Synnastyr Kuhr - The 8th Deadly Synn (Chapter 1)

Synnastyr Kuhr - The 8th Deadly Synn (Chapter 1)

A Story by Synnastyr Kuhr
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Cursed werewolf, mafia hitman and devoted father, Synnastyr Kuhr is called on to solve a problem for a member of the criminal family he belongs to only to be confronted by a bit of his past.

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The 8th Deadly Synn

Leaning back in his leather chair crime boss Capo Bastone Santi Danelli took a sip from the glass of liquor in his hand.  Staring through the large plate glass window that took up the entire wall behind his desk he gazed at the afternoon sky.  Distracted with the matters at hand he found himself watching time pass without really seeing it.  With his attention turned inward he listened to his lieutenant read off the status of his latest scheme.  Everything and everyone were finally in place but he wasn’t ready to give the word yet though.  There was one loose end keeping him from putting the plan into motion.  An unknown he didn’t dare try to win to his side.  A trump card he wasn’t holding so it had to be eliminated.


Soon that one potential hiccup would be taken care of.  The last phone call he received informed him the help he requested would be arriving soon.  However the welcome news also came with some unusual instructions.  No one except him and his two aides were allowed to be present while the appointed meeting was taking place.  He had even been told if there was the slightest hint the requirement had not been met the aid would be revoked.  The short phone conversation had left him feeling like he had been talked down too.  It was an attitude which always triggered his quick temper leaving him flushed and tense. This time though he was more than willing to oblige because the odd demand worked to his benefit.  Not that he could or would have said no anyways.  Doing that meant his request would be instantly denied giving the one unsettled detail a chance to ruin everything.  It was all or nothing with everything to lose if things didn’t go how he wanted.


A few minutes later a light knock on the office door alerted him the asked for aid had arrived.  Amused that it would get here almost immediately after the report was finished he smiled to himself when he heard the door open.  One of the hinges complained and he made a note to have it looked at when this was over.  Danelli’s smile slipped into a frown when he heard footsteps coming closer as the door shut behind them.  Capo Cardoza’s lapse in protocol irked him more than a little.  Not introducing whoever was visiting was a show of disrespect to him and the guest.  He added to the previous mental memo to make sure the door hinge stayed silent and to remind Cardoza what noises to make and when.


Again raising the glass of alcohol to his lips he swung his chair around.  Taking a large drink he started to swallow it when he got his first look at what was standing calmly on the other side of his mahogany desk.   The shock of the surprise brought him to a complete halt.  Staring in utter disbelief he couldn’t move or breathe.  He couldn’t even finish swallowing and the potent liquid held in suspension began to burn.  With an effort he finally forced the drink down and breathed out slowly so not to end up hacking and coughing.  Glancing behind the stranger Danelli saw his other lieutenant Capo Targamo staring wide eyed with his mouth hanging completely open.  The crime boss now understood why Cardoza hadn’t introduced his guest.  Anyone coming face to face with the hard golden eyes staring at him over a white furred muzzle would have trouble maintaining their composure.


“Best recovery I seen yet,” the thing congratulated him. 


What unnerved the stunned crime boss even more was the intermittent flash of large pointed teeth set on top of blood red gums as it spoke.  After regaining his composure Danelli greeted the creature in the brusque manner he was known for.  “So you’re the furball everyone whispers about?  You’re like what, a literal representation of that Wolf character out of that Pulp Fiction movie?”  He’d learned early on keeping people on the defensive gave him an advantage over them. Using it for as long as he had it was now a deeply ingrained habit.


Deep yellow eyes encircled by charcoal black fur stared coldly out from under a black fedora and the lips split into a lupine sneer of an amused smile.  “Ain’t the first time the ref’s been made.”  The smooth tone of voice only added to the menace coming from the wolf’s muzzle.  “Even been speculated those rumors influenced that character’s name.”


Something about the way it spoke alarmed Danelli which only angered him more.  There was an arrogant nonchalance, an attitude of superiority.  It made the crime boss feel small and weak.  Two of many emotions he hid beneath a display of heated indignation.  “Why are you talking like that and what’s with that get up you’re wearing?  Pin striped, double breasted suit?  It’s been more than a few years since the twenties, you know that right?  You’re even wearing the hat and shoes too!”  Comforted by his anger Danelli scowled menacingly thinking he had begun to regain control of the situation. This time however he found out what it was like to be on receiving end of his usual intimidation tactic.  With a slight tilt of the head and a bored look of surprise the newcomer dispelled the fallacy.


“I was asked to get yer fat a*s outta trouble Danelli.  No skin from my nose if it don’t get done.”  The sneer started to work its way into a feral snarl of a smile.  “Seems to me ya got no recourse.  Deal with yer own s**t an’ explain to my benefactor, yer boss I add, why I walked or owe a favor later on.  Rock an’ a hard place ya fat shitbitch.” 


The calm in which the words were spoken sent chills down Danelli’s spine damping the rising ire of the overweight underboss with a wintry shiver.  No one spoke to him that way and doing so always meant death.  But this walking wolf did so with deadly ease as if it knew it could get away with it no matter what.  Like the other underbosses Danelli knew this living rumor had no rank in the organization.  Another small but vital detail he disregarded because he didn’t believe the gossip reminded him this thing was held in high regard despite that.  Its esteem was higher than even Consigliere Fiduccia the trusted confidant and advisor of the Capo Famiglia, Don Agliettie.  A freelancer whose only loyalty was to the job he was being paid to do and to the don himself.

 

Rumors also spoke of how some of those problems it solved were by removing the person who was having the difficulty in the first place.  Those same rumors also said none of the problem solving could be linked to this fantasy figure that shouldn’t exist.  Santi had turned his nose up at those rumors as well.  Now that he was face to face with the myth turned reality he had no trouble believing the stories.  Private meetings with few to no witnesses meant the werewolf could do as he felt best.  Especially with a layer of fur covering fingerprints he probably didn’t even have.  Any fur left behind could easily be cleaned up if that fur even needed to be taken into consideration.  Danelli began to feel a cold sweat begin to form from the fear instilled in him.  It made him more and more uncomfortable which in turn made him feel more and more irritated. 


