“We won’t go hungry, no not tonight,”
“Flesh is so tender you don’t need a knife.”
“Eating yer buddies.”
The group sung as one, except for Pitch, who led them quickly through the night. Talon had dropped back as far as Mucci would let him. He had given Pitch the basic instructions and the man knew the way.
The night came alive around him as the cannibals continued their eerie chant. Shadows clung to the refuse that lined the road, looking like fields of dead bodies. The taste of the meat bubbled up into his throat, staining his lips, bringing back what he had done. He could feel it. It clung against the side of his stomach like a solid lump putrefying his insides. He knew he was tainted, but he couldn’t worry about that now, he had to see this through.
They were nearing the bridge. In the distance, the lights of the other side of the city shined like the stars the smog denied.
“Keep an eye on him,” Pitch hissed back to Mucci, and then began to jog under the bridge. A light could now be seen on the far side. ”Rick, is that you?” He called out.
Talon knew he had to act fast. “Hey look out,” he said to Mucci, grabbing his arm.”
“What the hell?”
“The guy I pushed over the ledge, I saw him. The fall didn’t take him out.” Without waiting for a reply, Talon took off back the way they had come. Mucci, uncertain at first, followed. As soon as they had reached thicker shadows, Talon spun around and punched Mucci in the nose. The young man wasn’t expecting such a sudden turn, and the fist broke Mucci’s nose in an explosion of blood.
While Mucci stumbled back, Talon’s left hand grabbed the bat and his right hand punched him again. Grunting, Mucci released the bat. The blow caused him to trip over a rock and he went crashing down onto his back. Talon choked up the bat, like he was going to head in to finish the job, but that was when a helicopter floodlight began to illuminate under the bridge. A garbled voice started shouting orders and then moments later gunfire rang out.
“Good luck dumb ass,” he yelled back at the battered punk and began to sprint out of there. “And thank you, Brian Whitney; sorry about the hassle they’ll be putting you through after all this.” That guy must have been loaded, Talon thought to himself. If the reported kidnapping brought out Helicopter support, Talon must have picked the right guy to call in a false report with. The cops wouldn’t find Brian there, but they had found enough to make sure the trip wasn’t a waste and even if any of Pitch’s crew survived the encounter, he doubted he would be seeing them for a while.
He had almost made it back to one of the main roads, when a large figure blocked his path.
At first Talon thought it was some random dreg or maybe a cop who had moved around to cut them off, but then he saw the glint of the helicopter lights shining off glasses. It was Rick-the-dick. The man could barely stand without swaying and blood dripped from the middle finger of his disfigured left arm, slowly creating a muddy black pool where it mixed with the sand below.
“You narcing bastard. Can you comprehend what you have done?”
“Rid the world of a bunch of freaks is what I’m thinking.”
With a roar, Rick rushed forward swinging his nun-chucks. Talon still had the bat and used it to block the attack. Moving faster, his back swing took Rick in the temple with a loud crack.
Talon brought the bat behind his shoulder, like he was waiting for a pitch. Rick came in and he swung the bat. It connected with the chucks and sent them flying into the dead bushes.
Rick called out, “I’ll kill you for ruining everything,” and leapt forward. His long lanky arms got past the bat and he began to clutch and pull at him. Before Talon knew what was happening, long teeth had buried themselves into the flesh of his shoulder. His cried out in pain as the jagged teeth quickly tore through his tie shirt.
Dropping the bat, his hand began to fumble into his back pocket. Pulling out the steak knife, he stabbed it between two of Rick’s ribs. The man gasped out and stumbled away, taking the knife with him. “Try to eat me will you,” Talon spat at him while clutching his bleeding shoulder. “You are the one who is going to get carved like a steak.”
After yanking out the knife, Rick came at him again, but Talon snatched up the bat and swung into him before Rick could use the small blade. There was a resounding crack as the tip of the bat broke Rick jaw. He tumbled off of the path with a wet grown.
Talon was going to make sure he finished what he started this time. Leaving a vengeful Rick-the-dick alive wouldn’t be wise. Then a sound stopped him.
A low growling could be heard coming from the dry bushes. Another quickly followed it, then a third. Thin shadows created finger wide tiger strips on the circling pack. Rez-dogs, loose packs that preyed on the unlucky and alone. They scented blood and were more than willing to prey on the wounded.
“He’s all yours boys.” Talon muttered, as he slowly retreated holding the bat in front of him.
Rick reached out a pleading hand and moaned.
“Sorry, I guess it is your turn to fed the hungry mouths. Only I think this meal won’t be over as quickly.” The sounds on Rick’s hopeless cries would haunt him for months. Nearly as long as it would take for him to get the taste of human flesh from returning to him when it was least needed. A thousand beers couldn’t drown it. Over time it faded, but his friends always wondered why a big guy like him would suddenly become a vegetarian and they would never know.