Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Rue: Perdido Part 3

Dead Tired

Those of you unfortunate enough to have been in a similar situation assuredly understand what I’m about to say. The rest of you will, unfortunately, have to use your imaginations. If you took every piece of meat that has ever gone rancid in your personal refrigerator over the course of your entire lifetime, dipped it in liquid fecal matter, and cooked it in a rice steamer, you would understand what feral dog breath truly smells like. Werewolf breath smells only slightly better. I have to imagine that’s because they don’t eat their own shit. I don’t think they do anyway.

Regardless, my nose was recoiling in disgust as soggy breath poured out between the werewolf’s teeth that rested on my throat. His hairs were still merrily smoking on the back of his neck where Cassie’s silver ring rested.

“So… are you going to move first?”

A growl started to rise in the werewolf’s throat, vibrating my neck slightly. I pressed the ring a little tighter against his skin and his jaws popped open. A small “yipe” of pain burst out from between them and we rolled apart.

“That’s better now. Care to tell me why you were planning to use me as a chew toy?”

It stayed in a crouch, watching me. One clawed hand was one the ground and I realized he was getting ready to sprint.

“Come on, knock it off. Before trying to see if this next round will be any less disastrous for you, you could at least tell me why you’re trying to kill me.”

“You know damn well why. Coming this far out with a zombie in tow, you’re looking for a fight. Maybe you figured with all the Corp activity lately that you could get out and go round up some more friends of yours. Too bad. I’m not letting you leave.”

“That’s a relief. We were wanting inside anyway.”

Wrinkles creased its furry forehead.


“You’re the one with the sense of smell. I know you know I’m alive, the passed out one is dead, and my wife over there is a ghost.”

I flashed my badge.

“I’m a detective from up in Sho. Our zombie friend is a former mayoral candidate that showed up at my door thinking he was still alive. We’ve been following the trail back here to figure out what the hell’s going on. Care to help?”

“What’s going on? We’re fighting.”

“West Worthington or East Fredricksburg?”

“Pfft. They both bailed months ago, right before we got here with Mr. Jackal.”

“Then who’s fighting?”

“The South Cairo Corporation and The Society of Ashes. I’m with South Cairo. Mr. Jackal is trying to keep the zombie problem that The Society started contained here.”

The werewolf stood and I slowly followed suit, dusting myself off. He was shaking his head as the fur receded back under his skin; his teeth and claws falling out, only to be filled in by normal human sized replacements.

“I don’t know why I’m bothering to tell you this. If you’re serious about heading further in, you’re only going to get yourself killed. Be it by the undead or by one of my fellows.”

“I was hoping we’d work together.”

“Now why would I do that?”

“Seeing as I want to find out why he came back from the dead, and why some very unpleasant stitched together individuals want him eradicated, I thought…”

“Did you say stitched together?”


“Like how?”

“Like a three year old with thousand piece jigsaw puzzle. However, until they start dying, you can’t see the lines.”

“Come with me. I think you and Mr. Jackal need to talk.”

I tossed Amy’s ring back to her and it became just slightly see-through, just like her. As I stooped to pick up Rick and throw him over my shoulder, the werewolf started chuckling.

“Decided to trust me?”

“No, she’s just much faster than me and would have you dead long before you could get your first shot in.”

He quieted down at that. It was good. With how heavy Rick was, I didn’t have the energy for banter. I just wanted to meet up with this Mr. Jackal and figure out why the dead were getting restless. I reached a hand into my pocket, pulled out my Pro-Tabs, and downed a handful of them.

“Are you ready?”

“Lead on fuzzy.”

“My name is William.”

“”Mine’s Morgan. My wife is Amy. The sack on my shoulder is Rick Hatter. Where are we heading?”

“The old visitor’s center. Mr. Jackal is having it converted for his needs.”

I nodded, readjusted Rick on my shoulder, and followed William down the cracked concrete path to the visitor’s center. The fog shrouded everything but our guide’s back and I was having trouble shaking the sluggishness from my mind this time. Rick twitched a little on my shoulder.

At least that meant he’d be walking on his own again shortly. The Pro-Tabs were heavy in my pocket.

I wondered when I’d be walking on my own again too.

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