This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
Bone of the Fae
I watched my breath curl around the scope on my rifle. The air was slowly warming up, March beating away winter in the north, but snow still clung to every surface. I took in another shuddering breath and adjusted my rifle against the concrete rooftop. Buffalo was an old city. It had survived multiple suicide bombings during the Texan revolution and stood the test of time thereafter. Few others could say the same. Old brick mixed concrete and steel alongside new buildings of heavy plastics and other synthetic materials made a powerful statement. From the street it looked like an old Parisian photograph, but on the roof at night, it was a neon wonderland.
“Mommy, look at me.” A little girl in a pink snowsuit shouted over the wind as she stumbled out of the small dance studio six stories below. The mother, closing up the door her girl stumbled out of, was juggling keys trying to close the door of the studio with gloves on. I unconsciously swung my M4 pattern rifle in the little girls’ direction to get a better look at her through the scope. She was small, three feet tall at the most, and nothing but baby fat. As she danced in the snow I had to wonder if I had smiled as brightly. My childhood memories were fraught with people looking at television screens getting one snippet of bad news after another. The little one’s mother looked to be my age, she would know what it was like to grow up before the revolution.
“Mommy!” As my mind drifted away, so too had the little girl drifted left to the nearest alley. I swore, knowing that my job description had just changed from recon to protection, re-shouldered my rifle and put my left foot, with a $2,000 custom loafer on it, on the berm of the roof, for a better aim. The mother couldn’t see what the girl was screaming at, but the pair of us had a disgustingly plain view. Four foot tall, naked, hairless, red skinned, long tonged, sharp toothed, and hungry with strong suckers on their fingers and toes. Six little red devils stopped picking at trash under a neon sign and charged down the alley towards the little girl. She didn’t know what she was seeing, neither did the mother when she scooped up her daughter, but it was my job to. They were Yara-Ma-Ya-Who. Nasty little bastards out of Australia that live in trees and swallow traveler’s whole. Some idiot thought they would look good in a quarter million dollar cage and ended up getting eaten himself. My employer wanted me to keep an eye on them until a capture team could, well, capture them.
As soon as the mother moved far enough to the right I let loose a few rounds of 5.56 NATO. Five rounds took out two of them before they skittered out of the alley and slid into the snowy road. I leaned higher on the berm and aimed nearly straight down to get a good shot on them. My rifle peppered one more, completely taking off its thin arm. My aim was completely thrown off as two of the three remaining Yara-ma stopped to eat their dying brethren in large chunks. Two things it afforded me the chance to notice, however, was the mother and daughter scramble into a small electric car, and one of the Yara-ma jump up onto the brick and glass of my building.
“Balls.” I swore to myself as I petulantly fired a few rounds in the climbing Yara-ma’s direction. Once I was done being a child I hit the safety on my rifle and set it in the oversized duffel bag I had sitting in the snow next to me. The bag itself was a simple canvas affair from my days in the service but, inside of it was a small collection of weapons that would give Rambo a hard on. Instead of pulling out one of the submachine guns, too many small rounds to throw around in a semi-residential area, another rifle, same reason, a shotgun, too loud, or a carbine, not loud enough, I grabbed an American classic.
Well, the Greeks technically got there first with the Kopis, and the Kukri has a better cutting edge, but the machete works great as an impromptu falchion. I pushed the bag away with my, other, expensive loafer and backed up around antique satellites. As I created space between me and the edge of the roof, I unbuttoned my suit coat and pulled out my sidearm. The real American classic, a WWII era .45 caliber M1911A1. I hand loaded the heavy .45 rounds myself and filled the hollow points with mercury and silver. If the bullet and wound channel didn’t kill whatever I shot at, heavy metal poisoning certainly would. No sooner were my weapons of choice in hand than on of the little red devils crest the roof. Before his tiny malformed hairless chest got over the berm I put three rounds into it. I couldn’t hear over the ringing in my ears but, if I could hear, there would certainly be a sigh from the Yara-ma’s broken body before if fell off of the roof.
I took a steadying breath, adrenaline making my gloved hands shake more than the cold ever could, and kept my pistol aimed at the edge of the roof. I heard a small pop over the ringing in my ears, much like the click of a crocodiles mouth before its jaws snap shut, and another Yara-ma flung itself into the air from the side of the building. I tried to track it with my 1911, wildly firing a few precious rounds, only two the beast and tearing away chunks of limb as it came at me teeth first. I decided to save my last few rounds, set my feet, and swung the machete into the Yara-ma’s head. The blade, which I sharpened on a very expensive grindstone I bought from a pair of greedy dwarves, sliced clean through its ugly mug. Sadly its momentum sent the corpse, and ichor, right into me.
“This…” I swore and kicked the half-decapitated Yara-ma.
“Was just dry cleaned.” After kicking the corpse one more time I did a bit of math. When I came up one Yara-ma-Ya-Who short, I knew why the hairs on the back of my neck was feeling a little more active than usual.
“You can still walk away.” I slowly changed my stance in the gore soaked snow. There was a roof access behind me. I couldn’t be sure, but he, it, would have to be there.
