Chapter 12 - Waking up and biting the but
I awoke with my face buried in fur. Warm and close. His forelegs were on either side of my head, like I was using them as mufflers. My ears were toasty. My newly deformed arm curving over his ribs gently rising and falling. Suddenly nature was calling, maybe that was what had woken me up. I tried to extricate myself without waking Apoc, but the moment I moved his breathing changed.
He backed up and crawled out of the little snow cave. I followed him up and out. The world was brilliant - white and sparkling. Little flurries danced on the light wind, but the snow was letting up. My body ached but it was somehow a dull roar that I could almost ignore. I turned and could see the pile of rocks... they looked so small in the light of day. And then I remembered the gutted wolf, likely buried under a pristine blanket of snow just at the base there. I turned away and right into Apoc’s eyes.
He was watching me with those shimmering blue eyes. I felt my heart flutter, maybe he was going to change his mind and kill me after all. The moment he smelled my fear he began lazily licking his paw and seeming for all the world to have forgotten my existence. Well, I had other things to attend to, I glanced around and found a couple of trees a short distance away. I looked at Apoc, he was still intent on an invisible bit of something between his toes, but I could feel him - present and alert.
Best probably not to run and activate his killer instinct. I’d love to talk to him, but I hadn’t been able to make words since one of the surgeries damaged my vocal cords... kinda like cutting out someone’s tongue... only maybe more humane. Maybe this way I wouldn’t be able to reveal the evil experiments of Dr. Shen.
I settled on a grunt and nodded towards the trees when Apoc looked up. When I turned to go I heard him rise. I turned quickly and did my best to motion that I would go and then return. Apoc watched me with his head tilted almost sideways. I could have sworn he was grinning, but dogs always look like that when they begin to pant.
I walked slowly away looking back to make sure that I was understood. Apoc laid back down and began to nibble on the other paw. As soon as I’d finished my hunger hit me like a tidal wave. I walked around the tree to find Apoc only a few feet away still licking. He looked at me. I looked at him.
I tried to say, “I don’t need you spying on me, I can take care of myself.” It came out as a series of squeaks and groans.” Oh whatever.
My stomach growled again. Apoc looked at me and then got up. Without thinking I sidestepped away. He watched me but went to my spot behind the tree, sniffed it, (Awwww c’mon really? Is nothing sacred?) and then relieved himself. I swear he was grinning again.
Congrats to you wiseacre, you went on top. What do you want a medal? Well, at least he didn’t eat it. My high school friend Sam had a dog that had a... as he called it “fecal fetish” and would eat any (and I do mean any) poop it found. Eh, so coulda’ been worse.
He walked right up to me looked me in the eye for a moment and then lowered his head to the ground.
Ummm... what? I was confused, did he want me to ride on his back?
He twisted his head and looked up at me.
He hopped up and walked around behind me. I turned to face him and he kept walking. I kept turning until I realized that he wanted to be behind me. He could have killed me anytime if that was what he wanted. Ok. I can do this. I stood still.
I felt his breath and his teeth again on my neck. Gentle. He made the nibbling motion on my neck. I started to laugh and he walked around in front of me and dug a little hole in the snow and dropped something in. I went over to look in the hole, but it was just snow. I looked up at him. He walked around behind me again and repeated the action.
Then he faced me and lowered his head to the ground and turned his neck towards me.
Oh yeah, that metal spider. Maybe he had one too. I looked at the fur above his neck and sure enough buried in his fur was a small metal tube was visible with a blinking red light on the end of it.
Ok I can do this. I wish I still had my hands, thank you Dr. Shen. I’d have to use my teeth. I nosed down into his fur and bit down gently around the metal cylinder. I hated the way my teeth clicked on the metal and it felt like it was buzzing faintly. I pulled gently, but nothing happened.
This was going to hurt. Both of us.
I pulled, hard. I could feel something tearing. I had to pull harder I pushed against his neck, my neck straining and I heard it pop. I smelled blood. It felt like I was going to tear my teeth out. And then I heard a ripping sound, and my mouth filled with blood. Apoc’s blood. It came free with a slither... how long were these spider’s legs? I spit it into the now bloody hole in the snow.
My teeth were aching. I felt like I may have a loose tooth now. My jaw felt like it wasn’t going to close straight.
I turned to see Apoc staring at me again with those eyes. He turned and loped over to some other trees. Then he stopped and looked at me.