Impress Me

Chapter 10 - Icepacks & Old Ink

Heavy water descended from the umber of an obnubilated sky, still in its rote against stone and metal to draw out its symphony. The Malevolence of Briana was slowly passing and her flood gates were starting to close but only starting. The gale was failing slowly but raged still, enough to shake metal poles. With the ebb of another day, members of a clan who had taken shelter through the worst broke from hibernation, something one was not yet able to do.

Brooklyn broke from his stone slumber feeling refreshed but quickly realized he held a stone body, “Haven?”

No response; daring not to let go of her as her form as she was frozen in the shape of his arms, but for their kind not to rise immediately at sunset twilight was cause to worry a great deal. Not knowing much else he could do, he called to her once more but more frantic, “Haven!”

There suddenly came a slight rumble from the statue in his arms, and gargoyle feebly broke from her stone envelope. His heart still racing as she looked into his eyes shaking off whatever dream she had, “Estoy bien. Just trying to hold on for a bit longer.”

“That terrified me, Haven.” he sighed deeply. “Severa.”

“Wha…” Brooklyn looked on confused, barely heard her as her voice was a little hoarse, “My name, mi nombre verdadero…is Severa; and it’s high time I used it.”

“Severa; it’s pretty.” Brooklyn couldn’t restrain himself and held her tightly but Severa didn’t dare resist as she could identify without his words. She could even feel his heart racing so she hugged back to his surprise, “I’m sorry I worried you.”

He noted how weak her grasp was then suddenly felt her sob into him, “What’s wrong?” She sniffled and held tight so he wouldn’t have to see her cry again, “She released me.”

He didn’t even have to ask. Brooklyn felt the bandages against her back and still nervous from her slow ‘yawn’, opted to wait until she pulled herself together. Her chest felt light and her throat felt empty, then she realized just how long she had been holding onto him. Noticing her retreat, he still kept her near enough to unravel the bandages from her would. The wound was healed but it wasn’t like gargoyles to scar anyway, which drew to question: why did Hav-...Severa have a scar from a hot fireplace poker for years on her shoulder. Haven stood wobbly but braced herself against the shelves where batteries and tools were. She looked around, “Where are we?”

It was then evident to him that she didn’t remember much of the previous night, how much of what she did recall he couldn’t be sure of, “We’re in a tool shed on a roof. Do you remember what happened before that?”

“Only that I fell into the water…” she paused then gasped so slightly, “…and Kale…” Brooklyn stopped her right there, “Don’t start off on that just yet. You need to rest a while longer and the storm hasn’t…”

The metal roof finally came loose and the cold air filled the shed, “But not here.” Brooklyn stood and helped Severa rest in the corner where it was warmer, covering her with the blanket. “There’s a building across the alleyway. Stay here while I scope it out.”

She cringed under the cover as if she would stay under it to keep warm. Opening the door to the shed, a strong gust smacked him in the face but he held his ground, turning back for just a moment before disappearing out into the storm.

Severa actually sat obediently under the blanket until she decided to have a look for herself. Her face stung in the bitter air but the wind wasn’t nearly strong enough to really fling anyone about much anymore. The gargoyle shed the blanket, opened the shed, and made her way to the door leading down stairs. The sudden rush of blood blurred her vision a little but she figured it would pass. Before going in, she looked over the edge towards the flood. The water levels went down a little and the deadly current seemed much calmer. Going down the stairs and reaching the water, glassy but still in motion, she paused and checked the temperature; it was frigid but she leaped in anyway. Her body still ached and her tail was much drained but she pushed through the water. It made her back feel a whole heap better when she sat still. Upon reaching the window, she poked her head out enough to realize the current was still too strong for her right now. She went back the way she came and up the stairs. By then, her vision was back to normal. She was cold but now her senses felt very refreshed.

Swimming from there was definitely out so Severa stepped up to the edge to glide out. She hesitated, still uncomfortable about flight but remembered how courageous she was the night before when searching for Kale. It was perhaps the first ever flight she took on her own, and in the worst conditions. That past her she readied to take off but now she held for a different reason. Brooklyn went out of his way to help her. It was all still fuzzy but she remembered the water carrying her off and somehow from there, she ended up in that shed with Brooklyn. He was taking some while to scope out the other building so she went over to that ledge instead.

Leaping over the tight alleyway and onto the brick, she dug her claws in and started to climb. Nearing the top, the wind snatched her up one of her wings and the other soon after. Her grip wasn’t near tight enough to maintain so she went tumbling down towards the low pool topping off a second story building. In another instant, she felt something grasping her wrist keeping her at a firm elevation, “You don’t listen well, do you?”

Brooklyn pulled her up on the roof of the taller building, “I’m hard-headed by nature, and I don’t like feeling helpless.” she tried to sound as strong willed as possible but that’s difficult when you’re out of breath. Brooklyn went on, “So glad you didn’t ditch me. I was beginning to think you didn’t care.”

Severa smiled at his sarcasm. Brooklyn sighed, “You want to see him that bad? You said so yourself; he’s safe and…”

“But he’s sick. I know I left him in good hands but I just worry. Force of habit, I guess.” she knew she was burdening him and felt guilty for it. Brooklyn took a deep breath and let it out in one slightly elongated puff, “Where is he?”

