Turning lycan had made the stench worst, not better. Shannon couldn’t help but winch at the smells. A moment later she caught Kelsey’s and Rance’s, and wasn’t surprised to find them back in the freezer. If they stayed there too long, Kelsey would be doing the undead werewolf’s work for them.
The sour bologna and strawberries reek became stronger. She edged closer to the diner counter. It came from behind there. She gave a fast look over her shoulder and wasn’t surprised to see Deidre and Helfron trailing eight feet behind her.
She scowled, motioning for them to go back to the office. Neither retreated. In fact, Deidre offered her middle finger as a rebuttal.
“Smart ass,” growled Shannon as she moved toward the counter. It was a terrible hiding place, behind the counter. With the odor being strong and the place an obvious choice to hide, Shannon felt bad for what she now assumed had been a newborn lycan before being infected with something worse.
She gave the hand sign to show that she found their quarry. Again, she held out her hand, showing that she wanted them to stay back. This time they obeyed.
She moved around the counter’s edge. The smell was stronger and seemed to take up the entire area. Shannon choked back a small burst of vomit in her throat. That had never happened to her before in lycan form, and she had grown past tired of experiencing new things while in her werewolf suit.
With uneasy nerves reverberating through her body, she rushed around to the back. Nothing. Shannon looked around in confusion. Her target should have been there; his scent was unmistakable.
She moved closer to the scent focal points. She found a patch of hairy skin, still glistening bloody red, plastered onto a plastic pitcher. Her eyes widened and she knew instantly that she had been led into a well-executed ambush.
Who’s the newbie now? Damn rook, she thought, turning to where she was certain the werezombie would be; on her right. To most lycanthropes she was a newborn, but she had more kills than werewolves three times her age. Still, she felt young and stupid. But it wasn’t there either.
Instead its two clawed hands exploded from the wall behind her. Splintered wood and drywall flew out, hitting her in the head and neck. “Come here, bitch!” it screamed in a harsh male voice.
She wanted to be clever and comment on his choice of clichéd monologue, but the element of surprise was his, and he wasn’t playing around.
He grabbed her wrist, wrenching her arm in a pain filled motion behind her back before lifting her over the counter. Shannon didn’t remember hitting Deidre or Helfron before bouncing off the floor and into the jukebox. She hit it so hard that The Man Comes Around began to blare from it.
She certainly heard the trumpets and pipers screaming in her head. If she didn’t act fast, everyone would be getting to know those fabled one hundred million singing angels.
The unmistakable sound of a .45 caliber pistol barked its intentions followed by the more annoying yap of a 9mm. Deidre and Helfron were giving everything they had.
Shannon heard and felt the shots’ impact mix with the brass casings tinkling musically on the checkered, Formica floor. And she heard the werezombie’s shrieks of pain.
Shannon found humor in being the bait for once instead of the closure. She didn’t mind it too much, but the pain in her arm kept her from laughing hysterically.
“Contact’s down,” Helfron yelled. “I think I got him!”
“Like hell. It was me. I dropped his ass,” said Deidre, inching forward. Her white tennis shoes squealed with each step. What she suspected was confirmed once she reached the wheezing werezombie.
“No offense, Dee, but I’ve been on the Highway Patrol Pistol Team for the past three years. I know I hit what I aim at.”
Deidre rolled her eyes before looking down at the wounded creature. Helfron was picking a hell of a time to have a pissing match. She decided to let the real her out to play.
“Shut the fuck up. Now’s not the time to beat your meat to the band. The wounds from your pansy ass nine are healing. I swear to God, you’re next to fucking useless, Denny.”
“If my gun had regular bullets in it, those wounds would be the same,” added Shannon, panting. She’d leaned against the wall and rubbed her face. She had never felt pain like this before. Of course, she’d never gone head to head with a lycan like this one before either.
Deidre’s head jerked up like she wanted to look at Shannon. Instead she muttered an annoyed shut up to Shannon.
Helfron stood beside her. The 9mm wounds were healing. The wounds from Shannon’s pistol stayed open. With each labored breath, blood threatened to spill out from the four holes in its chest before being sucked back inside.
Small black lines trailed away from the bullet holes, making their way along the body in all directions. The werezombie’s twisting face alternated between a human that looked to be in his fifties to a face whose skin was suffering necrosis to a face in between wanting to change into its lycan form. The body couldn’t decide which infection should overrun it if any infection at all.
The three silently watched the confused transformations. Someone had gotten a lucky head shot in. Shannon was grateful that neither of her friends was fighting to claim it.
The blood giving small spurts interested Shannon. She looked closer, taking note of the neatness around the hole. It was clear the head wound had come from Deidre’s sniper rifle. The head wounded was now doing as much damage as the silver coated bullets.
“Guess you’re my bitch,” Deidre said, taking aim with an empty pistol. “Shit. Well that won’t do at all.” She looked at the open slide and then to Helfron’s pistol. It was clear that he had ammo left. “I’ll give you the kill shot, cupcake.”
Helfron growled at the insult, but took the headshot anyway. Deidre stood nearby, scowling at what was coming next.
“Cunt, don’t you ever…” said Helfron enraged, turning to Deidre.
Deidre punched him full force, breaking his nose. “Next time you get the nerve to talk to me like you know me you’ll think twice.”
Shannon was stunned, Helfron was hurt and Deidre walked away to the office. She stopped and looked at them both. “I didn’t just give up my commission and walk away willy-nilly, buddy-boy. I resigned because I beat the crap out of my last client when I was JAG. He was a child-raping piece of shit that deserved the maladjusted face and twisted hands I gave him. And yeah, he was guilty. They couldn’t prove it was me in that alley, but goddamned right I did it. So don’t act like you fucking know me, because you don’t know dick.”
It was a day for revelations indeed. It was also a day that Shannon could’ve done without. Looking back, she was pretty sure that Greg was the smart one, not she. The Johnny Cash song played to the end. It was appropriate for the situation.