Kaigun: Steampunk Chapter 2

The Woodcutter’s Homestead, Yakutsk, 2050

Andreii Michal was dreaming. He always liked the hour before waking up , when hi sdreams seemed most vidid and because, sometimes, he could control how they worked out. This dream had a redhead.

From swarthy mongolian stock, Michal had never even seen a redhead except in pictures. He had a magazine...

She was impossibly tall, this redhead, tall, friendly and yet under-dressed for the Siberian peninsula, in a flippy skirt that allowed the wind to ripple it, and to allow Michal to imagine it might blow up to reveal matching fuzz down below. Her soft muscles flashed when she walked. She was not even wearing any boots! Instead cream colored slippers just like the girl from the magazine.

“What are you looking at Michal?” she crooned, suddenly coming in close, much much too close! Her eye looked mischievous, staring right into his as though reading all the dirty intentions off the afterimages on his retina. He could almost see down the dress, he surely could see if he only glanced down, she was so close, but he dared not break her gaze. Somehow he knew that to flinch would be to lose her, to excite her ire.

Suddenly she reared back, looking somewhere else as though bored with him now, tisking with a hiss to show disapproval. As she tossed her head that beautiful fall of merlot hair coruscated across the whole view. It was the color of stained cherry wood, or old roses, or clotting blood, iridescent like feathers and just as soft. Transfixed he reached to touch it.

“Come, turn back to me little bird,” and she did again suddenly, close enough now to kiss, her eye seemed the size of a grapefruit. Michal reached out, with his tongue too, wondering if she would taste like grapefruit, but he felt himself waking. The horror of losing the dream, this dream of the milky, freckled girl and her garnet hair. No!

But the pull of waking reality was calling him strongly. She winked at him, one time, a deliberate, reptilian action the lid translucent so that even then she could see his soul quake. He touched the beautiful hair, feather soft... She cocked her head to regard his impudent hand. Abashed and awake now he would snatch it back, but she was gone and instead the bird’s razor beak, snipped his hand off cleanly below the elbow, a gush of red blood smearing her perfect, soft auburn feathers. She was a bird after all, 9 feet tall and 4000 pounds of carnivorous predator.

“Raaaaaaauuk!” Screeched the hunter, and rammed its head into the window, though only half way, it was too small.

Screaming, everyone else in the cabin ran in circles, crazy with fear. Sonja, her mother Eeinut, and the father Borsven all lurched and yelled. Borsven grabbed for an axe and began hewing. Michael stumbled back a step, dazed and losing consciousness. Eeinut began tying something around his arm. Something grew heavy, wet and warm. “It feels comfortable,” was his last thought.

Father Borsven managed to lodge the axe in an eye socket, and the monster reared away, jerking the tool from his hands. A talon battered at the window, one foetid razor claw bursting through the heavy wooden windowsill like an awl through paper, clutching and tearing away timbers as it left. Another exploring grasp and it impaled Borsven by luck and he was pulled from the cabin in company with the next log. His screams cut short by crackling sounds. Eeinut saw her husband’s rib cage splintered by the hooked bill, saw the bird stretch its throat up like gargling to swallow the awkward shape of half a man. She flew out in a hopeless rage and also was eaten.

Sated then, and confused by it’s injury, the chicken wandered off, ducking to rub its ruined eye on the ground as though to scrape away the blindness. Then it thought of a hen and dashed off in a crash through underbrush.

No comments:

Post a Comment