“Is it true you do work for anyone, in any family?”  Thinking that was a safe enough question Danelli hoped it wouldn’t be his last.


The savage smile eased into something which looked more genuine.  “Nah, not just anyone.  I’m only called when someone like ya has a…” waving a hand negligently the wolf thought for a second before resuming. “Let’s call it a tumor that needs cuttin’ out.  In house work only.  Takin’ contracts fer hits from other families means I might hurt my own. Ain’t no way I’m hurtin’ the pack as it were.  An’ if I won’t dirty my own door step it ain’t fair to clutter another’s. ”


Relieved to hear being part of the family offered him some protection the mob boss began to relax a little.  His plan depended on the hitman not suspecting anything until it was too late.  Despite it not being an actual man he figured as long as no suspicions were raised he had nothing to worry about.  “But doesn’t helping the other families mean you might be making a problem for us too?  If their problems solved they might interfere with something of ours.”


“Ya’d think it might but when I do work it puts them in our debt.  Their problems solved, the family and I make money and we get to tell ‘em to back off if needed.”  The monster chuffed jovially.  “A win win with a win fer us owed.”


“That’s damn clever.”  Danelli hesitated not knowing how to address his temporary associate.  “So do I call you Sin, Sinister or Mr. Cur?”


“Did he come to ya or were ya called in?”  Reaching into the inner pocket of his suit the beast pulled out a card and offered it to Danelli.


Stumped by the accuracy of the question Danelli paused before taking the card.  “How do you know he didn’t call me or something?”


“Cause he don’t let just anyone know I exist an’ if he does it ain’t ever in a way it can be used against him.”  Seeing the underboss was about to ask another question the mythical creature grimaced and held up a white furred hand to stop him.  “Look, been through this many times already.  Rumors are emailed, texted, phoned and whatever else.  They also make use of words like I heard or it was found out an’ several other such combos.  It’s all whispers an’ chit chat.  Ain’t no hard proof I exist and if anyone tries to make any they get what’s comin’ to them as soon as it’s found it exists.”  The yellow eyes narrowed into glowing slits aimed directly at the mob boss.  “So if ya taped a conversation such as the one ya had with Don Agliettie or maybe recordin’ what we’re sayin’ right now or got a camera rollin’ I suggest ya dispose of it.  Cause it ain’t nothin’ but a black mark of yer own makin’.  An’ anythin’ ya talk about concernin’ me better be rumor too ya dig?”


To cover his still growing fear and anger Danelli swallowed the last of his scotch and set the tumbler down on the desk with an audible clunk of glass on wood.  “Don Agliettie stood right where you’re standing now.”  Looking at the card he had been given Danelli could easily understand how the hell hound made the observation it did.  The name on the card was spelled Synnastyr Kuhr.  He knew if he hadn’t heard the name for himself he would have gotten it wrong from how it read.  Beneath the bizarrely spelled name was the phrase “The Eighth Deadly Sin”.  It also didn’t escape his notice the card had no contact information on it.  “Tell me is it hard to speak English with a muzzle or is that an accent?”


Synnastyr barked a laugh and grinned.  “Highlander one.  Ya talk funny Nash.  Where ya from?  Same answer though, lotsa different places.”


“Synnastyr Kuhr isn’t your real name either is it?” Setting the card down Danelli opened his rolodex preparing to store the card out of habit.


The wolf picked the card back up ignoring the mob bosses surprise over his doing so.  “Might as well be now.”  Replacing the card from where he had taken it from Synn shrugged.  “Can’t remember the one I was born with.”


 “Look, I’m sorry about earlier.” the mob boss apologized.  “This thing I got going on has me in a real pinch.  Then you show up and prove all those stories I heard about you are true.”  Shaking his head reproachfully Danelli smiled humorlessly.  “I mean come on, a bonafide werewolf?  You got to be kidding right?  Only I find out the jokes on me because here you are.”


Synn shoved his hands into his pants pockets.  “Elf Quest, the way of wolf thought, in the past an’ forgotten.”  His grin grew wider showing more of his sharp teeth.  “Helluva graphic story by the way.  Ya should check it out ‘cause ya remind me of a pretty little thing called Winnowill.  Ain’t got her style but ya gotta bit of her thinkin’ going on in ya.”  Running a fur covered hand over the black silk tie hanging from his neck he winked at Danelli.  “Be nice if I could find a tie pin that looked like that wolf head pendant Bearclaw wore.  Kinda fittin’ dontcha think?  Personally I’m thinkin’ I’m more like Two Spear but Bearclaw’s son Cutter, he’s top shelf.”


“Well I appreciate it and maybe I will,” Danelli replied.  “I’m not much of a reader though.  Why don’t you make yourself a drink, sit down and we’ll get down to business.”


With a nod of thanks Synn turned away from the desk to walk over to the bar.  Nestled in the middle of a set of shelves the entire arrangement took up the entire wall adjacent to the office window.  In the few steps it took him to approach he let his gaze wander idly over the objects they held.  Arranged in a visual aesthetic there didn’t seem to be any particular organization to them.  The only common themes they shared were history and violence. 


Synn stopped to give the collection his full attention.  “See ya got a taste fer bloodlettin’ Danelli.”


  “Histories prove it takes force to make change.  The bigger the force the bigger the change it makes.  And the bigger the change the more violent it is.” Danelli didn’t care what the white wolf was doing so long as his back was turned.  When the fierce gaze was no longer focused on him Danelli caught Targamo’s eye and jerked a thumb at Synn’s back.  With the werewolf standing close beside him the lieutenant silently acknowledged the order by scratching the side of his nose.


Nodding absently at the statement Synn took in the details displayed in front of him.  With his long experience he could see several different time periods on display.   Muskets of varying styles and other types of antique firearms could be found arrayed among edged metal of the same time periods and origins.  Others shelves held weapons in use when the west was still wild and starting to grow.  Worn revolvers shared space with brittle tomahawks and dull knives with displays of arrowheads and spear points arranged among them.


Other artifacts and weapons dated further back when history itself was young.  Scattered among the primeval relics were displays of barbaric ornaments.  Bone chokers sat with wooden clubs and crude copper bangles could be found next to stone knives.   Mixed among those artifacts were crudely shaped stone hand axes and other ancient tools. As his gaze wandered something on an upper shelf to the side caught his attention and he moved towards it. 


