Ch 9: Harm’s Way

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29 (KosmicKasey Interviews Kasey Pierce)
October 16, 2014
Dark Blend Episode 10
October 31, 2014
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Ch 9: Harm’s Way

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Norah shook her head as she bit her lip. Clenching the vile in her hand, she pulled it to her chest as she rocked and sobbed. She raised her face to the stars and closed her eyes tight. James was a martyr to be sure. She felt honor in that. However, at this point she wished someone else would have been bestowed that honor. As much as they agreed they’d “die for the cause”, when it came down to it, it didn’t seem feasible. Power tripping and God-drunk, they thought themselves immortal. Fools still walk among the genius. Lest we forget.

As Norah was having her moment, Vera stood and walked a few paces carrying the weight of her thoughts. It was evident she was lost in wonder as Xora kept a steady eye on her. When she halted her step, Xora spoke in her direction, “I will speak for your mourning sister. As you know, her work is of a classified nature. Her and her late husband, Dr. James Seizhelm, were working with the man I ingested hours before we met.”  Vera’s eyes glazed over just as she raised her head to look at him. “That man was General Brand of The United States Marine Corps.”, Xora continued, “He asked their assistance in creating a superhuman army to defeat Zatuhn after his messenger threatened and killed a few of his men.”

Vera swallowed before responding, “He threatened us? Like..Earth?” Xora nodded, “Yes.” Vera drew a breath out of sudden fear. Her thoughts just became heavier. So heavy, she nearly tripped backwards. Stepping closer, Xora raised a hand to gently meet her face. For a brief moment in time, she could actually feel something from him. His eyes were sympathetic, “I know you fear for the lives of your people. I assure you that the words I’m about to speak are true: You will be a savior as will your sister.” Just as she began to sink into the depth of this tender moment, he dropped his hand from her face and did a quick pivot from her. He abruptly broke from the light shown on his vulnerability. “Now!”, he sharply addressed Norah. She saw his form through her messy blur of tears. She still remained where she sat grasping the vile. Xora stretched his hand to her,

“Give me the vile.”

Norah sniffled and shook her head, “No..no.” Xora closed his eyes and exhaled, “Norah, I know what you’re feeling. But you must trust me. No harm will come to your sister. That is my promise. You must trust me.” Gritting her teeth, she looked to the sky. One would almost guess she was looking for answers. Perhaps she was looking for James. Either way, she wasn’t finding either. Helpless and scared, she reached out an unsteady arm and slowly handed over the formula.With that, Xora took it from her hand in a gentle manner. His aim was not to show hostility. Rather his aim was to be firm and logical without instilling fear. Unnecessarily instilling fear, that is.

“And the syringe..”, he said with his palm still open. She shot a look of sheer irritation. It was clear he already had his psychic grip on her. It annoyed her to know that he knew her so well. He was one step ahead. However, that’s also what gave her a sort of comfort and solace. Not like she had much to lose at this point. ..Except for the only family she had left. But what good is family if you’re separated into padded rooms? These thoughts ran quickly through her mind as she hastily shoved her hand into her lab quote for the syringe. As much as she wanted to stab Xora with it, she slapped it into his hand. “There.”, she retorted. As Xora retrieved the drug from her, Norah threw her hands up signaling a surrender of any control. Everything was quite literally out of her hands at this point. Xora turned to face a shaken Vera. She backed away as he stepped closer. He raised his hand as to settle her anxiety. From her quiet rolling tears, it was clear he wasn’t helping. “Listen..”, he began, “Do not be afraid. You girls are the last hope the galaxies have. I would never put you in harm’s way.” Before Vera could protest, a low growling sounded from just beyond the line of Oak trees. The girls shook as Xora stood emotionless still fixed on Vera. A mucous filled lapping noise immediately followed. The growls sounded closer as Norah stood quickly and backed towards Xora. The noises began to vibrate through the girl’s chests as cold night air highlighted hot breath. Norah’s voice shook, “..Xora..wh-what the fuck is that?”

Xora slowly approached her back and put his mouth to her ear, “Well..we are in the woods.” In what seemed like an all-in-one motion, Norah whipped her head around and grabbed Xora’s lapels. Vera screamed when she saw four sets of glowing eyes a yard behind her sister. Xora simply looked on into the woods as Norah clung to his jacket. “Please!”, she cried, “Do something!” He looked down and into her eyes, grasped her hand, and jerked it from his coat. Feeling unnervingly surprised, her jaw dropped as she took a step back from him. Vera shouted, “YOU JUST SAID YOU’D NEVER PUT US IN HARM’S WAY!” Her bottom lip quivered as he turned to face her. He hmm’d for a moment as his eyes darted left to right. When they finally settled back on Vera he simply said, “I’m not.” He then turned to face Norah, “Go and make them mild.” Put off, Norah shook her head in confusion, “What?” Just then, Xora brought his face to hers and in a stern voice responded, “Go tame them.” As the words left his mouth, the four wolves stepped from the trees and into the light. Norah turned slow and shook uncontrollably. She cowered before the salivating beasts as they examined her. After a few moments of silent fear, the four razor-jawed monstrosities leaned back to lunge her way.

As their paws left the ground and their bodies briefly air-born, Norah crouched and turned from them. Before the beasts were able to touchdown and tear into her flesh, she instinctively raised a hand to come within a foot of touching a cold wolf nose.

 

Then silence.

Realizing they hadn’t yet made contact, she turned from her crouched position with her hand still aimed in their direction. She turned on the balls of her feet as if she were winding up to chuck a discus. What she saw were the four wolves (still looking crazed and demonic) floating in mid air. It was as if they were frozen in time. Yet, their blood-hungry mouth slime still poured onto the woods’ floor. Norah sat centered on that moment and nothing else. Lost in this strange event, she failed to notice a fifth pack member rushing towards her. Just as she turned her head, a set of pearly white daggers were about to swipe her face. However, the only thing she had time to feel was the half second hot breath. For in an instant, Vera’s foot met the wolf’s rib cage and launched it into a tree in the distance. There it fell to the floor, bleeding profusely from it’s cracked skull.

Norah looked to a Vera who swallowed hard and raised her chin to the sky. That look shifted from Vera’s face to a small puncture wound on her right arm. Breathing heavily, they exchanged stares as an intense silence ate the moment. Xora then slowly appeared from behind Vera. He wore a look of smug satisfaction.

“Not bad.” 

-Kasey Pierce

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Kosmic Kasey
Kosmic Kasey
Kasey Pierce is a sci-fi/horror author from the Metro Detroit area. Her latest work is sci-fi comic series, "Norah". (Source Point Press) Other credits include horror anthology, "Pieces of Madness". Also forewords and epilogues for author/illustrator, Joshua Werner and Marvel illustrator, Jay Fosgitt. social media: facebook.com/kosmickasey, Twitter:@kosmickasey, and Instagram:@kcdwrites.

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