Chapter 3

Chapter 3

A Chapter by Rocki-san
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The brothers fight a ghoul that haunts the town, inducing illnesses. Will they all make it out in one piece?

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“Oz-man!” I heard Logan call up the stairs, his mouth full of food. “Get your lazy butt out of bed! Soups on and it’s delicious!”

I didn’t move, hoping he’d just let me be but knowing Logan he was down there counting to ten before he could come up here with any torture his sadistic mind could scheme. And I was right.

“Get up!” Logan burst through the door but I didn’t budge, I refused to. We’d played this game many times before. “Oskar!”

“Go blow something up!” I muttered into my pillow. I felt cold liquid being sprinkled on me. Ice water. “Ah, Logan, you’re losing your touch.”

“Alright then, the malevolent way,” I heard the sound of a bowl being set on a table. It was quiet for a second more and then suddenly I felt hands gripping my ankle and I thudded to the floor. I turned around and looked up at him as he bit into the apple he’d brought along. “I win again.”

“You pulled me off the bed!” I said with disbelieve.

“All’s fair in war and brotherly quarrels,” Logan said.

“Guys,” we both looked up to see Keno, shaking his head. “You make me think that I’m a bad teacher and my attempts to raise you as fine young men have been in vain. Before you go bringing the house down why don’t we help them with their little problem? Kapeesh?”

“That sounds so good,” I said.

“That’s quiche,” Keno sighed. “Come on, let’s go!”

“I can’t believe you pulled me off the bed,” I muttered and rubbed my face which was the first thing to hit.

“I can’t believe you can’t believe I pulled you off the bed,” Logan replied and left the room.

 

I found Logan on his back in the dirt of the back yard a few minutes later, Keno sat on a nearby rock looking pretty as he always did after beating us in any form of combat. I leaned over Logan and grinned my innocent little-brother grin.

“’All’s fair in war and brotherly quarrels,’ isn’t that what you said?” I reminded him only to have him reply with inaudible grumbles.

“Logan,” Keno said. “What have I told you about your weapon dependency?”

“I’m a crow, okay? I like shiny things and I like to watch things go ‘boom’.” Logan sighed and got up. “And let’s face it, Keno, I’m never going to be without out my weapons.”

“You’re without them now!” Keno said.

“This doesn’t count!” Logan said. Keno looked at me and I nodded, tripping Logan so he was, once again, laying in the dirt. “Point taken, now help me up!”

Keno and I both took a hand and hoisted him up. While Logan dusted himself off I looked around the tundra dust bowl. It was basically like any other town we’d been in, very few places had grass nowadays, a famine, we’ve been told, is imminent.

“Hey, what’s that way out there?” I asked and pointed to the speck.

“It used to be the community center,” Ila said. “We used it for everything, events, refuge, quarantines.”

“Quarantines?” Logan asked. “How many quarantines have you had?”

“Only a few, years and years ago,” Ila said. “When Baba was little.”

“Man, that was years and years ago, maybe even a few centuries,” Logan muttered. Keno and I both elbowed him in the ribs.

“We didn’t see any records of that,” Keno said.

“That’s because there was a fire four or five years ago,” Ila said. “Lightning hit it and with all the dry wood it sort of caught. It was already long abandoned by then, we didn’t have the means or funds to keep it going.”

“What was the quarantine for?” Keno asked.

“I’ll look that up at the hospital today,” Ila said. “I’ll call you.”

“Great, thanks,” Keno said and after she’d walked away we all turned to the tiny speck. “Come on, guys, we’ve got a ghoul to catch.”

 

We stood outside the old building, blackened from the fire but still standing. It leaned to the side as most buildings of this age and little care did. I was already heading towards the door as Logan and Keno checked their transmitters with the radars.

“Ozzie!” Keno caught me by the shirt. “Would you wait a second?”

“It’s been staying in there, Keno,” I said. “We got to check it out!”

“Is it in there now?” he asked and I thought for a second before shrugging. “Then we can’t just waltz in there like easy prey!”

“I say we just blow it up,” Logan’s lip twitched.

“Yeah, I know what you say,” Keno sighed.

“But when have we ever listened to you?” I said innocently, Logan could only glare. “If it’s in there it’ll be asleep, it only hunts at night.”

“Alright,” Keno said. “Just stay close and no explosives!”

