Thursday, October 13, 2016

Free Serial Read - Jack Primus Part Two - Broken Bones

By Michael D. Griffiths
Everything hurts. I can barely lift my arms to type.

They found us. The Darcarre, the Darcarre and their army of the damned. After my night with Hannah, well… I guess I was a little distracted and got a little sloppy. It’s hard to focus when you are happier than you have been in months. Head in the clouds and that whole thing.
So it went something like this. I was just getting a damn soda, when a brace of Darcarre blocked my path. How did I know they were Darcarre, the wearing black from crown to boots is always a giveaway. They said something along the lines of, “How long did you think you could hide from us Primus?”
I might have done something like flip the them bird, before a broken broom and a rusty knife filled my fists. I was about to utter one of my witty comebacks, when my world went to hell. Now you have heard about people getting hit by a car, but usually that is when someone is driving it.  Nope, that wasn’t how it went down this time, I was hit by a car, a huge SUV, that was being swung like a weapon. I barely saw the Xemmoni before my life become a tangle of broken bones and red pain.
It might have been a Caradon. The man had tattered dripping flesh pouring from him in sick matted waves and was as tall as a house. The Darcarre only laughed as the Freak moved in for the kill. I tried to get onto me feet, but it is hard with multiple compound fractures. I managed to use the healing spell Phillip had taught me, but it wasn’t enough; I had never been more wounded!
With a snarl, the Caradon raised a  sportscar over his head to finished the job and that was when Hannah drove her car through his legs! They snapped like twenty foot twigs and the car came pummeling down onto his skull.
She might have shouted something like, “get in, they are coming!” but I was barely conscious. Seeing their ally down, the Darcarre were moving in. Screaming as my severed bones ground together, I somehow made it to her now battered ride. With a tear of smoking rubber, Hannah raced from the parking lot as weapons shattered the car windows. Some type of Bestow, probably Black Veins hit me and I, well I almost passed over.
Somehow Hannah got me out of there. She is my new angel and has gone for medicine and supplies. We are safe for now, but how long will that last???
Hopefully I’ll have a chance to heal and hopefully you will hear from me again.
I’m still hurting. Even with my healing skills, broken bones take a long time to mend, especially when you have to fix all of them.
Hannah is my angel. She is the only thing that is helping me get through this hard time. Without her care, I’m not sure I would be making it. She had gotten me food and medical supplies and well, everything else a man could need.
Still, I hate to put her in danger. I don’t know what I would do if she was hurt. I just need to heal, before we can go, but we are playing a deadly game. The Darcarre can track like no other race of Xemmoni. If they find us, before I am ready, you might not see another post. Okay, Hannah is back, thank Yig she is safe.
Fight the good fight out there everyone, that’s it for now.
I was healed about the time that we began to run out of cash or at least I did and I’m not the type of guy to want to run up a lovely woman’s credit card bill. Hannah has turned out to be such an unexpected angel and without her help, I might not have been able to get through this.  Although, as I get attached to her, I feel uneasy. I’ve had bad luck mixing my Stalwart duties with the fairer sex.

That was when the blizzard hit. Heading out of Ouray was now an impossibility. Seeing as we were stuck there, the hotel owner took some pity on us and allowed me to extend our stay with the unusual currency of a few pieces of gold. We joked that we had inadvertently taken the tender back to what the mining town was like a century ago.

The snow washed over the town in white, silent waves. They kept the main streets of town clear, but the Million Dollar Highway quickly became a hopeless cause. We were snowed in, trapped. I had hoped that this would keep the Xemmoni from being able to get to us.

I was wrong.

I was sitting in one of the small pubs the high mountain town had to offer. Hannah and I were trying the hedge around the issue of whether we are going to stay together after our escape, when she suddenly went pale. I had been sitting so I could come my eyes on the street, but the villains have come in through a side door.

Turning, I was shocked by what I saw. I had been hunted by the Darcarre, almost toasted by a Caradon, but these, these were flippin Glooms!!! I grabbed Hannah’s hand and we were able to duck around a corner before they could spot us. I wanted to try to make it to her ride for more weapons, but I saw two more patrolling the street.  “They travel in packs of 6. 2 in back, to out front, that still leaves another two.”

Outside the driving snow was mixing with a rolling gray fog. I cursed. “Why didn’t I notice this before?”

“So you are saying I distract you?” she joked with a smile.
Reaching into my pocket, I grabbed a little chunk of gold. The cook quickly realized he had nothing to loose, even if the gold was a fake, and let us back through the kitchen. We are hiding back there while I type this, but I’m not going to hiding for long. These bastards want a fight? Well, they are about to get one.

Say that is a nice looking butcher knife.

