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June 12, 2024, 02:45:01 PM

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Shards - Chapter 5

Started by Bynw, March 22, 2022, 02:40:25 PM

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Bynw


The cool night air fills the cab of the truck with a somber chill as I make my way home. The anger from tonight's events still has my blood boiling. I crank the radio up to help drown out my own thoughts. Just as the next song start us, the music shuts off as the bluetooth alerts me to the incoming call.

"Answer call," I shout out to the radio.

Samuel's voice fills the speakers, "Daj, you ok?"

"Not really. How is Jimmy doing?"

"He is healing nicely. Lucian is very serious about taking care of him. Don't fret none, kinfolk. Hey you want to go pound a few?"

"I appreciate the thought, but I am not in the mood tonight."

A sympathetic tone comes across the speaker, "I feel ya, I feel ya. Hey how about we go take a few shots at Evil Dan?"

You know you can always tell who knows you best when they say the right thing to motivate you even when you don't want to do anything. A small smile came across my face and I replied, "Alright, grab your gear and meet me over at Willey's Pond. I will be there in about twenty."

"Alright, alright, alright. Thats what I am talking about. I'll meet you there son. And I will have something to wet our whistle, just in case."

The call ends and the music blares back over the speakers. I slow down and pull a u-turn on the highway heading over to Willey's Pond.

Seven minutes or so have passed as I pull up to the cattle gate that blocks the path down to the pond. Getting out of the bride of Franky and reach into the bed of the truck, I grab my rod and reel with the tackle box. No sooner am I on the other side of the gate, Samuel is pulling in beside my truck. He quickly jumps out of the truck with a huge smile on his face and a jar in his hand. He snags his reel out the back of his jeep and catches up to me with ease.

"You know what cures a really crappy day? Catching Evil Dan, that's what."

I just shake my head in disbelief and follow him down to the bank. We get our hooks set with bait, grab a couple of logs to rest on and cast out lines. There are a few "y" sticks to rest the rods on. I take in a deep breath and stair up the star lit sky.

Sam cracks open the jar and takes a good pull off of it, and then spends the next few seconds trying to catch his breath again.

"Ohh weee," he exclaimed with amazement. "Dem brothers of yers sure can make a fine batch of shine."

He then pushes the jar into my gut, pressuring me into taking a sip as well. I knew if I didnt I wouldn't hear the end of it till I did. I take the jar, press it too my lips and feel the burn pass through them and makes it way down my throat. My damn chest was on fire and my lungs felt like they were completly empty, this had to be at least one hundred and forty five proof. Jeremy and Doug, should be damn proud of this batch.

Once the air returned to my lungs, the words fell from my lips like a heavy weight. "What the hell we doing out here? We haven't caught this mean ass fish in seven years, why tonight?"

Sam raised an eyebrow at me and scoffed, "You know damn good and well why we are here tonight. Jimmy got hurt, you blamed your fuckin' self, and I wasn't having any of it. Now take another damn draw and pass the jar back."

After another sip or two or was it six, I don't remember. I did finally get around to ask who the man standing behind Sanford tonight was. He informed me he never met the man before. He was brought in as a outside investigator he thought. He did hear rumours that he may be someone higher up that came down to see how Mr. Delequiox did things. Someone else said he was down here to check on the great Arbiter and see what he was made of. All he knew is he showed up with Sanford and left with Sanford and didn't speak to anyone else.

The night became long and the world started tilting. I dont believe we ever pulled our fishing poles out of the pond and I know we never did catch anything, except a powerful buzz. Somehow though I know I made it home and that was about it.

The air raid volume of the clock alarm going off made my head hurt. Slamming my fist harder than I needed to shut off the alarm, the bright red lights on the defenseless black clock went dark. I could see the last breathe it took as a pop sound echoed into the air and then a trail of small puff of grey smoke slithered around the fist that brought death to a device just doing its job. Feeling mad at myself for taking my anger and hangover out on it, I slumped out of bed and headed toward the shower.

The cold water felt like pins and needles pulsating against my skin. My head erupted with a migraine and then subsided multiple times till I was no longer in pain. If I had to take a guess I probably could of died in there and would of felt better than I did. After about fourty five minutes, my body finally came back to life.

Feeling rejuvenated, I got dressed and headed downstairs for some coffee bliss. My feet never touched the bottom three stairs when the brothers popped up in front of me, literally. Neither one said anything but I could see they were about to burst like a dam holding back too much water after a torrential thunderstorm. Raising an eyebrow, they realized they were in my way, and they shifted so I could walk through them. Once commandeering some coffee I turn to see them both at the table, sitting and waiting patiently. I knew this was going to be a whopper. Sitting down and taking my first sip, I sighed at the warmth it filled me with and cleared my throat.

