering. “It’s, it’s, it’s a pastime! A privilege afforded the truly intelligent, yes, intelligent! Don’t you understand that? I thought you were smart!

The man sighed. He stretched his wiry arms towards the fire, warming his fingers, content to not speak to Doc. The Non raved a few moments longer, but when no one would engage his complaints he ordered Titan Blue to move away from the fire, as it was now “too warm”. The lumbering giant rose from her awkward hunch, snapped a dozen branches overhead, and wandered off to find shelter away from the orange glow.

“That thing is a brat,” the man commented, to no one in particular. “I don’t know how you put up with ‘im for so long.”

“We didn’t have much choice,” Driscol answered, surprising Cedric. “Have you seen us lately?”

The man chuckled. Brushing his shoulder-length hair aside, he offered Freak a long, appraising look. The ugly slyness of his sneer angered Cedric, but the captain remained quiet. He knew any outburst would attract Doc’s attention, and that meant pain, pain for all of them.

“I suppose that’s true, kiddo,” July replied. “Ya look like shit. But we folk with dead bodies shouldn’t lob insults too casually, eh?”


  1. Hell yeah! I have been waiting to read about them since Groundwork!

    1. I've been waiting to write about these guys properly for two years, now. They kinda got swallowed up in the cast.