Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Dark Incarnate Chapter 4 Book 2
By Mr. Black
Kelly knew it was something she had to do. All of her own dabbling into the unseen world was deep culture for Red Hawk. The day was beautiful and the sun high and hot. It had been weeks or even a month since the map dot known as Spencer had seen any rain. The trees weren't all pines on this side of the mountain. Maples, Oaks, Locust, and the occasional dogwood populated the thinning pines. The slick pine needles were tough to traverse, but the other leaves were dry and anyone could be heard for miles around. The dry leaves also meant she could hear anything as well. The old man was right at first she felt the task was daunting and scary, but the forest was warm and inviting never failing to amaze her with simply joys and beauty. The squirrels ran through the branches curious at her noisy passage, and birds chirped announcing her presence. Just after she lost sight of the house she came to a natural spring in a rocky holler. The water bubbled up out of the ground even in the drought. She paused to take a drink enjoying the purest spring water she had ever tasted before continuing on. The spring had taken a turn into a nasty bunch of briars but she could still hear it in the distance when she paused. Sunlight shone though the dense forest canopy in spectacular rays. And the leaves! The whole earth smelled of faint sap and dry leaves. Nothing had ever felt so right as taking this walk home. It had been so long since she slept last, but the day seemed to lend its energy to her.
Red Hawk sat back in his rocker high up on the mountain called Weather-top. His ancestors had named it ages ago. Scouts were always posted at Weather-top during the early spring and late fall. The cold Canadian winds or warm rains from the Gulf and weather could be seen and felt here first. Staying ahead of the weather or being in the right spot was vital to the early hunter gatherers. Now Red Hawk sat and pondered a new kind of wind. The dark arrowheads lay out on the rail in front of him. They were jagged and sharp, yet smooth as glass, and the sun did not reflect as he would expect. These were indeed evil stones. He had to rid them of their evil spirit so the rock could rest in peace until the rain washed them into the ocean. The darkness hovered around them like a ghost cloud. With each breath he began to growl at them like a bear.
Brian came in the front door, "Dad?" He had been sitting on the back porch listening to the murmur of conversation both curious about their talk, and embarrassed for giving credence to the girl. Red Hawk hissed through his nostrils as Brian came onto the porch. "Dad..." The old man scowled at his son, a look that should have put him in his place, but Brian didn't believe in such things. "Dad, where'd she go?" He went to check the house again but was stopped.
"She has gone."
"Gone? Gone where, Dad?" Brian walked and picked up an arrowhead.
"The forest needs her."
FOREST! You let her walk off alone?"
"There was... no other way." his face a pained expression of helplessness.
"This isn't like when you were a boy, times are different! I drove her up here! What if something happens to her, or she gets lost!" He scanned the hillside, there was no way he could find her alone. "I can't believe you! I’ve got to go get the Sheriff and a search party." He stormed back into the house headed for the front door. Red Hawk felt an old friend, a surge of anger as he let a tomahawk fly through the air. The dull hammer of the ax knocked Brian cold to the floor. Red Hawk grunted and went back to collect the stones. They needed tending before dark.
His breath was taken when he stepped back into the open air. A dark storm cloud was forming in the North West; the icy Canadian jet stream was bringing a cold front in and hard and fast. The wind blew suddenly hard against his house nearly knocking him over as he held the banister for support. Too hard.
"Don't like the sunlight do ya?" Red Hawk chuckled a madman's laugh and swept the stones into a burlap bag. He didn't like them being together; their time was near which made them more dangerous. Three stones were unaccounted for. One Red Hawk tossed off the porch, and two more Billy was holding when Kelly left him that morning.
Billy was squirming in his seat waiting on the bell to let him out of 3rd period class. He was becoming attuned to coming dread, and felt the storm building. A storm of worry built in his heart. One of the two arrowheads slipped out of his back pocked and clattered to the tile floor without his notice. A girl behind him did notice and picked it up. She had no love for Billy Mason, and found the curious artifact interesting and chose to keep it herself.
Red Hawk lashed together a quick funeral pyre. A simple platform rose on weak stilts to hold the stones a few feet off the ground. Underneath seasoned hands built small fire and began piling green Fat Pine boughs on. The acrid smoke was thick and white and the fire slowly crackled to life under the greenery. The Fat Pine sap burnt like fuel, and soon the small clearing was filled with heavy smoke being blown by angry winds. The violent wind made him uneasy so he backed up to the safety of the cabin porch. Feathers were flying off the Dream Catchers and the talismans whipped wildly. The fire was rising and the smoke was incredible.
The storm was building, blowing and sucking wind. The smoke thrashed like a bull tossing his head or a starving wolf ripping meat from a kill. The fire licked the bottom of the platform and the stones began to warm. Day turned night as the heavy clouds blanketed the sky. He had no idea the true power of the stones, just a taste of their spirit. As the rocks were liberated that spirit would be released. He began a chant a passing chant to guide spirits. He had never heard it outside a burial ground, but today had been a day of many firsts. He went deeper into the house and came back to the open doorway with the ancient Talking Stick. It had been passed down since his earliest ancestors migrated to the area from the northwest. It was ornate and crude; a symbol of respect and power. A raccoon skull was attached to the end connecting the wood branch to a great stage horn and from the antler tips hung many stones and feathers. When it was held all eyes were on the speaker and all mouths quiet. His voice slow and calm the resonance of his chant grew louder and impacted the air like waves in a still pond. Great thunder shook the ground, but the old man never wavered or seemed to notice. He was proud and true, a force of nature’s harmony to be reckoned with like the trees that stand tall and strong or the vines that cover or water erodes, Red Hawk was the last of his kind. Equally he was an actor on a stage unable to turn from his destiny like his coward son, whom he now stooped over to protect.
Another shock of thunder threatened to deafen his ears. Red Hawk knew the thunder did not come from lighting but was the second step of the Wendigo of his understanding stepping into this world. His eyes fixed on the whipping smoke he saw ashen horns thick and twisted throwing the smoke, not the wind. His song of passing never hesitated but he began to tap the talking staff against the wood. The first tap buffeted the smoke back revealing the sharp stag horn tips. More and more the smoked was pushed back until the malnourished nose of a caribou could be seen, then the face, equally starving. Weak thin ashen grey skin draped over a rotting skull gave way to a boney neck made of straining tendons and vertebra. Long gangly man arms of the beast waved trying to bring the smoke back but the fire was dying and the old mans staff tapped out a rhythm forcing the beast into the open. It's eyes were sunken pits of yellow loathing. They looked tired and uncaring, but hell-bent. There would never be reason to this beast, only blood, only hunger and hate.
At last the smoked faded and the Wendigo's tail lashed like a whip. One hoof stepped forward and dug into the ground until it met rock and scraped in hard as it lunged forward at the house. It's horns caught the roof and plowed through like it was made of twigs. Red Hawk never moved or stopped his chant. The chant of passing wasn't for the beast's spirit, It's end was already written, but for his. Huge timbers and chunks of roof debris flow into the surrounding forest as the bull cleared away the annoying shelter. A giant boney hand tipped with bear claws snatched Red Hawk. The beast savored the blood bag as it squeezed him in it's grip until the spine popped apart in and It bit the old mans head off. The Wendigo's teeth scratched the flesh off and gnawed at the skull until the smoky beast lost form and became smoke in the wind as the last parts of Red Hawks body fell to the ground. Then the rain began.
