Chapter 13

Feeling complete, yet completely void all at once, I continued to move through the forest, hurtling towards the dwelling place of this sinister Lord. I shrieked with excitement, cried out into the canopy with the whole voice I had been given.

Yet, I had sacrificed a great deal for these abilities - under the influence of the Lord, and filled with the euphoria produced by having a tongue, I forgot my Gregory, who I had last seen pouring blood into the darkness. I was passed by browns and greens as I ran through the thick mass of trees. I was free, yet chained; euphoric, yet wanting; filled, yet hungering.

As the thought of hunger filled my mind, I realised that I was ravenous.  I searched the forest for something to eat. I examined fresh berries and pored over large citrus fruits, filled with juice and goodness; I cast them aside, searching for something more satisfying.

I watched the trees for signs of life, searched the stretch of land before me with hawk-like eyes. There was silence, a hateful silence that reminded me of my prior uselessness. The hunger burned in my stomach as the acid yearned for something to digest. I was near to sleep when I heard a rustle -  a twig snapped. My ears pricked up as I listened for more noises - sounds that could signal the whereabouts of my meal. As the sound melted into silence, I sighed, pining silently for tender flesh and fresh blood. My yearning reverie was shattered by another sound, rolling like a drum and just as deep.

Footsteps. I scanned the forest for the source of the footsteps, which drew nearer. My eyes widened as imagined the meat in my mouth. I salivated,  began to breathe heavily in anticipation of what was to come. I saw a brown mass approach, shaking with life and reeking deliciously. I began to make out various shades of brown, then shining white - the individuals moved gracefully, some with horns and some without. Deer.

“Mmm... I haven’t had venison in a while.” I growled. I hid in the bushes, scanning the group for the smallest, weakest deer - the one that wouldn’t fight. As the group thinned out, I found what I searched for - a young deer with large brown eyes and enough meat to last me a few days. I drew my gun from its holster, cocked it and aimed the crosshairs between those large brown eyes. I heard a growl behind me.

A hand covered my mouth. I fired.

The shot went into the canopy and the deer dispersed quickly. I turned round to see the source of the growling. Knelt by a fallen motorbike, was Gregory.   

“Myra, you’re a danger to yourself on your own.”

“How did you find me?” Gregory moved back, shocked by the naturalistic yet ancient quality of my voice. I opened my mouth, revealing the blue organ. In a voice that showed he still hadn’t recovered from the shock, he replied, 

“Check your jacket lapel.” I ran my hand across the lapel of my jacket and found a glowing light.  

“You’ve been tracking me?”

“I wasn’t going to let you go, not having just found you again.” I remembered his sudden embrace as he lay bleeding in the earth. Understanding this, I glanced at the bike, reverting quickly to confusion. “There was another sufferer on the bike. He tried to run me down with the bike. I’m afraid my gun spoke in defense of me.” It was peculiar; whenever I was with Gregory, the disease was not as potent. I needed to stay with him.

And, for both our sakes, I needed to stay awake.

The End

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