Chapter 10: False Alarm

Damian Rade

Ian’s arms were pulsing ferociously, almost to the point of exploding.  He couldn’t maintain this rhythm much longer.  They were going to unleash themselves whether he liked it or not.

I should have waited longer.  I don’t see or hear the Gypsy anywhere.  I was sure she would come for me by this hour of night, suspecting I would run when I finally heard first word of her presence.  But if she had come, and I hadn’t begun the transition process early, I would already be…a more lifeless version of myself.  Ian never said or even thought the ’D’ word if he could help it.  It brought a lot of…unwanted ideas into his mind that he preferred to avoid.

His thoughts quieted for a moment as he started to slow the movements down from his quick footwork, letting the playful noises of the night guide both his physical and mental speed and momentum.  The wind was whistling in the north and he let it swiftly carry his ears, knowing that the town just north of this one had been where the gypsy was last spotted.  He couldn’t feel the wind on his skin anymore by any rate because he had ended up in an extremely tight neighborhood, to the point of breathing exclusively recycled oxygen only, inside the town with overly narrow alleyways and three story buildings made out of clay and stone.  They were just so close to one another from either side that he could barely see the sky if he looked directly up.  He had previously rolled his sleeves up way past his forearms but it wasn’t enough; they ripped more and more with every pulse. “Damn it, not another ruined jacket.” Ian frowned while squinting his eyes to pout in a more manly way, so he figured. 

His rapidly beating arms were smacking the houses on each side of him now as he walked on.  Ian could hear the sound of a high pitch screech when thin metal connects with stone or another hard surface as a few slabs from a wall hit him in the face. “If I don’t find an outlet from here soon, whoever lives in these houses is going to have a lot more than one door to walk out of in the morning.”

Finally coming around a bend, Ian could not only hear a more dominant flowing of wind but could see a few loosened pieces of rock from the stone walkway roll past the freeing break in the crushing buildings around him.  This must lead out into the front of town, I recognize that Inn across from here when I first arrived. That also means the area will be well lighted by the lanterns hanging with the signs.

He remained silent as he crept his way towards the opening, even if he would have more room to move and maybe leave the town in one piece, he had to be cautious. She could be following him without his even knowing.  She could even be the strongest, quickest, smartest Gifted there was in existence.

Ian appeared rather calm and in control of his emotions until the silver tips of his once shaggy hair, which had become sticky and flat from sweating in the airless alleyways, had suddenly fluffed up and bushed out like a startled cat when he heard the loud howl of a wolf accompanied by the rush of footsteps out of nowhere patting on stone ground close by.

He stood exactly by the edge of the opening.  His face, completely turned sideways toward the open space, told the story of terror and apprehension, but just as the rushing footsteps conjured up a wide stretched shadow to be wildly painted on the Inn across from him, he smirked confidently feeling his arms reach their utter breaking point.  He leapt from his hiding spot and simply relaxed every muscle in his body in order to let his weapons transform and replace his unneeded arms. Shining black metal, glinting perfection in the reflection of the sharpness in the slick blades of the axes laid reaching out six feet from where Ian‘s body stood rigid.

Ian laughed devilishly, “you thought you could sneak up on me, aye?!” He said raising his battle axes up and into a defensive position with great ease.

However, Ian’s laugh slowly wore out as he had to look down to find his enemy. Sitting down opposite of Ian and his large weapons attached from his shoulders that were now bearing shredded fragments of his jacket to wave like small war flags, was some breed of dog or wolf.

Ian’s right eye twitched as he opened his mouth to say something, but just as soon slammed it shut in fearful confusion.  He shook his axes toward the dog letting out a wavering grunt.  But the dog only cocked his head to the side to focus more on Ian's weapons.  Ian watched it’s movements carefully, not wanting to be tricked.  Was this one of the gypsies powers; the ability to shape shift?  Or was this only a distraction in order to assassinate him from behind?  Ian stole a quick glance of his surroundings but found nothing.  He stared back at the wolf’s face waiting for it to look back and lock eyes with him.  Ian gave a small whistle immediately raising his eyebrows in preparation for what he might see.  And sure enough the wolf straightened it’s neck back with a snap and let it’s tongue tumble out of it’s mouth to start panting loudly and stare directly back at Ian.

Ian slowly released all his tension with his suspicions as he watched vivid images of beautiful women float through his mind.  This definitely had to be one of the nicer fears he got to witness.  Ian had a thing for beautiful women.  What all the women seemed to have in common, besides their tempting features, were their extremely bad tempers.  The last image that flashed through his head was an actual scene of the doggish wolf being run off by his owner; a very young woman crying and throwing pots and pans and anything at her grasp at the wolf to force him to leave.

“Looks like you got dumped by your girlfriend… Been there, done that.” Ian dragged his large weapons behind him, like a disappointed child, as he retreated into a wide darkened corner where the light couldn’t reach him so no one would notice if they walked by.  He had to wait until his ability wore off and he could get his arms back.  He squinted his eyes for the purpose of another manly pout with a defeated look in his eyes as the wolf followed Ian to his corner to lick the cold, pitch black metal from his pointless, wasted battle axes that were now creating tiny piles of sand.  Inch by inch of his weapons disappeared, resembling a broken hourglass relentlessly pouring out its insides on each side of Ian's slouched over torso.  

The End

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