Time again for some Shadow Wolf.
This is my weekly serial, written raw and posted uncut.
The axe tumbled through the air, turning end over end twice before the blade buried itself in Curran’s back as he sprinted toward an alley. His legs gave out and he toppled, flopping over like a fish thrown onto the deck of a boat.
“Fuck, fuck!” Curran looked over his shoulder at me, his wide-eyed expression at odds with the vicious fangs sprouting from his mouth. Had I been observing the scene, I might have found the juxtaposition comical, but a heart full of vengeance has little room for laughter.
As I walked toward him, slow and menacing, Curran began to pull himself toward the alley, his nails puncturing the wood. With tremendous effort he managed to drag himself at a walking pace.
“Pathetic,” I said. “I was hoping for a fight, not an execution.”
In truth, Curran was still a threat; he just didn’t know it. He was unused to his powers and my easy defeat of his comrades had given him pause. By the time I reached him, placing my foot on the small of his back and yanking his hair I almost felt pity for the poor fool*.
“No, no, I’m sorry, I’m–” whined Curran. He chocked on his words as I pulled my axe from his back.
“You killed your sister and sold her blood,” I said, my voice loud, carrying across Cliffshadow. I knew others would be watching. “Was it worth it?”
“I’m sorry,” he sobbed.
“SHE WAS MY FRIEND!” I roared, bringing my axe down, once, twice, severing his head on the second blow.
I lifted the head, Curran’s eyes focused on me mindlessly, and his mouth snapped as if he could somehow reach my neck and drink himself whole.
“Braver in death than life methinks,” I said. The vampire’s need for blood over-rode everything now. Blood was life. Blood could heal. Blood was all.
The head snapped at me a few more times, frenzied as it died. After about a minute it stopped and then the eyes rolled back and lost their feral light. I threw the head into the water and then kicked the body off the boardwalk after it. Myrhnese leeches are famous the world over for their size and prodigious appetite. It was only fitting that one bloodsucker feed others.
I stood there, in the night, illuminated by the feeble lights of Cliffshadow, the city looming above me. I thought of Delilah and how I would never see her again, or watch someone who dragged themselves out of this place grow. Then I thought of the boy who I had just killed, young, arrogant, and seduced into terrible acts by the promise of power and immortality.
Some part of me regretted killing Curran. In the end he was only a boy, after all. The rest of me relished the act, because few things are to be more reviled than a kin-slayer. I savored both thoughts as the night grew quiet once more, and Cliffshadow, ever resilient, returned to normal.
I don’t know how long I stood there. I heard no bells and it was hard to track the progress of the moon from such a vantage. A strange scent caught my attention. I tensed and moved, whirling to look behind me.
Something crashed into my shoulder as I moved, biting my shoulder even through the Kingsmail. I staggered, catching sight my assailant.
“I thought you were dead,” I snarled.