Wednesday, November 11, 2015

City of Curses: Eyes of Red (Flash Fiction)

Kunan fell.

That had been his intent after all, although half way down panic set in.  He'd never lept this far down before.  Kunan had aimed for the largest detritus he could see in the alley below the wall.  He hoped it could catch him.

Nonetheless, he fell.

The wall he had jumped from had been the main division between the Wish Quarter and the landfills of the Rag Coast.  Kunan could withstand the stench.  His father's stables had enured him against whatever could be over here.  He just hoped the fiend-blooded gangsters following him weren't.  They didn't follow, but he could see the five of them watch him fall.  They then started to run, looking for ways to follow him down.

Yay.

Kunan landed on the detritus.  Something cracked.  The air vacated his lungs in a burst.  He tried and failed to right himself.  His left leg didn't move.  It burned.  Lightning shot from it.

Kunan felt his leg.  Bones had twisted themselves under the skin.  He felt something cold in his right leg.  Red started to bleed into his clothes.

"Drek."  Kunan told himself.  The pain came whenever he tried to move the leg.  His right arm didn't want to move either, it dangled.  Kunan's mother had been Ramelin.  She always taught her son that life was pain.

His father wasn't.  Kunan's Tomasi father would then roll his eyes.  Then his father would tell him that sometimes running away from pain was smarter.  Smarter than trying to outlive it.

"I've gotta get out of here.  Before the tieflings..."  Kunan panted with effort, using his left arm to find leverage.  Garbage and trash slid around him.

Kunan's left arm dug under the grime and muck.  The young, overweight man felt for some sort of crack or crevice.  Fingers found purchase.  Enough that he could tug himself under more trash.  Kunan then paused, waiting.

He closed his eyes.  He hoped that the tieflings wouldn't see his injured body among the garbage in the Rag Coast.

The young groom hadn't meant to wind up in Crux's most notorious landfill.  The entire neighborhood had been overrun by garbage and other things.  Butchers dumped their offal here.  The Iron's poured their runoff into the river next to it.  On top of all that, this was the cheapest place to get rid of the dead.  No one charged you for your body to go here.  Most Unsorcerous ended up here.

Kunan didn't want to join the corpses the pigs ate.

"You see him?"  A voice called.

"Fuck this guy, he can't protect his horses down here."  Another voice said.

"Yeah, but-"

"Yeah what?  Idiot threw himself off the wall into the Rag Coast."  It sounded like one of the Tieflings.  Guttural, tainted by fiendblood.  Most tieflings looked like some part of demon.  Kunan had no idea why that was.  His mother always cringed at them, saying they should've killed in the crib by their mothers.

That didn't matter now.  His horses were as good as gone.  His father would thrash him for that.  Kunan had thought he could get rid of the thieves and save the horses.  Why hadn't he just given them up?  Why did he put up a fight?

"You're right."  The other voice said.  "Sorry, sometimes the bloodlust just takes over me."

"C'mon, lets get out of here before Cullach shows."

Kunan winced as he tried to crawl out from the pile.  He had to follow them.  Kunan didn't know what he could do to them.  But maybe if he followed he could find a clue to figure it out later.  Kunan had raised those horses himself.  Those were his first sell.  At least supposed to be.

"Oink?"

He jumped up at the sound.  Kunan then landed on his bad leg.  Pain lanced up it.  Lightning made him scream.  It echoed.  Kunan hoped it wouldn't bring the tieflings back.

A dirty, brown and white tiny pig looked up at him.  A tiny little fella.  Kunan blinked at him.  The tiny pig had an inquisitive look.

"Where did you come from?"  Kunan wondered.

"He be one of mine."  A grunting voice spoke.  The Tomish it spoke sounded like it wasn't coming from a human.

A pair of red eyes emerged from the nearby shadows.  A old boar of a swine came out from the shadows.    He wore a wide brimmed, black hat.  He looked Kunan up and down.  Kunan recognized the look of intelligence in the large pig's scarred eyes.

"You can talk."  Kunan thought aloud.

"Aye.  Be feyborn.  I'm Pa Cullach.  You got a name?"  The pig sniffed as he spoke.

"Kunan.  I just was trying to get away- look, you know someone who can help me?"  Kunan said.

"Help you?  You running away from them Tieflings?  Demon's Orphans and that drek?"

"Yes, up until I took a bit of a fall."

Pa Cullach looked up to the top of the wall that divided the Rag Coast from the Wish Quarter.  "Bit of a tumble I'd say.  Boy, can you walk?"

"Do I look like I can walk, pig?"  Kunan put emphasis on that last word.  He didn't care for being condescended down to.  "I need help, I'm bleeding and-"

"I smelled the blood."  Pa Cullach said.  "Just wanted to know if you could walk or not."

"I can't."

"Good."  Then Pa Cullach's porcine jaws clamped down on Kunan's throat.  A wet scrunch and pain throttled Kunan.  He couldn't scream.  Blood just curdled.  He choked.  He thrashed.

The feyborn, talking pig held him down.  Kunan's eyes widened as a herd of pigs swarmed all over him.  Hungry red eyes.  Teeth tore into him.  Twenty hungry swine ripped him into dozens of pieces as Pa Cullach fed his herd.