The God Eater
J began to stalk down the slope towards the carnage. I didn’t move. And when he had gotten a few feet away from me, he turned. Staring down at me.
As I looked up at him, I felt tears start to roll down my cheeks. This monster was proving to be the worst nightmare I could ever have imagined. And I still didn’t know why he had drug me along to witness this.
Maybe that’s all it was. He just wanted me to see just how nasty he and his pack were. Maybe he hoped he could spur me into joining them somehow. I refused to become like them though. I made up my mind to defy any like them in any way possible.
As we stared into each other’s eyes, I realized he was waiting for me to stand and follow him. I hesitated, not wanting to go anywhere near the blood bath they were creating.
“If you do not, I will drag you by the hair and when we get back I will carve your flesh apart slowly. I will take days to peel you apart layer by layer. And I will force my healer to keep you alive and aware for the entire process.” The coldness, the bitterness, the sheer anger hidden within the words forced me to my feet.
I knew it wasn’t an empty threat. He could and would do all of that. I didn’t have a choice anymore. I might as well have on a collar that said “Property of Alpha J”. And every time he yanked on the leash I was forced to fall even farther.
I was ashamed of myself as I neared the dying people. Some still whimpering and pleading as I passed them. I just held my arms tight across my stomach and watched my feet as I walked side by side with the monster, no, demon, who had ordered this be done.
Soon all of the screams were silenced. The only noise came from the ever pounding waves in the ocean. Now distant, and uncaring to the tragedy that had just occurred.
How horrible. I couldn’t accept the fact that the wolf pack around me had just murdered innocents so casually. And now they all sat around a fire, roasting the remains. For them though it was just another day, and another meal.
J had forced me to sit here and wait for him. Leaving the several dozen of his pack to guard me. A few of them leered at me in between bites. I just gagged at the sight and smell of it all. Refusing each time I was offered any.
“You’ll starve and grow weak.” One of them rasped. The gravel in his throat made me think he was speaking through sandpaper. I just turned away from him.
As the fire crackled, the sun set, and some of the wolves had curled up to sleep while waiting for their alpha to return. Six guards remained in their full beast forms just beyond where the light of the fire reached. Eight were gambling on some nonsense dice throwing game I didn’t understand.
The rest either snoozed, or were lounging around the fire. I was beginning to wonder what J had left to go do. He had been gone for a long time already. I also wondered what the rest of the pack would do if I started to wander around the now destroyed village.
These people had to have had food here. Maybe I could find something that I could eat. I took in a deep breath. Prepared to be attacked just for standing. But when I stood, and even after taking a few small steps away from the fire. No one even seemed to notice.
The gamblers all were focused on their game. The guards were watching out, not in. And the rest were all relaxed after slaughtering and eating the people who had lived here. It seemed I was the only one with tension left in me. I was still careful to step lightly and quietly as I headed for the collection of buildings that remained.
The trees gave me plenty of opportunity’s to hide as I stalked between them. Soon the fire light grew dim and the one guard by the village was only a few feet away from me.
I stayed in the shadow of the tree and waited. But he never moved a muscle. Just sat there staring off into the distance. Like a statue. I could smell him on the breeze. The ocean scent and his thick fur mixed with the blood of several others.
All of it combined into something I wouldn’t be able to miss. Could he scent me back? Was he aware of me and just ignoring my presence? I took a few steps closer, aiming for the next tree that was in between us.
I could hear his breathing now too. Deep breath in, pause, wheezing breath out. Was he sick? I took a breath of my own, and held it for as long as I could. Closing my eyes and focusing on him.
Now I could even hear a slight wheeze when he breathed in. I almost felt bad for him. But he was still a savage wolf who had murdered innocents. I slowly began to move away from him, keeping the fire behind me and putting more distance to the guard as I went to my right.
Two more trees now stood between us. I was just about to turn and make a quick dash through a patch of open ground when I heard a howl from the fire site. Shit, I thought to myself. That can’t be good. Two more growling voices rose.
The guard to my left pricked up his ears. But he didn’t turn to face the noise. Just listened. So I did the same. Those rotten gambling fools. One had apparently been caught cheating and pissed off the others.
I looked back towards the guard. He was still listening to the argument. I moved as quick as I could, making it through the clearing and back into the trees on the far side. Two buildings now stood to my left, and one on my right. I couldn’t really call them a house, but that was based on what I was used to.
I guess for the people of this world, a bunch of logs stacked together with a few open holes for windows and a bigger one at the ground for a door, was a house. The thatch roofing was caked in mud, and several clay bricks were stacked a few feet wide and went from the ground all the way past the roof top. A chimney I guessed.
I creeped inside the first building. It was dark, but I could see fairly well. Blood covered most of the ground and some of the walls. Next to the open pit, which is where the chimney was built around, was a box. It wasn’t exactly wood, though it felt like it.
The smell was of iron though. And it had a small latch on the front of it. I carefully undid the hook, and when I flipped it open, I almost screeched in delight. Smoked meat! It was dried and chewy, and the flavor was smoky and spicy.
My mouth watered as I bit into the first piece. I didn’t even hesitate to hoist the whole box up into my arms. It wasn’t very big, but it was way heavier than it looked. I glanced around the rest of what I now considered and old timey mountain cabin.
