I don’t even get a chance to apologize as Perri’s right wing shot out and she delivers me the harpy equivalent of an open-handed slap.
Yeah- I definitely had that coming.
“You ass! What are you even doing!?” Perri hisses as I rub my cheek. Even though she doesn’t raise her voice, the harpy’s anger is still palpable.
Well, damn- that’s the million dollar question right there.
“Perri….I can explain….” I begin, but she cuts me off as her left wing shoots out and I’m on the receiving end of another harpy-slap.
Come on now- I can’t explain if she’s going to keep smacking me. Still, I should be extremely glad she hasn’t decided to use her talons or capoeira acumen on me.
“What’s wrong with you!?” she asked, never raising her voice, but making her agitation quite apparent.
Nope- not gonna dignify that question with a response. I keep quiet as I suddenly catch a whiff of formaldehyde.
“You’re making this too easy, Custer.” a voice familiar taunted.
God damn it- of course it had to be Zombina. FUCK! That smirking ginger zombie had to be enjoying every moment of this.
“Tell that chopper to move to the assembly area- I can’t fly five feet thanks to the rotor wash!” the cupid barked to somebody over the radio.
“Ma’am- this is a crime scene.” I can hear one of the other officers say. “I’m going to have to ask you to keep back.”
Only she wasn’t talking to Zombina.
“Hold up! Hold up!” another familiar voice called out.
The pushy raccoon-dog drew incredulous glares from the cupid and zombie as she made her way through the police cordon as though she was daring anybody to stop her.
“I’m sure you girls would get in really big trouble with the U.S. Attorney’s Office if their big case got thrown out because my client was roughed up while in your custody.” Akagane continued, looking around reproachfully at Bina, the cupid and other officers still in tactical gear.
“The Pamper Me?” Youko warily answered. Raza clapped her paws together.
“Yeah! That’s it. Oh I’d love to go, but I don’t have a free weekend again for like, a while. At least until after Stephen’s birthday in February.” Raza was at her red Civic ready to step in. Lola was still half celebrating as she glided into the driver’s side of her Toyota van.
“I think my Aunt’s family owns it. I got a weird email this morning, but uh, she wanted me to invite some friends to try it out early. If you, uh, want.”
Both of Youko’s coworkers ran back to her side in an instant.
“Anta-wa…… Tanuki desu.” the canine lawyer growled in Japanese, which I found endearing for some reason. “Anyways- I’m way ahead of you, Buckaroo.”
“Way ahead of me…how?”
Instead of answering my question right away, she looks around to see if Zombina is paying attention.
She’s not- her attention is directed at the field for now. Apparently she’s digging the band’s performance much more than either one of us.
Akagane begins rummaging through her purse and pulls out a copy of the Llano County Argus-Prospector before giving it a cursory look. She then pulls a leaf from her considerable cleavage and with a small puff of smoke, the newspaper changed into something else.
A comic book. The art style looked like some sort of manga and the cover art…..
“Why? So you can get drunk and make me sleep in the barn again?” she asks loud enough for everyone to hear.
That flying fucking bullshit artist. I can’t see from down here, but I’m sure she has that infuriating smirk right now.
I grit my teeth.
“That’s…..” I begin to say through the megaphone. This wasn’t a mistake or a misunderstanding on her part- she was straight-up lying about my treatment of her in front of pretty much the whole county. Instinctively I was going to say “That’s not true” but then inspiration struck me.
Why not fight her bullshit with more bullshit?
“That’s because you keep dive-bombing my schnauzer! The poor thing is terrified of you now!”
Oh the look on her face. She’s been getting used to goading and teasing me, but not being on the receiving end of such treatment. The surprise and indignation on Perri’s face was visible even from my lowly position on the ground, and it was sweeter than any gooey, caramel covered confectionary.
“Get off me, GET OFF ME!” The man screams, as the shambling hoard greedily lunges at his flesh. The mass of writhing bodies collapses onto the floor on top of their victim as he howls bitterly in despair. Cold, pale hands hungrily claw all over his body, desperately pulling and tearing wherever they can as their prey screams and struggles against inevitability.
One inhumanly strong hand greedily clutches its victim by the shoulder and its owner crawls up to the desperately thrashing man’s face. The creature opens its mouth full of razor sharp teeth and-
Affectionately nuzzles his neck
“Oh for fu- CUT!” This is the fourth time this afternoon. I don’t care if it takes all day, these girls are going to do it right.
“But I thought that went really well!” The Zombie pouts, still straddling her victim.
I get up off my directors chair. It’s technically a carp fishing chair, but it helps me feel like the real thing. It’ll have to make do until I prove myself through this project. “Where’s the aggression? Where’s the inhumanity?”
“Well, I am raping him, you can’t get more aggressive than that!” She argues, hands on hips. I can see this isn’t going to be easy.
“What? No, you’re supposed to be eating him.”
“WHAT THE FUCK!?”
“Obviously not for real!” Fuck Craigslist, these extras are terrible even by the usual standard. “Grab a bunch of those organs over there and just cram them in your mouth, like you’re-”
“BUT I’M VEGETARIAN!”
“Wait, we’re the bad guys?”
I look around- surely it isn’t the redhead with patchwork skin on her face in the black and yellow jacket. She looks like she’s all business, and right now her business was babysitting this mysterious new guest and Smith. There was the other one off on the property somewhere that I caught a glimpse of on the way in.
As I turned to look around for her, I was aware of a darkness sweeping over me. It wasn’t a cloud- it was something else. Looking up, I briefly catch a silhouette of something with a distinctly feminine outline swooping down on me from above, a pair of outstretched feathery wings backlit by the glare of the sun.
Time stands still and that thought is quickly dispelled as something big whizzes by my head. Instinctively I raise my arm to shield my face, but the looming figure is gone just as quickly as she’s shown up.
And so is my Stetson.
I wheel around, not finding it on the ground right away. Still unsure of what’s going on, I see my hat being clutched in a pair of talons as a giant bird noiselessly flaps its wings over by Smith and the redhead. Only I can now see that its not a bird as the talons clutching my headgear hover a few inches off of the ground.
It’s a woman. A beautiful woman with feathery arms and a surprisingly voluptuous human figure whose legs tapered off to giant talons beneath the knees. The arms almost immediately taper off into almost surfboard-sized wings starting at the shoulder.
How can she fly with such a buxom figure? I thought harpies were supposed to be petite and slender for better flight efficiency. Her hair is platinum- almost white and she’s wearing a pair of denim cutoffs and a light colored tank top with spaghetti straps seemingly struggling to contain a rather impressive bust. With a quick kick of her talons, my hat was now being held loosely in one of her wings- a small clawed hand barely visible among her plumage as she hovers next to Smith.
Save for a tiny disdainful smirk flashed my way, she shows next to no emotion as she alights next to the woman in the dark suit.