"What is it?"

Jeremy was the first to speak up, "You were having bad dreams last night brother, and me and Doug were getting worried. You ok?"

Realizing the concern on their face, I faked a small smile to ease their thoughts. I knew last night's events hit me harder than it should have, and with the forget everything juice we drank it was a long, long night. The bar always had altercations, but this is the first time that anyone got so badly hurt. After another drink of the dark perfection in my cup, I caught the brothers up on the previous night. Once I was finished it was Doug who started talking first.

"Is he going to be ok?"

"Yeah, Lucian said he already was healing him before I left, and I know how he feels about people under him getting hurt."

"What do you think they will do with the asshole that started all dis," he quickly asked again.

Jeremy jumped in with a snarky tone, "I'd take that punk bitch to the whoopin' shed if it was me."

"What Lucian decides to do with him is none of our concern," I calmly said then continued after another drink. "But, I will say that no matter what is done, the Naga will wish he never stepped foot into that bar for the remainder of his life, however short it is."

Both brothers looked at each other and then nodded in agreement.

I finished my cup of coffee and put it into the sink, the brothers left me to my work. I then went into my bag and grabbed out the vanilla folder that Mr. Delequiox gave me. I laid it out on the table and started skimming over the pictures and the official police report. After jotting down a few notes, I gathered up all the information and tossed it back in the bag. With bag in hand, I snag a piece of beef jerky I head out to the Bride of Franky.

Tossing the bag in the bed of the truck, I opened the door and was completely caught off guard. Laying there was a sleeping cat in the driver seat. The orange, white and black multi-colored ball of fur was sound as sleep. I am pretty sure the thing was not there when I got home, I am also sure the door was shut all night so I had no clue how it got there. It woke up when I started to lift the thing to move it. The feline did a typical wake up by stretching its front legs out and hunching its hind quarters, extending a little pink tongue as it yawned. Once it was done, it looked at me with little care, then walked out the open door and headed toward the wooded area. I watched in bewilderment with nothing but more questions popping into my head about where it came from, how did it get here, and where was it going?

Starting to get into the vehicle, I hesitated and looked down to see that the cat left something behind on the seat where it was laying, six little shiny black pointed seeds. I picked one of them up and noticed a familiar scent, watermelon. Watermelon seeds are a little out of place from where I live, but not unheard of. The cat must have gotten in from the bar while I was at my meeting and just stowed away with me. I grabbed the seeds and put them in my cargo pants, I will just dispose of them later.

The Bride of Franky started up and we headed toward the Arkansas line. Since Nathaniel and Jebidiah are good friends I will talk to him later in the day. Since I am still in a temper I wanted to visit the Alpha of the Little Rock, AR first, in case I need to come across strong. I have never had any dealings with Michael Stornville, but I have heard rumors.

Michael Stornville was considered to be the runt of his family. He was born the youngest of five brothers and one sister. He clawed his way literally up the chain in the family. They say his size is a huge misdirection; his wolf form is rumored to be 7 feet tall with bright reddish brown fur that represents the struggle he had to endure to get to where he is. I am looking forward to meeting this man, I truly don't know why but he sounds like someone I may like.

As I pass through town I stop off at Momma's Place to grab a sandwich to go, and two glasses of sweet tea, and then make my way to Little Rock. The landscape is serine and peaceful. The drive is long, but I find long drives calming, and then with the music playing from my phone over the Bluetooth radio, I am actually enjoying my time. US Highway 29 is a nice stretch of road between Memphis, TN and Winona, AR, on both sides of the road there is farm land. And this time of year, the crops haven't been planted yet, so you just get the long sections of dirt divided by the green of the ditches along the roads that interweave.

On my right I see an old style billboard that showing of a local family restaurant up ahead, stating, "The best BBQ pork in Arkansas." However what really caught my eye was the State Trooper car that flashed on its lights behind the sign before I even got close to it. As I stayed my speed and passed the sign, the officer pulled out from behind and whipped his Chrysler in behind me, with his sirens and lights going off.

I edge the Bride of Franky to the side of the road, put her in park, shut her off and then put my hands on the steering wheel. While I was doing this I noticed the officer never got out of his car, or got on his walkie-talkie or anything. He just sat there and watched me through those huge round sunglasses. What seemed as though five minutes passed, the driver door on the cruiser came open. The officer then exited the car and made his way to my door, with one hand on his pistol grip and the other was outstretched. When he reached me, I smelt something on him, a real pungent smell. In an instance I knew three things, one the officer has been dead for some time, two whomever was controlling him had to have been close, and three my day just got a little worse.

