The House in the Swamp
November 5, 2012
The first episode of this serial adventure was posted 9/17/12
The house that the four teens had built within the woods to west of the city impressed Jack. The place had three rooms of a sort and was mostly constructed from vertical logs that formed a palisade. These, along with the plywood roofs, were covered in long strips of plastic.
He had wanted to laugh as the youths got the fire in the oil drum, wood stove going. Bongs and roach clips were hidden in buckets, but he spotted them easily. The outside of one wall had easily hundreds of beer cans hanging by strings. It could have been a creepy Xemmoni lair, but Jack didn’t need his Detect Darken ability to determine that these kids were on his side of the war.
The place grew warmer than he would have guessed and soon his only problem was the three bullet holes he had in him. His protection from Yig had kept him alive, but that didn’t keep the wounds from being painful as hell. As the teens hurried to gather any stray blankets they could, Jack bound his wounds to the best his skills would allow. Soon the heat washed over him and he stopped shivering. Despite his pain, a few hours after midnight, sleep claimed him at last.
* * *
Upon awaking the next morning, he found all the young men had departed except for Alex. The tallest teen must have gone back to his house and returned for he had brought a goodly amount of food, and from the looks of things, extra weapons. Looking around without letting the youth know he had awakened, Jack was surprised to see as many weapons as he did. Home made spears numbered in the dozens. Everything from bows to giant spike studded maces lined the walls.
Again, this made him weary, but before he set himself to do a thing, he let the power of his Ki heal his wounds. A pleasant warmth filled him as his body knit together. He wanted to keep going, but decided that he should keep some of his mystical strength in reserve. Who knew what the day would bring? This left him still quite damaged, but at least he would be able to move and the worry about him bleeding to death had passed.
He would have liked to use his Detect Darkened on all the lads at once, but settled on sending it out to gauge Alex while the man fed more wood into the fire. Jack almost fell off the cot when he discovered a thin hint of Yig lurking within the boy. It was weak, but quite evident through the use of his spell.
Most likely he has set down the path of Yig without being aware of such,” Jack Mused. All he needs is a formal awakening. Jack wondered if he should help the lad become a Stalwart, but thought twice. Doing so could curse the poor guy and I don’t know if I have the right to lead any one else down the hellish road I’m forced to tread.
“Thanks for bringing me some food, kid.”
Alex jumped at the sound of his voice. “Yeah, ah, it’s the least I can do.” He tried to push his long hair behind his ear, but it just fell forward again.
Jack chuckled. “You don’t owe me. If anything it’s the other way around.” Then Jack remembered something. “Hey how was it you said you knew I was in trouble anyway?”
The youth’s cheeks tinged with red and he failed to meet Jack’s gaze. “I had a dream, a vision. I know this might sound weird, but I ah… dabble in the supernatural a little. I was performing a ritual and saw a scene within the smoke of some substances I was burning. I wasn’t sure what was happening, but I saw a street sign and you running toward it. In the vision, a newpaper blew by and the date appeared very distinctly. That was eight days ago. It was hard as hell to get my friends to throw down, but I needed them, because I don’t drive, but in the end they did as I asked.”
“Well you probably saved my life.” Jack regarded the tall teen silently. Yig moves in mysterious ways, but even that old slumbering serpent must have reasons for keeping me alive.
“Can I ask you a question?”
“Why are you here?”
“My mother’s lives in Saint Paul and is in some sort of trouble and lately anything I get involved with tends to turn into a shitstorm real quick.”
“I think I’m supposed to help you.”
“You might be right about that, but most likely it will become too dangerous for me to let you get involved.” Jack said, while reaching for a sandwich.
“Too bad, I’m helping anyway. I think that’s what Yig would want.”
Jack sighed as he regarded Alex’s serious expression. “I have a feeling this is going to be a long day.”
To be continued next Monday…