The cook seemed less thrilled parting with a brace of butcher knives, but Hannah talked him into it. She is proving as useful as she is beautiful. She might even be Stalwart potential–as long as I don’t get her hurt first.
So we are making a break for it and I might not be able to write for a while, if I really have to mix it up with these freaks. I hate the flippin Glooms, but then again I guess I hate all of these damn Xemmoni. But the question remains… It was weird enough seeing a Caradon working for the Darcarre. Are these Glooms just a coincidence or could they we working with the Darcarre too? Phillip told me that Xemmoni alliances were rare at best. Something really awful could be going on. I could be at the crest of humanity’s doom right here in the snowy mountains of Colorado and not even know it.

So we still have two Glooms inside the bar, two out front and probably two out back. We need to start evening the odds before any more Xemmoni show up. I have this butcher knife, A broken, and now sharpened, mop handle, a few throwing knives, a war dagger, and my hand axe.

“Hannah, would you like the war dagger?”

How can she be smiling? “Sure Jack, I always feel safe around you. I know you won’t let them hurt me.” I love her sweet confidence in me, but I can’t help but remember that my track record says otherwise.

” Ok Hannah and I slowly crept out of the back of the Pub. Fog mixed with the falling snow to a point where visibility was only six feet. I figured the bastards could sense us, but I had a few tricks too. After enacting my Detect Darken, I sent my ability out into the storm. I was right; there were two Glooms waiting in the alley. Although they were still a good distance away, they were coming for us and from what I could tell, it appeared that they were summoning the others.

“It’s battle time,” I whispered to her. “Stay behind me. The ones from the tavern will be here first.”

So I quickly moved us behind where the door would open and put Hannah between me and a recycling dumpster.  Then, like a blast of smoke, the first of their gray tattered form was rushing out the door. He took a sharpened mop handle to the guts for his trouble. It snapped off as he tumbled down the stairs. Since it left a jagged point, the second guy got it just above the knee.

He fell as well, but as he toppled over I heard a cute grunt.  I can’t tell you how surprised I was to see Hannah on the ground, beside the first one, slicing his throat open! This surprised me more than seeing the Glooms. Something was going on. No sweet young woman starts slicing throats so quickly, no matter what has happened over the last few days. There were things she hadn’t told me, but as long as she stayed on my side, I would let it  slip for now.

Before I could let this all soak in, Hannah had elbowed the second Gloom in the face. I jerked him off of her and lifted the sucker over my head.  He was barely able to struggle before he came head first onto the side of the dumpster. Then I threw him aside. “This is one piece of trash that isn’t good enough to be recycled.” Sorry, I had to say it.

The two Glooms were now heading towards us from both sides of the alley. We each started scrambling to pick up the stray weapons. These Glooms favored odd cold iron sickles for weapons. Their sickles, what was left of the mop handles, and a few daggers went flying at the two Glooms to the west and then, just to piss them off, I headed back into the bar.

Hannah’s hand was in mine as we raced through the kitchen. We rushed by our table just in time to see the waitress about to take my pitcher. I snatched it from her hand and downed the rest with a single gulp. Hannah threw a credit card at the poor startled girl and yelled, “give yourself 20%, I pick up the card later!”

Seconds later, we were bursting through the front doors. I spied my motorcycle at once. “Hannah. I have an idea. It will be dangerous, but for some reason I think you you are up for it.”
She nodded and then asked, “what do you need me to do?”
“Okay, You ready.” She only nods. “Here goes. Time to strike back!!!”
Hannah didn’t seem extremely pleased to be used as bait, but she was willing. This was another point towards her being more than just a pretty face.  I just hoped she was a Stalwart and not some other race of Xemmoni that hated the Glooms more than I did. Wait, I’m not sure that’s possible.

Like a cloud of pestilence, the Glooms road their rancid fog towards her. She stood in the center of the street as snow danced around her slim body. The scene was half beautiful and half tainted, for as the  foul corrupted fog reached her, it turned the thick flanks a polluted gray.

Their voices began a taunting whisper and I saw Hannah clench her knife until her fingers were as white as the snow that covered her.

The Glooms drew in, their sickles held high. They had no love of her beauty or will to live.

They were fools, in more ways than one.

With a roar, my motorcycle exploded out of the alley. One of them was run down before the others even knew what was happening. The second took my knife and at the speed I was going, it passed through his head until it burst out of the back of his skull.

One thought enough of himself to attempt to run towards me. I hoped off the bike and let it ghost ride over the bastard. The last one attempted to escape, but Hannah was all over it. She tackled him from behind and for the second time, I saw her get down to business in a way no cute little blonde should, for she had slit his throat so wide his head was nearly taken off.

But someone was coming. The Glooms had alerted the Darcarre to our presence. My bike was still okay and I’m rattling off what has happened in case there are any Stalwarts in the area that can help us. We went back to our room to collect our meager supply of weapons.

But they are coming.

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