When Kelly heard the first crack of thunder it made her jump, but the day hadn't looked anything like rain. Why had she expected the trip to be easy? She spread her fingers and held them up to the sky like Red Hawk had shown her, just over an hour to the river. After that she had no idea how far town would be. She had done enough walking to know a quick trip in car was a hell'ova long walk. The thunder didn't make any sense; the sun still shone bright rays though the trees, but she couldn't see enough of the sky to be sure. A quick rain might feel great though. The day was already hot and moving though the woods made it worse. In the thickest parts the wind never seemed to blow and her hot sticky sweat just beaded up. The South is known for a humid heat vs. the dry desert and arid regions where low humidity allowed the body's cooling system to work. Her perspiration wouldn't evaporate making it feel much worse. She had to pause and take a break; briars blocked her path forward and she would need to find a way around. The second clap of thunder made the storm sound right on her. It was so close to the first and yet sky didn't show any signs of darkening. If only she was back in the cabin at the top of the mountain again. Any remaining deodorant was overwhelmed by the heat. Kelly could smell her staunch body odor, but she didn't have a nose of the pheromones. She had forgot about the face paint as well. Thousands of years in practice the Native American face paint left the pores open and able to breathe, the pigments soaked into the skin to create a lasting stain. She had wiped her brow countless times and never seen any sign of smear.
The winds sent the trees swaying to life and though the air was hot and felt like breath it was a relief. Her hair was blown back off her neck and shoulders. The strong air forced it's way into her clothing kissing the sweaty perspiration and replacing the hot moist air. The idea of rain was a welcomed one. She wished she would have watched the news to know just what kind of storms were on the map. Afternoon thunderstorms were common and usually only lasted half an hour or so. She could have never guessed the speed or ferocity of the storm to come. The clouds raced overhead and blanketed the area in a dark shadow. Kelly got moving again, the clouds were so dark she questioned the time she just took. The last thing she wanted was to be out after dark.
, the lone
black arrowhead had landed in a small clearing.
As the others faded, Evil paid this one more attention. Black bubbles of oil simmered on its surface
in the sunlight, it couldn't fight the light.
Soon enough the storm raced in and blocked out the sun. Larger and larger bubbles boiled and burst
spraying the ground with black droplets.
It was a sickening sight. Faster
and faster it raged covering the grassy clearing in a growing black tar pit. Kelly would have cried at the sight of the
tortured Nargle, and Red Hawk had just given his life to free the others. The stones were intimately connected to the
Darkness. The nameless evil had once
been killed by the arrowheads. The
melted tips were evidence of the warriors doubt. Had his doubt been stronger than faith the
weapons would have been useless. Eternal
darkness had been transferred into the stones and they acted as eyes and
portals for the beast now. The physical
creature meditated focusing all it's will on the stones. The black film covered the clearing like a tar
pit and from the portal a Nargle was puppeted to life. Slowly a thing stepped out of the film into
the physical world. One long hairy
segmented leg birthed from tar searching for a solid hold, then two and
four. The creature spread the goop like
paint and fought to stand as if in sinking sand, but further and further it emerged
until black talon fangs tasted the air and It's eyes emerged to see the cloudy
sky. Still fighting for a hold against
gravity, the spider was the size of a car with a leg span far greater. Totally focused on piloting the creature,
Darkness was silent and still deep underground in a damp place where water
dripped and no wind blew. Just before
the rain began the wind brought Kelly's scent to the creature, she was downwind
and the spider began its mission.
Darkness liked this body, fast, agile and strong. The tiny hairs covering the tarantula’s body
allowed it to feel even the slightest wind or movement. Why had it never used such a creature
before? Finally out of the sinking black,
the spider bounced testing its power and leaped halfway up a tree. The Massive Oak had never taken such strain
and the wood cracked and groaned. peak
of Weather Top
Kelly heard the sheets of rain racing up to her from the valley below. The smell was fresh, ozone. Soon the leaves and trees were under the weight of the downpour. To her it was a cleansing rain. She smiled and held her arms out to meet the cool droplets. The month leading up to this rain, the days, seemed to grow heavier and heavier with pollen, dust, and dread. The droplets were cold and her skin quickly turned to gooseflesh as she became soaked. Her clothes felt tight and stuck to her skin but all the air was being washed clean. Thunder snapped like a cracking whip in the distance and the heavens boomed like a bowling alley. The sound was clear and real; her place here in time was truly amazing. And she set off again. Her handy sundial (pun intended) would be no use in the clouds but she was about halfway and no matter if she kept downhill she would eventually come to the river. She sided the mountain not making much downward progress just trying to escape the briars.
The rain and wind battered the trees sending leaves and twigs down against her. She was making good progress finally coming to a clearing where she saw the true storm. Intense sheets of rain made the way forward harder to see even in the open. The past months of rain had been withheld until this storm and moment. Seeing ahead more than a hundred feet was impossible, she would have to rely on the old mans word that the river would take her home. Hopefully the river went into town, not just near it, or she would pass it up altogether. She couldn't remember a river in town though... The train tracks yes, but never a river. Suddenly it dawned on her the tracks ran over a river near her house. She had crossed the very railroad trestle! It was a small world after all. The idea even popped up that she might walk back up to see the old man again, but the trip uphill would be much more challenging.
Kelly was filled with a new vigor yet again, and took a large step into the open deluge. The clearing was much flatter, but she didn't know how long it would last. She was about to lose sight of the forest behind. The idea of going in circles in a big field didn't sound fun, there would be no point of reference until the rain let up. It was hard to tell, but an hour since her last stop felt about right and that should mean the river was close. One last glace back and Kelly noticed a tree's upper canopy swinging wildly as if in a gale, but the others around it were still. Then the next shook under a great weight like a wrecking ball hit it. She wasn't alone, she knew it.
Her shoes and socks were soaked and sloshed when she walked, but her feet turned to run like feathers. The way ahead was an empty wall of rain but she ran with everything she had into the unknown. Her body and muscles were tired; she had burnt her reserves very quickly. She shouldn't have embarked on such a quest without sleep. Gravity seemed to press down on her and each lunging step seemed heavier and slower under the pounding rain. Her hands scooped the air as if she could pull herself along. In rain so thick swimming wasn't such a bad thought. All she could hear was the rain and she hoped it stayed that way. Tall grass was all around and her lungs sucked rain and air together keeping her mouth wet with fresh water. The river had to be near, the land was too flat. She hadn't seen anything but shaking trees, maybe it was the wind, maybe her mind was playing more tricks on her, but she felt if she reached the river she would be safe.
A shadow zoomed over her head. Kelly immediately recognized it as a Nargle, but it could have been a low flying UFO. She didn't really see it until it was in front of her. One long spider leg reached out to touch the ground like an anchor. The leg dug into the open field pulling through the earth like a plow bringing the larger body to a thundering halt that shook the ground. Kelly skidded to a stop and her wet sneakers slid on the slick grass and went down. She couldn't believe what she had seen, but then again she knew it was real. All around her was the sound of rain, a crib of tall grass, and the grey sky. Her exhausted chest hammered like a cornered mouse. The bed of grass felt comfortable and invited her to stay but below that the earth trembled with the creature’s mad approach. Kelly tried to scramble back but the spider raced in while her legs kicked pushing herself back mere inches. The colossus was on her in an instant, but seeing Kelly for the first time the spirit beast recoiled at her face mask. It was a symbol of a strong and dominating people. The hesitation saved her. The spider hissed back and held its four front legs up in a defensive posture but still ready to strike. Kelly saw the next move before it happened, and the beast rose up to slam it's fangs down into her soft flesh. She kicked her leg up into its falling face. Its long fangs sank into the heel of her rubber tennis shoe narrowly missing her heel. The monster was confused by the unexpected attack and lurched back dragging Kelly with it. It was scared and didn't understand the strange pursuit. Kelly was drug further and further on her back. Her arms flailed over the lumps of heavy grass and the occasional rock. Her head bumped along too until she was nearly unconscious. The spider finally stopped retreating and rose up pulling Kelly dangling into the air when her shoe finally came off and she fell to the ground. Freed of the weight, the spider calmed and tried to shake the cork on its fangs. Kelly was directly under the beast. The intricate and overlapping chitinous plating of the spider’s underbelly waved in front of her eyes while she tried to adjust and bring the world back to focus. This was her chance, she fumbled with a weak hand at the quartz knife undoing the snag and bringing the blade up like a dagger, her thumb over the bottom hilt. All the rage and hate for the evil ran in her veins. She slashed at the belly in an upper cut and then stabbed deep slowly twisting and pulling. Strange fluid of brown blood and organs dropped down onto her coating her chest and face. The spider screeched and leapt away, but as it crunched down for the jump it sent the knife deep into its innards. She heard it crash yards away, but then the world went silent again. Only the static of heavy rain all around could be heard.
