Thursday, July 5, 2012

Wither The Vain: Feast of the Dead Part 2

Dance Partners

Screams and rending flesh and mythological beings colliding. How goddamned typical. I mean really. Yippie, time to prance our asses back into battle. That's delightful. I wonder if they'll let me write something down first. No? They won't? Then the little Spaniard over here is fucked.

Christoph and the giant Komodo Dragon man collide and commence to wrestling. Good matchup. Wither howls and punches Boyd in the head as the badger-man continues to strip the flesh from his arm. Keen. Holly and Seth stand back to back, encircled by the jackal and hyena. Not a bad comparison there either.

And that's where the fun ends. I mean, really. Everyone's going one on one, no real weapons of note. But at least they vaguely resemble fair combat.

I get to have a pissed off looking butcher bird with a knife in each hand staring me down. And I don't fucking like it.

"Come little boy, come to my larder. You'll meet so many others. The Scavenger may even nibble at your soul. What an honor that would be."

"Thanks, I'll pass."

"You get no choices. All will be consumed by The Scavenger. It says so in our greatest book."

Book? Intriguing. Not interesting enough to keep me from noticing her lunging for me with her blades. But damned interesting nonetheless.

I spun aside, one of her blades slicing off my tie. Small loss. I'd taken it off of a corpse anyway.

"Why are you running little human? All will be well. Die for me and see the glory before you. You will be remade and join the earth when The Scavenger births it anew."

"Another quote from your little book?"

"It is the basis for all in The Great Devouring."

She lunged for me again and caught me across the cheek this time. I drove a fist into her feathered stomach.

And was laughed at.

"You are a pathetic little one. But do not fear, even the lowliest will be remade."


She batted me away with a wing and I slammed into a dumpster. My head rang and my lip bled from where I bit it. But that wasn't on my mind. Not now.

I stood and reached inside my jacket. I pulled out a trusty yellow number two pencil and clutched it dagger-like in my right hand.

"You aren't the only one with weapons."

The butcher bird was giggling.

"Is that all you're going to do battle with? A pencil? How sad."

I adjusted the knot of the now inch long tie around my neck.

"I'm a writer too. I wrote the Book of Revelations, the story of how the world would end. I wrote it about my family. And do you know who I am in that story?"

"A plague, an illness, a pox."

"Come and get me you fucking illiterate bitch."

She rrrawked angrily at my comment and darted for me again, sweeping both blades at me. The first blade cut across my right arm as I raised it. The second blade came for my throat but deflected across my pencil, slicing it in half diagonally. I pushed forward myself, past her blades, and brought my pencil down on the back of her neck.

I drove it as deep as possible and twisted, severing her spine. There was a momentary chirp of pain and she continued to fall, unable to move. The action around us screeched to a halt as the evenly matched fighters all stopped to see. I wasn't paying any attention to them. I had dropped to my knees, and was staring into the butcher bird's still alive eyes.

"I am victory! I am success! I'm the one that chooses who fucking wins!"

And I picked up one of her knives and dangled it in front of those brown, brown eyes.

"And you lose."

I slit her throat and picked up her other knife. I stood, sneering at the others. All of them. Every fucking one of them.

"Alright, you rotten little scraps of vulture shit. Who's next?"

The jackal faltered and Seth was on him, talons carving open his chest. The jackal squealed and danced backwards, bumping into the hyena. Holly cracked the hyena with vinewhip lash across its legs and cackled in glee.

I wasn't cackling. Not at Wither's sudden success at prying Boyd from his arm or Christoph smashing the komodo dragon through the nearest wall. I flipped the first butcher knife high and caught the handle with my eyes closed. It shot from my hand as I hurled it. I buired itself deep in the hyena's neck.

"Were you stupid fuckers not listening? This is ended. Scurry back to your god of shit and rot. We'll be hunting you soon enough."

The jackal and the komodo dragon needed no other convincing. Boyd was still hurling slurred insults and clawing for Wither as his companions snatched him up and ran. Seth snatched up the butcher knife embedded in the hyena's neck and launched himself into the air. Christoph leaned against the nearest building, catching his breath. Holly stood tending Wither's wounds.

"Seth, let them go."

He threw the knife and it found purchase in the jackal's calf. The komodo dragon flung him over his shoulder and kept running.

"We could catch them."

"We could be caught in another ambush."

Seth landed, spat in their direction, and headed back for the rest of us. Wither strode up to me, cradling his arm.

"Good job back there Arturo."

I punched him as hard as I possibly could in the jaw, my knuckles cracking as they connected. He didn't fall, but he stumbled backwards impressively.

"I owed you that from back at the bar. Now we've even brother. Get yourself cleaned up."

He grinned and played with his stubble for a second.

I turned my back, so they couldn't see me smile.

It was the first time he'd ever complimented my work.

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