“Spoil sport,” Logan muttered but followed Keno and I without an argument.

What little light that could penetrate the thick clouds barely reached the inside of the building, the windows virtually useless. There was a large open room with a stage in the far end and a square, open hallway above. It was eerie and cold and the stench was horrific, it smelled of musty disease, death and decay, just the perfect place for a ghoul.

I went up the stairs and followed the railing to the door at the far end near the stage. Behind it was an old office that was nearly destroyed in the fire. There were only one or two files that were still legible and even then it was hard to clearly read what they said.

“Hey, Keno,” I called out.

“What?” I left the office and looked over the railing.

“I don’t think Ila is going to find anything,” I said. “It says here that the disease was never really identified and after three years the attacks stopped. The symptoms are very similar to what they’re experiencing now.”

“That’s what ghouls do, Ozzie, the smart ones anyway.” Logan said. “They can sense all the diseases that have happened in the area and they can mimic the symptoms.”

“When did all this happen?” Keno asked.

“About eighty years ago,” I said.

“I knew it,” Logan muttered.

“That’s not exactly a century,” Keno sighed.

“Close enough!” Logan said as I walked down to meet them. We were walking towards the stage, hoping to find something there. “Where is this stupid thing?”

Keno and I both stopped walking suddenly but Logan kept going. As if on cue something leapt off the stage and crashed into Logan, sending him flying across the room. It was the ghoul which was why I’d stopped and Keno had followed suit. I’d sensed it on the stage and knew it would attack if we got any closer.

It was big, bigger than any ghoul I’d ever seen which meant that it ate well and it would have been frightening had I not been accustomed to the hideous sight of a ghoul. They sometimes looked like deformed dragons except these were all too real. Its skin was a rough and scaly pink, its face pug-nosed and drooling as it loomed over Logan staring hungrily with its nonexistent eyes. It also stank; even Keno and I had to cover our noses and we were clear across the room in an already musty building.

A loud shot rang out and the ghoul disappeared. Logan still laid there on the floor, covered in mucus and drool and his gun still aimed at now empty air. He stood up and looked down at himself with disgust.

“Thanks for the warning and the help, guys,” he said and tried to wipe some of it off. “This stuff never comes off!”

“Well if I’d thought a ghoul would be too much for you I would’ve helped you out.” Keno said with a quirk of the lips.

“Shut up!” Logan muttered and glared at me.

“Hey, there was a reason I didn’t go right up to the stage,” I said defensively. “I thought you’d take the hint.”

“Whatever,” he mumbled and continued to clean himself. “Man, now I’m going to get sick, this stuff is like poison!”

“Poor baby,” I cooed. “When we get back to Baba’s we’ll be sure to make you some chicken noodle soup.”

“I don’t like your tone,” Logan said. “You’re lucky this stuff was made for little kids or I would be comatose right now!”

“So the ghoul must not take mental age into account,” Keno said. “Because mentally you’re five.”

“I don’t have to take this,” Logan crossed his arms. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a ghoul to maim and mutilate.”

“Good,” Keno said. “Cause it likes you.”

“Well why don’t I slap a leash on it and call it Rover?” Logan replied and jumped onto the stage.

Keno and I just stood waiting with guns in hand as Logan continued to call the ghoul. Half an hour passed before we decided that the ghoul had left which meant it was probably out waiting for the illness to take effect so Logan would be too weak to fight back.

Just because the attack was dimmed down a bit for children didn’t mean it had no effect. A few minutes later it was all too clear that Logan was ill but not yet comatose. His eyes harbored dark circles and his skin much paler than usual making him look like a nightwalker. He definitely was weaker, choosing to sit down rather than his normal pace.

“Alright, let’s get you to the hospital,” Keno and I helped Logan walk.

“Yeah, okay, let’s just lead it back to its other victims so their death will be much more agonizing,” Logan said. “Peachy!”

“Fine, back to Baba’s we go,” Keno said. “Ozzie, you go get Dr. Aalmers while I take Logan.”

I nodded and started running towards the city when Keno called to stop me.

“Guns?” He said. “Just because he has one target doesn’t mean he won’t hunt more. You’ll be more convenient.”

“I got two,” I said and he nodded.

The wind had picked up with a biting force as I ran towards the hospital. I stopped suddenly and looked around after feeling something that wasn’t quite right. I couldn’t tell if it was the ghoul, or something else but I pulled my gun just in case.

