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    Comicality
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Savage Moon 06 - The New Breed - 32. Chapter 32


"Savage Moon: The New Breed 32"

 


My legs felt so worn out, walking through the woods at the same pace for such a long time. And my stamina seemed to be holding out longer than Isaac's was...which was almost insulting, considering that I had literally carried him half the way here.

The burning sensation in my wounds got more intense as time went on. I would occasionally lift my shirt again and look down to see how my torn flesh had progressed in painfully 'stitching' me back together again. But the heat...Jesus, the heat was unbearable. My body could only heal itself by bringing this intense fever to the rest of me, and while it might have been doing me a great service in terms of patching me up again...the fever made me dizzy to the point of almost falling over. It was like having the worst flu virus ever...and I just wanted to lay down somewhere and go to sleep until it was over. Ugh...the agony...

Isaac had gone awfully quiet on me, but I figured it was best for him to save his breath for the extended hike. The last thing I wanted was for him to wear himself out and feel the need to stop again. I had no way of figuring out how far behind us my brethren from the pack were. They could be miles away...or they could be hot on our trail, just 100 paces behind us. I couldn't tell.

Strangely enough...despite my fear and loathing of them all...I felt a certain void inside of me, being separated from them. It's hard to describe, but...I almost missed them. Their energy. Their brotherhood. Maybe it's just a side effect of becoming a part of their 'union' or whatever, but...fearful of the consequences of running into Cyrus again, I still had this yearning to be under his protection again. I felt lost without him. Unable to govern my desires or my emotions without his expert knowledge and guidance. It was as if my very sense of safety and belonging had been snatched away from me. I couldn't 'feel' my brothers and sister anymore...and it left a hole in me that could never be filled by anything other than going back to them. Tail between my legs and all.

How sick is that? How can I feel this way after everything they've put me through? This is insane.

Owwww...the burn! That one hurt.

"I think I see something." Isaac said, breathlessly pushing himself to the top of another small hill. "It looks like a satellite dish. Do you see it?"

Peeking around him, I saw what he was talking about, and picked up the pace. My aching calves tightening up as I hurried to reach the top of the hill and see if our eyes had deceived us or not.

Sure enough...there was a satellite dish. And a cabin just a short distance away. There also looked to be an old car parked on the side of the house, and a fuel tank for heat, gas, and hot water, I assumed. Thank God! A break from the monotony of endless trees and nature's unrecognizable landscape.

Isaac and I looked at each other and smiled weakly. He said, "What do you know? It looks like you were right, eh?"

"Let's go. Hopefully, someone's home." I smirked, and we began hurrying towards the old cabin, shuffling leaves and dirt all the way down the hill. I was still sore from walking so far for so long, but the promise of a decent moment's rest was enough to give me a second wind.

The cabin was a little run down, but still looked 'lived in', if that makes sense. The windows were a little fogged over with dust, the porch hadn't been swept in ages. Spiders had obviously felt comfortable building webs on the side of the house, and a hornet's nest had been left untouched on the back porch. There was a car in the yard, but it seemed to be rusted and out of commission...a bunch of bags, suitcases, and usual 'garage junk', had been piled up in the back seat...blocking the rear window. I guess nobody had driven that car for quite a while. Isaac and I walked around to the front of the house, trying to see if maybe we could find some signs of somebody recently occupying the residence. We didn't have much luck though. For the time being...the place looked to have been abandoned.

I stepped up on the front porch and I rang the doorbell, but got no answer. Even knocked a few times, attempting to be patient about it all. But still...no answer.

I tried turning the knob on the front door. Locked, of course. I moved over and tried to raise one of the front windows...then another. Shit. Also locked. "Whoever uses this cabin...they haven't been here recently. At least, it doesn't look like it." I said. I searched the area to see if I could find another way inside, but I wasn't having any luck. "Alright...it looks like we're gonna have to do this the hard way..."

I stepped off of the front porch, and Isaac watched me as I shuffled around in the yard for a minute or two, looking for a big enough rock to smash the window. I found one that was about the size of my palm. Big enough to do the job, but hopefully wouldn't cause too much of a mess. Fuck it, I'll pay for it later if anybody complains.

