Maya began to notice the eyes in the abandon buildings. There were shifting shadows in the broken windows that announced the presence of someone inhabiting the house.
And they were watching them.
“Max,” She tugged on his sleeve.
Max’s eyes focused on those that belonged the watchers within the nearest building. The eyes vanished as quickly as they had come.
He realized that the eyes were glassy, dead, and reflected light quite easily in the odd reddish glow of the sun.
But they had not disappeared due to Max’s curious gaze.
The roar of an ancient engine attracted their attention.
A white headlight pierced the dusty haze in the air, blinding Maya.
“Hello kiddies! Yee-haw!”
Atop the ancient rusty red motorcycle was Wizard, the old (and quite dead) man that had attempted to help them from the Hellhounds.
Maya grinned in spite of herself.
“Wizard!” Max cried as the motorcycle slid to a stop beside them.
“What’s yer pretty little girlfriend doing here? Aint she alive?” He squinted at Maya curiously with his one good eye.
“Not any more,” Max murmured.
Wizard swiped at a tear in his eye, threatening to roll down his half decayed cheek.
“They go too young!” He sniffled, pulling a dirty handkerchief from his leather jacket pocket, blowing into it loudly.
Maya pressed her lips together to prevent her laughter from escaping. Despite her fate, she felt strangely calm. Perhaps it had something to do with the strange woman known as the Reaper…
“Wizard, we don’t have time for this,” Max warned him, his grip tightening on Maya’s hand.
Maya could tell that Max was afraid. Very afraid.
“Quite right my lad! Back to the old hut – need to get fixed up eh?” He waggled his eyebrows, scuttling back to his motorcycle.
“We can’t all fit on your bike can we?” Maya asked, staring at the ancient machine.
Wizard chuckled, “I normally only take one passenger, but we can sure as hell try.”
Max swung himself on behind Wizard, offering her his hand.
“Will I ever see my home again?” Maya whispered, staring up at him.
He shook his head slowly, “No,”
Maya took his hand, “At least I have you,”
Max smiled, pulling her up behind him onto the bike.
The ancient crumbling machine gave out a heavy gasp as Wizard started the engine. Roaring to life, it rattled precariously under the weight of its passengers.
“Guten tag, Maximus,” A boot was pressed firmly onto the front wheel of the bike, holding it in place.
Wizard frowned at the German woman standing in his way, “Get out of my way, lady. Can’t you see I’m trying to drive this rattletrap?”
“You must be the one they call Wizard. A zauberer of undead medicine, hmm?” The woman had blonde hair that hung around her chiseled jaw, piercing blue eyes boring into Maya’s.
“Adelvina Veicht. Wizard is not involved in this,” Max growled, through gritted teeth.
The woman, Adelvina, muttered, “Kleine hündin sohn,” under her breathe.
But Max caught what she had said. Jumping off the motorcycle, he advanced on her,
“Sie sind einer zu redden serviert ihnen eine solche hündinnen sohn!” He spat the German words quick as lightning, hatred stirring in his heart that would never beat again – undead to the core.
Maya leaned forward to whisper in Wizard’s ear, “What are they saying?”
The old man swallowed, his one good eye blinking rapidly, “She called him a son-of-a, and he called her a servant of a son-of-a,”
She leaned back, still somewhat confused at this.
Meanwhile, Adelvina drew a knife from a holster at her side, threatening Max by laying the sharp edge against his throat.
“There’s no coming back if I cut off your head,” She hissed, her eyes narrow slits.
“Wanna bet?” Max grinned suddenly, catching the Nazi off guard.
He grabbed the hilt, shoving it into her shoulder. Adelvina cried out in pain as it stuck there, dark, old, red blood oozing slowly down her uniform.
She wrenched it out of her flesh, swinging it precariously near Max’s arm.
It sideswiped him, slicing open a deep red wound.
“MAX!” Maya screamed.
He clenched the wound, eyes screwing shut for a moment. Resuming the fight, he punched Adelvina in the face – hard.
With a sickening crack, she fell to the ground.
“I hate to punch a woman…..” Max stared down at her as she massaged her now broken jaw.
“And I hate to end a child’s life. Oh wait, that’s right, you’re not a child. And you’re not alive!” She dived for his legs, throwing him to the ground.
The foul woman pinned his arms down with her knees, straddling him.
Wrapping her slender fingers around his neck, she began to choke him.
Wizard finally hopped off his bike, letting the engine go kaput.
“Now you listen here lady!”
Adelvina released one hand and drew a gun from inside her jacket. In one swift move the shot had been fired and Wizard lay shivering on the hard dead earth.
Maya kicked punched and beat Adelvina’s back until the woman slapped her sharply with the flat of her knife.
A terrific roar filled the air as Vatias, the white winged, gigantic wolf, bounded into view.
Miss Veicht stood, turning around in horror just as his huge jaws clamped down around her top half.
The Nazi screamed violently as Vatias tipped his head back, allowing her to slide down his huge throat.
In seconds her screaming ceased – forever.
“What?” Max gasped hoarsely, staring up at his enemy.
The white wolf stared at him, blinking his huge red eyes, “You really think I’d let some bounty hunter kill my greatest rival?”
Max began to laugh hysterically, tears of joy rolling down his pale cheeks.
Vatias grinned with his large sharp teeth.
“Tonight, I let you live son of Atlantis. But next time we meet, you won’t be so lucky,”
Maya helped Max up, worry pecking at her mind when she how injured he looked.
“Don’t worry. I’m not alive so you can’t let me live,”
Vatias’s laugh was so loud it shook the buildings around them.
“Goodbye King of the Water,” He shook his big white head, still laughing as he flapped his almighty wings, taking off into the dark sky.
Maximus watched, grinning, as the enormous misunderstood wolf disappeared into the black horizon.
Maya grabbed his hand, “Are you okay?”
He shrugged, “A little banged up, but nothing that can’t be fixed,”
“This reminds me! Are we going to the hut or what?” Wizard was seated on the motorcycle, kicking its engine in an attempt to start it up again.
“Of course. Let’s go work some magic,” Max told him, patting his back.
Maya, though dead, felt more content with Max than she had with any boy she had ever dated.
Was this love?