The Fourth VerseA Chapter by x a n d e l a c r o i x
A battered wanderer seeks ailment for his wounds.
He didn’t know how much time had passed. All he could remember was the spots of blood that littered the concrete and the pain he felt in his chest. It felt like his muscles were tightening every minute millimeter by millimeter, making it increasingly difficult to breathe. Despite his shallow breaths, the cat was still able to hold his composer. He held onto his left forearm, gripping it tightly then releasing as a means of counteracting the pain from the cheetah’s claws. I can’t believe it happened again, he thought.
He walked down the seemingly abandoned road of [CITY NAME], lost in thought of what he couldn’t remember. F**k, he thought to himself, I didn’t want to kill her! He’d scanned around for a body with none to be found. It only gave him slight relief, for he’s shredded bodies beyond any and all recognition before. It’s possible she met the same fate, but he did his best not to think towards such an end. Only he knew just how much blood he’s had to carry on his shoulders. It’s the reason why he wanders. Or was it, he thought.
Upon approaching his destination, a club named South ‘n South, he swung open the large metal doors and proceeded to find an empty stool at the far end of the bar. His steps were slow, quietly heaving to himself every breath as he made his way to the unoccupied barstool. Only a single male pit-bull took notice to him for a brief moment, only to turn back to making out with a male labrador-retriever. The cat took notice of this and then gave his surroundings a more careful once over. A male cardinal sat at a table in the opposite corner was sharing a drink with a male weasel wearing an evening gown. Two lizard women on the far end wall cuddled each other at another table. The entire room was grouped like this, two or three persons all of the same gender. “Nomiiiiiiii!!!” He turned to see a young calico lunging toward him.
“Grrn!!” He had no time to react as the adolescent’s shoulder made contact with the wound on his chest. “Ouch! Damn it, girl, can’t you pay more attention to your surroundings?!!”
The young calico felt the warm wetness on her shoulder and pulled away from her embrace. “Oh my goddess, Nomad, you’re bleeding!” Her eyes became round and filled with surprise and worry. “I didn’t mean to make you bleed, I’m so sorry!”
“No crying, I’m okay. This wasn’t your fault-“
His words were cut short by a sudden spike of pain. He put his right hand on the calico’s left shoulder to steady himself. “Are you sure you’re okay? You don’t look to good, Nomi,” she said to him with sheer concern. “Let me go get Ms. Yow, she can help you!”
“She’ll help when she gets time, Sada. Don’t concern yourself with this; it’s not as serious as it looks!” Nomad replied. Nomad didn’t notice the somber on her face reaction at first. “I’m sorry, Sada. I know you worry, but you should be more focused on your own safety. What’s the deal having me meet you in a place like this? How did they even let you in?”
“Well,” Sada answered, looking at the floor, “Papa G told me to come here. He said to look for Ms. Yow and to tell her that I know him. It was also his idea to get you to come here.”
“His idea?” he said, as if shocked.
“Uh huh, he said she’s one of most inexpensive healers in the region. As well as one of the best, except that she doesn’t really tell people she is a healer.”
“Maybe not such a good idea to have said all of that out loud,” Nomad told her.
“Nah, everyone in the city knows her,” Sada explained, “And they aren’t the type to draw all sorts of attention to themselves, mainly because they don’t like the guys in suits.”
“Wait, which city are we in again?”
“[CITY NAME], didn’t you notice?” Sada answered.
“That explains the atmosphere,” Nomad muttered to himself. After the pandemic faded and the remnants of world began to rekindle, there were laws set in place for procreation to become more of a priority for survival. The search for food, sanitization of water and need for shelter was difficult with only few able and willing survivors left among the larger numbers who were all weak from malnourishment. Therefore, laws were put into effect to only allow sex so long as it could create cubs. These laws also dictated how many were allowed per household. There were many others, however, who felt these laws got in the way of the basic needs each individual has in terms of companionship.