Kelly lay on her back for a moment savoring the pause. But the rain blinded her and she rolled to the side coughing. The adrenaline kept her from noticing, but her weak arms and tired shoulders were bare. Rain washed down her back rinsing the irritating scratches. Her backpack had been the first to come off, but a rock had ripped her shirt and snagged her bra off as well.
In the afterglow of battle Kelly began to feel cold and shiver. She stood noticing her open breasts covered in vile goo. She didn't care, this time she had won! Kelly was an awesome sight to behold, with war paint on her face and covered in the gore of victory she stood angry and tall walking to the dead corpse. It twitched and rolled onto its back legs curled up with the shoe stuck to its face. Kelly confidently pushed two hairy legs aside. The rain made the armor look shiny black, the tiny hairs seemed to grow out of this and she didn't think they were hairs, at least not any type she knew. With a small jump up she climbed onto its stomach and sunk her arm into the open gash. It was gruesome but leaving the knife was out of the question. It had to be done. After fishing though sloshing blood and strange solids she grabbed the leather wrapped handle and pulled it free.
It was her moment of triumph; she carefully stood on the corpse like a car hood and held the knife high for all to see. Fear was the key to the evil and it needed to fear her! Dunk on blood lust, she moved to the odd tennis shoe cork crouching on the spiders belly on all fours. Seeing no place to set her knife she stabbed it into the beast like a cutting board and pulled at her shoe. The fangs were strong enough to drag her through a field. Her firm breasts jiggled as she stabbed the knife into the spiders face cutting the fangs out for a trophy.
Kelly's anger calmed slowly washed away by the cleansing rain. The fangs were stuck deep in the rubber and she chose to take her other shoe off and go barefoot. The torrential downpour was making the ground slushy with standing water. If not for the giant monster spider and war paint, the field would have had a backwoods water park feel. Visibility was still incredibly low with sheets of grey white rain and driving wind. Rain forced the grass down but she was able to follow the path of the attack. She came across her brassier first. The two white cups and lazy straps stood out against the picturesque field. The metal clasps were torn from the fabric and she tossed the useless item. She had really liked that bra. Her shirt and backpack were more important anyway, especially the backpack and precious stones. She still held the knife unwilling to hide it in the sheath. The shirt and book bag were almost together.
The monstrous size of the demon said a few things, all of which worried her. Number one, she knew it was a twisted Nargle; so that's what they feared. Number two, it wasn't the darkness itself, so it had the ability to control or create minions, and that giant hadn't grown naturally either. If it had there wouldn't be a spot of wildlife for ten miles. The ecosystem couldn't support such a monster. Her shirt was sticky wet and after a short struggle she got it on and frowned at how her breasts shone through the wet fabric as if it were bare skin. She wanted to talk to Red Hawk again, and bad. He hadn't made any of these things sound possible. Had the old man purposely been vague? Not that he could have warned her about the spider, but he made it sound like the Wendigo was her only problem. The spirit was her only problem, only it wasn't a spirit anymore, it had taken a physical form. But if IT had the knowledge and power to distort one such creature what else had just joined her reality?
Suddenly Kelly felt very alone and vulnerable. She crouched to put the shoes in the bag pausing to toss out a soaked and ruined sketch book and novel she was suppose to read for school. Sliding the straps on, she held them together to cover her indecent nipples and began a light run. Her bare feet splashed out a smooth rhythm as she pressed forward. The spider had tracked her. Yet more blind knowing, the nameless evil didn't posses all knowing power anymore, it had entered the mortal world. She would cross the river and hopefully throw off any other pursuit. The other side may not be safe, but at least she could cut two hours of trail off behind her. Her trail was easy to follow and she arrived at the black monstrosity. The spider had been fast, incredibly fast for its size, if anything else was following seeing the dead creature would give them pause. She had to hope but in her heart she knew the twisted Nargles didn't fear death, rather they might invite it given the right chance. Curious about the spiders body Kelly wanted to investigate more, but she knew time was short and pressed on.
A steady roar began to rise in the distance above the rain. The steep mountains and hills channeled five square miles of rainfall into the Snake River. In the dry spell the banks had shrunk to only a few feet only fed by natural springs, but the river swelled to over twenty feet wide and scary deep and fast. What was normally clean clear spring water, ran dark with red mud and debris. Kelly hopped up on a huge rock that made its new bank. The rain was still coming down like mad and she knew the river was getting worse by the minute but trying to cross by anything less than a bridge was suicide. Just a few inches of white water could pull full grown man’s feet out from under him. The current was strong and swift. A small tree drifted past with surprising speed and momentum.
Kelly looked back, who was she kidding? She had been lucky, very lucky, with the spider and couldn’t afford anymore close calls. The rain still came down incredibly heavy and hid anything beyond a stones throw. She had to cross. If that spider was the biggest, fastest, and strongest others might be along soon. The old Man made it sound like the forest needed to know there was hope as if a dark blanket of evil had been laid over it. One spider had been her testament but she wasn't here to fight; it was time to run. She glanced at the rivers flow and reluctantly dropped the knife into the bag; she couldn't risk losing it in the river, and threw it to the far bank. Flash flood waters were eroding the far bank and cold reddish brown waves began to reach her feet on the boulder. Her bag was at the foot of a dogwood tree higher up but the bank was being undermined, she could already see the tree's farthest roots being washed clean. She had a plan, a weak one, but it was the best chance she had.
Suddenly the rain stopped. An eerie quiet seemed louder than the roaring river. Her plain face looked up at the sky while her jaw dropped in shock. Everything was still except the river. She glanced back to see the forests edge a couple hundred yards away. No signs of new spiders but her trail was painfully obvious. Kelly's hands shot to unbutton her pants and yank them down. The clothing would only hamper her swimming, but even better she tied the ankles together to make a float. The denim was already wet and would hold air for a short time. Taking a few steps back she took a deep breath and made a running leap into the rushing water.
