Protective Wind

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I gave myself a writing challenge. I put out an open call on Facebook for individuals willing to let me write their Dystopia Rising characters. I explained that I want to write more than just Jeanie, that I’d work with the individuals who play each character. But, it’s a chance for me to work on my writing skills by challenging me to branch out into other characters. So, here it is. The fifth of my Dystopia Rising Friend Fictions.

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He stepped softly, the jingle of bells muted by the cloth wrapped around them.

Pause. Listen. Watch.

There. Movement in the shadows.

Groaning and shuffling feet.

Caleb smiled and shifted the knucks to make sure they wouldn’t slide off his hands.

A breeze slid his hair out of his face. It brought the stench of rotting flesh. A small horde.

The ascensorite stepped forward and sliced his claws into the creature shambling towards him. Across the neck as the other fist slams into the rib cage. A crunch of bone. Paws grab the head. Twist and snap. Let the body fall to the ground.

The earth would reclaim it in moments.

Step forward. Lean to the right. Avoid the lunging arms. Reach out. Dig arms into the shoulder. Pop. The other paw claws into the neck tearing out the vocal chords. There is a slight gurgle as the zed goes to groan again. Reach for the neck again. Grab the spinal column and yank with full strength, popping the vertebrae out through the throat.

The zed drops.

Glance about. Two zed left. On either side of him, shuffling toward the compound’s tents.

Shift right. There’s a branch on the ground. Nudge it forward with his boot. The shambler catches its foot on the branch and tumbles down. There is a grin as the Ascensorite pounces onto the zed and pounds at the skull, shattering it.

Eyes dart about. Remaining shambler. It’s reached one of the tents.

Jump to feet. Charge forward. Grab remaining strands of hair and yank it backward. The zed falls backward. Arms lunge up, grabbing at the edge of the kilt. Claws plunge. Pull at the skin. Other paw lunges down. Grab and snap at the ribs. Slice the heart. The zed flops still.

Caleb stands and listens.

Silence.

He brushes his bloodied claws off on the grass.

The wind rustles the tent flap.

He steps into the canvas tent and turns to the glow bug sleeping on the mattress. Despite the summer heat, she’s shivering. Despite the bright red glow of her body, her skin is pale. He gently sits on the mattress, careful not to wake her. A claw gently pulls a lock of hair from her face. Caleb sighs. He can feel the heat of her fever.

He pulls his hand away, watching as the lock of hair pulls away from her head.

Uncork the water skin. Drop a bit onto a clean rag. Dab onto her forehead. Hopefully it will lower the fever a bit.

“I am Caleb Hawk,” he whispers. “I am a protective wind. I will keep you safe.”

He sighs.

“As long as your faith doesn’t kill you first.”