  To keep Synn distracted Danelli engaged him in more small talk.  “It’s said you were brought into the family over a hundred years ago because you saved Don Masseria’s daughter back then.  Is that true?”  Waiting for an answer he saw that Synn was standing motionless away from the bar.  “Hey is everything alright?”


When the wolf turned around he did so slowly.  In his hands he held a small display case holding ancient pieces of a primitive necklace made out of crudely carved bone.  The center piece featured a pendant roughly carved to resemble a moon surrounded by a fanged snake.  The head at the top of the medallion faced forward with its mouth open.  Where the venomous fangs used to be were two broken stumps both worn by time to resemble round nubs of different lengths.  Beneath the symbol were three wolf claws and an empty spot for a fourth with two snake fangs in between them meant to hang below the medallion.  All of them were carved with intersecting lines in a net like pattern.


Gazing intently at the artifact Synn moved closer to the desk.  Forcibly tearing his eyes from it he looked at Danelli inquisitively.  “Where’d ya get this?” His voice was reverent as he spoke in a low whisper.


Quickly giving Targamo another look that brought the lieutenant to his feet Danelli stood up from his chair to keep Synn’s attention on him.  “That thing?  I bought it years ago.”

“I made it,” Synn breathed.  “I made it fer her, Zarinna.”


Before he could say anything more Targamo pulled his gun and slammed the butt of the grip into the back of Synn’s skull.  Knocked unconscious his body slumped over the desk before sliding off it onto to the floor. 


Danelli hurriedly pulled the valuable showpiece out of the limp paws before it could be damaged.  “Watch it you moron!  I paid more for this than you make in a year!”


Stepping backwards to avoid the falling body Targamo apologized.  “Sorry, it’s just that was a perfect time to club him like you wanted.”


“Just be careful d****t.”  Walking around the desk Danelli put the historical item back where Synn had taken it from.  “Get him tied up before he comes around.”


Targamo pulled several thick zip ties out of his pocket and knelt down beside the limp fur covered body.  “You think he was serious when he said he made that?”  Wrapping half of them around Synn’s ankles he cinched them tight and then did the same with his wrists.  “Hope those are enough.  Aren’t werewolves supposed to be strong?”


“Heal fast too.”  Rolling over Synn laughed as Targamo fell backwards trying to scramble away from him.


“F**k me.” Danelli exclaimed yanking his own gun out of the shoulder holster he wore under his jacket.  “Don’t move or I empty this into you!”


“Better pull the trigger then ‘cause if I’m going to die it ain’t going to be when I’m flat on the f****n’ floor.”  Sitting up Synn got his feet under him and started to hobble over to the couch.  “Can’t break outta these like this so I’m gonna make myself comfortable no matter what ya say.” 


“You’re a regular f*****g Wolverine aren’t you” Danelli spit out leveling the gun towards Synn.


“Where do ya think they got that idea fer his healing factor ya retarded bitchboy? A*****e attitudes an’ werewolves been around longer than that ham fisted butcher.”  Shuffling towards the couch he stopped when Targamo didn’t move out of his way.  “X Men one, ya know what Wolverine said to Cyclops when they first met?”  Without waiting for a response Synn snapped his head forward crunching it down into Targamo’s face.  “Ya wanna get outta my way?”  Shoving him to the side with his shoulder Synn turned around and flopped onto the couch.


Trying to stem the flow of blood spilling from his face with cupped hands Targamo stumbled off balance.   Falling on his knees he cried out when the impact heightened the level of pain he was already feeling.  “My nose, you broke my nose!”


“My Bodyguard, nineteen eighty, Matt Damon and Richard Bradley,” Synn rattled off easily.  Targamo blankly stared at the fiercely smiling werewolf in disbelief.  Underneath his eyes were already filling with blood in a mask of a bruise which made Synn’s smile larger.  “Heya now yer startin’ to look like me.”


Feeling powerful again now that the last threat to usurping the family throne was safely restrained Danelli exerted his strength as he was used to doing.  “Would you shut the f**k up with that movie trivia crap!”  He raised an arm to backhand the werewolf but didn’t follow through with it.  The bared teeth more than the dark glare Synn speared him with made him change his mind.  Even if the bite didn’t infect him with lycanthropy he guessed Synn wouldn’t put up with being knocked around and his large teeth would do a lot of damage.


A belittling smirk turned the lupine lips upwards.  “Yerself started it,” was all he said.

Danelli wanted nothing more than to pull the trigger and blow Synn’s head off.  But he figured since he had him where he wanted him he could indulge in a little curiosity.  “Tell me mutt.  What did you mean by you made that?”


“Hey Danelli? He’s a werewolf right?”  Targamo’s voice now sounded slightly thick because of the swelling closing off his nasal passages.  “Shouldn’t we get some silver bullets or something?”


“Don’t be ridiculous you idiot.  Those schmucks in Hollywood made that up for the movies.  How could they know what would kill one or not.”


Synn snorted derisively.  “Fer once yer right.  The bullets ya got now would work just as well as silver ones on me.”


“Are you seriously sitting there telling me what’ll kill you?” Danelli looked at Synn incredulously.  He couldn’t believe the mysterious mongrel was sitting there unperturbed about his pending death.


“Why not,” the white wolf asked rhetorically.  “You’ll find out as soon as ya pull the trigger anyways.”  Synn glanced from the underboss to the hat he no longer wore back to Danelli again.  “Mind puttin’ that back on my head?  It’s my favorite.  My lucky hat if ya will.”


Not taking his eyes or his gun off the werewolf Danelli reached down by his feet and felt around for the hat.  When he had a hold of it he stood up and walked over.  Placing the barrel of the gun between Synn’s eyes he offered his captive a warning.  “Don’t move or you won’t have a head to wear this with.” 


While reaching out Danelli noticed the fur on the top of the wolf’s skull was the same color as around his eyes.  It ran down the back of his head and neck disappearing under the collar of the white shirt he wore. He had thought all of Synn’s fur was white except around the eyes because the darker fur couldn’t be seen from the front.  Placing the hat down on the skull he wriggled it a little to settle it over the ears instead of slipping them through the custom made holes found on either side of the crown.  Stepping back he waved the gun questioningly.  “That good enough?”


