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July 08, 2024

All-Nighter 27

By Lydia Manx

Episode Twenty-Seven


Damn, here we were, and I found that Lindy and I were pretty much stuck with Grant after escaping -- for now -- some crazy ass shit, on what looked like was just a semi-dirt road off in the scrub brush near Boca Raton, in the west, not the east coast that I knew. And from what all I could see, it was kind of involving stupid real werewolves. Add in that he brings these huge-ass winged creatures to the dance without bothering beforehand telling either Lindy or me. Mentally I gave a huge sigh at the cluttered thoughts in my head. I didn't need this floating in my thoughts, I had just wanted a stupid job.

I'd noticed something out of the corner of my eyes, and hadn't a chance to react, but it didn't matter because by then Lindy had flipped out and grabbed a crossbow to take them -- whatever they were -- completely out. Grant had told us that he knew them. Lindy had yet to put her bow and arrows away, even while Grant vouched for the huge birds that had been flying above us while we were heading where ever it was Grant thought we should be.

There was this weird look in their eyes that made them more than just 'birds,' and the one that Grant had called Howard shuffled and looked directly at me. Fuck all, it acted like it could read my thoughts. From the tight look on Lindy's face she was thinking the same ass thing. Crap on toast this sucked.

Looking over at Grant I asked, "So they are, what, like part of your crew?" Since he was my boss, I didn't go any further, even though I was ready to smack him back to whatever hole he'd crawled from -- Melissa the Mistress in her cold-ass glory from earlier today when I was interviewed for this job pushed into my mind -- I abruptly stopped talking. I wasn't ready to play in that mine field yet, but Grant was fuming about something.

"Howard, what did you see?" Grant avoided answering me. The huge creature popped in front of us and Lindy stepped back while slightly lowering her bow. She wasn't on board yet, but letting Grant have his play. She caught my eye and nodded. I had no fucking idea what she was trying to tell me. I simply waited.

It wasn't long before I got the second shock of my night. The creature dipped its head and said in a soft, high pitched whisper, "Many furred ones running from the lights."

Here I have to admit that I may have squeaked lightly. I know that Lindy's lips flicked close even tighter and her bow and arrow set up was lifted again. Howard spun his head nearly around and looked directly at Lindy. She met stare with one of her own that I knew was her action-first-apologize-later look. More than a few zombies had seen that glance before she'd decimated their ranks. Lindy wasn't anyone to fuck with. Then it got wild-ass creepier as the other three creatures of Grant's fucking weird-as-shit crew turned as one and met Lindy's gaze without a word or even sound uttered. I could feel their eyes drilling into her and me. I felt my ass tighten and I wanted to smack them all -- starting with Lindy for pushing it. They outnumbered us and I was pretty sure they could fly away, leaving our corpses twitching, without anyone but Grant the wiser. And I doubted that Grant would care much. Idiots like me who'd take a job without asking too many questions pretty much littered the Florida sandy coasts -- both east and west. I was nervous as all this stuff raced through my thoughts but I knew I wasn't wrong. From Lindy's stiff form she was calculating just as quickly how the odds were tilted towards Grant and his fiercely feathered friends. Hell, I didn't have a clue what the hell he was much less if he could even be killed by anything remotely normal. Lindy was even more disturbing because she looked like she was willing to risk the consequences of taking them all on -- with or without me. I wanted to be home at my grandma's, nibbling freshly made cookies listening to her chatting about her bridge group or whatever. I didn't want to be by the side of some small-ass road waiting to see if the talking birds could kill us.

Without looking at either of us Grant said, "You take the ladies with you and find us in a half hour. We are going to get into a better position." Without a word, all four winged creatures flew off nearly silently into the dark skies. Like owls these huge birds made no real noise yet were gone. Something in my stomach flipped. Not a happy they were gone flip but more like 'Oh my fucking god -- those birds talk and seem to read thoughts! What the hell are they?'

Lindy dropped her bow and looked at Grant and simply asked, "When the fuck were you going to tell us about your talking birds?"

Under her glare he looked a bit disturbed and said, "Yes, about that. I am sorry, but I didn't have permission."

That fell on deaf ears and I watched Lindy raise her bow slightly pointing towards Grant and added, "Okay, next time skip the permissions and keep me informed. Are we clear?"

I was crystal clear and I watched Grant bob his head and he hissed out, "Yes." Nothing more and nothing less.

We all got back in the car without any more talking and Lindy looked to Grant and asked, "Where to now?"

Since we didn't know where we even were it was a good question.

I watched Grant choke back something, and he quietly gave her some basic directions. Soon we were diving through even crappier back roads than we'd been on previously. Nobody talked in her SUV other than Grant's giving directions. Ten minutes later we were pulling into a bush-lined driveway with huge shade trees that isolated our trip. There wasn't a garage, but there was a covered carport that Grant directed Lindy towards. She ignored his directions to pull into the spot, and instead took a minute to back into the spot. "Get real, Grant. No need to be stupid." That was all she said while expertly backing into the area. Hell, I already knew from West Virginia that she could drive, but she yanked that SUV wheel precisely and into the carport with little effort. I don't think I could have done it, and from the frozen look on Grant's face, I was pretty sure he sucked at parking as well.

"Now what?" Lindy turned to Grant while shutting off the engine. It didn't take two seconds for the car to start getting hot. I mean suffocatingly hot and humid. Florida at its finest. I didn't wait, but opened my door and got out while waving off a cloud of mosquitoes. Shutting the door to keep the mosquitoes out, I was not overly shocked to see a flutter of wings and the four weird birds land in the crabgrass past the carport away from the house. There hadn't been any sounds just the flutter. Whatever they were, I wasn't fond of them. They scared the crap out of me, talking and watching like they could hear me. The one called Howard stepped closer and hissed out softly, "Tell the Mistress' pawn we need him now."

I wasn't stupid I didn't call Grant a pawn but instead reopened the door and said, "Hey, Grant, your crew wants you."

Both Lindy and Grant got out of the SUV and Lindy asked, "So what do they want?"

Looking at her, she still had the damn bow and bag of arrows, I said, "Not a fucking clue." Taking the opportunity I asked, "Why do you keep trying to piss them off?"

"Because Grant is just not right." Not a truer word had she ever spoken.

I met her eyes and said, "Yeah, but at least we aren't sitting in some Uber car being driven out to the Everglades or some other compound."

Grinning she admitted, "Yeah, that would have totally sucked. So you want something from the back of the SUV before Grant gets back from his little show and tell with those freaking talking birds?"

"Yeah," I owned up .

While keeping an eye on Grant and the bird crew, Lindy opened up the back of her SUV and started digging into the duffel bags she had beneath a dark blanket. Before I could blink I had two silver blades, and an old fashioned gun with actual bullets. I think it was a 38 special and she handed me next two speed loaders -- with silver coated bullets, I was told. Back in West Virginia I used rifles and semi-automatics but I wasn't picky. I just hadn't shot a revolver in years. And I wasn't that old! From the glint in her eyes, I decided to keep my complaints to myself. Maybe I would survive this crap.

But those winged things scared me to my core.

Article © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
Published on 2016-08-08
Image(s) © Lydia Manx. All rights reserved.
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