Kean heard the casings hit the pavilion’s concrete floor one by one. That was the good news. It meant he was still alive. The bad news was that he now had three red hot bullets searing in his back, and he was lying face down in the muddy grass.
One thing was certain: he could use a drink.
Kean rolled over onto his elbow and shot blindly into the shadows under the pavillion, emptying his clip. He pushed himself to his feet and made a dash for the car.
Three more shots were fired and one caught Kean in the shoulder. He fell roughly to the cement in front of the car’s rear wheel. He dragged himself, as quickly as he could, to the other side of the car.
Where the hell was his backup? Where the hell was Faces?
Leaning against the wheel of the car, bleeding heavily, Kean realized that it had been a fairly rash decision to meet a French werewolf at a place called Bate Island. Apparently, the pun had been intended.
The information the werewolf had promised to impart, however, was too tantalizing to resist. Even the offer of information was in itself remarkable.
French and English werefolk rarely interact and the French werefolk never deign to interact with an English pleb. If the two solitudes was to be popped — and by the French side — it had to be for something serious. Something very serious.
Kean, for that reason, assumed the meeting would be legitimate. Why invite an English pleb to meet, if you’re only looking for a light snack? It doesn’t make any sense, when there are so many drunk English plebs walking the strip in Hull on any given Friday night.
Kean also hadn’t expected any gunplay, even if things went off the rails. Werefolk on either side of the river rarely packed heat. Of course, because the French werefolk did everything ass-backwards, Kean wouldn’t even be surprised if the bullets in his back were made out of silver.
God damn it, he needed a drink. Where in the hell was Faces?
Kean dropped to his belly and looked under the car towards the pavilion. He couldn’t make out any movement. He was tempted to squeeze off a few rounds, then, he heard the heavy panting above him. The werewolf was much faster than he had expected.
The good news was that Kean wasn’t dead yet. The bad news was that he would have to talk his way out of certain death, using his crappy high school French.
“Why are you doing this?” he asked in broken French. “You called the meeting.”
“You weren’t suppose to tell anyone about it,” the werewolf growled in flawless English.
“I didn’t tell anyone,” Kean answered, as he rolled over slowly, leaving his pistol on the cement.
The werewolf was uglier than Kean had expected. He had assumed the French werefolk would be a bit more stylish than their English counterparts.
“My people say otherwise,” snarled the werewolf. A pearl of bloody drool fell from one of his canines.
“Ok, clearly, there has been some kind of misunderstanding.” Kean sat himself up against the wheel of the car. “We can sort this out.”
“That’s not going to happen,” the werewolf spat, as he pointed his pistol at Kean’s head.
When the darkness of the the night shifted behind the werewolf, Kean assumed it was because he was about to black out. It was the sound of the large leathery wings that reminded Kean that he had turned his back to the pavilion earlier only because he had heard some kind of movement behind him in the darkness.
The leathery darkness enveloped the werewolf so quickly, it didn’t even have a chance to fire a round. The sound of the crunch was hideous. The werewolf’s body hit the ground in front of Kean, gushing blood from his headless neck.
Seconds later, the werewolf was human once more, just as headless, and the blood was already soaking through Kean’s pants.
Kean pulled himself up and watched the leathery darkness move across the night’s sky, silhouetted by the starlight.
It was a bat alright. A really big giant sized bat. Kean had never seen one so large. Ever.
Thankfully, it looked to be heading across the river towards Hull. As Kean sighed in relief, against the stars of the night, he saw it start to turn back.
“Goddamn it, Faces, where are you?” Kean shouted, as he fumbled with his pistol, struggling to reload.
As the thing came closer and closer, Kean realized that a 9mm round was unlikely to do much damage against it.
“I guess Nadine was right,” Kean whispered to himself. “No one lives forever.”
To be continued ….
Read Ep.1: The Rat.