Friday, February 13, 2015

Day Eight-Hundred-Twenty: Wouldya lookit that

Eve punched her fingers, straight and lethal, through the werewolf’s stomach with the force of a cannon blast. Caught unawares - the beast had probably imagined it was about to om some easy prey - the werewolf shrieked, tottered a few times, and collapsed onto Eve’s arm. She brushed it aside, not even bothering to look at the thing.

Logan and Fynn looked. They looked for a good, long time until one of them spoke, and that one was Logan. 

“Oh,” he said, clearing his throat uncomfortably. “Kangaroos. I think I know why we’re out here all of a sudden.”

Fynn slid in beside Logan, as much to escape his sister as the bleeding corpse at her side. He was shaking. “Uh… uh… what is… what…?”

Logan pushed him away with a half-hearted scowl. “Oh, c’mon, you’ve seen combat before, kid. I can’t imagine this bothers you that much. It’s a werewolf. And werewolves are big fuckin’ trouble. Did it bite you, Eve?”

Eve dabbed at the blood running down her arm. She licked it away almost daintily. “It always bite first. My jaws bring the apocalypse.”

“R… right.” Logan wrinkled his nose. “Maybe you shouldn’t, uh, eat that, babe. Those things infect through their bite, ’n I imagine the virus, or whatever - “

“Death itself cannot be sickened,” Eve insisted. She licked more of the blood, eyes closed.

“Well, still - “

“Ever,” Eve hissed, forcefully enough that Logan and Fynn jumped away from her. Soon she was pulling the werewolf apart and chewing on its innards as gruesomely as any person could hope to do.

His back to Eve and a hand over his mouth, Logan did his level best not to decorate the snow with his vomit. He accomplished this marvellous feat by asking Fynn a question. “Er, I don’t… urp… I don’t suppose she… said… something different, there…?”

Fynn shook his head. He seemed less sickened than Logan, but his face was nevertheless ashen and grim. “As described on the box. Or something. Ew, I kinda get why mom is iffy about her…”

“You don’t know the half of it.” Forcing himself not to investigate the ominous chewing noises coming from Eve’s direction, Logan straightened, dusted the snow from his backside, coughed several times, and began to walk. “C’mon, kid, we better get going. You okay here, Eve?”

“Do not interrupt the hunter,” she said, between slavering bites.

“Sure thing,” Logan tossed casually back. “Seriously, Fynn, c’mon.”

The pair began to walk, moving in silence as they crushed snow underfoot. Memories flooded Logan’s mind, the kind that typically came when he was feeling particularly sentimental about his days in the castle. His time with his pet kangaroo always made him smile, even if said kangaroo had, in fact, been a werewolf. She was a great companion, one who never took it easy on him. He’d always enjoyed people who didn’t take it easy on him, and those were in short supply for a prince.

In retrospect, though, Logan decided that it was a miracle he’d never been bitten. Antonia’s restraint was admirable.

Fynn caught up with Logan once Eve was out of sight. They walked side by side for a dozen paces, heading towards the tiny city in the distance, before Fynn fumbled out a question of his own. “Uhhh… why are we…?”

“Leaving her behind?” Logan shook his head. “We gotta, now. If there are werewolves up here, which I’m betting is the problem, we don’t want Eve around. I’ve seen a werewolf outbreak before, ’n it’s no simple thing to solve. She’ll only make it worse.”

Fynn’s flabbergasted expression hinted at his second question before it left his mouth. “Why? She just saved us, didn’t she? How could she make it worse?”

“Because werewolves can be cured,” Logan replied at once, scratching his head. “Most of ‘em - hell, probably all of ‘em - are normal, luckless people under the claws ’n fur. But Eve won’t cure ‘em. She’ll just slaughter the poor bastards.”

It took almost four hours of relentless travelling to turn Foregone from a blobby, indistinct speck on the horizon into a less blobby, still rather indistinct heap in the verifiable distance. Logan and Fynn did not run into any more werewolves along the way, but they heard howls aplenty - and the bashed-in front doors of the occasional farmhouse broadly hinted at what they expected to be true. Foregone, and the lands surrounding Foregone, were infested with werewolves. Logan helped himself to some dried, nearly-frozen bread in one of these homes, shaking his head at the trail of fur leading out the door and down towards the city.

“You’re not very spooked about all this,” Fynn commented, after a long, quiet period. “I guess you’ve run into werewolves before?”

“You could say that,” Logan replied. He bit into the bread, scowled at the taste, and took another bite anyway. “I have a history. We have a history. It’s complicated. Well, not really, but I don’t wanna get into it right now. Chances are good you’ll figure it out. Y’know? Something. Am I making sense?”

Fynn fell out of step with Logan. Only by one step, mind, but it was enough for Logan to notice. “Not… not really.”

“Well, that’s fine too.” Logan shrugged. “I’m sorry, kid. I wanted to get us away from the shitstorm for a while, but it looks like we’re right in the - “

Logan didn’t finish his sentence. He couldn’t finish his sentence. He was forced to break off by the sudden, piercing howl of at least a hundred wolves, all harmonizing to create a piercing sound that made Logan’s skin crawl. He immediately leaped into the first farmer’s field on his left, and Fynn, perhaps trusting the older man to know what the hell he was doing, followed suit. They hunched behind a ragged fence and its accompanying snow, peering down the hill towards Foregone.

“W… w… what was… what…?” Fynn asked, clutching Logan’s arm a little too tightly.

“Please let… up… you’re gonna… break…” Logan breathed, eyes twitching. “Ow… ow… you’re… too… strong…”

“Sorry,” Fynn panted, crouching so low that it seemed to Logan as though he’d shrunk by almost a foot and a half. “But… but…”

The howl persisted, then, wavering, it grew. Though localized it also seemed to be moving, and as Logan regained some of his spine he braved a peek over the fence. The plains surrounding Foregone curved smooth and low, giving Logan an almost unimpeded view of the area from his vantage point, and though at first the distance was so great that he couldn’t see anything, eventually, he saw.

The werewolves moved as a massive, singular pack of mottled brown, loping across the land like roaches scurry across a carpet to evade the light. They seemed utterly focused on a single point, a roving target that Logan could not see, but one which had obviously enraptured the werewolves so completely that they couldn’t help but give chase.

“Fynn,” Logan whispered, tapping the boy on the shoulder. “Buff. Buff me, guy. Gimme better eyesight.”

“Do you see something?” Fynn asked, eyes wide. 

“Obviously not, otherwise I wouldn’t be askin’,” Logan hissed. “C’mon, man, buff me.

Clasping his hands together, Fynn whispered a small incantation. Brown light mixed into his fingers, though it quickly changed into bright Non green. Wincing at the hue, Fynn grasped Logan’s right arm. The power flooded out of Fynn and into Logan, riding up through his skin and into his eyeballs to sharpen his eyesight to the best it could ever possibly be. He had the eyes of a hawk, a periscope, a satellite, and with his incredible sense he saw -

“Oh, fuck me,” Logan breathed, suddenly shaking. “Mom, what the hell are you doing?”

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