Just outside, the flock thrashed wildly at the barrier between their prey. Loud, sporadic indentations formed solid bubbles of oncoming savagery. Resharn flipped his bed on its side to create a shield and positioned his decoy scarecrow behind the crook of the right side. He jumped to reach the bar above the latch and used his feet to create the momentum that would allow him to swing his body into the cramped crawl space above the entrance of his base. The heavily repetitive impact of the enemy was quickly replaced by clumsy gliding and the clatter of items caught in their path; shelves were dislodged, equipment upturned and furnishings torn, made damp or strewn during inspection. The beady eye or two appeared to hone in on Resharn as he quietly listened to the racket of his own encased machine. In no time the birds dissected the inner layers of the mattress and flapped wildly, squawking their frustration at the docile figure trapped behind the bed frame. Resharn reached back inside the carrier tube and pulled out two laced arrows, he was careful not to make contact with the paralysis inducing solution as he positioned one arrow and observed for a slither of an opportune moment.
Resharn knew his shot would have to be accurate and his hands would need to seamlessly coordinate the attack, otherwise too great a sound could lead to him being consumed. Rare. The birds continued to flap and butt the bars of the bed frame as they tried to remove it from its lodgings in the wall, fiercely determined to capture the stuffed human-shaped mound. Resharn’s finger appreared to hold their nerve as he pinched the back of one arrow and sent it zipping almost invisible into a bird. The quick and fatal shot sent the animal neatly on its back like a domino piece. Again Resharn drew an arrow and sent a shot cleanly through the space and then the top of another beastly bird. As he reached back for more arrows a bird’s beak nearly took his eye out but just above his brow he felt the wet warmth drip and collect in the hairs, Resharn involuntarily touched the area and looked at his fingers to observe the blood from the fresh wound site. The bird bit down on his hair and tugged strands in its retraction of the neck to stay in motion, Resharn called out in pain as he hit it to free himself then used his hands to crotch as low as he could go into the crawl space. He couldn’t hold the position for long and soon his bent leg position became unbearable, the cramp in his knees was too great to withstand he would be forced to fight back.
The birds were waiting; beaks noisily colliding with the entrance of his cramped barrack as they peered in, pecked and protested his challenge. Four birds and three arrows, Resharn could not afford to waste a single shot but the pain in his legs only grew worse the longer he attempted to remain. He forced himself forward and met the stench of a scavenging bird, the beak locked down on Resharn’s hood and he had to hook his feet around the lodged bow to spare himself from being immediately taken. The strength of the birds coming together to pull him out, made Resharn feel like the discs of his spine would easily shatter like glass. Resistance was excruciating as the back of his neck became raw and his arms threatened to be pulled from their sockets. Resharn bit down on his t-shirt in a last ditch effort to think of a different ending. Just as the birds’ pulled roughly and he felt his boots slip, Resharn threw his hands upwards. Balled fists to the line marking the start of the crawl space and wriggled one hand then the other free of the hooded top. He heard the crack and snap of danger in his left arm and wriggled it beside him as way of assessing that it wasn’t fractured oh good he thought to himself. Resharn stomped on the bow to free it from its horizontal fixing and quickly pinched an arrow that he sent into the hoodie masked brute. The bird rapidly fell with a resounding flop!!! A wing tried to flap but soon became motionless. One bird nuzzled their dead companion and gently removed the hoodie, whilst the other let out a terrifying shrill and rounded on Resharn. He knew he had angered the animal that left its spot and swiftly head-butted the inner roof of his crawl space. The bird moved intentionally at such a speed that he nearly received the hit, Resharn slithered as the mixture of fright and extertion yielded moist hands that required greater effort to propel his body backwards. The quick double thuds and sqwarks told Resharn that the birds would not stop until they had him. Resharn sighed and wiped the stickiness from his left hand then turned the arrow over and took another shot, as a bird banged into the entrance again. Resharn missed. His left hand tingled then became heavy as Resharn wracked his brain for his next move. He shuffled forward with the carrier tube and watched the birds hit the surface and retreat then repeat until he heard…no signs of retaliation except that of the wind. Resharn waited a few more seconds. He used his made clumsy left hand to scrape the fluid collected on the side of the tube, which he transferred to the ceiling of the hiding place and began to smear. A bird launched another attack this time meeting his fingers with such force that Resharn was sure to have heard the fracture, the bird pecked scratching at the floor of the space to get closer to him but failed only smudging more fluid on its head. It flapped a few times as it disappeared from view.
Resharn felt the fingers of his left hand become numb as he failed to grasp his last arrow. He cupped it instead in an infantile manner and pushed it out in front of him, then he palmar grasped the bow. Arrow in right hand he struggled to shuffle forward until he could see over the side and assess what was below…
Copyright Teherah Wheeler (©) 2017
Pic from: icequeen777.deviantart.com
Here’s a link to part 1 if you missed it.
Have a great weekend and all the best.