Encounter 4

Sorry for my long abscess, I mean absence. I got shot in the shoulder and it’s taken me a while to recover. I’ve also been busy with running this town.

Let me begin at the beginning. Morning of the 12th I decided to take a hike through the woods around town. I had my yPhone in case I needed to call back to base and a packed ‘lunch’ from the diner, now officially called “Runner’s Fill”. I left Lord Westernra in charge and took myself out for a stroll.

It was pleasant enough. I circled the old spoil heaps and wandered south. Actually it was lovely, if chilly. I had on my M4 gear on to keep me warm but my jacket was open and I didn’t have on any of the severe weather gear. If anything I felt a little overdressed.

After a couple of hours of meandering through the forest I found a nice clearing and I sat on a fallen log to each my ‘lunch’. Mrs Eddie’s team had put together a nice hero sandwich and, beyond all belief, a Thermos full of chocolate milk. Ah memories. I was just washing down the last of the sandwich when I felt a sudden sharp pain in my right shoulder, right over an old scar from a case a few years back in Cottingley. I slumped from the log in agony and reached around. A thin shaft of wood had sprouted from my back. I plucked the shaft from my flesh and examined it as spots danced before my eyes. It looked like I’d been shot with a twig but I recognised it as Elf shot. Same weapon, same fucking place. Fucking Fae. The arrow head, I noticed, had not come out with the shaft. If it had been in my left shoulder it would probably now be burrowing it’s way to my heart. No promise it wasn’t anyway. I could me mere moments from death. I reached for my yPhone and lost conciousness.

The next thing I knew the sun was low on the horizon. I still lay slumped against the log where I had fallen, the shaft of the Elf shot still held limply in my blood stained fingers. I reached back again and prodded the wound. The skin had already closed and was beginning to swell from the toxin of the faery bronze pressing against my shoulder blade. Like I said, fucking Fae.

Then there was a pressure in my head and a dreamlike feeling spreading through the clearing. Then the entity was there. The pressure in my head increased; I used every trick and piece of training I had in mental defence and I was still fighting a losing battle. My eyes grew heavy and my head slumped forward. I saw something green flickering around my hand like an old neon tube on the cusp of failing or igniting.

There was a growl like a pride of lions and suddenly the pressure was gone. With what felt like my last ounce of strength I looked up. A blond bear had bowled the entity over like it was a bundle of sticks. The entity responded with its tentacles but the bear’s flesh seemed resistant to those bladed pseudopods. The two wrestled and clawed at one another, turning the far side of the clearing to flinders as they exchanged blows. I pulled my sidearm from its holster and swapped in the magazine with the monopole rounds. My hands shook as I took aim. For a brief moment time seemed to slow and the entity turned its back on me. I squeezed off two rounds straight at the entity’s centre of mass.

There was, I can’t really describe it. It felt like a pulse of psychic agony that rolled through the clearing. One moment the bear and the entity were wrestling and then the entity broke down, it’s body dissolving into a thrashing nest of tentacles. Then it was gone. The dreamlike feeling vanished with it.

The bear approached me, bleeding from numerous scratches. I tried to draw a bead on it and failed. As it neared it seemed to fall in on itself and there stood Jake, naked as the day he was born. Only hairier. Then Eddie junior loomed over me and I passed out again.

I recall very little of the journey back to Slender Falls. Just flashes. I think Eddie Jr. and Jake took turns in carrying me but I can’t be sure.

The next thing I knew was waking up in my bed the morning of the 14th. Dr Shi Feng had extracted the elf shot and patched me up. Cutty had apparently come over and gone elf hunting with a bow and cold iron headed arrows. Agent Mina had gone with her. Girls day out then.

So yes I’m still on antibiotics, serious antibiotics with traces of Oak and Rowan wood. My bandages have to be changed twice daily and the wound washed with holy water each time.

Anyway. I’ll update you more tomorrow.

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