The flood waters were icy cold and felt semi-solid water against her bare feet and smooth thighs. Brutal currents carried all sorts of sticks and rock. She held the blue jeans down and her makeshift floatation device shot up two air filled pant legs like bunny ears. She didn't feel any bottom to the river which was good and bad. She was being swept away fast from her dogwood tree. Kelly kicked her legs trying for the far side but her insignificant propulsion was nothing compared to the tumultuous flood waters. She was making little progress. Her legs felt all manner of unknowable debris but she ignored it all focusing on the far bank. The river took a turn and slung her close to the bank swirling in a whirlpool. The sharp turn was battering the bank extra hard but just beyond the worst of the current Kelly caught a twisted root sticking out of the mud. The bank was steep and failing but she couldn't see her dogwood and couldn't risk being caught in the current again. It was now or never. Her pants were half filled with water and when she tried to sling them onto the bank the current ripped them from her grasp. She didn't have time to miss them, a fresh surge of strength roared against her and almost pulled her in too. She held the root for dear life. Her body was pulled and tossed like a streamer in the wind but her hand held. She would never flush a goldfish or bug down the toilet again! The rush passed but the water was rising and fast. Her free hand slapped into the red clay mud. Clay mud held better against the water than crumbling dirt, but her fingers dug into it like putty and found no purchase. She scrambled for other roots but it was useless until she got her feet into the muddy underwater wall and began to climb. Her toes curled and tried to hold, the mud would hold for a second or two before her feet pushed it into the water out from under her. A few short jumps was enough to get her chest out of the water. Her shirt had created the worst drag. It was still a struggle to hold but at least she wasn't straining for dear life. Her foot stood on the root that had first saved her. The bank had caved in and the exposed earth was soft and her hands dug fruitlessly in the muck. With her other foot she tried for a step. Her white panties had become the color of the water and tiny specks of mica looked like glitter on her butt. Again and again the soft mud slid and fell. With a hopeless laugh Kelly thought she would just dig the bank out into a wheelchair ramp. She continued to work hoping to find more roots or a rock, anything to make a hold so she could get out of the river. That's when something hit her back and stuck.
In gloomy quiet dark, the Wendigo didn't stir when the spider was killed. It was luck, but the girl wouldn't be so lucky this time. Or maybe she would once, twice or even three times, but her luck couldn't hold out forever.
Rain spattered on the oily portal washing a dark slick down the mountain like a bleeding wound. Something moved in the tar. Two wings slowly rose and dropped then two more joined in alternating piston slowly picking up speed freeing themselves from the stick. Slowly a body emerged lifted by the wings as it fought the fresh gravity. Two feet away more wings slowly cranked up, and more until the whole clearing was alive. Each creature was it's own tortured Nargle operated by a hive mind in the cave. Six long insectile legs and a long carapace resembled a fat bloated dragonfly. The first Bloatfly struggled to hover. The rain battered the overlarge insect to the ground. Darkness pulled the plug on the rainstorm. The clouds would stay to block out the sun, but the rain had done it's job. The girl might see the swarm coming but what could she do? The first recovered and zoomed though the sky to the last known location; it's sickeningly swollen abdomen filled with sinister purpose. Alone the creature was all but helpless but the others would be along soon. The insect arrived just in time to see the odd looking denim bunny ears floating down the river. Not seeing any signs of the girl, it followed the curious sight. Soon it saw the weak girl clamoring to the riverbank trying to escape. It waited to lead the others to the prey, but the girl looked drained and helpless. Kelly's panties had been washed half off in the flood and the gentle rounds of bare buttocks and dimples in the small of her back were an image imprinted into the bugs mind. Like a dog humping a chair or a wolf racing to a crying rabbit, the insect flew into action unable to deny it's genetic programming.
Kelly thought a small child had been washed away and grabbed her, or a raccoon, but the water was just over the tops of her feet. The jolt sent her scrambling for a hold again. The creature was indifferent to her struggles and its long tail stretched like a slow flexing muscle to reveal an odd organ. A small red fleshy prehensile funnel emerged as a disgusting erection. Kelly hugged the muddy bank so close she couldn't get a look at the insect legs wrapped her waist or even discourage the creature with a nudge. She had all but lost her root pedestal and her searching right foot found a patch of mud that held but it left her legs splayed. Maybe there was a rock underneath or thick clay that hadn't been softened yet. She relaxed her arms slowly trusting her legs new hold and balance. The tail stabbed blindly at Kelly's sex missing by a mile. Her panties covered half her butt and important gusset. The tail was off target and obscenely bent double the soft conical tip writhed at her lower back.
Kelly froze contemplating the new devilry and fearing some secret poison, but realized the simple creature was confused. A thought flashed through her mind but she didn't have time to consider it. She was sure the spider had been meant to kill her, so why wouldn't this? The tail gave up and rose to retry with slightly better aim. It hit the top crevice of her butt were the panties had slid. The prehensile cone was satisfied finally sandwiched in warm flesh. On the tip an orifice waved and slowly opened. The creature tightened its grip and went stiff. Kelly's hands felt the hard sticklike legs that clenched belly to hold its body so tight. A bubble emerged from the tail and spread her butt cheeks before dropping into her panties, then another and another. She had to lean totally on the bank smearing her chest and face in red mud to use her hands. A splash to her right warned the rising flow would soon wash out the precarious hold. The monster wasn't having any luck and seemed to be satisfied for the moment. Her loose panties needed correcting to prevent any future luck. She cursed letting her pants go so easy, but wanted at least one layer of snug clothes between her and the thing. Her face rested on the cold mud as she gently pulled her panties up tight. The ovipositor tail was covered by them and pulled the pingpong ball spheres against her precious body. One slimy round nudged her sensitive clitoris but her violent pull shoved another into the slit of her labia holding her open gently resting outside her precious entrance. Her body shivered at the perverse thing. If something hit her or she sat down while it was there... The tail pushed more in at a steady rate but they fell out of her over stuffed underwear. She snaked a hand around front to pull her panties aside and let the others fall out, but a huge cave in just downstream stopped her cold. Larger chunks of dry earth crumpled into the river as the bank widened a full yard. Her right foot hold was weakening but below the clay was rock she was sure of it. The slide revealed a mass of granite just out of reach.
The choice was a matter of priorities and survival foremost in her mind. Kelly bent her knees to jump horrified that she spread more over the nasty ball as if opening herself to it. The root that had first pulled her to safety held strong as she kicked off. The bug didn't seem to mind and felt like an iron backpack. The hard clay mud under her right foot had been slowly weakening and under the fresh weight crumbled into the river. Kelly went under. The insect came alive and burst out of the water spraying a find mist from it whizzing wings. Her panties were loaded with the spheres and the strong water rushed in like a loose bag on a windy day. The slide had revealed a hidden rocky bank, but the boulders were huge and stuck far out into the flow. The water had undermined the stone and flowed freely under. Kelly was swept under and down fast. She kicked wildly realizing the true danger of white water and flash floods: being wedged under a tree or bridge with the incredible weight of water pressing down on the helpless victim. Her feet felt the rough boulder and kicked it away. Her eyes were held tight when the harsh current slammed her into the rock. At least she wasn't going down, but she was held tight to the rock face. Most of the little balls had escaped her panties as they were pulled down to her knees by the current. Kelly was still underwater and had no idea how far the surface was but if she made it back up she had to have her panties. Her legs bent into the oncoming current to hold them at her knees and a hand grabbed the hem and yanked them back up, scraping and ripping against the rock until they were snug again. Her knees and elbows got the worst of it but she forced her self up until her ears heard the open air again. Her eyes were filled with muddy water and stung as she blinked them clear.
The crushing force of water made it hard to breath, but she didn't have to struggle to hold on, plus the rock looked easy to climb if she could find the strength. She didn't have much left but managed to pull her chest onto the haven. Most of the current pulled down, so her legs floated easily in the top inches. The bank was still steep and she had a very long journey still ahead of her. All she could think of was getting back to her book bag, and just hoping it was still there when she felt something. A lump was still in her panties. Reaching back she felt the round bump from the outside. Pressing it against her soft butt she cringed. Kelly fished the small ball out and brought it up to look at it. The egg was covered by a thin membrane, very thin, almost paper thin. It wasn't pretty and round, rather a brown and shifting red cancerous tumor. One large lumpy vein dominated the ball. Other smaller lumps and bumps seemed to move and shift inside. Holding the thing made her feel sick. She couldn't stand to see it live and placed it on the sharp rock and smashed it with her palm. A strange slimy fluid gushed and coated her hand like snails slime and three small larva struggled in the open air. It must have been another twisted Bee, but what other sorts of perversions were making their way through the ecosystem. Was her world becoming the Demon's? All because she didn't have the strength to kill it when she had the chance! She had to get back to her bag and quick.
