What is this crazy thing I speak of?
What the hell is Lord Vlaedr doing, talking about this in his blog?
Let me explain. *clears throat*
Did you get that? I think it is a rather genius way of explaining things.
Just give a few key words, and the mind will do the rest.
So anyway, Pirate Face Epidemic?
Basically, I look like a scurvy dog with scabs and scratches all over my face.
First, I got elbowed in the face. Massive mouth bleedage.
Secondly, a rock shot up from under the lawnmower, cutting my face. Chin bleedage.
And then lastly, every night at BJJ, I got my Gi scrubbed against my face.
So now I look like I lost a war with a rogue blender.
Did I mention I am participating in Movember?
If you don't know what that is and you are male...
That is all I will say.
So yes. That is Pirate Face Epidemic. I have rogue hair and weird scabs on my face. Woo.
And now, time to apologize to my viewers.
I'M SO SORRY. I REALLY AM.
I try to make it my policy to post every Sunday. I try.
But last Sunday, things were chaotic, family issues and stuff...
So today you get TWO Chapters! I repeat, TWO Chapters!
Bask in the glory:
Chapter Eight: Dignity...
Morning rose once again. Laying there on my private piece of dirt which I now considered my own, I thought about our newest “pal”. Armed. Dangerous. Tough.
And seemed to have Shade in some sort of trance. I clenched my fists. Now of all times to fall for infatuation...
The more I thought about it, the madder I got at Shade. When I had first met him, I instantly trusted him. I don’t even know why. Strange how an apocalypse can change your prespective. One moment you are struggling to survive, next you are naively trusting a complete stranger.
And now, he is head over heels for another complete stranger. One who I certainly did not turst. I turned on my side, gazing at the two of them. She was a couple of feet to my right, lying against the wall. Shade was within two feet of her, sleeping facing her, the stalker he was.
I sneered and turned the opposite way. Just looking at her irritated me. I frowned. These feelings of dislike were so strong. I didn’t even know why I had them. The more I seemed to try and grasp the source of the negativity, the more it seemed to dissipate.
“Childish...” I muttered, sitting up. It didn’t seem as if I was going to get any more rest. I stopped mid-motion, a nasty feeling growing in my abdomen. Alarmed, I clutched my stomach. What the hell is happening now?
After a few seconds the feeling disappeared again. Still clutching my stomach, I rolled to my feet. I quickly took in the surroundings. The rays of sunshine seemed to be sharp today. I blinked, a slight pain starting behind my eyes.
Suddenly, I grunted and doubled over. Holding my head, a piercing pain crackled through my mind. Bright flashes and constellations flickered across my mental landscape, as I swayed from side to side. Buzzing started in the back of my head, shivering up my spine.
I groaned long and hard. The world swayed back and forth... With one last wild pitch, I crashed into the dust. It felt like something was trying to eat its way out of me. Everything in my vision was still moving rapidly back and forth. I curled up, realizing I was shivering. Something felt horribly wrong within me.
The world faded into a hazy limbo. Shapes and movements were exaggerated in my eyes. Darkness crept into the sides of my eyeballs. Sharp pains flashed in my abdomen, my head feeling hot and sweaty.
Struggling hard not to, my eyes slowly closed...
When they opened again, two strange figures were kneeling in front of me, their silhouettes visible against the dark canvas of night behind them. Excited chatter slammed into my ears, the vibrations grating at my tender head. I moaned and curled up tighter. Something was seriously wrong. The pains were escalating, my body shaking now.
This time when my eyes closed, I didn’t even bother keeping them open...
The next time I awakened, things were a bit more normal. I was still shaking, and my head still felt like jello, but at least the crackling in my stomach was fading.
It was dark again, a roaring fire a mere foot away from my body. My body drew in the heat, a soothing warmth building in my chest. Calin sat next to me, staring into the bonfire. I understood her fascination.
With a small groan I uncurled myself, wincing as my cramped stomach muscles unclenched. Calin noticed my movement and immediately sat closer, concern strangely etched into her face.
“Stop moving. Take it easy.” She talked slowly and soothingly, gently pushing me back down into a lying position.
Shade materialised out of the shadows on the wall and walked towards us. Since the last time I had seen him, the tendrils of oblivion seemed to have gotten an even greater grip on him. The back of his head was now completely ethereal, as well as from his fingers to halfway up his forearms.
He stopped next to me, kneeling next to me. Worry was written with hard lines into his face.
I laughed a gravelly laugh. “You seem to kneel a lot around me these days.” Strangely enough, they also found that funny. With everyone laughing, the ice was broken between Shade and I. He smiled at me.
“You almost died, you idiot. Almost a week without food, running around, melting monsters... It’s no wonder your entire metabolism collapsed in on itself.” Shade and Calin shared a quick glance. I immediately pushed away the rancid feelings that arose in me. They had saved my life. For all I cared, they could marry.
I slowly sat up, pushing away their hands as they tried to lay me down again. The spastic shivering was stopping now, the warmth in my chest enveloping my entire system. I smiled and breathed deeply.
“I feel amazing. Thank you, Calin and Shade. You guys saved me.” I looked them both in the eye. “How long was I out?”
