By Katie Heffring
An invisible suit drops to the ground and a huge man, maybe twice the size of Nort, stands erect before us. He looks like a solider nay…a gladiator. His shadow casts over us like a dark ominous cloud. Dot and I tremble while Nort gets up in his face,
“Who the hell are you? I had those bird beasts!”
But the gladiator-man pushes Nort aside and kneels next to one of the corpses. He opens a small test tube and sprinkles its contents over the huge bird creature. Then immediately torches it. The bird beast’s body turns to ash in only a matter of seconds.
“Hey! Come on! Wouldn’t the fire attract more of those things!?” Nort grabs the man’s arm.
The man looks down at Nort’s hand. A deep throaty growl causes Nort to take a long step back.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“Me names MacDougall,” he stands up and moves to another corpse.
“I’m Sega. This is Dot and this is Nort.” MacDougall silently nods at us. I continue, “So…um…why are you doing that?”
“Because the corpses are howfin’ me lassie an’ err’s a wheen more frightening things round ‘ere then these boughin’ bastirts.” He lights up another. SNAP! Like a magic trick, a brilliant green and blue flame bursts in front of our eyes and leaves another pile of ash.
“Hold on a second! I want to take one back to a pod.” Nort runs to a bird and begins to laboriously drag it away from MacDougall.
“Aye right! Sounds like a plan to bait us, it does!”
“Look man, I think we ought to find out what we’re dealing with here! Dot agrees with me. Don’t you?”
“Well, I suppose what Nort’s suggesting is logical…We should take one back at least.” Before MacDougall can respond, Nort drags the bird beast as fast as he can to his pod. Dot rolls her eyes and sighs, “He’s gonna need my expertise.”
Both MacDougall and I notice the bright red trail of blood leading straight to our pods.
“Spunkfarter,” MacDougall grumbles.
My laughter raises the left corner of MacDougall’s mouth, but only a little bit. We continue to burn the corpses. I can’t say I’m not enjoying this.
“So how do you know that worse things are out there?”
“Aye, well, ah’m a hunter love.” He lit the last bird beast. This time the flame burst higher than him.
“Hunter? Why would the UN deploy a hunter?”
“That’s hunters. Those bastirts didnae drap us ‘ere to test the radiation and look around. Nah, they want us to exterminate any an’ every threatenin’ creature.”
“Geez…How many hunters are there then?”
“Ah say there’s maybe hunners of us.”
“Hundreds? But most life on Earth’s probably died after the war.”
“Nae, love…Ya wouldnae believe what I found I me radar. Common, ah show ya!”