First, getting her arms under her and then her weak legs she slowly stood and felt true exhaustion. The day’s events were wearing on her weakened body and mind. She felt dizzy and her eyes fought to focus through a blackening fog. Utterly spent she stumbled forward leaving the worms to their blind search. The shirt and panties hung loose, stretched and tore, the wet cling her saving grace. Fighting the river had taken its heavy toll. With each weighted step she wanted to collapse and rest but she had to get to the bag. Slowly and painfully Kelly placed her steps focusing on following the bank. She had no idea how far she had been carried downstream. Strength didn't come from her limbs but from determination to just keep moving. Coming to an uphill climb her delirious eyes lazily looked at the river trying to remember the place but it was all a blur. It was no more than a flight of stairs but the bottom called to her to just stop and rest in relative safty. Ignoring the Sirens call she took an ambitious step onto the grassy knoll and her foot slipped and fell. The weak grass gave way to mud as if it were nothing but paint. Kelly fell Flat on her face and darkness beckoned. Gritting her teeth with anger her lungs filled with a second wind she forced her way up the weakened bank in a soldier crawl. She was a soldier, but had never understood the depths of determination until now. She continued by sheer force of will.
Slowly cresting the grassy knoll Kelly learned a lesson she wouldn't forget. Had she walked up or even ran the Bloatfly's would have swarmed her. A small army of the creatures were camped out around her bag. The dogwood tree still stood but most of the bank was washed out and it listed heavily toward the rivers flow. The branches weren't large enough but two fly's clung to it anyway bouncing on the spindly tree. To Kelly it appeared they were trying to push the tree in, but how could simple insects be so cunning?
Time was short and seeing the monsters was like being dunked in the icy river again. Her mind focused, hyper aware, and her body prepared for the test to come. The catlike fluidity and speed she'd felt growing was her only hope. She had to get to that bag no matter how well guarded. Her body would cut through the air like a smooth stone skips across the water.
Her shirt was heavy and wet and for a moment she almost slid out of it without a second thought. But she stopped. Doubt and indecision lead to fear. Her heart raced with newfound courage, but in an instant the foul memory of the beasts intentions stopped her cold. The wet shirt was the least of her problems. With a shaking hand she felt the shabby panties that would be her only defense if she was caught. The spandex was stretched and torn worst around the legs, she had jerked them up too hard one too many times. Her finger probed the gusset which lay lazily against her buttock. Without even brushing them aside her finger felt bare flesh. The sensitive folds of her body were exposed. What if one of them had landed on her back... Drunk on astonishment she pushed her finger forward and it dipped in with ease. Warm wet lips accepted the intrusion without hesitation or resistance. Her heart raced as fear converged on the sensation. Her mind saw the twisted egg and almost retched. The finger slid out. Her body was so beautiful and pure, smooth and sweet, how could she face such horrors?
Kelly clenched her eyes and shook the thoughts from her head. The decision had been made. Salvation, not for herself but for this reality, lie in her determination to kill the beast. At least in this battle she knew what she was up against. Her silhouette disappeared from view back down the hill a few inches to slide the shirt off. Another idea came, likely useless but she could use all the help she could get. She grabbed fistfuls of mud and sod rubbing them onto her skin and tossing lobs of muck onto her back. The ruse wouldn't last for long but maybe it would be the second she needed.
Slowly like a prowling cat Kelly inched up the hill and into view, her chest barely above the ground. Grass tickled her bare breasts and watery mud rolled down from her hair into her face but she moved smooth and slow. The Bloatfly's knew how to hunt for her, but they weren't very observant. Three or four insects flew and hovered over the scene, twice that number were in the surrounding woods, and two were still struggling with the tree. Clumps of sod had slid off Kelly's right side exposing bare ribs and another rolled off her panties from the angle and left a long streak of thigh shining. It wasn't much but one of the aerial fly's noticed and recognized the girl's body. It rolled into a nose dive. The others hadn't noticed the form yet, but they would soon.
Kelly heard the unnaturally large wings just before it hit and dodged to the side just as the bug slammed into the mucky with loud splat. She had planned for this. The insect expected to grab her but had only landed in a painful belly flop. Kelly leapt onto the creatures back like a crazed warrior. Her legs hugged insect while her fists bashed at it's head. The head was mildly armor plated and she was fearful of a poisonous bite, but in only a few seconds she had ripped it's head off. The several other fly's had taken notice of the disturbance and watched glossy eyed and still judging their prey.
As soon as the head was off Kelly leapt up and ran for the tree. The two had taken flight and she fought the temptation to plan an attack, rather she stayed clear like a coiled spring waiting for their move. Unlike the her, they lined up their attack and flew at the stupid female. Soon their job would be done.
The second was a few meters behind the first, their six insectile legs outstretched and ready to latch onto her any way they could. It was hard to judge the increasing speed and Kelly barely missed the first as she dropped and rolled forward. A gust of wind brushed her back as she rolled. She came up in a perfect crouch just in time and leapt into the air to attack the second. She was airborn with nothing but her bare hands to kill the creature. She wanted to grab it's head, the other came off with surprising ease, but the fly dropped below the attack. Kelly landed with a crash, but came up with handfuls of crackling wing. At least it was crippled. The first would be back for a second pass, and she had no idea how many there really were or where. She was right at the foot of the tree and her bag was just on the far side. The ground below felt uneasy and rumbled with the rivers flow. A whirr of wings was growing closer behind, another joined and they became hard to tell apart. She lunged for the bag. They were weak, but only when she had the advantage. A heavy crash hit behind where she had been just a heartbeat before. Rolling to her side the grabbed the children's backpack. An insect leg pinched her trailing foot as the angry bug crawled for her. The panties had fallen loose again and though her legs were together her peach was exposed. The insect went insane seeing her sweet spot and doubled it's speed and anger pinching it's way up. It was on top of her when she finally grabbed the zipper. The apex of it's abdomen was pushed against the cleft of her bubble butt when it went ridged. The soft fleshy tip unfurled against her. Kelly's mind was on getting the knife but when the insects funnel slid inside just as her finger had done. She kicked streight as a board and rolled. A micro-second later and the cone would have locked to her. Four sickly eggs spilled onto the mushy ground in an instance as the bug spilled onto it's side. The tip retracted and it's wings buffeted her with wind as it rose into the air clearly not finished.
Kelly's heart rate reached dangerous levels and the fight or flight response was overriding her mind. Her vision was blurry close up and at distance, she was only able to focus three to six feet in front of her. The body drains blood from the extremities to fight and left her fumbeling with the zipper. The injured fly was trying to take flight but only managed to hop forward clawing at the ground, while the other retreated. Four more circled the sky watching and waiting. Kelly clutched the bag to her chest and resigned to ripping at seam hoping she could escape. A fleeting thought entered her mind, it was a last resort but maybe she could jump in the river with the bag.
The injured fly was at her feet her and it's legs were angry strong pushing them apart and it climbed into position. She tried to fight but it was too strong and well balanced to roll. It held low to her body rubbing it's underside against her spread crotch as it moved up. Kelly slung the bag for an insignificant blow, but noticed a hole where the zipper had come apart. Clearly confident the hideous insect lifted it's body and stretched the sickly ovipositor out while putting all of it's weight and strength into pinning her knees wide. She tore into the bag ripping though wet papers trying to find the shard as it came down shoving against the raggedy cloth. The Bloatfly stabbed again and again humping her weak form trying to find the warm tunnel. Her body was bounced and bumped back as she tried to find the knife. Her hand felt the leather wrapped handle as the tentacle finally slid inside.