“Dr. Aalmers, please?” I asked the receptionist and she nodded before paging Ila.

“Oskar,” Ila said. “I’m sorry but I couldn’t find-“

“Yeah, I know,” I said. “Listen, we’ve got a situation. Keno just took Logan back to your place and he needs your help.”

“Okay,” Ila said and left her clipboard at the desk before following me.

 

Logan’s fever had risen dangerously high by the time Ila and I arrived. He refused to lie down which angered Keno but he knew that Logan’s body would make him give in sooner or later.

“Come on, man, this is personal!” Logan argued after Keno suggested that we continue without him. “I want to be the one to kill it!”

“You need rest,” Keno said.

“Keno, it’s going to come here,” I said. “Logan’s the obvious target, it went straight for him. Ghouls are pretty persistent, once they’ve got a target it’s impossible to make them stop.”

“Alright,” Keno sighed. “I’m going out to look for it, Logan stay in bed and Ozzie, make sure he doesn’t do anything stupid.”

“Roger dodger,” I said and grinned as Ila pulled out a needle to give Logan a shot. Logan shifted away, he claimed that he wasn’t afraid of needles, just that he didn’t trust a stranger with a sharp implement full of some liquid equally as dangerous.

“It’s a pain killer,” Ila said.

“Pain killer?” Logan said. “Or Logan killer?”

“Just do it,” I said. “Discussing it will be utterly useless.”

Ila nodded and injected Logan with the medication, he didn’t scream, as much as I wanted him to for a laugh. He just glared at us both before finally laying down.

“You are officially on the list,” Logan said.

“The list?” Ila asked.

“He has a list of things and people whom he as declared vengeance on or things to be wary of.” I explained. “Just ignore him.”

“You too, you little traitor!” Logan said as we started to leave.

“I’ve been at the top since the day I was born,” I said.

“And don’t you forget it!” Logan said before falling asleep.

“He’s got spunk, I’ll give him that,” Ila smiled. “He knows what this can do and he doesn’t seem to care.”

I didn’t say anything but was lost in concentration, I felt like I was being watched but when I noticed Ila watching me I turned to look at her.

“You’ll be able to save the kids, right?” She asked. “I mean, you would have to or you’d lose your brother.”

“There is a way to help them,” I said. “It’s just incredibly difficult.”

“How?” She asked.

“Well you have to kill the ghoul,” I said. “Which is more difficult than it sounds.”

“Ozzie!” There was a loud crash upstairs and in an instant I was up there kicking the door down. Logan was against the wall pulling out weapons but he was weak, barely able to hold half the weapons. I shot at the ghoul to distract it so Logan could have a chance. The only way to make it turn away was to make it angry, which I was pretty good at. It looked at me and started coming at me but stopped suddenly, cocking its head as if listening. It then turned back to Logan with bared teeth, sharper than anything Logan carried.

Logan took the opportunity and shot the ghoul, aiming for its open mouth, with explosive rounds. If you can’t penetrate the skin, go from the inside, it was the only to kill it. The large mass of rough skin soon turned to a substance much like jelly.  Logan slid to the floor and looked up at me.

“Feel better?” I asked. He looked down at his explosives.

“Yes, yes I do,” he said.

“That’s not what I meant,” I sighed.

“Oh, then no,” he said and whined. “Look what it did to my bed!”

“What happened?” We looked up at Keno as he ran in.

“Oh, just being stalked in my sleep,” Logan said and tried to stand. Keno and I rushed to help him. “I miss my bed already.”

Keno smiled and just shook his head. “I really do spoil you.”




© 2010 Rocki-san



Author's Note

Rocki-san
Yay! Number 3! Chapter IV coming soon! Also, to see a graphic novel version (drawn by my talented sister) go to: http://anwa.smackjeeves.com !

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Great job! The fight was very epic and well played, and your humorous add-ins are a great touch. Your characters' personalities are starting to emerge, making this an even more enjoyable read.

Posted 7 Years Ago



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Added on February 8, 2010
Last Updated on June 16, 2010
Tags: supernatural and occult, ANWA saga, sci-fi


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Rocki-san
Rocki-san

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Hey, I'm Rocki! I live on a 14-mile long island where there isn't really anything to do so I write. I'm an Anthropology major and willing to read your stories or books if requested as long as you give.. more..

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