The war was over, but the nightmare of it lingered. It would pale in comparison to the nightmare that was about to begin. At first, Evan Jennings thought it was a dream, locked in a cage with a beautiful woman, but then the maniac in black showed up. It was obvious he wanted something from the girl, but what did he want with Evan?
Macy had been a lone wolf for a long time. Never really fitting in when it came to any pack structure, she’d spent most of her life blending with the human population. Her knack for choosing when to shift rather than having it dictated by the phases of the moon made it easy for her until Matthew showed up.
How was she supposed to know that Matthew was actually The Hangman, Mathias Young? Now she was here, locked in a cage with a hapless human male who had no idea what the real monsters looked like, or that she was one of them.
“Evan, I need you here,” I said and he got up into the back of the truck with me, pulling the gate closed.
“What do you need me to do?”
“Ava, drive!” I called out and the truck lurched into motion. “I need you to hold pressure here,” I said and laid gauze over the cluster of wounds in Remus’ back.
This was going to be a long drive, and the longer we took, the worse Remus could get. With lead bullets, we had another sort of problem than with silver… our bodies liked to heal with them still inside, and I couldn’t let that happen. I prepped Remus for the crudest, worst case scenario type of surgery right there in the back of the truck.
“Macy, what are you doing?” Evan exclaimed and I pursed my lips…
“Saving his life, now hold him down.”
I dug a pair of forceps out of my bag and took a deep breath, plunging them into the first wound tract, seeking out the foreign body inside. Remus jerked, waking and bellowed. He tried to rise from the bed of the truck, and my worst fear was realized… his arms worked relatively well, his legs, not so much. From about the chest down, his movement was impaired. I needed the bullets out before the damage became permanent.
I stopped long enough to pull a belladonna decoction out of its place in my kit, pulling the cork on the vial with my teeth and pressing the lip of the small bottle past his teeth. Remus choked and went to spit but I shouted at him, “Drink it!”
He choked it down, and his eyes rolled back in his head, which I caught before it could thud against the bed of the truck. I set it down slowly.
“Isn’t this like, totally unsanitary and dangerous?” Evan asked, concerned.
“We don’t get infections unless it’s silver…” I snapped and immediately felt bad for it. He didn’t know. I muttered, “I’m sorry, now hold him down.”
Evan nodded and it was much easier for him after that. I got the first bullet and the second. We pulled into the lot behind the pool hall and bar just as I ripped the third from his flesh.
I gasped and wiped sweat and blood from my brow, just as the back gate of the truck dropped. Ava stared at me wide-eyed in shock and I returned the look, grim.
“I got them out, but I can’t be sure about fragments and any permanent impairment. I need him on a table and to do more work. Slow down his body’s natural healing ability, we have to move, quickly!”
Taking normal bullets for us wasn’t typically a terribly big deal. It wasn’t like they portrayed in the movies all of the time, though. While our bodies rejected them, it wasn’t fast or instantaneous. It took a long time if it ever happened. Sometimes our bodies simply grew around the foreign bodies, which wasn’t bad until the spine was compromised. Then, like anyone else, we could become paralyzed and no amount of physical therapy or modern surgery would fix it. The body would have healed that way, and even if the bullet were removed, that would be it.
Text Copyright © 2017 A.J. Downey & Ryan Kells
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
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