Kelly's body went stiff as it exploded inside her almost instantly. A machine gun of corrupted eggs burped out. The position allowed the creature unlimited access to her body and she cried out as they were deposited deeper and deeper inside. It stopped almost as soon as it began, but it was finished. Kelly was face to face with the monster. She had the knife, the power, and brought it down into the insects head but that last moment of pure ecstasy and exaltation was more than she could take. The bug slumped off and slid out. She didn't know it, but a countdown had begun as soon as the eggs entered her body. The thin membrane was being attacked by her body’s immune system and would soon breakdown. As designed the eggs would burst with a flood of fluid to change the ph balance to create a suitable climate for the larva. It was only a matter of time. Adrenaline numbed the pain, but the pressure was there. Kelly's hands went to her stomach as an involuntary shiver spit three eggs out. Her panties held them for a moment before letting them gently roll to the ground. Her breath was short and sudden before she held it to push a few more out.
More bugs landed around her, satisfied she was defeated. The look of pure release and rapture told her the others would never stop using her until they were all finished. Slowly another moved between her legs to replace the spilled eggs and more. Kelly found the knife was still in her hand and sliced a deadly gnash across it's face. The others stirred, agitated. The weight and displacement was still in her depths as Kelly rolled over onto her hands, legs limply trailing, to face the others. They immediately took flight hovering close but capable of a quick escape. One lighted on her blind side, but as it stretched the searching tentacle into the crack of her butt she made short work of it.
The Bloatfly's seemed to know they were now outmatched and made their way to the tree line. Up stream the bank gave way and a ton of solid rock rolled into the raging river. Kelly didn't kid herself it would only take a moment of weakness for them to return. She grabbed her bag standing on shaking legs to move away from the river bank herself. After only a few steps she was overcome with sickness and dropped to her knees struggeling to push two more eggs out. She felt another with a probing finger but her body was too tight to let it out easily. She did better, the pressure was gone, but she knew there was at least one more. Dusk was approaching and she wanted her shirt.
The wet shirt made her shiver, but it wasn't just because she was cold. RedHawk had said the train tracks would be near and she needed to find them before dark. She was more than exhausted, she was used. The warning not to close her eyes replayed over and over in her head. There was no way she could sleep out here. She had to make it home before she collapsed.
The walk was torture. After only a few minutes she became sure there was more than one still inside. She could feel them rubbing as she walked. It had been almost an hour and she couldn't see much. The train tracks still eluded her but going into the treeline just a little bit might cause her to lose the river and she'd be lost all night. Several times as she walked she felt the egg at her entrance and stopped squatting as if to pee, but it still wouldn't come out. The others had filled her so much that this one happily stayed in the vacuum. It was fully dark when she came to a railroad trestle. Climbing a small rocky bank onto the tracks she realized it was the very one she crossed the day before. Though she couldn't exactly remember which day it was...
She picked up the pace despite the sensual internal rubbing and made good time to her house. Billy could always be trusted to keep the lights on. It was just after nine pm when she came in the back door. Billy was asleep on the couch.
Kelly finally relaxed and felt safe enough to let her guard down. Her muscles were tense and with deep breaths she slowly let the tension out. Clutching the nearest chair for support, she stumbled. There was still one more grueling task before she could close her eyes for the night. She felt it in the pit of her stomach. As she let go and calmed, the misshapen lumps she carried felt clearer than ever. It was still early but with the TV on Billy's slumber would be hard to disturb.
Pushing forward careless of the muddy wet prints her bare feet left on the tile, she carried all the days strife with each step into the clean shelter. The wet shirt stuck like a second skin, and her panties were nothing but a rag barely clinging to stay on her hips. The unnatural indoor light shone against her oddly. She was a character out of place in the home. Caught somewhere between a zombie and an injured soldier, she made her way up the stairs. Each step higher ate away at her mind. Unlike before, she was in control and had to deal with the consequences personally. The decision to wait, to leave them in, to get home where it was safe weighed against her. Since she realized she wasn't lost back at the railroad trestle her body had been ready to push one out. Coated with mucus, the egg was ready to slide out on it's own as she neared the top. Kelly raised her leg for the last step when the egg began to breech the tight orifice and fall to the floor. For a reason not totally known to her Kelly stopped it. The egg seemed alive and throbbing as her finger held it inside. She was brought to her knees nearly overcome by the battle. Billy was just below; it wasn't time and she pushed it back inside. She had a reason of course, but her clouded mind fought to stay sane. If it came out now she would have to carry it, and she wasn't sure she could.
With the worst gone, Kelly stood again and pushed on, not to the bathroom, or her bed, but to the studio. The door closed a bit too loud behind, but she didn't care. In front of the naked canvas she collapsed. It was still on the floor. She stared at it blankly for a moment only inches away. What had become so effortless vexed her. Then an evil thing happened. Something popped inside her. Like a balloon underwater, the egg burst. Her eyes went instantly wide and fresh blood rushed to her brain and muscles. She thrust forward into the sterile white world of the canvas.
Something mildly thick and incredibly slick coated her inner thighs, and something else was very alive. Inside, just beneath the soft pink labia that held her closed strong minnow like larva swam against the pressure of her body. She had seen one of the eggs smashed but somehow her mind never made the connection. Her breath jumped and her body clenched and shivered driven by the unseen force. One of the muscled larva found the tiny entrance to her womb and tried to force inside. Kelly was thrown back in agony whimpering softly, but there were no sympathetic ears to hear. The first larva had gone off course, but another felt her cervix and tried. She jumped and appeared to be thrown by the sensation but she forced her mind to calm and slowly became still. Knees together and face contorted, Kelly's hand covered the gap between her legs feeling them inside. There was another egg and she knew time was short but her hand covered her vulnerability like a new wound, though it provided no comfort. Her insides were swimming, terribly alive but her calm was forced like a solider whose stepped on a land mine. She had to focus to prepare herself. She felt them, not just the report of her bodies nerve endings, but they were Nargels; tortured Nargles and in this place she could confront them. Kelly's heart cried out to them begging for it to stop.
The Nargles were nothing but a blind set of instructions, like a worker ant. The others she had met reciprocated her compassion like a puppy, but these had been robbed of empathy and love. Their new physical bodies able to interact with the world but for a purpose not their own. She felt their inner spirits, all the same yet different, like a handful of marbles. Anger built in her heart now. The spirits behind the zombie creatures, the drone insects, were a consciousness unable to interact or control themselves. Tormented and used by the evil they wished for death though their bodies couldn't respond. Kelly felt a rush, a surge of rage against the evil. The Nargles may not be human now but their spirits, given time and the magical gift of creation and a corporeal body, would be!
A power she hadn't learned to control rushed down her arm like a whiplash stopping at her fingertips. The larva inside froze commanded as metal is controlled by a magnet. Kelly held the slimy things. A poison to her world. Her raw power encapsulated them like a tractor beam. They didn't belong here and only her knowledge of the dimensional flux and unnatural melding could pick them out as invaders. She pulled them from her body without any more fight. Her fingertips were glowing sending forth an unseen spiders web that held them in the air. Nothing in her world was this grotesque, vile, or evil. The larva were small and eel-like and looked mutated and diseased. She could only imagine they came from a world full of toxic chemicals and radiation; a harsh place were life only survived with luck and numbers. Her mind struggled to exist in the same time and place as these things. And while the bloatflies had raped her, looking at them now she only began to understand the true nature of evil. Kelly's hand snapped closed and the prisoners were set free winking out of existence. She had more poison to extract. Not once did Kelly pause to consider how to do this or more importantly, doubt. The egg tested her tight body, but still slimy it slid out with a sickening pleasure of expulsion she could not deny.
