Friday, 3 June 2011
My Seventh Friday Flash: Spiked Collar
Groggily I opened my eyes. Thick black bars shifted in and out of focus. I twisted my body by the tinniest of fractions. Intense pain shot through me. Whimpering a little, I forced my body to keep still. My shoulder was heavily wounded and very tender.
A smudge of movement. Someone was coming. This person rapped a club along the iron bars. It felt like the bell end of one of Papa's massive church bells.
“Ah, you're awake?” the voice was distorted.
I felt like shouting in anger or frustration, why leave me like this? But all I could manage was some feeble groans.
The more I woke up. The more pain I seemed to be in. Something was around my neck. Something hard and unyielding. Doing my best to ignore the pain I got up and felt the thing. It was a thick collar of some kind. There were spikes all along the inside rim, pushing against my neck. They were deathly sharp. Some of the spikes had dug into my neck on the side I was laying on. Sticky blood had run along my side and dried up. Not only was I in pain. I felt sick too.
I didn't have to ask what it was for. They had found out my secret. They knew I was a monster.
“Change, and you will die!” said the young man. His bronze star glinting in the lantern light.
I didn't know what to say, maybe dying wouldn't be such a bad thing. At least the pain would stop.
“Our men are out there now, hunting down your boyfriend.”
“He's not my boyfriend!”
He seemed to ignore me. “If you weren't a monster I would fancy you myself.” The deputy spat to the side.
Being the preacher's daughter half the town fancied me. Seeing as I was forbidden fruit and all. I hated every second of it. All I wanted was a quiet, normal life.
“Matthew, are you crazy, he will come here, he will come for me.”
Deputy Matthew Shank laughed. “I'm not afraid!” he patted his shiny six shooter. “I will drop him before he gets close.” It had been years since I had seen Matthew. He hadn't changed much. Like my father he seemed to have more bark than bite, and demanded more respect than he deserved.
“I wouldn't be so sure about that.” The dizziness had begun to fade.
“Besides there are men hidden all over this building. He won't get inside.”
“You have to get this off me! I'm the only one who can help you.”
“Darling, do you think me a fool?”
“You will be a dead one if you don't do as I say.”
Just then there was the sound of horses braying in surprise and men shouting warnings.
“Darn it!” said Shank. “Stay put, I will go check what's happening.”
“Don't! Let me out!” I shouted shaking the bars.
I ran over to the small barred window and peered outside. The full moon shone a weird, but intense blue light over everything. I saw a flash of movement to my right. I didn't have to see who it was. I could sense him. I could smell his essence. My body yearned to have him close. To feel him. To smell him, but my mind hated the mere thought of him. I wanted nothing more than to get away from him.
There was some more shouting and some shots. It sounded like Luven, the scum who had changed me, the man who had made me into this monster, had ripped someone apart. I turned back to the bars. Shank came bursting back in the room. It looked like he was badly scratched up.
He screamed. “He's going to kill me!”
“Let me out!” I shouted.
Shank threw the keys. They landed a foot or two away from the bars. The deputy closed the door. It wouldn't keep Luven long. Shank moved his desk to block the door. With the pain and the iron necklace clanging against the bars I was having difficulty reaching for the keys.
Something crashed into the door with force. The door was smashed off its hinges and the desk shifted a few inches.
“Crap!” cursed Shank with his back against the wall and his gun drawn. “I know we didn't get along as kids, but you have to help me. I don't want to do die.”
I found his pleading pathetic. “Shut up! Let me get out of this darn cage first.”
I now had the keys in my hand and was trying to fit the right one in the lock, despite myself I was shaking and having a hard time.
Luven smashed through the doorway, gripped the desk with his clawed hands, and tossed the desk across the room as if it were a play thing. It smashed into splinters against the opposing wall. Luven's tall and bulky shape seethed with anger; blood trickling down his face from a wound to his forehead. A wound that will surely kill him once he changed back to his human shape; it was doing very little to slow him down for the moment.
Sniffing the air with his long nose Luven wandered further into the room. I almost had the door open. There were only two keys left. It had to be one of them.
Quaking, Shank fired off a few shots. Missing completely.
Roaring, Luven charged towards the deputy. Shank threw a chair at Luven. It bounced off harmlessly the brute's broad shoulders harmlessly. Another second later Luven was on top of Shank. He swiped with his clawed hand. Shank flew through the air to land in a crumpled heap.
By some miracle Shank seemed to be still alive. His chest risking and falling slowly.
“No, no please don't kill me.”
Luven had to sweep away the remnants of the desk away to be able to get to Shank. It was enough time for me to bust out of the cell. If I didn't act now Shank would die. He was a sorry excuse for a man, but he didn't deserve to die in such away.
“Hey!” I shouted.
Luven stopped. Sniffing the air once again he turned to his face me. His brown eyes burning with hunger. He had found his prize. The intense tension was taking over my body. It was just a matter of time before I changed.
I pulled on the collar.“Where's the key?”
“The... The Sheriff has it,” said Shank.
A sinking feeling fell over me, but it quickly turned to rage. What gave fate the right to treat me in such away. Treated like a delicate doll my whole life, then when I finally get the taste of freedom some fiend of a man changes me. Changes me into this beast.
It was too late. The change was coming and there was no way to stop it. It started at the fingers. It always started at the fingers. The change was coming and it was coming fast.
I repeated over and over in my mind a very short phrase. A phrase I hope I remembered once I was changed and the animal part of me took control. “I must kill him. I must kill him...”
I hoped my mind... I hoped my will was strong enough to pull this off. The change was taking over me. My body was transforming. Growing in size, growing stronger. Luven, seemed to be watching. As if admiring the show. He stamped his clawed foot and howled. His snout almost brushing on the ceiling.
Shank just sat there with his hands over his head as if trying to block it all out.
I could feel the hunger for Luven building inside me. Threatening to take control. I focused my mind on the fact that Luven had killed my father only a couple of days before. A rage fell over me. A rage that seemed to make the animal inside me back away in fear. Luven licked his sharp teeth as if anticipation. I could feel the pressure of the iron necklace piercing me. Draining away my life force. This was my moment. With claws extended I leaped forward. A primordial roar bellowing from my lungs I landed on with him with savage force. Unprepared I ripped him to ribbons.
The last thing I saw before everything faded away was Shank backing away out the room. A look of utter horror on his face. My life was over, but at least I had saved another. .