Isaac stopped me as he saw my hand draw back, ready to toss the large stone through the window. "Wait! What are you doing?"

"Sorry, Isaac. But we've come too far to let a locked window keep us from taking a much needed rest. It looks like we're going to have to 'Goldilocks' this window and find our way inside." I said.

But Isaac told me to hold on. I saw him look all over the front porch, moving a rocking chair, feeling over the top of the door frame, and finally running his fingers underneath the mailbox just to the side of the front entrance. "Ah ha...here we go..." He said. And, like magic, he produced a key!

"What the...???"

"In my town, old Ms. Yoder often drinks a lot of wine at the local pub. She's always misplacing her keys, and couldn't get back into her house when her night of drinking was over. So she began to hide keys elsewhere...just in case." He smiled proudly. Isaac pushed the key into the front lock and opened the door with no problem.

"You might just be a useful genius in all this after all, Mr. Montrager." I grinned, and we walked inside together, happy to find some momentary refuge after our exhausting ordeal.

We tried to flick one of the light switches on, as the cabin was dark, even in the daytime. But the electricity had been shut off. There was some running water in the kitchen sink though, and even though it took a couple of minutes to get it to warm up...we did have hot water.

The cabinets were empty. So was the fridge. Not even a few canned goods left behind to satisfy the growing monster being formed in my belly. But, despite our lack of any survivor's treasure being found in that house...at least the furniture was super soft and comfy. A treat that I took advantage of the moment I saw a set of spongy sofa cushions calling my name from across the living room. I plopped down in the middle, kicked my shoes off, and swiveled around to stretch out...a deep sigh expressing my relief as my restless muscles finally resigned themselves to getting a break from the push to keep moving.

I felt my eyes burning and lay my head back on one of the soft cushions, using my arm to cover them up and melt into a much calmer state. It wasn't until about thirty seconds later that I noticed an extremely still silence in the room. I opened my eyes to see Isaac standing there, practically on the other side of the living room, looking stiff and frightened, staring directly at me as if he expected me to sprout a second head at any moment.

"You can relax, you know?" I said. "I promise not to eat you, if that's what you're worried about."

"The fact that you have to even make me that promise is cause for great concern, Wesley."

"Go on. Sit down. I said I wasn't going to hurt you, what else do you want?"

"Why should I believe you? Because you're so 'nice'?" He said sarcastically.

I sighed, merely responding with, "Too tired."

It took him a moment or two to actually unwind a little bit, but he eventually found the courage to find a seat as far away from me as this little furniture arrangement would allow. And even then, he made sure to keep his back pressed against the chair, and his feet firmly placed on the ground in case he needed to flee the scene at a moment's notice.

I could easily smell the fear on him. I could hear the erratic beating of his troubled heart. It's kind of intoxicating, the feeling of having someone so terrified of what you are. It's hard to explain, but it gives you this sense of 'power'. It strokes the ego and makes you larger than life. I keep having to wonder whether I would have been this way before this trip out to the woods. If it was Cyrus' toxic influence and my transformation that is flooding my ind with all of these wicked thoughts...or if it was just the true nature of mankind in general. Sometimes it feels like Cyrus just took a dust rag and polished up the worst parts of who I already was...just so I could see them clearly.

"For what it's worth, Isaac...I feel bad for making you a part of this. Then again...if it wasn't for them trying to hurt you, I don't know if I ever would have found the strength to get away."

He gave me a sideways look, still suspicious of my true intentions. "Why couldn't you just walk away? Why not leave at the first sign of trouble?" He asked. "I knew, almost instantly, that they were no good. I could sense it. And they didn't make any attempts to hide their evil. Not from you, or me, or anybody. Why would you stay?"

"You just...you don't understand, alright?"

"They're bad people, Wesley. Every last one of them."

"Stop. They're not what you think."

"That Cyrus is the worst of them all..."