“It doesn’t have to be like this child of Lilith.” I heard a strange chortling growl. I swung around just in time to see half of an old satellite coming towards my head. I jumped into the snow, officially ruining my suit, and fired the last few rounds in my pistol at the Yara-ma’s shadow. I swore for good measure as I stood up and switched the machete to my right hand. My hearing was still dodgy from the gunfire, but the Yara-ma’s wouldn’t be too much better.
“Gah!” I shouted as the Yara-ma landed on my back, his suckers ripping through the plain cloth of my suit coat and shirt. My waist coat survived okay, as it was a combination of ballistic materials.
My skin? Not so much.
I threw myself backward into an empty dove coop, the wire cutting into both of our flesh. Doves were a rare sight these days, so I didn’t feel too bad about the coop. I heard a similar grunt of pain from the beast behind me as I trashed around. Once I had the right angle, I pushed the machete through some of my shirt into the Yara-ma’s chest. His feet didn’t let go, but his hands did. I grabbed the beast wrists and twisted around, wrenching the suckers off my back with a gush of blood, and pulled the bastard into a headlock. I didn’t know if it had to breathe, but I did know it had to keep its head attached. I pulled one of the two blades I kept in my shoulder holster and jammed it into the Yara-ma’s throat. It started to thrash violently, its suckers grasping and tearing at everything they could, kicking snow into the air, making horrible sounds not fit for a tortured animal. Its neck was deceptively thick as I sawed the iron dagger through its thick red hide. After a few seconds of cutting, pulling, and screaming, I simply ripped the things head off. Once it was done I just sat there, covered in blood, and panting. I looked into the whole where the head had gone, little more than torn meat and a neck bone, and wondered if I could write a new suit off as a business expense.
After catching my breath, and pushing the quickly decaying corpse off of me, I made my way over to my duffel bag. I pulled out two plastic packages and started to strip in the snow. I grew up on an American military base in Iceland, my mother was even a native, but I did not have any particular love of the cold. Instead, I had a dire love of fashion. I tossed my destroyed clothes into the bloodied snow and pulled the fresh clothes out of their plastic. I loved the smell of pressed clothes. Clean. Refreshing. Clinical. It was something I could depend on. Almost like the cold. Once I was in proper attire, sans a tie, I unloaded my M4, collected and loaded my M1991A1, and shivered my way down the fire escape. Parked in the alleyway was a small black ethanol town car. I preferred older cars, not for the fuels they burned, but for their severe lack of curves. Everything before the 90’s had actual lines. Now everything looks like a roller skate or cardboard box with wheels. I scratched the back of my head and opened the trunk of the car. There were, many, more guns and hand weapons, and an unholy amount of explosives, but those were just spares. I am a firm believer of being prepared for everything. I grabbed a magazine from my trunk for my pistol and stashed it in my shoulder holster to replace the one I had used on the rooftop.
After closing the trunk I slid into the horrendously small drivers’ seat and turned on the heater. The car wasn’t overly small, I was just abnormally tall. Not freakishly tall, just enough to scare small children and elderly women when I shop. I buckled up and started adjusting my mirrors. Once I started I noticed blood in my short blonde hair and a large bright red round spot covering the entire right side of my face. I hit the little center light and got a better look in the mirror. There was a small nick, maybe from the thrown satellite, above my hairline that was slowly but surely starting to bleed. I sighed and reached over the passenger seat into the dash. After fishing past some napkins and straws I found some super glue. It wasn’t pretty, but it sealed up the wound without the use of any strange sponges, foams, probiotics, synthetics, Nano machines, or any other fashion. When I tossed the glue back into the dash I started to notice some of my other wounds now that the adrenaline was truly drained out of my body. I took a deep shuddering breath, thought about what I learned about pain management, and started the car. I had to report what happened with the Yara-Ma-Ya-Who. Either I had the two days it would take for capture team to show up off, or I’d get put to work.
One way or another, I saved my employer air fare.
Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...
ernbelle: When I first started this story I was a little unsettled by all of the information that appears in the prologue, and wasn't sure if I would continue. However, I am very glad I did. The plot was very well thought out and really interesting. There were not any page breaks or markers to acknowledge ...
Beau Bayot: I like the way the story is told and really engages the reader. In the daily life of a B17 Bomber Pilot that just happens to be a commander of an air-group, along with the hassles of keeping a bomber group running in peak performance during WW2. Banner should also consider himself lucky both at h...
Catherine Kopf: Wow! This was a really great story. I really enjoy reading fantasy, so it didn't take long for me to become invested in the book and its characters like Jacob. I really liked your writing style, and it seemed to flow very well. The descriptions that you used for your world were also created n...
Erin Crowley: The concept here is really strong, but the execution is definitely lacking. Tenses, grammar, etc are all off, with at least one or more errors per 'Page' on my phone. The writing style is almost broken- sentences move into each other awkwardly, and are filled with an excess of "filler words", lik...
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maewilde25: I am so in love with this story!!! captivated me till the very end, there wasn't a dull moment. Didn't particularly enjoy the lay out and some bits of info was missing along with how a 21 year old man amassed so much wealth that needed to be explained other than that and a few spelling errors, th...
Bri Hoffer: I couldn't put it down!! The characters are all incredibly likable, and it's so descriptive you can see, smell, and feel thier surroundings. Great story, and very well written. I cannot wait for follow up stories. there were a few grammatical errors, but nothing that I could move right over.
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