Well my friends we are coming down to the wire. Edmund and his team are deep in it now and Rolstein seems to have no idea what’s coming for him. Will the government get what it wants? (Always that pesky government, sneaky devils) Will Edmund get the lotus to save his girl or will the wendigo’s dine heavily tonight? Read on to find out. Read on, my friends.
As always, please feel free to let me know what you think and who knows, perhaps I can entice you to take a gander a some of my other work. Either way, thanks for taking this journey with me.
A Matter of Life and Death XI
Edmund’s shouted was like thunder. He unslung his rifle and fired. The bark of the shot was overpowered by the sudden roars of the Wendigo. His round struck the tree behind the monster, sending deadly splinters across the area. He’d accomplished nothing more than to enrage the monster.
He shoved Mara away, hoping she’d run. Edmund fired another shot, this time catching the Wendigo in the shoulder.
Jorge slipped on a patch of ice and slipped into the nearest tree. The Wendigo was on him a moment later. Edmund heard the neck snap as the monster backhanded Jorge. Blood and spittle flew from his mouth as the force of the blow propelled him across the clearing and into a snow covered boulder. A trickle of snow fell on the body.
Nothing to do for him, Edmund fired twice more and started backing up the trail. He bumped into Mara after only a few steps.
“I said run. What are you doing?” he all but shouted.
Her mouth moved but no words escaped. Scowling, Edmund snatched her by the shoulder and hurried them both up the trail. The ensuing scream from behind sent chills down his spine.
Cofield froze as a creature that shouldn’t exist burst from the cover of boulders and trees. He watched in muted horror as Jorge was crushed to death. A glance out of the corner of his eye showed Edmund and Mara cowardly retreating without saying anything. He snorted, having suspected weakness in the man from the moment they’d met. Cofield considered shooting the man, but the Wendigo moved too fast.
Instead he emptied his magazine. Muzzle flashes lit up the area, combined with a cloud of smoke. Each of the 5.56mm rounds that struck flesh stalled the monster but their entirety failed to stop it. Crouching in rage and pain, the Wendigo bellowed at the top of it’s lungs. Cofield let his rifle fall and drew his pistol. He fired three rounds before the Wendigo closed the distance between them.
Footsteps trembled the ground. Snow and ice fell from tree branches and bushes. An inhuman stench wafted off the monster as Cofield desperately stood his ground. He had a moment to stare back into the almost human eyes, the eyes of a tortured soul twisted and changed by powers that shouldn’t exist. Strips of torn flesh mingled with matted clumps of hair across the muscled body. Cofield stared hard, realizing that he was looking into the red eyes of a creature who had once been human.
“Come on you son of a bi…”
The wendigo’s plate sized hand clamped down on Cofield’s head and squeezed. Cofield screamed.
Edmund ran as fast as he could through the snow. His heart hammered. Death was close behind. He didn’t dare stop or look back. Poor Jorge was in the wrong place but Cofield got what he was looking for. It took a rare sort of many for Edmund to wish harm and the mercenary certainly pushed the wrong buttons, but no one deserved to be killed by a monster.
He managed to dig out a hand held radio. “This is Sorenson! I need an immediate pickup at rendezvous point one!”
“Confirmed. We will be on station in ten minutes.”
Edmund scowled. “We don’t have ten minutes.”
He and Mara ran for their lives.
A blood curdling howl broke out from the lotus grounds. The Wendigo was finished with Cofield and was now turning its attention on Edmund. Luck had been with him the first time when he was alone. Getting two of them out alive seemed next to impossible. A second howl and then a third echoed from different points in the surrounding wilderness.
“We’re not going to make it!” Mara rambled. “The way that thing killed those…”
“Shut up and run!”
Every heartbeat hammered through his skull. His breath came in ragged plumes of steam. Cold permeated his clothing, penetrating down to his bones. For as bad as it was for him, Edmund figured it was worse or the inexperienced Mara.
Edmund didn’t know how long they ran. All that mattered was escaping the Wendigos. Mara close on his heels, he didn’t realize the helicopter was on top of them until the prop wash nearly drove them to the ground. Edmund pushed Mara into the cargo hold the instant the skids touched down and jumped in after.
“Go, go, go!” he screamed to the crew chief.
The helicopter rose ever so slowly. Edmund closed his eyes and prayed for the first time since learning his daughter was dying.
“My God! What are those things?” he heard the pilot utter.
When Edmund opened his eyes he was staring down at the steadily shrinking figures of seven Wendigos snarling frustration around the landing zone. Only then did it hit him that they’d done. They’d gotten the lotus and escaped. The helicopter sped back to civilization and the promise of saving his daughter’s life.