"Stop TALKING about Father that way!!!" I shouted. I don't...I don't know what happened. Did I mean to scream at him that way? I looked over and saw the most panic-stricken look on his face. Wide eyed, and more terrified of me than ever.

When I looked down at myself, I realized that I was sitting in an upright position again, my legs swiveled back around, feet on the floor...and my nails digging deep into the cushions to the point of tearing the fabric.

Strange...I don't remember sitting up at all...

I put my hands up to my face to rub my eyes again and calm down. "I'm sorry. Honestly. I...I didn't mean to do that." I said. "I just...I'm finding it very hard to think straight right now. I think the calling has its claws in me a lot deeper than I thought it did. It's hard to tune it out sometimes."

"The...calling?" Isaac asked, confused.

"Trust me...it'll take an unbearably long time for me to explain it, and even longer for you to understand it. Let's just say that it's like trying to shake off the last few coughs and sniffles after a particularly nasty run in with the flu. I don't think it's quite done with me yet." I rubbed the painful sores on my side and winced with a gasp as I struggled to find the energy to get back up on my feet again.

Quickly standing up as well, Isaac moved around to the other side of the chair...as if that would be much of a barrier between us if I really wanted to do him some harm. "What are you doing?" He asked.

"Ugghhh...I'm gonna look around this place and see if whoever lived here actually has some rubbing alcohol or something to disinfect these wounds. I'm not exactly sure how this healing thing works, but the last thing I need is to go into septic shock." I told him, limping slightly around the couch. "The problems I've got going on right now? It's not something I'm expecting some local hick doctor to solve with a shot in the butt and a couple of aspirin." I saw a bathroom near the back of the cabin and headed towards it. "I'll...ughh...I'll be right back."

Stepping inside, I headed for the medicine cabinet first. Best logical place to look, right? I opened it up...found some finger-sized Band-Aids, some gauze pads, a half empty box of Q-tips...but nothing that I could really use. A few extra lenses for what looked like a rather thick set of glasses, and an ace bandage for sprains. Not much good to me.

I looked down under the sink and found mostly shampoo, soap bars, and a couple of cleaning products. A rather large, half gallon, bottle of ammonia, some bleach, a pack of sponges, and some extra rolls of toilet tissue. Oh wait...what's that brown bottle under the pipes?

Eureka!

Hydrogen Peroxide. I know some people use it to clean tile and the like, but it's a disinfectant just the same. I've got to work with what I've got.

The bathroom didn't have a window in it, so the mirror was a bit dark, even with the door open. But when I carefully pulled my shirt up over my head, the large, dark, rips in my flesh were all clearly visible. Mostly scabbed over and healing, but...it's frightening to see that amount of damage done to yourself. That almost hurt more than the wounds themselves.

I popped the cap off and poured some of the stinging liquid in my open wounds. "Ahhh!!! FUCK!" I hissed, trying to gently wipe some of it way with the gauze pads behind the mirror. Yikes...that hurt a lotmore than it had any right to. i hope it's doing enough of its job to make the agony worth it.

I finished up a few minutes later. I didn't bother to put my shirt back on, as it was dirty and bloodstained and practically ripped to shreds anyway. Besides, raising my arms up to drape it back over me was going to rip me right back open...so why bother?

I opened the bathroom door, slightly limping my way back to the couch as my body finally had enough time to fully process how 'broken' it really was, healing factor or not. I plopped back down and held my balled up shirt to my side as Isaac stared at me in silence.

I was so tired. My body was mostly numb, but with just enough feeling to wince from the ache that shot through me every time I tried to move. It was best for me to just sit still for now. Try to...regain some of my sanity so I could figure a way out of this predicament.

"You wounds look bad..." Isaac said, surprisingly in an almost concerned tone of voice.

"I'll be alright." I grunted.

"You need to go to the hospital."

"Oh sure. That big hospital, right here in the middle of the woods. Just walk 100 paces from the back door, and turn right at the tree with bird's nest in it..."

He seemed slightly offended by my sarcasm. "Then maybe you can go back and ask your 'brothers' to patch you up. I'm sure they would be thrilled." More sarcasm. Ok, then...