 “Thanks,” was all Synn replied.


“No problem. I’ll even do you the favor of not shooting you in the face so it stays there too.”  Stepping backwards Danelli propped himself against his desk.  “Now answer the question, did you make that thing or not?”


“Sure did but ya got a couple of hours to hear the tellin’?” 


Shrugging Danelli worked his way around the desk and sat down.  “Get off the floor Targamo.  We’re going to be here a while.”


Knowing it wouldn’t do any good to ask his boss about getting his nose fixed the lieutenant sighed nasally moving from the floor to a chair close to the desk.  “Can I get something for this first?”


“Sit there and shut up.”  Waving the gun the crime boss indicated to Synn he should start talking.  “Well, go on.”


“Do me a favor an’ tell me the diff between this year an’ thirteen eighty seven first.”

“Do the math,” Danelli ordered his lieutenant.


Keeping his nose covered with one hand and reaching across the desk with the other Targamo grabbed the calculator and punched in the numbers.  “That’s six hundred and thirty two years!  There’s no way he’s that old!”


“Estimates put that medallion at about six hundred and twenty to six hundred and fifty years.  Something tells me he isn’t fooling.”


 “Whoever came up with those figures knew their stuff.  After I was done eatin’ the deer…”  Synn grinned wide when the two men blanched knowing they were thinking about how he ate the deer.  “I saved the bones I needed to make it.  See there used to be all sorts of tribes none of yer kind knew about except in myths and stories.  Had to get started somehow though right?  Every now and then...”


“You’re talking werewolves, vampires and demons,” Targamo couldn’t help but ask.

“That’s what ya norms called us,” Synn replied.  “We had other names fer ourselves.  Now ya wanna hear this or not?”


“Sorry, won’t happen again.”


“What the f**k you apologizing to him for,” Danelli snapped.  Turning back to Synn he presented the gun threateningly.  “Get on with it already!”


“Shut the f**k up an’ I will ya fuckwit,” came the snarled answer.


“Keep it up furball and don’t say Star Wars either!”


“Laugh it up fuzzball ya mean.”

            Sick of the white wolf’s attitude and insults Danelli pulled the hammer back on his gun and raised an eyebrow.


Letting out an exasperated sigh Synn started again.  “Started with a girl.  Used to wander around my tribe’s village at night and would explore further an’ further away.  Always been the restless one.  Got chores done fast and done right so I could go do what I wanted fer longer.  Always made sure to bring somethin’ useful back though.  Ya had responsibilities if ya were old enough to not need someone wipe yer a*s fer ya.  Got up in the mountains an’ found a nice pool to swim in an’ hunt around.  Even built a little shelter up in the trees and made it nice an’ comfortable.  Furs to sleep on with blankets to keep warm an’ a few candles fer light an’ the like.  Bad timin’ in a way though.  Had to work the fields to bring crops in not long after.  No one got away from doin’ that.  Few weeks go by before I can sneak off again an’ when I get there I hear someone else found it too.  Sound of splashin’ water where there weren’t supposed to be none.” 


Again Synn fell silent and Danelli noticed his eyes were vacant and unfocused.  Seconds crawled by and the irate boss got tired of waiting.  Slamming his left fist down on the desk he jolted Synn from his memories.  “I’m not going to tell you again, keep talking.  I don’t have to know why you made it so blank out one more time and you’ll die without finishing.”

“Hey shittwat this is personal stuff.  Haven’t thought about her in a long time.”  Still not fully withdrawn from his past Synn stared at Danelli with distant but angry eyes. The darker gold of his pupils were dilated making it harder to distinguish them from his golden irises.

Without breaking eye contact Danelli opened the middle drawer to his desk, removed a suppressor from it and screwed it onto the gun.  Starting at Synn’s chest he aimed lower and pulled the trigger.  The muffled explosion from the gun was followed by the meaty sound of the bullets impact as it punched its way into Synn’s lower left leg.  Danelli couldn’t help but be impressed Synn didn’t flinch or make a sound, impressed and even more afraid. 


Synn continued to stare at the underboss but went on retelling the story.  “Decidin’ I needed to know who was squattin’ in my hidey hole I snuck through the bushes to take a peek.  What I saw swimmin’ bare assed in the water captivated me.  Enough so I didn’t realize I made any noise until she whipped her head around starin’ directly at me.”


“What did she look like?”


Glancing over at Targamo with eyes clouded with personal nostalgia Synn smiled wistfully.  “Beautiful, the moonlight shone off her lavender scales makin’ them shine bright.  The water running down her hood over her shoulders an’ down her front made them sparkle too.  An’ her eyes, a deep dark shade of purple…”


“Scales,” Danelli interrupted caustically.  “What type of freak was she?”


Rudely pulled back into the present by the insult Synn snapped a malevolent gaze back over to Danelli with his lips peeled back over his teeth in a full display of rage emphasized with a deep rumbling growl.  “Who the hell are ya to judge my tastes ya limp dicked grease ball!”  Straining against the zip ties a small cloud of fur came free drifting down onto the couch and floor.  “If ya had it in ya, ya might find there’s more beauty in the world than yer tiny mind can think of!”


“You said she had a hood too,” Targamo broke in. “Was it like a cobra’s?”


Calming down the werewolf leaned back on the couch with a soft smile.  “Yah, started behind her head and flared down to the top of her shoulders.  Thought it made her look like she was tense all the time, like she was worried about somethin’ but she loved it when I massaged it.  Would make her bite her lip though she was always kinda doing that in a way.  Had a fang that would peek out over her bottom lip.  Always made me think she was thinkin’ of something sweet.”


Leaning forward again Synn rested his arms on his knees and more fur fell from his cuffs to the floor between his legs.  Hanging his head he stared at the floor without seeing it.  “Guess I scared her ‘cause she started swimmin’ away from me.  I called out to her but in my rush to get outta the bushes I tripped and fell.  Arms pinwheelin’ tryin’ to balance on one leg I keeled over straight onto my face.  Slid right into the damn water too.”  A lopsided silly smile broke out onto his face while recounting what happened next.  “Damned if she didn’t see it and didn’t laugh at me.  I could hear her giggle over my splashing ‘round.  Lookin’ up I saw she was close enough to the other side she could sit in the water with nothin’ but her head showin’.”