Several piles of hay with animal hides stretched over them lay in one corner, definitely beds. The other had a smooth basin with what looked like a well pump hanging over it. A wash tub? Sink? Wow, so these people were almost like the ones from my world, just several hundred if not thousands of years behind.
Now I really started to feel sorry for them. Snuffed out before ever even learning how far technology could really take them. Anger began to overtake the sorrow. J had done this and had given no reason as to why.
I snuck back out and over to the next cabin. Chewing more jerky as I walked into the second house. I found another box similar to the one I already carried. This one had more of the same jerky in it. Instead of trying to carry two boxes I just emptied the second ones contents into the first.
Now it was packed so full I couldn’t clasp the lid shut. So I stuffed my mouth with jerky until the pile could be squeezed in tight enough to do so. When the lid was locked down, I still had three pieces of meat hanging from my mouth. It had been long enough since I’d eaten that I just kept chewing like the beast I guess I really was.
More hay beds and the same type of water and basin in the back of the cabin. This one had a set of stairs in it though. Which I found odd, I didn’t think this place had a second story. It sure didn’t look like it from the outside.
I started up the flight of stairs, and when my head was level with the top. My eyes opened wide and my mouth fell open, dropping the small remains of jerky.
A small child was huddled against the tree that the house was built next to. The roof blending seamlessly into the curve of the trunk. The second floor wasn’t anything more than a crawl space. To small for an adult to fit in. But this child had managed to squeeze all the way to the back of the small space.
“Hey! What are you doing in here little girl?” A barking voice suddenly rang out from below.
I jumped slightly. My lips pressed tight together, I hadn’t noticed anyone coming into the house behind me. I came half way back down the ladder. My only hope was to hide the fact that a surviving kid was still up here.
“I found some food.” I showed him the box with my new provisions loaded inside.
“Well, J told me to find you and bring you back. He isn’t happy about loosing the kid. Get down and let’s go.” His last words were a demand. I didn’t even hesitate to jump down to the floor and started towards the door. The wolf man was still peering at the hole in the ceiling were I had been standing.
“You found that box up there?”
“No, I found the box in another house. I found nothing up there.” I hoped the lie sounded believable.
“There wasn’t anything up there at all?”
Shit, he didn’t believe me. I had to say something to keep him from finding that boy. And I was starting to believe that this kid might be what J was looking for now. If J was here looking for a young boy, and the pack had lost him while they killed their way through the village. Then this one survivor I had chances upon was more than likely him.
“I didn’t see anything that interested me anyway.” I tried. Knowing it wouldn’t work.
“Well then, maybe I should take a peak and...”
“But, J said he wanted me back. Now, right?” I interrupted. He winced slightly.
“Yea. That’s very true.”
“Then we should get going.” I motioned to the door. Hoping my motivations would sway his fear of the brute.
“I’ll just tell him it took a few extra minutes to find you.” His smile was wicked. He had seen through my ruse and was sure something was in that attic.
He dashed to the ladder. More like took one step and was there. I reached out and grabbed the ladder halfway up to block him. He was snarling in my face, the dark skin and shinning white teeth were on full display. The dark grey inside the light brown of his eyes swirled.
I could see his human features slowly turning more lupin. His growl went from low and slow to a bark and gnashing teeth. I ducked back and away just in time. Next he struck out at my chest with his hands. It forced me to fall back off the ladder and out of his way. Before I could pick myself up off the floor he had reached the top of the ladder.
“Well, well.” He snickered. “What a prize indeed. Come on boy’o.”
I could hear the poor kid whimpering and trying to get as far away as possible. I reached up and pulled down on the male wolfs tail. Yanking him down to the floor, he yelped. And yelped again as I kneed him in the side.
I could feel my adrenaline pumping. The hair on my arms growing. The beast coming out from within me. I kicked the beta male across the room. His whimpers were now filling my ears.
“Get out.” I growled. Giving all of the dominance I could into those words. He didn’t even get up to his feet, instead crawled on all fours to the door. Then he ran. I sighed in relief.
“Ok kid, he’s gone.” I said to the little wolf shifter in the attic. Cause now that I had all my senses back to this level, I could smell it on him.
“You can stay hidden there and hope to not get noticed again. But I can’t guarantee that that guy will keep his mouth shut about you. There’s probably going to be a whole lot more coming to find you now.”
The kid poked his head out of the hole. His eyes curiously pinned on me. I hadn’t shifted back to my human form yet. His light grey hair and ears were a complete opposite to my blue ones. I reached an arm out and waved him over. He came down the ladder slowly and stood about two feet from me.
“Well that’s good.” Now I gotta figure out what to do with him. It’s not like J wouldn’t notice me smuggling a kid on board his ship. Let alone the exact kid he was looking for. Could I somehow run off with the kid and live off the land here? No. They would just hunt us down.
I could maybe get to one of the ships though and try to fly it somewhere else. I had no idea how to fly or what I would even be flying towards. Space was a totally unknown for me. I sat down in a huff.
“Well kid, do you have any ideas on how to get out of this?” I asked sarcastically.
He just shook his head at me and sat down next to me. Well I suppose I just hope J is in a forgiving mood. Or what would be as close to it as he could get, when he showed up. Which wouldn’t be long now. I could hear the sounds of several of the shifters approaching. I stood again. Putting myself directly in between the doorway and the wolfling behind me.