Slamming the door open on the walking thing barley even budged it, but I was able to get out of the vehicle. It turned toward me and stumbled in my direction. I planted my back foot, spun on my heel and placed a hard right back kick to its midsection. As I fell forward onto my face I realized that there may have been an error on my part. The being that is now standing over my prone body appears to be enthralled by necromancy. Usually necromancy is a practice of communicating with the dead, especially in order to predict the future, however, some witches and warlocks also mix it with voodoo for the body to act out their will.

I jump up to my feet and pull out one of my silver blades, I know it won't hurt the creature, but if I can remove a limb he cannot attack me. As quickly as I move he moves, with every step I take it counters. The way the officer moves it as if he knows my moves and is mimicking my attack on me. I think then that he may be reading my thoughts; I know it is possible, but I have never had it done. So I change my approach. I do a side step and with my back left heel I drive it toward the monsters knee. On a normal person, this move would have caught my attacker off guard and he would've stumbled but what he did was amazing. He rolled with the knee strike, and stood up and landed a hard elbow to my shoulder. It drove me back to the concrete.

I go to spin back up to my feet and the monster pulls out his sidearm and aims it at me. Deciding to not wait to be shot I start to roll to my left, he pulls the trigger and a bullet ricochets in front of my face about six inches away. I roll to my right and the exact same thing happens. I put both hands up and wait, the body just stands still with the gun pointed at my head.

In a loud voice for whomever to hear I start to introduce myself, "My name is Daj."

A very disgruntled growling noise erupts from the victim's mouth, interrupting my introduction. The creature was spouting spittle and something else as the words push out passed his dried chapped cracked lips.

"I know who you are Daj Hoyle, the self-proclaimed arbiter of the supernatural world. I have been expecting you for some time. What are you doing in my territory?"

As I raise an eyebrow in curiosity I wonder who has been expecting me, and why. Better yet, whose damn territory am I in then? Since, I only knew this as the Little Rock werewolf pack's area. I know that some necromancers can sense the truth and since I am unaware of this one's power so no need to throw caution to the wind, and oh yeah, they have the upper hand. I figure I should respond carefully making sure my words are not mistaken, nor am I not caught in a lie.

"I am here on official business; I was hired to check into the murders over near Council, AR., on the Midway Lake."

"Midway Lake, is the other direction, arbiter. You have come for me haven't you? You have come to rid me of this world and steal my books. Tell the truth Arbiter or your words with seal your fate."

"I speak the truth, I have a contract in my bag that proves I am on assignment."

"So, you are not here for any other reason than this arbiter?" The spittle from the monster's mouth landed on my hands and I felt a warm tingling feeling but nothing more.

"I swear on my word, I am not here to interfere with anyone else that does not pertain to my assignment. However, I will not lie, if I find out that you or this creature was involved in the attack, we will have words again. Am I understood?"

At that very instant the creature did something that caught me completely off guard, it started to chuckle. Not in an evil laugh or even in a sure you will jackass laugh. This is a laugh that someone would do if they found something funny. No this is the kind of laughter that someone would do if it was so hilarious that you had to tell someone else. This was the kind of laughter they would do when they are playing a prank on someone.

The monster holsters his gun and grabs at his stomach as if this is the funniest damn joke it has ever heard. The laugh came from deep within the being and it echoed in the air. As the laughter continued it became more fierce and uncontrollable until his head fell off and landed on my stomach. Now there is a cop's head on my stomach making the sounds of laughter, eyes rolled back into the back of its head, mouth wide open and the sound just carries on. His body falls to the ground still holding his gut with his left hand and pointing at its own head with the right hand.

Aggravated as hell now, I push the head off me, and jump up to my feet. I scan the area around me for any sign of the culprit. Peering left and right and all around, looking for anything out of the ordinary. The disembodied head actually now has puss like tears rolling down its face from its putrid greyish eyes.

"ENOUGH," I roared.

And the laughter stops abruptly as I put a round from one of my Sig's through the skull of the puppet. A small sounding clap came from behind me. Spinning around quickly with my gun extended and reaching for my other one I see it. A dark cloud manifests out from behind the billboard where the cop car was originally at and then quickly vanishes revealing my tormentor.

Standing there before me is a girl that appears to be no older than fourteen. She has dark black hair with a small streak of dark purple; her face has the features of a porcelain doll, almost flawless and innocent. She is wearing a pair of black slacks, a t-shirt with some sort of Japanese cartoon character on it, black Doc Brown boots, and a leather jacket. She looked as though she was running for emo girl of the week, but it did fit her good. My anger faded in an instance and my face succumbed to a small smile. I holstered my pistol and put both my hands up in the air, as I surrendered to my attacker.

"Hello Uncle Daj."

"Hello Ariel."

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