“Movin’ slowly I sat on my side of the pool and couldn’t think of anythin’ to say.  Embarrassed I just splashed some water around sneakin’ looks at her and smilin’ like an idjit.  Felt like I was the one intrudin’ on her solitude.”  Idly scratching above where he had been shot Synn dislodged even more fur from his pant leg, some of it sticking to the trail of blood that had eventually worked its way down from the wound he had been given.


“What’s with all the shedding?  Looking his prisoner up and down Danelli noticed patches of blotchy discolored flesh where the fur had fallen out.  “You don’t look so good either.”


Synn dismissed the artificial concern without looking up.  “Ain’t gonna kill me if that’s what yer worried about.”  Taking a deep breath he went back to telling his story.  “Somewhere between one glance an’ the next she was gone.  Didn’t make a sound either, just up an’ left.  Next time I saw her she found me.  No noise just like last time.  I was sittin’ on a rock close to the same spot I sat at before an’ next thing I knew she was sittin’ next to me.  When she saw I had noticed her she smiled timid and sweet all at the same time.”


“Found out she had one of those breathy type voices.  Asked me if I was scared of her.  Sure gave me the shivers hearin’ it an’ I mean the good kind.  Told her how could I be when she was so beautiful.”  Breathing in deeply Synn’s exhale trembled as he recalled the sound of Zarinna’s voice.  This time a large amount of fur came loose drifting down to dust the couch and the floor with more white strands leaving more and more of the skin visible. Ranging from a corpse white to a pallid light gray none of it looked healthy.


Making use of the opportunity to finally consolidate what little strength available to him, Danelli snapped his fingers to get his lieutenants attention.  “Targamo get Cardoza to bring a vacuum in and clean that mess up.”


“Might as well bring some plastic sheetin’ too,” Synn added looking up. “Goin’ to need it when this gets worse.”

            “Oh for Christ’s sake,” Danelli muttered loudly.  “What do you mean by that?”

Synn shook his head without revealing anything sending a dense puff of fur into the air around him.  “You’ll see,” was all he said. “Hope ya got strong stomachs.”


Launching out of the chair the mob boss stormed across the room and shoved his pistol underneath Synn’s bottom jaw forcing his head up so he could look into the fiery yellow eyes.  The hat he had placed back on Synn’s head slid off and fell behind the couch taking almost all of the fur on his head and ears with it.  “You’re about this close to having your brains see daylight you son of a b***h.”


Standing up quickly Synn batted the gun away with his bound hands and snorted through his nose.  The force of the motion had shaken more fur loose and the snort blew some of it right into Danelli’s face.  “Ya brainless mook I’m tryin’ to do ya a favor here.  Ya wanted to know about that necklace so I’m tellin’ ya.  Ya don’t want yer floor getting’ filthy so I’m helpin’ ya.”  Rubbing a cheek with the back of one hand Synn scraped away more fur leaving a languid red welt the color of an unhealthy bruise on top of the rotten looking skin.


Scrubbing his face clear of the loose hairs Danelli eyed Synn with a small smile.  “You are one tough mother f****r Synn that’s for sure.  Damn shame you’re the one keeping me from taking over the family.  Like I said I never used to believe those stories but that didn’t mean someone wasn’t doing the work you did.  Whoever that person was had to go so I could get to the old man.”   Shaking his head in regret Santi backed away from the werewolf.  “Too bad it turned out to be you.”


The door to the office opened and Cardoza entered with an upright vacuum cleaner followed by Targamo carrying a roll of plastic drop cloth.  As soon as Cardoza saw what the furred assassin had turned into he froze like Danelli had with his expression mimicking Targamo’s.  In order to get him moving again Targamo shoved Cardoza in the back with the drop cloth interrupting his stupor.  


Synn’s eyes wrinkled in humor making the diseased looking skin around his eyes sag.  “So busy f****n’ with each other we never noticed he left eh?”  Shaking his head in mock concern Synn berated the mob boss derisively.  “Not good Danelli.  Let yer guard down fer a second and someone just might make it stay down fer good.”


 As Targamo unfolded a long length of the plastic Synn moved out of Cardoza’s way so he could clean up where he had been.  Averting his eyes from the gruesome sight of the living corpse the gangster turned towards a wall outlet and unwound the cord from the vacuum.  After plugging it in he moved back to the couch still keeping his gaze turned downwards.  Focusing on the task at hand he never once looked up from his errand. 


Sitting back down at his desk Danelli kept his gun trained on the ailing killer.  A budding respect was forming inside him and he felt the same happening in his violent counterpart.  He knew they both understood each other as one predator to another.  “Your story going to explain what’s happening to you?”


Nodding Synn stepped onto the plastic draped across the floor and over the couch and sat back down.  “Yup, you’ll like it too.  Someone lordin’ their power over someone else ‘cause they can.”  He eyed Danelli evilly and smirked.  “You could learn a lot from him though ya wouldn’t survive the experience of meetin’ him.”


When the werewolf looked at him the way he did Danelli’s heart almost stopped.  He could have sworn he saw a literal luminous flash in the eyes.  “Every leader has to lay the smack down on their flunkies sometimes.”  Hearing the dread he felt reflected in his voice he cringed inwardly.


With an indifferent shrug Synn went back to chronicling his past. “Well to keep on with the story Zarinna and me were getting’ pretty serious.  Whenever we had the time we would each go to the pool hopin’ the other was there.  When we were together it was all goo goo eyes soft words and tender touches.  If not we left somethin’ fer each other.  Got the idea to make that jewelry there an’ I still wish I had done a better job at it.”


“Had to sneak out to leave that fer her.  Found out where she was stayin’ wasn’t far from our little nest.  Ya know she still didn’t know about me being a werewolf?  Glad her parents didn’t care about it.”  Synn chuckled when relating the next part of his past.  “’Course I caught hell from her fer not sayin’ anythin’.  Didn’t come up until I met her parents either.  They was curious how I wasn’t scared of any of ‘em.  Shoulda seen their faces when I told them I was a shifter.  Especially Zarinna’s an’ that’s when the teasin’ started.  But they were cool with it so everythin’ was good.”  Leaning back on the couch Synn idly rubbed a hand over his bare brow.  Some of the decomposing skin sloughed off showing decayed muscle and corroded skull underneath. 


