One of the most terrifying people I have ever defended myself against.
Apocalypse: The Memoir
So you’ve come to watch.
Indy flinched. She was pretty sure she had not come to watch but ascertained that he liked the idea and decided to go with it. She dropped her hatchet into her belt loop on the back of her pants.
She watched for an excruciating thirty heartbeats.
I wonder, is it safe making all this noise?
Magic Andrew stopped drilling. The only noise that remained was the drone of the generator working away somewhere below them.
Magic looked at Indy and then down at his work. He unscrewed the vice and freed the white thing he had been drilling and tossed it at her. Her brand new shell-monster honed reflexes did not disappoint and she caught it mid-air, if only by the tip. She turned it over in her hand so she could feel it and look inside. It was a familiar texture. It was a bone. He had been drilling out the marrow and polishing the outside. Indy resisted the urge to fling it back at him.
I’m making chillums.
Indy had no idea what that meant, but felt sure it had something to do with smoking pot. She dug deep to find some enthusiastic tones.
Yeah. Waste not want not, I always say. Take a look and help yourself if you want to pitch in, I have an endless supply.
Magic gestured royally towards the corner of the room.
In the corner there were dozens of burlap sacks, stuffed to the brim. She opened the top one and untied the twine bow that had been keeping it closed.
A flesh-free human skull stared vacantly up at her. Not a ’dillo head. Not a rotted, long-dead human skull retrieved from inside a ’dillo head. No. Just a normal human skull, like the useless one on her shoulders.
In all of her ’dillo hunting, Indy had not encountered any hard carvable human bones. They got brittle, like an octogenarian with osteoporosis, as they rotted away in there. As though the human corpse inside was being used like yolk.
Dread fell like a wet wool shawl onto Indy’s shoulders. She was not sure what was going on but every nerve in her body was screaming run. Killing and evading the shell beasts was one thing, but she had watched Magic Andrew drop dozens of them with a gifted dexterity that had, well, seemed like magic. It had impressed her. She was not sure if she could best him. She knew she could not. She needed to run.
I am supposed to protect Brian, Indy thought, but my lack of care might have killed us. She had been so tired and eager to accept a safe place to sleep because a night in the car seemed so uncomfortable. Worse still, her stupidity might have gotten them turned into a horrifically fancy way to get Magic high.
She refused to become marijuana paraphernalia.
Leaving the sack of human bones, she wished Magic would start drilling again because she knew he could hear her heart pounding in her chest. She set the human bone chillum thing down on Magic’s table and crossed the room to the door in a single movement. She had to get Brian and get out of this nail-free, blessed place.
Indy’s ears had closed up. All she could hear was the sound of her own blood working.
She fled the outbuilding, hatchet handle swinging from her belt loop and slapping her ass as she ran. She found Brian in bed asleep.
Brian only blinked. Indy slapped him roughly.
Indy had never felt anyone press a penis into her so, despite Andrew choking her to death, she was caught up in that sensation. His body weight flattened her diaphragm; his leather hands engulfed her neck. She writhed under him, slapping his trousers and shirt. The room filled with human bone dust. I survived my childhood. I survived ’dillo attacks and Eldontown – to be killed by Magic?
Waves of unconsciousness lapped at her until she was drowned.