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There was something wrong with that shit-smelling man-thing, beyond the obvious. Under the heavy, nobody smelled great. Maybe the ocean was trying to sneak in as humidity. Some of ‘em though, some of ‘em went wild in whole new way.
Roy should’ve past that one by, he knew. It had the kid marked and cornered. Roy was not the kid.
Roy was nearly as surprised as the man-thing, when his grandfather’s chiv got buried in its chest. The thing scratched, bit, and kicked like a bastard before going down.
The kid was smarter than Roy; he wasn’t even around to mumble thanks by the time the deed was done.
Within hours every abrasion, laceration, and bite throbbed in fever. A fever was a hell of thing, in the hot house below.
By the time Roy made it to his hidden access panel, pus oozed everywhere at the slightest pressure. Ragged breaths shook him to sleep.
He dreamed. Something about a woman in a long white coat, needles, and an onrush of cool air, was all he remembered.
He awoke sutured, fever-free, and surprisingly hydrated.
A strange and pleasant lightness resided in his stomach. He smiled, alone in the dark.
He had no word for the sensation filling his lungs.