“I’m mixin’ things up so lemme set ya straight.  She wanted me to meet her family an’ I was more than happy to.  Figured anyone that had her fer a daughter had to be okay ya know?  Wanted her to meet mine too cause we were feelin’ that strong about each other.  An’ fer the record I already had a little experience with the better sex back then.  Never felt like I did with Zarinna though.  Experienced enough to guess what was up but young enough to think she was the one.”  A stab of heartache choked Synn forcing him to lower his voice.  “Won’t ever know now, got nothin’ but memories.”


Breathing a calming sigh he cleared his throat and forced himself to continue.  “Place was hidden higher up in the mountains nicely tucked into a large glen.  They treated me like I was already part of the family too.  In fact everyone was real friendly like after getting’ over their surprise of seein’ me.  Never seen so many different tribes livin’ together so was a bit taken back myself.”  Shaking his head Synn huffed with jaundiced amusement at his early simplicity.  “Thought my kind were the only oddballs in the world, boy was I wrong.”


  “You look like that and no one thought werewolf?  They must have been pretty stupid if you ask me.”  Danelli’s insensitive comment left a weight hanging in the air after it.  Cardoza let loose a nervous snort prompting Targamo to elbow him in the side.


“Swear to the holy hells Danelli, never used to believe in stupid questions until I heard that one.  How can a boss who’s pulled off the things ya did be so f****n’ dumb?”  Shaking his head Synn eyed his captor without moving his head.  “Didn’t look like this all the time.”


            “What happened to you then?  Or are you going to tell me that’s coming up too?”  Squeezing off another round Danelli shot Synn in his gut.


The hole created by the bullet spilled a viscid black sludge which spread over clothes already dark from soaking up the corpse sweat Synn’s decomposing body was exuding.  That was when it dawned on the three criminals the werewolf’s decay had progressed far enough along the skin was slowly starting to liquefy.  It had been gradual enough none of them had noticed the change until now.  Wherever bare flesh was exposed now shined with a greasy looking slickness.  Down by the wolf man’s feet a puddle of partially congealed gelatinous carrion had formed.  The nightmare from legend now turned grotesque seemed oblivious to it all.


Locking a dead eyed stare onto his captor Synn continued narrating his story.  “Someone didn’t like havin’ me there though an’ snitched.  I was helpin’ clean up after dinner when these four goons come bustin’ into the place raisin’ a racket.  Snatched me up, drug me outside the village and threw me into the forest.  Told me in no uncertain terms to never come back.  “’Course I went back an’ even tried sneakin’ in once or twice.  Couldn’t even get close an’ got beat pretty good fer tryin’.  Only thing I could do was leave an’ hope Zarinna would find me.  That’s when I got the idea of makin’ her that necklace.  Left it at our spot and prayed to anyone she would find it.”


Enough time had passed the glow from the setting sun shining through the office windows enriched the gory sight with a deeper gloss creating a repulsive nimbus of horror.  The two lieutenants could no longer look at him without becoming nauseated.  Since he was the one holding the gun Danelli didn’t even have that option.  The best he could do for his stomach was to not look directly at fetid corpse sitting on the couch.  Feeling the bile continue to work its way upwards he knew it wouldn’t help for much longer.


“Next time I went back I saw she took my gift an’ left one fer me.  A gorgeous knife made outta obsidian.  Used horn fer the handle an’ wrapped it in the skin from her last molt.  Knew it was hers ‘cause it glimmered a deep pink in the moonlight an’ smelled like her.  Blade was nice an’ thick too cause obsidian ain’t strong.  She hung some feathers an’ beads from the leather cord holding the blade to the handle an’ glued small shells an’ pretty pebbles to the skin she had wrapped it in.  Ain’t all I found though.  Went to stash the knife in the tree house and…”  Trembling hands suddenly clenched into tight fists.  Fetid ooze squeezed from decomposed flesh dribbled onto the plastic below. 


“Saw her parents tied to the tree trunk before I even got close.  They worked them over like nothin’ ya ever saw before killin’ ‘em.  Knew what I’d find inside but had to see fer myself anyways.  Couldn’t believe it until I did ya know?”  Unable to continue Synn sat on the couch trembling violently.  His putrefied face twisted with pent up rage he was unable to hold back the vicious growl rising from deep within him.  “F****n’ b******s did the same to her.  Left her on our bed when they were done.  She was still wearin’ the necklace too.”  Overwhelmed with sorrow Synn slumped forward as his anger subsided.  Sniffing forlornly his eyes clenched shut and a few tears rolled over the sludge he was turning into before falling silent yet again. 


Danelli stood up and walked over to him with a sympathetic look on his face.  Standing in front of the pile of living gore he raised his gun slowly.  “I’m sorry Synn, I really am.  It’s obvious you loved her very much but this needs to end.  I hope she’s waiting for you.”  Tightening his finger on the trigger he offered one more heartfelt apology.  “I’m sorry.”


Showing more speed than before Synn leapt up from the couch again.  With a powerful growl he grabbed the gun in his hands shoving a finger in front of the hammer to keep it from going off.  “Lookin’ worse than those zombie mutts outta those Resident Evil movies eh?”  Pulling on the gun he rubbed his sloppy cheek against the mobsters face when he didn’t immediately let go of it.  With a cry of disgust Danelli let go and stumbled backwards.  As soon as it was free Synn tossed the weapon over his shoulder behind the couch.

 

“Remember when I said I couldn’t break free?  Kinda lied ‘bout that.”  Viciously twisting his arms Synn snapped the zip ties and shook them off.  Gobs of rotted flesh came off with them splatting onto the drop sheet along with the broken plastic.  Bending over purposefully exposing his back to Danelli, Synn easily broke the ties around his ankles and discarded them.  Standing upright he reached out and grabbed the front of Danelli’s suit with one grisly hand and yanked him forward.


“Goddamn it you two,” Danelli screamed at the two lieutenants.  “Shoot this mother f****r!” 