It took a while for her to find the building since the storm affected her vision and orientation and things appeared different in the worst of it. Briana was still beating against them but Brooklyn was used to strong winds back at the origin of Castle Wyvern. The cliffs he used to live on provided more than enough squalls to train a young Gargoyle in the art of gliding but he helped the untrained gargoyle at his side get through since she didn’t want to depend on him carrying her anymore. Eventually they found the building and the window where Severa beat in the glass, only now it was covered by something wooden. Reaching the window pane, he shoved at the wood and found that it was a table. Moving it aside and clearing broken glass from the floor to make room for Ha-Severa to climb in, Brooklyn saw no child, “You sure this is the place?”

“I’m s…” they both noticed an elderly man poke his head out from the back room but Severa recognized him as the one who attacked her. Naïve in thinking this time would be different, neither she nor Brooklyn who had no idea what to expect were prepared to react to his charge. The first swing of his bat went into Severa’s chest knocking her off into the glass Brooklyn so carefully tried to avoid and the next went to Brooklyn’s head but that split second the old man took to strike Severa first was more than enough to prime him for the next swing. He caught the bat as a radiance filled his eyes with a fierce ire. With his other hand, he hent the man’s robe in his hand and lifted the man from the debris covered floor. In that dark room, looking into that luminous indignation made the man shake with such terror he’d barely had control over his primordial bowels. Severa, though covered in shards of glass all down her right backside and upper arm, leaped up to calm him, “Brooklyn, Don’t!”

Granted, she wanted this on the man as much as he did but she understood better that this wasn’t right. The more docile and sensible of the two elderly men peaked in then rushed out to help, “Please don’t! He’s stupid and impulsive and angry at the world but PLEASE let him down!”

Severa concurred, “Brooklyn!” The glow slowly faded as the man’s feet steadily came back within contact of the ground. The man fell backwards and trembled tremendously. The other man rested his hands on his hips and shook his head, “When will you learn?”

Brooklyn stooped down to tend to Severa’s tattered arm. Her chest hurt more after that blow but she was pushing past it. The man stooped down to help remove the glass. Brooklyn looked at him hesitantly but let the man continue. He used his robe to catch the blood and motioned for Brooklyn to bring water from the refrigerator since the sink wasn’t working. He grabs some cup towels too while he’s at it. Severa hissed as each shard was removed so the elderly man spoke to her to take her mind off it, “You were the one that came last night. I remember your pretty long hair. Are you here to see Kale?”

Severa nodded, clenching her teeth. Brooklyn came back and placed the wet cup towel over her arm. It was more soothing but the fibers getting stuck in the wounds and then being pulled out made the rubbing sting. The man continued, “He’s not here anymore. A rescue copter came during a pause in the storm, I believe when the eye of Briana was overhead.”

“Where is he?” Severa probed. “A hospital I suppose. They already had quite a few people and only had enough for two of us. Well the boy was too sick and I wasn’t about to leave Hugo here and I knew he wouldn’t leave me so we stayed behind together while they took the boy to some place safer.” he finished just as the last wound was somewhat cleaned.

“Thank you, we’ll check the hospitals.” Brooklyn stated. The docile senior attempted to object, “Why don’t you stay. It’s still pretty nasty out there and the radio hasn’t told us when it will die down. I think maybe the station is having problems.”

Brooklyn remembered H-Severa colliding hard with the radio tower so he imagined that’d be the reason why. He also imagined that getting used to calling her Severa was going to be tough but worth it for a while since he was the only one that knew. The other man spoke up in objection, “Don’t even consider it, Victor. I don’t want to stomach these beast any longer than I have to.”

“Will you for once quit being suspicious of everyone. This isn’t ‘Nam.” The men started bickering as Brooklyn helped Se-Severa up. The docile man spoke, “Don’t mind him, he’s really pleasant after a few weeks around him.”

“It’s not that.” Severa shook her head not bothering to imagine weeks around this vicious old codger, “Thank you so much for looking after him.” Brooklyn helped her onto the window sill after he made it out, holding her hand for safe measure, “You sure you’ll be fine?”

“I’m fine. Stop your fussing.” she comforted. Brooklyn snickered at that. With that, they leaped out the window and glided off towards the nearest hospital Brooklyn knew of. The men looked on then Victor adverted, “They remind me of us when we were young.”

“Don’t start on that.” Hugo terminated, “Those are primordial days. Long gone. I don’t want to hear your counterfactual statements like ‘if we did this’ or ‘if I had done that better’ or ‘if this law didn’t pass’.” Hugo remarked. Victor grinned, “But what if we did g….” Hugo covered his ears in a childlike fashion, “La la la la, we’re not talking about this.”

Brooklyn led them to the hospital around the corner and down the street. That place was flooded and people were on the roof with helicopters trying to get the patients out. Many of the other hospitals they came across near populated areas were like that. Eventually they got the idea to go down stealthily and listen in on where they might be headed. Many of them mentioned Glen Cove as a place still miraculously had power but they maxed out a few hours back. Thinking that maybe before they hit their accommodation limit, Kale was taken there. It was worth a shot so they went for it. When they finally got there, it took them hours but they carefully peaked in each window until they found Kale sitting up in a hospital bed talking to a woman with two other men. There was a solemn mood about the room. Severa recognized the female and one of the male’s somewhat as the adults in Kale’s photo, his parents.
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