Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day One Hundred and Thirty-Seven

Day 137: 16 Dec 2010

The sun hadn't come over the horizon yet, and wouldn't for probably a couple of hours. It was chilly and damp. The cold I don't mind, but the humidity sure does. Ever since the bug got into my system, it bothers me more than it ever used to. And standing by the river didn't help, either.

I checked the time on my cell phone -- it was 3:14 a.m. when I saw the first head. It broke the surface of the water slowly, silently, and looked around. As the body came out of the water, I saw it was Travis.

I moved very fast, but so did he. I managed to get the syringe jammed into his chest, but he knocked it away a millisecond later. I know I didn't get the full dosage, but I did hit the right spot dead on -- just below the sternum, right where the slug lived. The drug was the product of years of research, and though it was never tested, it worked quickly. And goddamn if it wasn't effective.

Travis reeled back on the edge of the river, almost falling back into the water, then falling forward bodily, like a rag doll. I'd seen someone fall that way only once, when I was in high school and worked at a restaurant. A guy had gone into an epileptic fit. He'd suddenly seized up and fallen through a table without throwing up his arms to shield himself. Travis looked just like that.

Other heads began to break the water as he fell. I pulled one of the swords from my back and hauled Travis' limp body to its feet.

"Stay the fuck back," I growled.

It didn't work. They started to climb out of the river, all 50 eyes locked right on me. They could sense that Travis was dead, that there was nothing I could do to him, I guess. But then, suddenly, they stopped moving.

Just as slowly as their heads had broken the surface, they all backed off and slid back under the still, black river. I waited. It felt like a long time, but it was probably only a couple of seconds. Then I turned around.

The God of the Skies was behind me. He hovered ten feet off the ground, motionless, his eyes half-open.

"Thanks," I said out loud.

You are welcome, he thought. Taking out one of their leaders has thrown them into disarray, but that won't buy us much time. We need to get him out of here.

"You mean --"

That is correct. He is not dead.

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