Synn sauntered behind the fat gangster and draped his arms over his shoulders.  “They ain’t gonna help ya, ya know,” Synn whispered next to his ear before giving it a rancid kiss.  “They told Agliettie about yer plan after ya brought them in on it.  They’re lookin’ out fer the family like true blue boys.  When ya called askin’ fer help Agliettie sent me over to solve the problem.  Ya just didn’t know which problem was getting’ solved.” 


“Don’t do this Synn, please!  You can have the necklace.  Hell I’ll give you anything you want and I’ll disappear.  No one will ever hear from me ever again.”


“Got that right ya back stabbin’ piece of s**t.”  Synn chuckled darkly when he felt Danelli’s body start to sag when his legs failed him.  He caught Danelli in a choke hold holding him up effortlessly.  “Too bad there ain’t a mirror in here ‘cause I would love to see the look on yer fat face.”


Cardoza pulled out his cell phone and took a picture.  After a couple of adjustments he turned it around so the hellish hitman could see it.  “Here ya go boss, a final moment to remember him by.”  Still looking nauseated he managed to sneer coldly at Danelli whose eyes had bugged when he called Synn his boss.


“Ya even cropped it so I wouldn’t have to look at myself.  That’s sweet of ya Lenny, a real nice touch.  Make sure ya send that to me before ya delete it.”  Smiling savagely Synn ran his rotting tongue over Danelli’s cheek.   Feeling the obese crime boss try to shy away from the fetid touch his smile became even more malicious.


Gagging from the disgusting feel of the gore oozing down his face Danelli tried to lean over to puke but Synn held him upright causing the bile to spill over the large expanse of cloth covered stomach.  “Anything,” he blubbered loudly.  “I’ll give you anything you want just don’t kill me!”


 “Only two things I want ya fuckbitch an’ ya can’t do me either of those favors.”  Easily gripping the back of the large neck in one hand Synn used the other to forcibly turn his prey around to face him.  “Ya can’t give me back Zarinna and ya got no way of helping me kill that broke back b*****d Baphomet fer havin’ her killed.”


Reaching inside his jacket Synn pulled out a leather work glove and held it out towards the two lieutenants.  After Targamo pulled it over the liquefied flesh of his hand he reached into the pocket again and pulled out a sturdy protective case.  Deftly manipulating it with one hand Synn popped the catch and grasped the handle of the knife resting inside it letting the case fall to the floor.  Made of glistening black stone the blade had been expertly knapped and polished to a razors edge that was semitransparent.  It was shaped like a filleting knife used to carve fish and was over an inch thick with a length of about eight inches.  Feathers strung from the leather wrap holding the stone blade in place fell carelessly over the gloved hand as it was raised in front of Danelli’s face.  The handle was made of horn and at the bottom of the handle a strip of leather cord held a bone carved in the shape of a wolf claw.  The carved design on it matched the three held in the display case.


Holding it upright between them Synn made sure the soon to be ex crime boss had a good view of it.  Hanging on four shorter lengths of cord were small shriveled clumps of something black and withered.  Synn watched Danelli’s eyes follow the claw as it gently swung to and fro between them.  “See those black bits hangin’ around the claw?  I kept the hearts of the b******s that killed her.  Well parts of ‘em cause they looked tasty an’ were a touch too big fer the knife.”  Danelli’s horrified expression was everything Synn could have hoped for.

“Gonna tell ya a couple of things before this ends.  Those Hollywood schmucks took the info from the mists of legend ya dumb f**k.  Silver works just fine an’ I only said yer bullets work as good as silver ones ‘cause neither do s**t to me.  That’s ‘cause the heart beatin’ in my chest ain’t mine.  Baphomet had it ripped out and his own was shoved into the hole.  Probably why I got fur an’ all but ain’t runnin’ on four legs.  Like I said I heal fast an’ it works best when I’m sportin’ ears an’ a tail.  So maybe my wild side is tryin’ to reject the thing.  All I know is I got stuck bein’ kind of a half breed.”  Twisting the knife slowly letting the gloom of the early evening light in the room play off the glistening stone Synn admired the primitive blade from his youth.  Noticing Danelli was also intensely focused on the display he angled the ancient blade until its point was level with Danelli’s right eye. 


  Unable to see anything other than the pointed blade aimed at him Danelli’s mouth opened and clothed uselessly.  Stuttering with fright he could only blubber incoherently.  He started to shake his head in denial of what was happening but Synn clutched the back of his head tightly, his canine claws digging painfully into the skin underneath the oily hair.


“Stop that or I’ll gut ya like the fish yer actin’ like.”  When Danelli stopped moving the werewolf nodded grimly.


“The other thing hinges on the first.  Between the heart and being a moon howler there’s only one thing that can kill me I’m bettin’.  Has to be the same thing that can kill Baphomet since the f****r cursed me with protectin’ his heart.  He dies I die and ya better suck the devils dick good enough he keeps ya outta my reach if I ain’t allowed to see Zarinna again.  I get my hands on ya an’ we spend a happy little eternity together.  Well I’ll have fun but ya sure won’t.”


Pushing slowly Synn pressed the tip of the knife against Danelli’s eye.  When the sharp point popped through the sclera passing deeper into the organ the inner contents welled around the stone blade before spilling down Danelli’s cheek.   As the underboss started screaming the werewolf threw his head back and howled loudly.  Venting his emotions into the lupine call Synn sang his dirge of centuries past.


Keeping a tight grip on the mobsters head the rotting werewolf held it completely still taking his time with the kill.  He felt the blade scrape against the bone behind the eye as it broke through.  Not wanting to risk damaging the antique stone blade the decayed creature pressed even more slowly. Eventually the knife blade slipped through the eye beyond the socket piercing the soft meat of the brain. 


Danelli’s screaming turned from pitched wails of panic and pain into gurgling gasps for air. The bloated body danced and jiggled when it started twitching as muscles spasmed.  Releasing his hold Synnastyr Kuhr let knife slide back out of the wound as the body fell to the floor where it lay trembling a moment longer before finally relaxing limply.


The werewolf turned rotting corpse sustained his cry until he was out of breath.  Lowering his head he looked at the two lieutenants and saw both of them were pale and wide eyed with fear.   Cardoza belched and clapped a hand over his mouth forcing bile back down with a nauseated grimace.  Targamo seemed to be handling the spectacle better than his partner but wasn’t any less afraid.


