Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Darkness lengthens shadows. Nothing has come down the alley since the Hell Hound made its appearance. Hours later, sane creatures still avoid this small stretch of Exton. Ron sniffs the air, trying to see if any faint aroma of sulphur remains... Nothing... Only the stench of his own lack of co-ordination.
Using the night for cover, he eases out onto the main street. It's still early enough for people to be about. Ron keeps to the shadowed walls, darting through the sections brightened by the street lights. Darting under a parked car, Ron waits for traffic to slow before he tries to cross to the other side. A door across the street opens and a couple stumbles out of a bar. Ron freezes, watching. As the pair cross and trips onto the sidewalk near him, he inhales. A shudder runs along his spine, lifting his fur. Ghoul...
The woman opens a car door and a whiff of chlorine touches his nose. Ron growls, a high pitched sound that cuts through the night, The drunk human stumbles back as Ron stalks out from under the car. The female stops, staring at the small bundle of fur.
She starts to laugh until his lips curl back, baring daggerlike teeth. She growls back, skin stretching tight over bones as she starts to change. There is the aroma of urine, and the human stumbles back. pulling out a cell phone.
"911? There is a... a... rabid fox, man... across the street from the State Street bar... Dude I'm serious... It's stalking my new girl..." He stares, phone nearly slipping from his fingers. The girl has changed, Instead of the hot blonde, the creature growling at the fox was all teeth and claws.
Ron feints at the female's left side. He swerves as the claws nearly reach his back. He darts in again and she catches the very tip of his tail. He escapes the claws, leaving her with a tuft of white hair. He streaks around her, darting for an alley. The ghoul gives chase, grinning.
Place to hide, place to hide, place to hide...
The prayer rolls through his head as he listens to the claws scrap along the dumpster he has just passed. He knows she is just toying with him, but he couldn't let her take another human. A stench of rotted meat glides over him and Ron spins, finding her nearly upon him. Frantic, he scrambles away. The boards across a ground level window have just enough room for him to squeeze through and he drops to the floor inside as he hand punches through the wood. He skids to a stop as the aroma of musk and sulphur assaults his senses.
Red eyes gleam in the darkness. Suddenly Ron's fear slips away, leaving him to slump onto the floor. There is a footfall, the sound of a solid heel on the cement floor. There is a squeek and someone curses softly. Another crack at the window draws the red eyes. Ron looks over his shoulder. He closes his eyes and prays again.
Suddenly, he is airborne. It happens so fast the werefox has no idea who threw him. Ron twists in air, trying to be in position to land on his feet. Snatched in midflight, his breath whooshes out of him. The werewolf gags, words rasping. "Dude... you fucking stink." He upends a broken bucket over Ron. "Stay here. We'll take care of this creep."
Through the gaps in the bucket Ron can hear the eerie whine of a Hell Hound. An answering snarl warns him that some have shifted. There is the sound of blades being drawn, the murmur of a spell invoked. The click of a boot heel and the sudden stillness is warning enough for Ron to freeze.
The click of talons on the floor, the soft growl, and scent of rotting meat means the ghoul has finally broken through and landed on the floor. The lack of light helps to hide the patrol, but their mixed scents still permeate the air. The ghoul slowly moves through the darkness seeking Ron's trail.
Her voice is still enticing, a siren's call if one doesn't see her. "Come here little fox... I only want to stroke your pretty fur... Maybe take you home and clean you up. Poor thing..."
Ron shivers in his hiding place Clean me up so you can eat me... Oh god, I don't want to die.. I thought I did, was ready to, but I don't want to.. not this way... not at the risk of... There is a scrape of claw on the floor nearby and Ron bites back a yip.
The ghouls howls as claws rake down her side. She spins, slashing out, only to slice her hand on a descending blade. Pain draws her away from her quarry as another set of claws gouges along her back. Spinning again, she finds herself back in the center of the floor. There is a rush of wings and she grins. Reinforcements! Blood oozes down her face as something makes a strike at her eyes.
Head back, she howls in defiance and lashes out. For every hit she scores twice as many strikes land on her. Arm up to protect from the air assault, she sinks her claws into the throat of a wolf who has leapt at her. Her satisfaction turns to confusion as a blade sinks deep into her stomach, thrust upward. Dropping the wolf, her hand clutches at the blade.
Stunned eyes meet those of a frail looking girl. The girl blinks once, twice, flexing the wings on her back. The snarled mass of her hair seems to writhe with the force of her thrust. The ghoul shudders. A whimper of pain trickles from her lips. "Swords don't kill us..."
The girl smiles, exposing rows of shark like teeth. "Enchanted ones do." She twists the blade. As the Ghoul begins to sink to the floor, the girl follows her down. Light skips across her arms, glittering on reptilian scales. Th ghoul takes a swipe at the girl, arms barely responding. The girl forces her back until she is bent nearly double, sword tip finally ripping through the ghoul's back.
The siren voice has lost its enchantment, sounding weak and lost. "What are you?"
"Your guess is as good as mine. Momma was a harpy. Daddy was a deamon. But what I really am... is pissed off." She thrusts on the pommel, forcing the blade through the ghoul's body. The sound of metal on bone is loud in the dark room. "What you are... is dead."
When she moves no more, the girl leans on the sword, waiting. There is a bubbling as the ghoul's flesh begins to melt. The smell of rotting carrion begins to fill the room. Shifters move into the darkness, changing back to their human forms, donning the clothes they had tossed aside. When the ghoul is no more than a puddle of sludge, the harpy halfbreed carefully cleans the blade with a cloth. She sheathes it, caressing the plain hilt. She speaks to the sword, thanking it for its help.
She hands it back to the Rider with their patrol. The hooded figure shakes his head and belts it on her hip. The voice is soft, but higher in pitch than most of the Riders Ron has met. "Keep it for now Hermione. You handle it well." He remembers the voice, and relaxes... Brigit, Brigit... One of Keon's friends. She has been to the boathouse a few times.
Someone wraps Ron in a blanket, cradling him in their arms. "Dude, you are Ron, right?" Ron nods once, seeking the patrol for anyone he knew. The werewolf holding him turns his head, speaking to someone unseen. "Hey, buzz Toby. I'd rather he meet us at the Tavern than Ty or Marc." There is the sound of soft voices and soft movements as the group makes their way out of the building and into the night.