“So who is this Santa Claus guy?”
The Isle was in full swing by late-afternoon. Crowds swarmed the venders and inside was even worse with huddles around rickety conveyer belts and lines. The trio maneuvered around the town, ohhing and ahhing at the sights like tourist, The audience around them gawked and whispered. No one dared to meet their eyes, and many moved out of the way. Among the layers of dirt, some merchants had some interesting trinkets to sell, but unlike his companions Scott refrained from touching and messing with it all. Aleasa kept to his heels, poking and prodding some items when it peeked her fancy. Thomas on the other hand, knocked things over without much care, breaking sometimes.
Keeping an eye out for the kettle Hooligan wanted, Scott also was on the search for something else. Something slender, something thin. It was his very own staff that would appear in the same dimension he was in. The only problem was that he never knew where it would appear.
“Scott! Look at this windchime!”
He smiled over at Aleasa who held out a rusted windchime with forks dangling below, ringing out a decent pitch in the light breeze. He held a thumb out to her and turned back to his search. After looking through the bazaar, the old wheat mill, and at the bridge that was broken off, he sat down at the curb with a huff. The sky had streaks of orange, pink, and yellow running through it. He watched as the street urchins slowly evaporated into the slow coming darkness, the Isle suppressed by an eerie silence. Alone, he sat for some time.
Thomas and Aleasa found him right as the last of the sun had vanished and plopped themselves right at his side. Scott stayed silent.
“So what happened after the turbine came down?” Thomas asked with a glance at Scott.
“The pansy was all like ‘dude, you can’t do that! It’s structurally unstable without it!’” Aleasa snickered with a quick wave of her hand. “So over course I took to not only reversing that piece of junk, but then I set it so the blades would come off their axle and you would have loved to see where it went then!”
Pausing, she glanced at Scott, dazing and distant. She bumped shoulders with him. He slowly turned to her.
“What happened after the blades got lose?” He said quietly and flat.
“Scott, hey. What’s up?” Thomas scooted closer to him.
He shook his head and gestured for them to continue. Neither of them did, waiting on Scott to spill. Instead he stood up and rubbed his forehead, his breathe being heavier then normal. They watched as he paced back and forth, silent and labored.
“Scott?” Thomas carefully stood up and approached him.
He stopped suddenly with his back turned them, one hand over his eyes and one clutching his stomach. Aleasa stood up and backed away. Thomas froze. Scott then bent over and knelt on to the ground, a stifled sob coming from him. Dropping their bags, they rushed to his side as he continued to curl up.
“Scott? Talk to me. What is going on?” Thomas wrapped an arm around him desperate to get him up again; just to see his face.
“Scott, come on Scott. Get up please.” Aleasa sat on the other side trying to brush his hair and the sweat away.
On the ground, he choked on the sobs, squeezing around his stomach tighter and tighter. Nothing worked. The sweat continued to bead down his face, his chest tightening into a knot, there wasn’t enough air. Not for all of them. Heat rushed through him from somewhere unknown, and suddenly it was everywhere. In his hands, in his lungs, his bones, there was nothing like it.
Scott wouldn’t remove the hand over his eyes but Thomas and Aleasa could see what was happening. His pale skin darkened and crusted over into cool blue scales. Starting at his hands, they crusted over into black claws and scalely hands.
Thomas reached over to Aleasa and pulled away from him, rushing over to a nearby building. Rustling in his bag for a moment, he snapped the bag from Aleasa’s shoulder. She yelped as it did. After a moment, he sneered at her.
“Where the hell are the blood extras?” He bared his teeth at her.
“He drank them already. I couldn’t grab the ones in the basement.” Aleasa snapped back.
Thomas rolled his eyes. “So all that time I spent- It doesn’t matter.”
They rushed back to Scott who had progressed further into transformation up to his forearms. Both arms were now wrapped around his stomach and he looked up at them with tears in his eyes. Aleasa wrapped around his shoulders and pulled him up as Thomas pulled up his sleeve to show off his clean forearm.
“Scott, open up.”
One glance at him and Scott lurched against the ground, drool dripping despite of the pain.
“Scott come on, this is the only way.” Aleasa fought him keeping him off the ground. Glancing at Thomas, she bit her lip and nodded.
Taking a deep breath, Thomas grasped Scott’s head and forced it. Doing so, made Scott gasp and using it, he shoved his forearm into Scott’s mouth. The impact of the bite was instant. Suddenly there was nothing for Scott except the rush of hot liquid coming down his throat. The heat of the transformation subsided almost immediately, and it was all blood.
Above him Thomas winced and tried to not look as Scott bit down harder. Instead he kept eye contact with Aleasa, who made it easier for him by holding his chin up and faking a smile.
After a minute, Scott released the hold and sat up. Thomas released a shaky breath and collapsed in his lap, burring his own tears. Aleasa scooted closer to Scott and laid her head on his shoulder.
“He’ll be okay. You both will be okay.” She brushed a tear away.
Scott carefully brushed the dark curls, making sure not to scare Thomas. “It’s getting worse. We can’t stay for very much longer. Whoever this is, whoever I took hold of,” He gestured to his body.” I don’t think our anatomies match.”
Thomas took a shaky breath and sat up, holding his bare forearm close to him. “A don’t think a vampire and a spawn can share the same body. That was a bit too much, even for me.”
Scott pulled him closed, humming in agreement. He shimmed his shoulders slightly, bouncing Aleasa’s head. “It was a fun vacation while it lasted.”
Aleasa nodded and closed her eyes for a moment. “Too bad we didn’t tell anyone where we were going before we left.”
Scott chuckled. “Looks like we’re on our own,” He looked to her and smiled. “That’ the way we want it right? Me, you, and curly-shirely here.”
Thomas sat up with a grin. “Why do I let you two talk me into these things?”
Scott and Aleasa smiled dramatically big at him. “Cause you’ll be bored without us.”
Standing up and collecting their things, Scott took a moment to look at Thomas’ forearm. Bruised and scared, there was a clear bite with the deepest marks at the canines and incisors. Following the curve there was a light indent of molars on his arm as well.
“It’s not the worse that’s ever happened.” Thomas chuckled awkwardly.
Scott raised a brow at him. “Really?”
Thomas’s slight smile dissipated. “No, no. That may have been. Please don’t get that thirsty again.”
Scott released his arm and shrugged. “With the spawning, I can’t tell if I am or not. It’s really confusing up here.” He knocked on the side of his head and gave a sheepish smile
Aleasa shook her head. “We didn’t sacrifice that orphan for no reason Scott.”
“I thought that was to get in contact with Guardian?” Scott narrowed his eyes and smiled.
Aleasa flipped her hand in a gesture of ‘either or’.
The two boys looked her over and snickered.
“Come on, it’s late. There’s a place nearby to sleep for tonight.” Thomas pointed to a brick building in sight.
The other two nodded and followed without a word. Inside, it was oddly painted with weird portraits, symbols and the phrase ‘long live evil’ all over.