“Je-Jesus Christ boss are you going to be okay?”


After cleaning the grime and gore off on the dead man’s pants the festering body set the knife gently down on the desk.  “Guessin’ Baphomet don’t go fer love like I have fer Zarinna.  Every time I let myself feel it I turn into this walkin’ mess of putrid slop.” 


“Does it hurt,” Cardoza asked sympathetically.


“Enough gettin’ shot don’t hurt at all but I’ve had plenty of time to learn how to ignore it.”  Synn pulled the other glove out of his jacket pocket slipping it over his other hand.  Reaching into the pocket again he brought out his wallet.  Pulling out a thick stack of bills he tossed the now empty wallet onto the desk next to the knife.  Splitting the money into two halves he handed Targamo a wad of cash.  “Go get that fixed my man.  Sorry I did that to ya.”


Targamo stashed his cut in a pocket with a shrug.  “Might have helped if you smelled like you look,” he offered pragmatically, “and I hit you pretty hard first so I’d say we’re even.”


Laughing Synn held the other half out to Cardoza. “Had to make it look good right Andy? Just playin’ the parts we had to is all.”  After the money had been passed over he reached down and picked up the knife case.  Seeing it somehow managed to stay clean he set it on the desk alongside his other belongings.  “Lenny, get someone to clean this mess up an’ make sure they burn it.  Make it a late appointment too.” 


“Hey boss, you didn’t really eat those guy’s hearts did you?”  The queasy yet pleading expression mixed with the note of appeal in his voice made him seem much younger than he was.


Another chuckle escaped Synn’s lips and he shook his head in sympathy.  “Not even a nibble but I did keep ‘em.  Just cut enough off to add to the knife is all.”  Looking over at the bar his corpse eyes became speculative.  “Zarinna’s necklace is goin’ above the bar center stage with those hearts around it.  Ain’t the only change that’s goin’ to happen around here either.  I’ll tell ya now Lenny, yer goin’ to see some things workin’ fer me.”  Reaching out to pat his newly acquired subordinate on the shoulder he considered the condition he was in and decided against it.  Instead he shoved both hands into his pockets with a detached shrug.  “I’ll go as easy as I can on ya my man but ya might want to toughen that gut up too.”


Recognizing the reprimand hidden in the gentle encouragement Cardoza stiffened up proudly.  “You don’t have to worry about me boss,” he exclaimed.  “I promised the Don I wouldn’t let him or you down.”  Looking embarrassed he hunched his shoulders a little which made him look even more like a little kid.  “You got to realize this whole thing’s been one shock after another.  Finding out your boss is a disloyal f**k is bad enough.  Then me and Andy get hauled up in front of the Don who tells us we’re working for you now.  Thought that meant we were getting bumped off because you don’t really exist.  But we’re sent back here instead of getting whacked.  Then you actually show up but you’re wearing that weird mask scaring the s**t out of me.  Only then I find out there’s a werewolf under the damn thing and I damn near piss my pants again.  Next time I see you, you’ve turned into a talking stiff dripping crap on the floor.  It’s a bit much to take in boss.”  Heaving from forcing the explanation out in one breath Cardoza stood there breathing heavily. “I’m not backing out on you though.”  With a shrug he fell silent looking at his new employer awkwardly.


Shaking his head with an amused smile Synn shooed the two gangsters out of the office.  “It’s gonna be a couple of hours before I get to look handsome again so I don’t wanna be disturbed got it?  An’ one of ya hang one of the fat man’s suits outside the door too.  Mine gets burned with the body.”


The two henchmen left after acknowledging their orders.  Synn locked the doors behind them and walked over to the bar stepping on Danelli’s corpse as he did so.  Drink in hand he moved over to the couch and sat down wanting to relax before disrobing. The clock on the desk chimed reminding him of something else he needed to do.  Cursing under his breath he stood up and pulled out his cell phone.  The thick gloves made it hard to press the buttons he needed but after fumbling through it he held it close to what was left of his ear.  The phone rang a few times before the number he dialed went to voicemail.


“Hey sweet heart, how’s my darling daughter doin’?  Just wanted to let ya know daddy’s tied up fer a few hours more but I’ll be home when I can.  Love ya kiddo.”  Ending the call he placed the phone down on the desk and started emptying his pockets.  When he finished he stripped off the gloves and gore sodden suit throwing each garment on the dead body next to him.


Sipping his drink he turned around and looked at the carcass lying on the floor.  “Ya know Danelli I’m thinkin’ of movin’ in.  House is huge meanin’ I can fill it with all sorts of stuff to keep me and the kiddo entertained.  That underground garage of yours is a treat too.  Only way I could get outside before was wearin’ one of them old plague doctor masks.  Hated putting it on just to get into a car an’ take it off again.  And I still couldn’t do anythin’ ‘cept sight see through the tinted windows.  Unless I was workin’ I didn’t dare chance getting’ out of the car.  My driver’ll get a kick drivin’ yer sports cars too.  Ya know what?  I think I’ll get the garage extended and have a track built so I can too.”


Lying down on the plastic covered couch the living corpse rested his drink on his chest and sighed.  “Guess if I can love my adopted daughter as much as I do that means Baph must love his children eh?  Ain’t gonna save him,” pausing for a brief moment Synn contemplated his last statement, “or them if they get in my way.  Shoulda loved one of ‘em more than he did.”  Synn felt the demon demi god’s heart in his chest lurch and thud heavily a few times before settling down again.  Laughing spitefully he closed his eyes and waited for his body to heal.

© 2019 Synnastyr Kuhr


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Synnastyr Kuhr
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Added on December 9, 2019
Last Updated on December 9, 2019
Tags: Curse, Werewolf, Assassin, Hitman, Mafia, Murder, Problem, Past, History, Demon, Father, Gangster, Gore, Death, Love, Family

Author

Synnastyr Kuhr
Synnastyr Kuhr

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Always told I write good stories but that's all I get. Figure if all those people aren't lying to me I should share them. Maybe someone will like what they read. Mainly fantasy/thriller/fiction/h.. more..