As Zach continued to light up the room with gunfire, Erin used her own brand of firepower to free her hands from the waste they were stuck in. Her hands glowed under it, changing the grey colour to a more ‘pleasant’ brownish hue and soon it began to singe and burn as she ignited it.
“Hurry it up Erin.” The room began to fill up with soucouyants in various stages of regeneration. Zach focused on those that were the most life-like, as they were the weakest of the bunch. It was one of the major reasons they hibernated for most of their lives. The more supple the skin they wore, the more susceptible soucouyants were to other dangers. Their strength lay at their cores and they were strongest when most desperate to feed.
Erin didn’t need to be told again and freed her hands. The blue flame was still alight, and she whispered a spell, raising her arm and tracing a circle in the air above them. The flames rose from Erin’s hands, creating a ring of fire that fell just as quickly to the floor. It burnt away the gooey substance without harming either her or Zach and they jumped up, backing into the wall.
Zach holstered his gun, wishing that the magic infused in the weapon was somehow able to conjure more bullets. As it was, the rampage which had taken out most of the soucouyants’ nest, had left him on empty. Erin wasn’t doing much better. After using her magical energy to free them and to heal herself earlier, she needed to replenish her resources before she could do any more damaging magic. Had she been in peak physical condition this would be different, but with the pain in her side a constant reminder of her stab wound, Erin knew she had to be careful. There was still one more spell to be performed and she couldn’t afford to use her magic on anything else. She pulled an ivory-handled dagger, inscribed with ancient runes from her waist. She hardly ever used it and it always felt strange in her hand when she did.
Zach’s concern for Erin pushed past his alarm at their predicament. He’d seen her pull out her dagger and knew what that meant.He carried another gun in a holster at the small of his back,but was aware that any sudden movements would cause the soucouyants to close in even faster.
He spoke loudly, wanting the soucouyants to hear him, “Guess this is it Erin, pity it had to end this way. Say a prayer will you?” Erin didn’t look at Zach, but understood what he meant.
In a low voice she said, “Sacrem notios bellundon.” She’d used the binding spell, much to the frustration of the soucouyant leader. She cried out, grabbing hold of her sister, flinging her subordinate’s frail body at the wardens, as she tried to escape through the hole in the wall. Erin simultaneously threw her dagger and Zach used the distraction to get his back-up firearm from its holster. He fired three times, so that the combination of magic from both weapons, caused the soucouyant’s body to explode in a cloud of bone dust and fraying skin. Erin retrieved her dagger, not pausing for anything else as she gave chase to the soucouyant leader.
“Erin, wait.” Zach called from behind her, but Erin didn’t stop. The other soucouyants would return soon and they needed to cut this nest off at the head. She retraced their steps until she came to the door that had first led them in. The soucouyant leader was banging her body against it angrily. She looked back at Erin, hatred filling her yellowing eyes and attacked.
Erin ran to meet her and as she came closer, fell to the floor on her knees and leaned back so that her head almost met the floor.
“Zach, now!” she yelled.
A few feet away, Zach readied his aim and fired. The soucouyant had been so intent on finishing Erin off, that she had forgotten all about Zach. His bullets ripped through her body, causing her to convulse and shake before them. Now she was out of the line of fire, Erin got up on her knees and Zach ran to her side.
“Are you alright?” he asked. She nodded, watching the soucouyant leader’s body as it fell to the floor. It lay crumpled like discarded paper and soon the bones and other tissue dissolved, only leaving behind the wrinkled skin.
Erin finally spoke, “I’m good now,” she said and smiled, allowing him to help her up.
“Hate to rush you, but we’ve got to get out of here.” Erin nodded, as the later it got, the more chances remained for them to get caught in another wave of these soucouyants and when they realised that their leader had been killed, there was no telling what they’d try to do to those responsible.
Erin made it all the way to the hole in the outside fence, before she leaned against Zach, giving into the pain and exhaustion that threatened to take over, as they made their way back to the car. As they neared it, she saw a man in the distance leaning against their rental vehicle.
She tensed, “What the hell?” she exclaimed, perplexed. Zach tensed. The man stepped away from the car and Erin saw that he was someone she’d seen before. With white hair that fell to his back, pale complexion and striking spring green eyes, it was a face that was hard to forget. “He’s the one from before. Last year in Albania.”
“Get in the car Erin. This doesn’t concern you.”
“But—” she began in protest, but stony look Zach gave her made her pause. She obeyed, telling herself that it was because she was too tired to argue. The truth was that she didn’t like that look. She’d seen it a few times before and each time, something about it had terrified her.
She sat in the car, watching from the rear-view as the man handed Zach a brown envelope. When she saw Zach coming back, she pretended to be checking her wound and looked up as he sat down.
“We’re going to Canada,” he said and handed Erin the envelope. She opened it, peering at the contents which showed her the details of a new case.
“So that guy,” she said nonchalantly, “He works for the organisation?” Erin could feel Zach’s gaze on her, but she didn’t look up.
“Containment’s gonna be here soon, we’d better get going.” Once again Zach had skipped Erin’s questions about the strange man. She looked into the rear-view mirror as they moved off but he was gone. This puzzled her as the only way back to civilisation was the road they were on and he hadn’t passed them.
She turned to Zach about to say something else, but thought against it. “So, Canada huh? What’s there?”
Zach answered quietly, “Wolves.”
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Read on to S01E02: Howl.
For more info about The Wardens Series, creatures like soucouyants, and its world-building, visit the Inside Worlds’ page.
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