"Do you not see what happened to me back there? I did that protecting you. And considering the fact that either one of us is still breathing? I'd say I did a pretty good job of it. This being my first time and all." We glared at each other for a moment, but we were both too worn out to do much more. Whatever friction we had building between us...it was going to have to be put on hold until we found a way out of this mess. Then he could go his way and I could go mine. Who cares, right?

And yet, after another uncomfortable silence between us, I sighed, and just wanted to somehow...I don't know...explain my side of things. Maybe I was in denial. Maybe ! had no right at all to ask for understanding or forgiveness. But I couldn't help but entertain the idea of setting the record straight...so he didn't walk away, thinking that I was just some heartless demon who had lost his nerve at the last minute. That's not who I am. Not at all.

"I was really careful at first. You know?" I said, getting Isaac's attention. "I heard the rumors. I saw the signs. I had every intention of staying away from them. All of them. There are things out there so vile, so wicked...you figure that it would never be a temptation to you. And that's easy to say from a distance. When you don't have to think about it. When the rewards are out of your reach." I looked down at the floor, a bead of sweat rolling down my forehead as my fever increased in its intensity. "But...Cyrus brought it right to my front door. He laid it down at my feet. He offered me the apple, and I took the bite. Not even the shame of knowing it was wrong was enough to keep me away from it. I guess...you never really know who you are until you're faced with the struggles you've never had to face before."

"I still don't understand..." He said. "How could you be with them? How can you fall for their trickery and allow them to change you in such a way?"

I said, "That's just it, Isaac...they didn't ask me to change anything. Not once." My eyes met his, and I told him, "You never realize how much you NEED to hear that someone loves you, just as you are...without conditions...without rearrangements or omission...until you actually have someone say it to you. Plainly. Shamelessly. It's like it touches something so deep inside of you that you have no defense against it. It overwhelms you. It's like waking up from a nightmare." I shifted a bit, trying to get more comfortable on that couch, my scars still stinging me from time to time. "I spent my entire life being afraid of who I am. Ashamed. And alone. I shut so much of my true self off from the rest of the world that I couldn't really be a part of anything meaningful. It wasn't real. I was just faking some stupid, 'acceptable', identity that I thought other people might enjoy and pay attention to. And when that fake image got any kind of praise or attention...I sat back and took the credit for it. KNOWING that it was a lie! But the lie was all I had to depend on. The real me would be rejected in a heartbeat if they knew. Rejected in school, rejected in the church, my friends...my family..." I felt a lump in my throat, but kept talking, regardless. Who knows when I'll get another shot at talking to anybody about this ever again? "...It's an isolated feeling, thinking that you have to wear a mask and pretend to be somebody else to get the kind of love and attention that you want from the rest of the world. It's self loathing at its finest...but you make it ok, because you get to deny that the more 'disgusting' part of you simply doesn't exist anymore."

For the first time since we had been sitting there, Isaac seemed to relax enough to let his guard down for a moment and absorb what I was trying to say. "I think I can understand that part of it. Yes."

I wiped my eyes as I continued to feel the absence of my brethren in my heart, and with a sniffle, I said, "There was this boy...he was not far from the camp. His name was Casey. Heh...his beauty struck me like a bolt of lightning from the very first time I ever laid eyes on him. I know that there are people out there who say that there's no such thing as love at first sight, but...if it never happened before, then he'd be the first to inspire such a thing. He was stunning. Sweet. Amazing eyes...and a smile that just seemed to cause these little tremors in your stomach whenever he pointed it in your direction. Yeah...Casey was...he was truly something special."

Isaac saw my emotions bubbling up to the surface, and I began to sniffle a bit more...tugging lightly on his sense of empathy. "So, this Casey...he is your boyfriend?"

A single tear dripped from my eye. "Heh...well, see, that's the thing about shame and self loathing, Isaac...it doesn't leave any room for you to be happy. It doesn't leave you with enough energy to recognize and appreciate what's right in front of you. You never feel like you deserve it. And even if you got a taste...you'd just end up destroying it all in the end. So what's the point of putting yourself out there to get hurt, right?"

