Wet, Dark, and Uncertain
October 27, 2014
This weekly Serial began 7/14/14
Jack hadn’t realized how injured Huth-allan-nith was. Despite the attentions he had received from Mythcul the night before, the young warrior remained in no condition to travel. Mythcul had cured him again, but he seemed to have developed a fever.
Through the use of gestures, Mythcul communicated with Jack the need for him to search out what Jack guessed was some type of plant and herb. A look of deep concern remained on the elders face.
Jack almost had to smile as he reassured the shaman as best he could, without the use of words, that he would stay with the wounded warrior and guard him.
Once Mythcul appeared assured that Jack understood their needs, he disappeared into the dawning forest like a wisp of fog.
With the dawn came more rain. It trickled down through the trees soaking everything. Jack clothes hung from his battered form like limp rags. His hand slicked his hair back as thunder hammered the mountains.
It became a full time job just to keep their meager fire going. Jack jerked when Huth-allan-nith called out in his half-sleep. Moving over, he felt the man’s forehead and it seemed like his flesh was on fire.
“Damn,” he muttered. “Hang in there, friend.”
Looking back toward the fire, he saw that his serpent lover had coiled up near the steaming rocks. She looked his way and flicked her tongue. More conflicting emotion raced through him than he could count. How wrong was what he had done with her? Was it bestiality if you made love to an animal while being an animal yourself?
He turned away and figured such things should be contemplated at another time. Something tugged at his mind. A whisper, just a hiss of a thought. Almost an emotion, a feeling.
It came from her.
“I am with eggs.”
He groaned. “Oh great, what will that mean?” Moving near Huth-allan-nith, he continued, “You may think you have problems, but I might be able to become the father of a clutch of snakes.”
He rubbed his forehead, but then froze when he heard something moving through the forest. Again, it wasn’t a sound as much as the forest itself warning him of a presence.
It didn’t take him long to locate it through the rainy gloom. Two of them, and man and woman, both dressed in dark animal skins. A fanged head of some sort of mammal covered the male’s head and the female looked as beautiful as she was deadly. Both had long raven hair descending past their shoulders.
The male lifted his spiked morning star, took a step forward, and spoke to Jack in a language he had yet to learn. Although he knew it well enough to know that it was the same tongue spoken by Mythcul and Huth-allan-nith.
Jack sent out his Detect Darkening and wasn’t too surprised to find that these were both members of the darkest of the Stalwarts, the followers of Tezcatlipoca.
The lack of communication appeared to frustrate the male and a long stream of words flowed from his mouth. When again he failed to get a reaction from Jack, he shared some words with the female.
She didn’t reply, but instead moved closer to the groaning form of Huth-allan-nith. She paused and Jack watched her lean body examine his wounded ally. He made no move to stop her as she touched the man’s face. She spoke a few words, then stood up. Walking over to Jack, she handed him a fistful of orange leaves, and the spoke a few more words.
The male had moved closer and spoke to Jack again.
It annoyed Jack how the man looked him up and down and then spat into the mud.
Move shapes moved through the forest. Dark sleek forms. Jaguars. Huge ones the size of tigers on Jack’s world. He became glad that these people were at least in theory aliened with him.
The couple exchanged more words, but the male shook his head. Then, as suddenly as they appeared, they vanished into the driving rain.
As if on cue, Mythcul appeared only moments after they had left. The old man must have sensed something for he moved with trepidation. After checking to make sure Jack was alright, he hurried to Huth-allan-nith side.
When Jack handed him the orange leaves he still held, Mythcul’s face broke out into a smile and the shaman surprised Jack by engulfing him into a giant bear hug.
Mythcul then began to chant an eerie tune as he sent himself to crushing the leaves and starting up a milky tea.
After throwing some more wood on the fire. Jack allowed himself a moment to sit and his serpent lover curled up onto his lap. “Damn, this place is weird,” he said while Mythcul’s chanting grew loud enough to compete with the crackle of the flames.
To be continued next Monday