The Fallowing – The Fourth, Part XVII

by Steppen Sawicki

I’ve been on internet-less vacation, but I’m back now!

Novel: Occult Adventure

We left the hotel room armed to the teeth, my Mauser slung over my shoulder and Ruger in one hand.  My other hand was wrapped around the watch in my pocket.  Sam had his bow and knife in his right hand, watch in his left hand, quiver on his back.  The desk attendant looked us over and shook his head before returning to his newspaper.

Don’t mind us, just tourists.

We stepped foot onto the fresh lining of the snow gathering over the sidewalk.  I noticed Sam breathing rapidly, his breaths coming in small puffs in the cold air.  It was dark, 4 AM, but the streetlamps were plentiful and the myriad lights of the city bounced back off the haze in the sky.  Lights were on here and there in the windows lining the street, but the alleys between the buildings were full of shadows.

“Atsel!” called Sam, and the sound echoed a bit before dying.  But no one answered.  A couple walking the sidewalk across the street heard him though, and rushed along after glancing our way and seeing our armory.

A bum was shuffling our way; wrapped up in layers of coats and a blanket like he was, he looked almost like a hunchback.  I hadn’t thought anything of him, actually thought he would go the other way once he saw the guns and knives and arrows.  But he came right up to Sam.

“You Sam?” he said in a thick voice, like his mouth was filled with cotton.

Sam glared at him with a look to wake the dead and gripped his bow and knife tighter.  He nodded.

The bum didn’t seem to notice Sam’s expression.  He rooted in his pockets, looking for something.  I scanned the street again in case this was supposed to be some sort of diversion.

Finally the bum presented an envelope to Sam.

Sam snatched it from him and tore into it.  His eyes narrowed as he read the words on the paper within.  If his look before could wake the dead, then this one could kill them again.

He handed the paper to me and started walking.  I glanced down at it as I followed.

“Feeling unwell,” it said.  “Gone to the doctor’s.”