After much soul-searching, I have decided to write a few short stories, unrelated to the other works, before continuing on with the next of the Shadow Wolf Sagas, just to keep it fresh. As always, this is raw and uncut; enjoy responsibly.
“Took you long enough.”
My head was still swimming, my eyes unfocused in the sudden light. The voice was female, but not friendly. My knees were weak and I could not stand. As my eyes cleared I looked up at her.
“Fuck, what?” I was starring down the barrel of an enormous gun. There were runes etched on the barrel; dire and potent. “I… I…”
“Eyes up here, newcomer,” said the girl. “I don’t like the way you are looking at my gun.”
An enormous black mohawk, with the tips died red and white like the crest of a warrior’s helm from ancient history, framed dark eyes. Silver skulls dangled from her ears and her septum was pierced with a ring. She wore a black leather jacket decorated with iron studs. She must be a scavenger, but she obviously knew the runes.
“Well?” she asked impatiently.
“I’m waiting for you to prove that you’re not a fucking ‘cog,” she said.
Cog was slang for cognitive aberration enforcement agent. She though I was working for the people who had imprisoned me.
“Um… I can see runes like you can…”
She laughed, delighted, and removed the barrel of the gun from my face.
“Are you fucking mental, chum?” she said.
“What do you mean?”
“Do you honestly think that the ‘cogs don’t have people who can read runes?”
“I guess that makes sense.”
“Your story is just too dumb for me to shoot you. You must be genuine. The last guy through this wayrune had an answer for everything. He turned out to be a cog, just like I figured. I’m good at spotting fucking cogs.”
In truth I should have realized the truth of it immediately. How else would they hunt down aberrant like myself, people who could read the runes, if they had no understanding of what they were looking for. I was a fool.
“That’s a pretty sour expression, fella,” she said, laughing at my discomfort. “Alright, time to get moving. Stand up slowly. If you try anything, Sweet Lucy here will put a hole in you and I’ll leave you for the groaners to finish off.”
I did as she asked.