She was finally free and safe. The day had been one of the longest in her life, filled with triumph and defeat. But finally in her most secret of places she let out a long sigh of relief. Tomorrow was Friday, the last day of school this week and she had no plans to go. She could have called up her bed, but back in the real world Billy would be worried sick if he couldn't find her. She owed it to him. Not so much an explanation, but he had expectations and limitations. He had been pushed so far and hard this past week. Kelly pondered her new power, but she knew Billy felt truly powerless and without any answers what-so-ever. The answer hit her as if it was the most simple thing, yet she resisted. She wanted to make it up to him, show Billy he was appreciated and give him what he wanted most even though that would make him even more insufferable. The idea of sleeping alone in her bed; however, was even more frightening. Especially tonight.
Standing was a battle but going to her room for a change of clothes was a war. The insistent slime was near impossible to clean off. Sleep deprivation was akin to drunkenness and even lead to hallucination. She hadn't started to hallucinate yet, but every step was a stumble, and her clothes could have only been adorned by a drunk. Billy was asleep, or at least pretending to be asleep, when as she came down the stairs.
The living room was tranquil and quiet. It was hers, but with Billy piled up on the couch she couldn't help but feel it was like a sleep over. The dim light and night still almost had her sleeping on her feet. She had an odd feeling Billy was awake though he gave no signs. She threw the quilt back and saw his sock covered feet. She had tried to bleach his socks at first, but the dark stained soles were impossible to clean. She nearly turned back but with half lidded eyes, she joined him. No sooner than her eyes closed and she tucked a throw cushion under her head she was dead to the world.
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
First off, thanks to those who have been following. So far it's been very plot heavy and almost no erotic content. I'll take a wild guess that most of you didn't sign up for all this story and plot for no fun. I'll get there! This one is VERY unfinished with large swaths of conversation and description still to do but I think this is an interesting twist and spin on the story. I'm just trying to plow through and get words on paper right now.
I suggest you come back in a month or two because the story, spelling, and grammar are in shambles atm. I post on here mostly for myself but I know that for those enjoy it, there's nothing close out there. I'd love to find a story with content like mine. Feel free to post me a link in comments.
The little red pickup bumped down a neglected state road. The two people inside the cab struggling to cope with their strange feelings and fears. Both felt a strong shiver of doubt running up their spine. Kelly recognized the road. and she couldn't ignore the coincidence. There were no such thing as mere coincidence anymore. The truck drove past the old mine. Not that the state ever cared much for the road but after the mine it really got bad. Brian was used to it but Kelly was getting further and further away from what little comfort she knew. More than once had a mudslide taken out half the road. Brian had made a makeshift bridge lashing together whatever he had at the time. Old 4x4 timbers and a few smaller trees bounced as the truck passed over the gap. The two exchanged a glace their faces held an entire conversation. What little potholed blacktop there was came to an abrupt stop.
"Hold on, got to put it in four wheel. Halfway there!" Brian hopped out leaving the door open while her eyes were wide in amazement. His comfort of the daily routine gave Kelly a good feeling, but she was far from home. The old truck rumbled a smooth purr as she muttered to herself, halfway? Brian hopped back in without a word and with the door still open he backed up ten or twelve feet only to leave and do something to each tire. The work was alien to Kelly. The truck was rolling forward again on what looked like an old goat trail.
The destination was clear, they were headed to the top of the mountain. It was a fitting place for such an Indian, high atop a mountain when the white man pillaged the heart of it with a mine. Wise man, Shaman, the image she had in her mind was nothing, he was probably just an old man telling bedtime stories. She felt so out of place, so far from home, how had she conned this quiet shop keeper to bring her here?
Brian believed. He was called the White Coyote by what remained of his heritage. He was a sellout who spent his days in a tourist trap. His family had stayed true, sheltered by the harsh landscape while other tribes ran big Casinos. Brian was the heir to a responsibility he wasn't willing to carry. He wore his shame in every step but chose to stand by his role in the world the best he could. But this girl carried a heavy heart and bore a load he knew he was somehow meant to carry. Taking her to see his father was his duty, a service to the old ways he didn't fully understand. Brian pulled up to the old cabin; his job finished. His life decision on his chest he nodded that she go in, "He'll be on the front porch." She had courage, but this was HER path, her test.
Kelly pulled the latch on the door and took her first steps toward the home. The Family had once been strong and powerful having no place to call home but the countryside itself. Wooden steps marked the way to the porch through a rocky outcropping. She was confused and feared some evil trick when she didn't see anyone on the porch. The earth was nothing but rock, stumps and pine here outside the lone cabin. The wild human voice that controlled and flowed with the land driven back to this place. The last fortress of a dying time, the last vestige of that howling voice was hidden behind these walls. She looked back to Brian who stood beside the truck waiting. It was her stage, she was in the spotlight now he had done what she asked and would do nothing more.
The porch was weathered but strong and would be for a hundred years. Odd feathers and stones made talismans and dream catchers where she might have expected bird feeders. She knew no one would answer but her knuckles rapped the door shyly before the took the handle and pulled it open.
The house smelled earthy, not of dirt but of the faint smoky smell in flint and animal firs after they've been tanned and of the tree sap and green spice, but most of all good clean leather. Several horse saddles were stacked just inside the door with riding gear waiting for a horse that Brian would never bring. The saddles were ready be used at a moments notice. A stag handle caught Kelly's eye and her hand pulled a tomahawk from it's sheath. She quickly put it back, she had touched without asking, but she knew it didn't matter here. This was a place of mutual respect and pride. Suddenly her whole existence at home felt fake and she couldn't believe she lived in the same world. Before she felt that Candace's world of hand crafted bathrooms was special and real compared to her apartment, but the whole town was built on fake ideals and desires. The house was dark but the open design was flooded with natural light from the far side. Walking in further she felt like a welcomed guest. A fireplace glowed with hot embers. The cabin looked like it had been cut in two, the far wall was filled with paned windows and an open door. An old man bent and hobbling with tiny steps was approaching the door. Kelly stood tall and ready to meet him.
Red Hawk knew a visitor would come, but looking through the door he couldn't believe the girl that stood where a warrior should. Curiosity on his face he beckoned the girl to join him. Kelly's hands were in her pockets toying with the arrowheads, her thumb drawn to the odd tip. Red Hawk went to his rocker and took a deep breath letting the fresh mountain air fill his lungs. How could this girl be the only one to come? He tasted the wind and looked to the clouds but no answer came, only a young girl to his side. She held arrowheads and offered him to take one. Wrinkles of ageless concern were written on his face like tattoos he took one. To Kelly he looked angry, the face of a bird of prey with sharp eyes. He took it and closing his eyes his fist clenched the arrowhead and tossed it over the railing.
How could he prepare such a one? "Do not carry corrupted stones."
Kelly jumped to the rail to watch the black arrowhead disappear into the forest a hundred feet below. She felt loss seeing the artifact go, but to this man it was nothing. "I-ii found that this morning.. I was hoping you could tell me what.."
"When you already know the answer, why ask the question?"
Kelly was quiet, his words made her think. After what had happened to her, after all she'd seen, why was she tip toeing on thin ice? The sky and mountains lay before her; the day was beautiful and it was hot, terribly hot. She couldn't remember the last rain. No matter the beautiful landscape, memories flooded her mind. It was so frail and weak when it came into the world. Where was it? How did it survive in this dry heat?
"I thought it was, ya know, Satan or something..."
The old man chuckled as he rocked the chair, "Did you see horns, red trident and forked tongue? What you've found is a spirit of spirits, a root that binds the earth. Many cultures and peoples have a name for it, so in a way you are right."
Kelly's fingers rubbed another arrowhead in her pocket, "Then it can't be killed?"
"No more than the sun banishes the moon. But it does not belong here. Weakness and despair invite the Wendigo and it's hunger feeds their need. The Wendigo never leaves only grows stronger while the human fades."
