Malingering in Moab Part III

June 1, 2010

Since Ethan was so anxious to light a bonfire, who was I to say no. Besides I figured it would be unlikely that these creatures known as Skinwalkers would be showing up the first night anyway.

I couldn’t have been more wrong.

There isn’t much better than hanging around a campfire with your lady, cooking some good grub, and having a few drinks. Even Ethan wasn’t getting on my nerves too much. We were laughing and joking. Ethan could be pretty funny and was cracking us up with his stories, which were mostly at his own expense.

Everything was going well until Ethan fell back into the vermilion sands and then didn’t get back up. This didn’t worry me until Hannah leaned into me and then slumped forward already breathing rhythmically.

As soon as I realized that I couldn’t wake her, I shot to my feet.

My head jerked around and at first I saw nothing in the darkness. The desert loomed quiet and infinite. No wind stirred the dry bushes and the sharp outlines of the mountains cut into the sky.

Then I saw the eyes. Twin yellow fires burned. The yellow of petulance, mold, disease.

It moved closer.

“Ah, Stalwart… you must be the leader of your sad small group if you were able to fight off my powers.”

Grabbing a throwing knife, I said, “that isn’t all I’ll fight off, if you don’t drop your Bestow.”

“Don’t be foolish. I assure you that although I would be enough to take out six times your number, I’m not alone.”

“Why don’t you all come at me and we’ll see. I always heard that your kind held a certain type of honor, but if you need some back up to take on one man with a dagger, I’ll understand.”

“Your insulting words do nothing to plead your case and continue your life.” The Skinwalker had now entered the firelight and was certainly a sight. Besides a slim loincloth of leather, he was naked. Black paint covered his face while the rest of his body was painted with what had to be blood. Mirroring Jack, he held a knife in his large hand.

“So what’s it to be then? Are we heading to Go Time, or do you have something else in mind?”

“Servant of Yig, you of all people should sympathize with our situation. Despite your current laws, this land is ours and we chose to defend it.”

“I’ve run into Selectors before. We had joined forces until the going got rough and they returned to a darker path, a path that I couldn’t allow. There are many things that I chose not to allow. Harming innocents and animals are included into that mix.”

“Hah, the master of cheesesteaks and chicken wings is upset that we slaughtered a few cattle a couple of weeks early.” He paused, while his yellow eyes glowed. “All the lands within the four sacred mountains are ours.”

Suddenly a cry was heard from the darkness. It was a cry that was quickly cut short.

I heard the words before I saw the others. “Master we are under attack. Dark forms move in silence.”

It was two more of his kind and I was quite surprised to see them flying into our camp.  “Sounds like Darcarre,” he said. “You have brought things more foul that the flesh farmers with you.”

You’re right they are Darcarre and I sure as hell didn’t bring them. I suggest an alliance.”

He snarled at me, showing the whites of his eyes against his blackened face.

“Agreed, for they are many. Afterwards …we shall see.”

“Good, then wake up my friends. It sounds like we are going to need them.”

To be continued…

Would you like to find out more about what happened to Jack and his journey to become a Stalwart? Then check out the book of his first adventures!!!!!!!!

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