Saturday, June 23, 2012

Wither The Vain: Wherever The Wind Blows Part 3


Corvus Corone: The Carrion Crow, devourer of the dead. They call a grouping of crows a murder.

Now myself, I have been accused of murder often enough to know better. While Seth was by all means a champion among The Sleepers and crow-kind in specific, he was not a murder. More of a scavenge.

So as he cawed and spread his wings, I reached into my pockets and pulled out a pair of black leather gloves. I pulled them on and zipped them up. Skintight.

This was going to be fun.

"What are you doing Wither?"

"I'm making certain that this isn't over too quickly."

Seth tucked his head in tight to his body, neck disappearing. His feathers quivered and shook, rocking from one foot to the other.

"Fool. Death foretold and naught to lose, I will claw out your eyes before I die."

"Then I will take yours as my own."

The crow shrieked in fury and leapt from his perch on the building's edge. No direct confrontation as Corbin had attempted. Instead, Seth began to circle overhead.

I cracked my knuckles.

Seth shrieked once more and dove to the ground. He pulled up before touching, his talons catching a lone flag pole as long as I am tall.

In mid-air, he spun his new staff, testing its weight. Apparently it was just right. Seth dropped to the ground facing me, thirty feet away.

"What? No aerial engagement?"

"Do you think I've already forgotten what happened to Corbin?"

I smiled.

"You are going to be a fun one."

"If you are so obsessed with my death, come for me."

"Nah. I've been around long enough. I can wait. Whenever you're done playing with your pole, we can continue this."

Seth tucked his wings in tight, side stepping, spiraling in closer. He kept his staff in constant motion, refusing to be goaded into moving faster than he chose. The arc of the Sun cleared the wall and shone down on us. His feathers drank in the rays, growing ever darker as the light shone down.

I stood in the sunlight, head tipped back, grinning. I put my hands in my pockets and waited, enjoying the sunny day.

It was still windy. With a bit of luck he'd get a move on.

Places to go and all of that.

Seth cracked. His patience split wide, and he screamed. A shrill, desperate caw as he charged for me. That was more like it. They all caved sooner or later.

He came in low, swinging for my knees. Jump, up and over. He kept moving, staff still in motion. I went low and the next swing came in over my head. A lungd forward and tackled Seth, driving him to the ground. He rolled back, bringing his talons up just to rake them back down my chest.

My shirt was in pieces, flesh baring canyons and red rivers. He was lucky he didn't touch my jacket.

I drove my fists into his skull. Four shots before his talons caught me again and threw me off him.

I flipped backwards up onto my feet as he stood, beak cracked, blood leaking through his feathers. Seth spun his staff slowly and set his stance.

My chest smoothed over, flesh melting together. I could feel the gray hairs sprouting again.

"You are just as Wu described."

"I am more than you can ever imagine young one."

I came for him this time, charging, fist cocked back and loaded. He thrust his staff at me, eyes widening as I caught it with my left. I drove the pole back into Seth's stomach, my eyes meeting his.

He screamed, nails on a chalkboard, and swung his staff skyward, me attached.

How terribly unexpected.

Seth was still screaming as he drove me headfirst into the ground. The roadway caved beneath us, dropping us into the sewers beneath the street.

I shrugged off the chunks of concrete and pulled myself to my feet. He was waiting.

I caught his staff again. The wind was picking up, blowing clouds across the Sun. Time to get a move on.

I twisted the flagpole, hooking it around his arm and jerked it backwards. Seth's arm gave way at the elbow, joint cracking and schlupping apart. He brought his good arm around, a desperate swing. I caught that fist too with my other hand. I squeezed and the his knuckles shattered.

I drove a foot into his stomach, still holding tight. Seth shrieked, coughing up blood. He struggled, eyes desperate.

I let go. And then I kicked him again.

He flew back against the sewer wall, bones crunching on impact. He slid down the wall, feathers stained with filth. Squawking and cawing, Seth struggled to rise. And failed.

I unzipped the glove on my right hand. It throbbed; raw, red, and tender.

"Do it. Do it Wither. End it."

His feathers quivered as I chuckled and grabbed his throat. The crack in his beak fixed itself first, the crack disappearing. The blood drew back into his body as his bones set themselves, snapping into position. I lifted him, by the throat, to his feet.

"I have work to do yet Seth. And you're going to help me. You're going to take these tunnels towards the center of the city. At the very heart, there's a great cavern. You will be the first one there. I am giving to you the task of preparing for the rest."

"The... rest...?"

"More will be coming, sent by me. And they will be carrying these cards."

I pulled a business card from my pants pocket and tucked it into his beak.

"That is your appointment Seth. You won't be a disappointment, I am certain. The wind's blowing now. Time for me to go."


He leapt up and caught hold of the crumbling street. Without straining himself at all, he was up and over the edge. Never looked back.

His hair had turned gray again, the color of clouds.

The tunnels were dark and their stench had wings to pursue you with.

I looked at the card in my hands.

"Golgothan Security Services

Proprietor: Eli J. Barrabas

Established 30 A.D."

No comments:

Post a Comment