"You never told him, then." He said, and I slowly shook my head.

"I wanted to. I kept going back, I kept hoping that he would cast some kind of magic spell over me that would take me away from this emptiness I feel inside. And I know its not fair to make him responsible for making me sane, but...I was desperately hoping that he would be the one to set me FREE." I said. "But I was scared, you know?"

"Scared of having him not love you in return?"

I sniffled again, holding back the tears as best as I could. "Scared that he would love the 'fake' me...the mask...and I'd spend the rest of my life being too ashamed to show him who I really was underneath it. Someone who was nowhere near being worthy of his affection. Just another lame gay teen, full of mind games and empty promises...soon to be discarded for someone more his speed." I said. "Ugghhhh..." I doubled over and grabbed a hold of my knees as another sharp pain surged through my abdomen.

"Are you ok???" He asked.

I had to catch my breath, but I assured him, "Yeah. It was just...a cramp or something. I'm fine." I wiped my eyes again, and I stared up at the ceiling. "I can't even remember how I got here, Isaac. I don't even remember where it all began."

"Your demon friends, you mean?"

I nodded. "Being so alone...feeling so unwanted and unloved for so long...Cyrus came along, and he's the first one who ever bothered to peek beneath the mask. The first one who told me that I didn't need to LIE about who I am, or what I desired. You don't know what it's like to actually have someone embrace you and make you feel like you have a home. People you can be totally open with and not fear judgement or backlash or some kind of brainwashed response from people who could never understand what you go through every day just to feel...to feel..."

"Normal." Isaac added, and I nearly cried when I heard it. Maybe he understands after all.

"I guess it's easy to fall in line with people who make you feel that way. Even 'wicked' people...who may not have your best interests at heart." I sobbed. "I thought Cyrus was setting me free. And he certainly gave me a lot of room to be myself for the first time in my life. But..."

"But?" He asked.

Remembering his words to me, I said, "...But a cage a million miles wide...is still a cage." The room got silent, and now I felt just as emotionally drained as I did physically. So I swiveled around and put my feet back up on the couch, attempting to carefully find another comfortable spot in the old couch to snuggle into. It wasn't easy, but I was much too exhausted to expect much more than a position that would make me scream out loud in pain. "Look...if you don't mind...I think I'm just going to lay here and get a few minutes worth of rest, ok? We'll figure something out a bit later. Maybe find a way to navigate our way to one of the main roads and maybe get a shot at hitching a ride with a passing car. But for now...I just need to close my eyes for a little bit. Is that ok?"

Isaac was silent for a moment, and then nodded slowly. "Ok. You rest. I will look around the house to see if I can find something that will help."

"Alright. Cool. You do that." I sighed. I could already feel the fatigue taking me over, but before I dozed off, I opened one eye and looked back at Isaac again. "You know...not that I don't trust you...but I wouldn't try sneaking out of this cabin and taking off while I'm asleep. Cyrus and his pack have already got a lock on your scent. They'll follow you. They'll find you. And...well, you know what happens when they come knocking...don't you? Not just you...but to everybody that's come into contact with you along the way. You'd be better off with me right now. Believe me." His eyes widened a bit, but he agreed to stay put. I'm pretty sure that I had every reason to believe him.

Alright...just...a few minutes worth of sleep. Ten? Maybe twenty? Enough to get my head together.

Jesus...I'm so tired.

I'm surprised I was able to stay awake this long.

Copyright © 2010 Comicality; All Rights Reserved.
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How beautifully this chapter captures the deep disquiet of knowing I have been diffent from others since birth — and will always be. Great chapter Com. Thanks for posting. Your work always brings a little light! 

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3rd time re-reading this. Still good enough to re-read again and again. Cant wait to see how this plays out.

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I know that loneliness! That helplessness! That feeling you don't belong where you are but are afraid of seeking out the fulfillment of trusting new things! The trusting of new people! The trusting of new excitements!

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