Shade smiled and clapped me on the back. “You are welcome, Ig. This is the third night you have been asleep. After we found you like that in the morning, it took us a while to figure out what was wrong. Your body was eating itself. It took us hours to find food, and we then force-fed you slowly for two days.” He laughed again. “Not the most fun thing I ever have done.”
Calin grinned. “Don’t worry, we also ate. We decided would rather get food poisoning than go into a coma. You have no idea how hard it was to find edible rations. Luckily, we hit the jackpot and brought it all here.” She indicated to a pile of cracked crates and other containers, filled with foodstuffs.
Shade frowned. “But it’s strange. With the amount of energy you expelled in the last few days, it is a miracle you didn’t collapse earlier. I guess you have the ability to just draw energy from the air around you.” He finished the sentence with a teasing tone, a mischievous look in his eyes.
I looked at him, dead serious. “I think you are absolutely right...”
Chapter Nine: Blind...
“Damn. I’m getting a feeling of Déjà-vu.” Shade whispered to us. Calin was behind us, her weapon sweeping back and forth towards the rear end of the crumbled pharmacy. I was on the right of Shade, scanning the only other side we could be attacked from.
“Well, describe the situation.” Calin whispered in an irritated manner. “How the hell am I supposed to know what you are talking about?”
At least from my angle I could still see most of what was happening in the streets far below. The soldiers were still doing drills, every now and then a group returning and another heading out. But there were slight differences.
In the middle of the “little” camp, a score of tents had erected. In the centre of those, a tall tower-like building had been placed, hundreds of dishes and antennas popping out of the top. In a broad rectangular shape around the camp, random guard towers had been raised; some on top of prominent buildings, others guarding important main-roads.
“They have been busy since the last time we were here...” Shade muttered, surprised.
“Yeah. And look. Their numbers are seriously low.” I pointed towards the troops. Even from this distance you could see bloody bandages and tattered armour on the soldiers. Some of them were missing helmets, and one could easily see how gaunt and dead-eyed they were. “Looks like they have been taking casualties.”
There was an impatient snort and a scuffle of feet behind me. “Oh for the sake of...” Next to me, Shade was pulled backwards and handed the gun. Calin slid into his place and examined the camp.
“Uh...” Shade’s puzzled voice came from behind.
“Just point the hole towards the back of the roof and pay attention. You will do fine.” Calin whispered loudly.
I laughed silently, and continued looking at the camp.
“Why did you want to see this place again?” I whispered in Calin’s direction.
Without taking her eyes off of the soldiers, she replied. “We need weapons and medical supplies. From what you guys tell me, those Creepers, as you call them, are extremely dangerous. And we won’t always be able to rely on your abilities...”
I nodded and frowned. It made sense. Then something occurred to me. A tingly feeling rose in me. I casually continued asking questions. “But what about your gun? Isn’t that enough to stop most things?”
“Yes.” She flicked a glance backwards at Shade to see what he was doing. “We should be fine if something attacked us. Even those monstrosities.”
Nonchalantly I continued. “By the way, how did you get it? Surely you didn’t just pick it up by chance?”
She frowned, glanced at me suspiciously, and went back to watching the camp. “My mom is an officer. Was an officer. I happened to know where their armoury was. But it did take me a day or two to find my way to the police-station...” She trailed off, staring into the distance as if overwhelmed by a memory.
The tingle came back. I was practically sparking with excitement. “What exactly did you do that first day?”
This time she turned to me and looked me in my eyes. Her grey-streaked eyes met my orange-flecked ones.
“What are you getting at, Ignis.” She spoke slowly and calmly.
I felt Shade moving closer and saw him glance at us nervously out of my peripherals. “I’m saying, I know for a fact that the first night had its fair share of monsters. And that after that evening, none of us were the same again.”
I lightly touched the strange marks that spread outwards from the corners of her eyes. It was the first time I noticed them; they were so small you didn’t see them until you were looking directly at them. Shade seemed to stiffen with jealously beside me.
Calin glared at me. “I was wai...” She cut off her sentence and looked behind us. There were four simultaneous clicks. Swallowing hard, I turned slowly. Four soldiers stood in various positions of readiness, guns cocked and aimed at us. Shade sat there, gun pointed down, a guilty look on his face.
“Oops?” He tried, cringing.
“Get on your stomachs! Hands behind your head!” The lead soldier shouted, indicating for the soldiers to move forward.
My fists clenched, I looked at the soldiers. Gritting my teeth, I stood up. I felt a hand on my shoulder. Calin shook her head and stepped in front of me.
“You will make too much of a show. We don’t want the whole army here in the next ten minutes.” She gave a wry grin. “Looks like you get to see it much sooner than I was planning. You get your wish after all.”
She turned to the soldiers, raising her arms to chest level, palms up.
“On the floor, NOW!!!” One soldier reached for Calin.
“Careful now...” Her eyes turned into burning white orbs, glistering brightly in the mid-day sun . “Wouldn’t want you to get hurt now...”
Once again, so sorry dear viewers.
It shall not happen again.
(Ps. The votes are in. 3 votes for small font, 0 for big.... I guess its unanimous...)