They decided to band together to form a group known as [GROUP NAME] and dedicated themselves to challenge the laws as well as the ones who made them. The laws did not intend to get in the way of same sex couples, hedonism and the like, but [GROUP NAME] were not convinced and pulled themselves away from other survivors. They found themselves taking refuge in an abandoned city and thus founded [CITY NAME]. All of the city’s access points are well monitored and dedicates itself as a sanctuary for any who are in opposition of the laws in place. The night clubs, bars and restaurants are all facades. The inhabitants of the city all lived within underground canals. The sewers that wrapped around the city extended beyond the city’s lines and could hold more citizens than the abandoned buildings which lined the distant horizon.
“Anything I can get ya’ll,” asked the bartender, a female azteca horse. Nomad simply raised his hand a little and gave a gesture to let her know he would do without. The bartender nodded then asked, “And for the little one?”
Nomad quickly shot a glare at Sada. She knew she’d meet his blade if he caught her drinking again. “Oh, no-no thanks! W-we’re here to meet Ms. Yow. We’re n-n-not staying l-long.” The bartender nodded to her and continued to tend to her other customers. “Seriously, Nomi, it’s not like I’ve never had a drink before. There’s not even a law about that here!”
“Let us not forget what happened last time you decided to drink,” Nomad replied. Suddenly flashes of Nomad holding her hair over what could have been considered the dirtiest toilet on the planet waved through Sada’s mind. With Sada now shaking her head, Nomad said to her, “Glad we can agree on at least that much.” The topic of conversation was quickly ended.
“And what have we here? Can’t seem to keep yourself out of trouble, can ya?” Both Nomad and Sada turned to face an overweight badger woman with a mischievous look in her eye.
“This is new for you,” Nomad replied, “Never thought of you to be the type to work in a place like this.”
“Oh please, sugar, I work all over this here city. I’m just here cuz this is the most happening place on a night like this. You know there’s a wicked rain storm coming in, might as well set yourselves up with a room if ya know what’s good for ya,” the badger said as she gave Sada a wink.
“Can’t,” Nomad replied.
“What’s wrong sugar, feeling a bit uncomfortable in a place like this?” Ms. Yow teased.
Nomad gave a curious glance around the room. “I’m here, aren’t I? Besides, you already know why I’m here. You also know I would have come despite the specifics of locale.”
“Well aren’t you in a hurry? I wouldn’t have guessed with you smelling like blood as you walked through the door. Guess I better have a look at ya before you give poor Missy here the difficult task of mopping blood of her floor.” Ms. Yow look up at the bartender. “Hey Missy, would you be a dear and hold down the front while I take care of our…guest for a bit?”
“Sure thing, honey, but don’t forget about happy hour. It starts in,” Missy said, pausing to check the time, “20 minutes. You want me to set you up with the usual?”
“You know me too well, sugar,” Ms. Yow replied. “Step into my office, Nomad, I’ll see to fixing up those wounds of yours.” Nomad got up from his chair and staggered towards the open door next to the end of the bar. “Oh my, looks like we’ll be here longer than I thought. Missy, just send my drinks back here if you could. And you, little one, you just wait there and I’ll send for you if I need any help.” Sada took Nomad’s seat and folded her nervous hands onto the bar. The look of fear in her eyes could be read across the club.
“You want something to ease you worried mind there, little one?” asked the bartender. Sada looked up at her fighting back her tears. “No need to worry about costs. Ms. Yow said for you the bar is your playground.”
“Something sweet, please,” Sada answered.
“Something sweet for the little sweetie,” the horse replied and gave Sada a little pinch on the cheek before fixing her drink.
© 2011 x a n d e l a c r o i x
Extinction Level Event
x a n d e l a c r o i x
AboutIf you were to ask me of my background looking at me now, I could tell you a story that has so many twists and turns you’d get lost just trying to follow me. Sometimes I look back at my past in .. more..
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