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Jan 14, 2021

Fantasy Fiction Urban Fantasy

“Oto! Hey Oto! Come look at this!”

“What? Keep your voice down. This place might not be deserted.”

“This place is about as empty as it can get. Stop worrying, have a look at this. I’ve never seen this type of design before.”

“That is odd. Why do you think they built the window with so many angles? Makes the thing hard to look at.”

“Hard to look at? I think it’s pretty, so it’s probably for decoration.”

“Aela, just because you think something’s pretty doesn’t mean it’s just decoration.”

“Doesn’t mean it’s not.”

“Fine. Well while you’re looking for decorations, keep an eye out for skulkers.”

“Merle, Tally, and Hibbert already came through. They wiped them all out. It’s safe here. You worry too much.”

“Do I need to remind you why we call them skulkers? The things can practically vanish in a person’s own shadow, not to mention small cracks in the wall. I still don’t know how they do that. Their bones must bend. What I’m trying to say is, we can’t assume they are all gone. Hibbert and his group are good, but no patrol is perfect.”

“As you say.”

“Good. Now we need to find the structural beams for the hammer teams.”

* * *

“I’m tired. Are we about done here?”

“Only a few more to mark. This building was well built. Might take the hammers a good couple days of hard work just to crack its frame. Get up off the ground and stop being dramatic. You can sleep when we get home.”

“I think I’ll stay here. Thanks.”

“That looks like bat guano you’re laying in to me, but if that’s whe…”

“That’s disgusting! Stop laughing at me. Is it in my hair? Get it off!”

“Ah, my mistake. Seems like it’s just ordinary dirt. Hard to tell in the dim light. Speaking of dim light. Have you noticed that the sun’s setting and we need to hurry up and finish so we can get out of here?”

“Fine, fine, you made your point. Let’s finish this and get out of here.”

* * *

“Aela, what’s wrong? Why are you running?”

“I saw something.”

“Is this another one of your windows?”

“No. Something moved. I saw it slither under a door.”

“Skulker. Keep your voice down. We need to leave, now. If you see any movement, point it out to me and stay quiet. Get your bag and let’s go.”

* * *

“A shadow’s following us.”

“Don’t look back, the exit’s up here.”

“Stop looking back!... Aela!”

“Oto! Help!”

“Let her go you fiend!”

“Oto! My leg! It hurts so much!”

“Keep pulling.”

“I can’t!”

“Do it!”

* * *

“Tally! Get Hibbert and Merle. We need help!”

“Hibb! Merle!. Get over here. Oto’s back. Dragging Aela. Let’s go!”

“Oto, what happened?”

“What’s it look like happened Hibbert. Your team missed a skulker. Merle, what can you do for her?”

“Her color’s bad. Not much blood left. Bandages won’t work. Her foot’s already a stump anyway. Get the saw, we have to cauterize it to stop the bleeding.”

“You’re going to cut off her foot!?”

“Yes, I am. It’s not a foot anymore. Look at it. Now get the saw and start heating some iron. Stop looking at me like that, Oto. If we don’t do this she dies, and if we do; she still might die. Now, hold her down.”

* * *

“Where do you think you’re going?”

“I’m going to kill that thing.”

“Is that so? You have no experience with handling skulkers. That’s why my team goes in and flushes them out or kills them. That is why you and yours come in after. Listen, I get it. We missed one and for that Aela got hurt.”

“She didn’t just get hurt! She got maimed. She’ll never walk right again.”

“I know. But, I’m not letting you go out there tonight. You’ve been around long enough to know darkness is their friend and tonight just happens to be moonless, and overcast. You would never see it coming. In the morning, I’ll get Tally and Merle and we’ll deal with it. Then we will re-sweep the other buildings just to make sure.”

“So, I’m just supposed to sit here and do nothing.”

“There’s nothing you can do tonight. Try to sleep if you can.”

“Right.”

* * *  

“Merle, you seen Hibb?”

“Over by the fire. He’s mending his net. Hurry up and grab your gear. We need to get moving before Oto gets up. Hibb thinks he’ll try to follow us.”

“Can you blame him?”

“No, I can’t but we aren’t letting him get mangled like Aela. So shove some food in and let’s go.”

* * *

“Blood.”

“I can see that”

“Think it’s still here?”

“Hard to tell.”

“Would you two be quiet and keep your eyes open?”

“Right, Hibbs.”

“Right, Hibbs.”

“See that wall there? The one that looks like a boulder hit it? Grab my harness, I need to look in.”

“Anything?”

“It’s dark, but no movement. Head up to the next floor.”

“Hibbs, something under the stairs.”

“Tally, get your trident out and be ready to skewer this thing when we drag it out. Merle, we’re going with clubs. The place is too small, we might end up stabbing each other with blades.”

“Got it.”

“Three, two, one. Go!”

“Watch out! It’s climbing.”

“Its hooks are caught. Grab the net. Pull now!”

“Tally! Spear this thing. We can’t hold it, it’s too big.”

“Hurry up!”

“It’s still moving.”

“Keep stabbing!”

* * *

“Did you kill it? What happened?”

“That was one big angry beast. Ruined my net. I think I’ll have to replace it this time.”

“But, it’s dead?”

“Yeah. Left the carcass in the building. We harvested its hooks, though. They make good blades, and we need all of those we can get if we’re going to keep driving skulkers out. How’s Aela?”

“She’s sleeping. The blood loss has drained her.”

“Oto listen. Once she’s good to move, you two need to head back behind the walls. We can’t stand guard over someone who’s injured out here. I know you want to be here, both of you, but this isn’t the time. Let her heal. She’ll need to learn how to get around again. Then the two of you get back out here.”

“I know. I’m hoping in a few days she will be able to move.”

“We’re going to sweep the other buildings again. When the hammer team gets here, tell them to report to me. I don’t trust that that building is clear, and it needs to come down. We’ll be starting there and I’m not leaving those boys alone.”

“Will do, Hibbert. Thank you.”

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