A Million & One Smoking Guns
She’d waited. He hadn’t come. Five patrols had passed by. She’d sensed them and stayed hidden, waiting for hours until they’d gone.
She checked her watch for the third time in two minutes. Her heart skittered uselessly in her chest. One more minute, she told herself, knowing that it would make no difference.
The second hand ticked down to zero. She sighed, lingering. If she left then he might not find her. He said he’d come back. He would come back. And then there was a problem. Her eyes danced to the window. If she didn’t go she would starve. All of the supplies in the cottage were down to nothing.
Her heart sank.
If he came back when she was gone he might think she’d left him. Or worse. He might think they had caught her too and try to save her. But there was no paper or pens in the cottage. She couldn’t leave a note telling him where she had gone or warning him about the patrols.
She rubbed her forehead. If she hadn’t suggested a picnic none of this would have happened. He would still be there. They would still be together. Her stomach churned. Perhaps he would have kissed her like he’d meant to that day that they’d heard them coming.
He’d sent her running. She hadn’t wanted to go, but he was right. How could she defend herself? She had no real powers to speak of. Her arsenal was a grotesque display of rotting flesh pushed into life. It was a useless weapon against wolves and vampires and mages. They were far too powerful for her to take.
He’d known that. That was why he’d sent her scurrying into that little hole like a mouse.
She sighed and pressed the door handle down, stepping outside. Arms clamped around her. Hands covered her mouth. She kicked and screamed and bit to no avail. The patrolmen were hardier than that and now they’d caught their prize they weren’t letting go.
An hour later, the cottage stirred.
A nose snuffled the ground, slicked with blood and most of it his own. He’d caught her scent on the air before he’d reached the door of the little house. At first, he thought he’d been hallucinating so he’d staggered on until the aroma had become too strong. Before long, he’d smelled the others and adrenaline began to stream through his weak limbs.
They had her. They’d taken her.
He trotted as fast as he could, damaged paw shaking under his own weight. The smell became almost heady with intensity. Something else had ballooned within it, thickening the aroma and making it noxious.
He could smell death everywhere and knew what she must have done to protect herself. She would be afraid. She hated her gift. She hated its power and the things it could do. His trot broke into a swift run.
Yellow eyes came to rest on a small hunched figure surrounded by bodies, some freshly deceased and others half-rotten with weeping flesh and fur. She was crying, frightened by the wickedness of her powers.
He padded the pine needle floor until he nuzzled her back. She turned, face wet. “Blake,” she whimpered, throwing her arms around his furry neck.
[A continuation of Flash Fiction No. 30]
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