Monday, August 4, 2014
The Solution in a Jif
Ewan and Maureen helped each other out of the mammoth poo and wiped each other off as well as they could. This meant shedding what remained of their clothes. Ewan didn’t mind public nudity, especially in front of a woman. Especially since he could now happily stare at Maureen’s sweet little tits. They made his mouth water, in spite of the stains and the pungent aroma permeating the air. Yep, true love for sure.
Maureen clearly wasn’t as comfortable with nakedness as a shifter, and tried to distract herself by focusing on the matter at hand. “Atcheson’s still headed for Talbot’s Peak. He’ll stomp it to bits just for the heck of it. He’s not just an a-hole, he’s a psycho a-hole. Getting changed into a giant mutant mammoth didn’t do him any favors.”
Much as Ewan would have enjoyed a romp in the woods with his favorite naked lady, even he had to concede now was not the best time. “We should join up with Dante. He’s set up a defense line at the creek. If Dumbo makes it past them there’ll be no stopping him. Hope Dante’s rustled up some weapons. Like a dragon, maybe.”
“You have dragons?”
“Just the one that I know of. We’re a pretty open town.”
Maureen hugged her arms over her breasts, and Ewan muttered swears. “Pity they don’t have some peanuts. That’d stop him for sure.”
“Peanuts for the elephant? Well, if he stops to eat ‘em—”
“No, not that. He has an allergy. A really bad one. Just the smell of peanuts gives him a rash. If he swallowed some, jeepers, anything could happen.”
“Hold up there. You’re serious. Are you sure about this?”
Maureen made a sour face. “I was the group girl, duh. Guess who had to do all the cooking and grocery shopping? Atcheson was really specific about what he wouldn’t eat. Every time Ted had a candy bar Atcheson would pitch a fit. Especially Reese’s. It wasn’t hard to figure out.”
“So if we got him to swallow a Snickers he’d keel over?”
“Probably. He’s still mostly Atcheson genetically. If the allergy carried over—”
“We can stop him in his tracks.” It was a wild, off-the-wall idea, just the kind that appealed to coyotes. “I need to shift for a minute,” he told her. “Try not to scream.”
Maureen massaged her throat and offered up a wry grin. “I’m pretty much screamed out.”
Ewan couldn’t answer. His mouth was now a muzzle. Dante needed this new information, and a howl would travel faster than their feet. He lifted his head and filled his throat and sent his song out into the air, in the hopes wolf ears would pick it up.
# # #
Cochrane pointed. “There he is!”
The point wasn’t really necessary. A four-story-high mutant werewolf/mammoth hybrid was pretty easy to spot. He’d reached the open stretch of road that angled down toward the creek. If he made it past the bridge, it was only two miles to Talbot’s Peak. Even if the town was prepared, there would still be damage and injuries, maybe even casualties.
The monster wouldn’t cross the bridge. Even if Dante had to drive his motorcycle down its throat and choke it.
He turned to Rafe. “Is she still on his back?”
The golden eagle shifter shaded his eyes. “I don’t see anybody up there. Let me check.” He spread his arms, which shifted to wings, and sprang into the air. Cochrane and Turkle, more pragmatic, continued loading their elephant guns.
The long grass at the side of the road shivered and a wolf emerged. He loped up to Dante, where he shifted. Deuce hunched over with his hands on his knees and gulped in breaths. “Ewan,” he gasped when he had enough air. “Back there. Had a plan.”
It must not have worked, because the beast was still coming. Dante peered grimly at the rapidly-approaching Hellephant. “He’s not slowing,” he said, “and we can’t wait any longer. Will those things bring it down?”
“If we hit the right spots,” Turkle said. He and Cochrane nodded to each other. “We’ll hit the right spots.”
Off to the side, Syprelli stared in horrified fascination at the lumbering mammoth. She was not a fighter. Dante had expected her to shift and bolt well before now, but she’d held her ground, determined to do whatever she could to help. His admiration for the Pegasus shifter increased.
Rafe swept back and circled overhead. He shifted while still in the air, and landed hard. “Nobody’s up there,” he reported. “It’s just Jumbo by his lonesome. I didn’t see Ewan, or the werewolf or the girl.”
“Then we’re clear,” Dante said. “Fire at—”
Then he heard the song, the long coyote howl of trills and yips. The mammoth paused in mid-step, snorted through his trunk, and kept coming. “What—” Cochrane started.
Dante chopped his hand through the air for silence. He and Deuce listened intently to the coded message inside the howl, translatable only to canine ears.
When it ended, Deuce blinked at Dante. “Peanuts? He wants us to fight it with peanuts?”
“Food allergy,” Dante deduced. “Cochrane. Did your man have a food allergy?
“Is that what it was?” Cochrane said. “I thought he was just a prissy boy. Damn finicky about his food. Worse’n a goddamn cat.”
Dante had already tuned him out. “Your place is closest,” he said to Turkle. “Do you have any peanut products?”
“Hell yeah,” Turkle said. “Peanut butter. Buckets of it. The missus makes her own. She baked a batch of cookies this morning. There might be some left.”
“If we can get him to ingest some, it might slow him down, maybe even stop him completely. Rafe—”
“I’ll go,” Syprelli said. “I’m no good in a fight.”
“You’ll need someone to carry it. Will you take a rider? Deuce.”
Deuce saluted and darted toward Syprelli. Where the girl had been now stood a red horse with crimson-feathered wings. Deuce asked permission before he got on. He clung tight to her mane.
“Password’s ‘giblets,’” Turkle said. “Better yell it as you come in. The missus don’t know you two, and she’s got dead aim.”
“Got it,” Deuce said. His words were whipped away as the horse leaped skyward. She and her rider shot over the trees.
Far closer than he’d been only moments before, the mammoth lifted his trunk and trumpeted. He’d spotted the enemy. Tiny eyes narrowed in hate, he charged the bridge.
# # #
No, I didn’t pull the allergy bit out of my butt. I set up that plot point weeks ago, in this entry here. Even pantsers can plot now and then. (smug grin)