Her face frowned, she didn't understand. Was Tom the beginning or an effect? "So, the first one, the one who invites the spirit..."
"He must die."
Kelly's heart leapt into her throat, Tom was dead yet the spirit persisted that meant SHE was the one who had to die! But it didn't make sense. "I was... attacked, and my friend too..." She paused, it's hunger fed their need, Candace had offered herself to it and even begged Kelly draw her a picture. Was Candace suspect? It did attack her first. "It... it.. went after us, but I don't think it got what it wanted. Until a man kidnapped me and it possessed him.. and.. aaan..."
"That man IS Wendigo!"
"But we killed him!" Kelly was near tears and couldn't look at the old Indian. Red Hawk stopped rocking and sat up concerned. This girl was a warrior.
"I've seen it in others, and in things that don't even exist! Not the root as you call it but it's influence and power."
Red Hawk thought of the King Fisher, a bird that dives into the water to steal a fish before returning to the sky. Perhaps it could have the power to jump in and out. "What have you seen?"
Kelly was crying, her chest rising and falling trying to force smooth words, "At first it was a little worm. I drew a picture and it came to life, but they change. One turned into a giant Bee and attacked my friend... We tried to study and watch it, but...but" The man was silent until she continued, "I could feel it trying to speak to me, but I couldn't hear it."
"It has more power than has even been told."
"Don't you get it! I created something out of thin air too, a wolf that killed a boy who was hurting me... It's in me isn't it?"
Red Hawk was astounded by the words and story. For months signs had foretold of a coming storm but this was far worse than he could imagine. "No, I would have sensed it. In you and in all things there is a spirit. Spirits exist all around us, some current, some past, and some who haven't taken shape. They are Manitou. The wolf was your Manitou, but it is not corrupted like the Wendigo.
Kelly suddenly stopped crying; her Nargles! It all made sense, they were Manitou. Her eyes were still red but she turned to face him, "I can see them! They're in the shadows!"
Red Hawk scowled, the question of how the girl had made contact with the Manitou was a mystery. He had only seen the spirits during a sweat lodge ceremony with peyote. This child had so much knowledge he was in awe. "Yesss, but they do not all hide in the shadows. It's been years since I've seen the white Manitou."
Relief plain on her face her tears gone and her face smiling again she asked, "So how do I kill it?" His face broke into a matching smile, this girl was able to change so fast she was volatile like gunpowder. Perhaps she was the perfect warrior.
Kelly looked at him sarcastically, "So I just walk up to it and yell 'I believe you're dead', and it's over?"
He muttered to himself as he got up, "Gunpowder is good and bad..." Kelly tilted her head confused. "Let me get you something." He shuffled into the house and came back a moment later with a shoebox, a bag and something Kelly recognized immediately, a palette. "These have come to me over the years and I'm to old now. I hope the time is right for them to serve you."
She took the box and lifted the lid. Inside were glittering stones of blue, green, yellow and purple. Arrowheads had been made from many different types of quartz and one large knife from a large dark smoky quartz. Kelly held the knife up to the sun. The double edge blade jagged with more expert flint knapping and the stone was dark opaque like ashen glass.
"Our legends say that the smoky quartz is made from the tears my people cried as they were marched to their death. The white man forced many tribes along the Trail of Tears to reservations. Most died of starvation or fatigue, or were marched off a cliff at gunpoint. The white mans greed, his Wendigo grew strong but never appeared for us to fight. You are lucky you can see your enemy.
Kelly stared wide eyed and somehow feeling guilty. Red Hawk looked at the young girl still wondering how she could fight such a foe. His eyes were angry set deep behind high cheek bones but he accepted the past as an old man accepts the inevitable flow of time. He regarded her for some time before speaking again, "You must not fear, fear is the mind killer. Fear is the little death that bring total obliteration. You must face your fear, let it pass over and through you and when it is gone turn your inner eye to see it's path and there will be nothing. Only you will remain." She felt the sense of duality again, the sense of other place, other times, other hers out there fighting the same fight. The sense of infinity. What was fear?
Seeing his words take affect Red Hawk prepared the next step of the ceromony. Small vials emptied out ash and crushed dust onto the flat plank of wood where he added a few drops of water and mixed the paste into paint. War paint. He had never done this outside of a sweat lodge and without peyote. But not even the greatest of his ancestors could see the Manitou without the ceremony, but this girl had. Nothing was definite, nothing was sure, the world and all the players in it were very out of balance. He smeared a thumb in black paint and Kelly instinctively closed her eyes. A black line stretched from ear to ear crossing the bridge of her nose and coving her closed eye lids, then red snaked down her cheeks and throat. He began to hum which grew into a low chant as Kelly opened her eyes. With her eyes open the line was broken; evil would never be complete while she walked. She was bewildered having no idea what was on her face or what she looked like.
Red Hawk had turned leaving her alone. He tossed some bitter smelling crushed herbs into the wind to signal the change. Kelly felt strange, not silly, but not ready to go into town either. She felt the knife again. The blade was heavy and the hilt tightly bound with leather strips, she couldn't deny the power and historical weight it carried. Was she suppose to use it or put it on a shelf in a museum? The old man was chanting louder now and she felt it was time to go. Her bag was on a wicker table and she unzipped the front pocket to add the arrowheads. The volcanic glass ones slid out and one landed on the floor. Red Hawk immediately stopped and turned with eyes of piercing anger. Everything has a Manitou, from the trees and birds to rocks, and these stones were tainted with a great evil. "DO NOT CARRY THESE!"
"I..-I'm sorry, we just found them.." Her scared face betrayed the strength of the mask.
"Are there others?"
"No I think this is all, we didn't see anymore in the ground."
Red Hawk felt a stab of fear, he shouldn't have thrown the one from the railing before. "Give them to me." Scooping up a handful she handed them to him like beans. The girl had no respect for the items she held. He had no other option than to trust a hope. Laying the stones in the high noon sunlight on the railing he was vexed on just how to dispose of them. Kelly started to help and line them up before he barked at her again. "Do not align them!" His face softened realizing she didn't understand, "Broken pattern only."
"They were in a circle when we found them, is that how it..." She didn't have the words.
"Yes, nothing is without meaning." Not trusting the rocks, he turned to the shoebox. "Align these on your windows. And.." He paused, looking at the cheap bookbag. Why would someone have such a thing? Should wouldn't have a dreamcatcher, "And take this." He took a Dream catcher down that was hung on a high porch beam. Intertwined in the spider web of jute twine were various rocks and feathers, "Hang this above your bed." He put it in the bag for her, cringing at the thin nylon fiber and cheap stitching. He also took the quartz blade and placed it in the leather sheath and tied it to her jeans belt loop, "It is time for you to go now." Kelly nodded her head in agreement. "Brian cannot take you. You must show the enemy this is your land and let the forest know there is hope." Her eyes grew huge thinking of the long trip up to the mountain peak.
Red Hawk continued, there was no discussion on the issue, it had to be, "Follow the sun for two fingers," he held his spread fingers up to the sky. His pinky rested against the ridgeline and his tallest touched the sun, as the sun lowers in the sky it would follow the track laid out by his fingers. Two fingers was about two hours. "You will come to Snake river, follow it upstream and you will see town before nightfall." He could see the doubt in here eyes, she couldn't be soft about such things. The time had come for her to hold her head high and proud. "You are a warrior, a champion of your people; act like one!"
Kelly blinked and the line for an instant, but she took her bag and headed for the side stair; nothing was easy anymore. She didn't feel the need to say goodbye or give thanks to such a man these were implied and she knew it.
Red Hawk had one last word as she left, "Do not close your eyes!"