Sunny Side Up

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Supposedly sealed within a statue head, Ñox Cayù wakes up and latches on my arm. I guess I should scream and run now.


***


Have you ever felt like your arm was being crushed by a stone jaw? Well, it sucks a lot, thanks for asking. No matter how I shake and scream, it won't let go. 'It was supposed to be over' is the only thought that comes to my mind. Focused on... panicking, I lose my footing and roll a few meters down the path we came from. I'm bruised, battered, I feel like giving up. The possessed sculpted head still doesn't give a shit. It's made of stone.

I don't know what it intended to do once it got my arm, but apart from the pain, it doesn't seem to be good at anything. Maybe it's a reflex from when it was a big bad god that could kill or absorb in a single bite? For now all I think I'm gonna get is a violent bruise and possibly some broken bone. Damn it, it's like having been stuck in a blunt bear trap. How am I gonna get it off?

I keep falling and rolling for what feels like hours, but probably is just a minute or two, then I feel hands catching me and trying to grab my arm. Domenica. Please do something, it hurts, I don't know what to do about the pain. It's fucking grinding my bone. My eyes have gone seriously watery and I might be understating it. Through my blurred sight I see Nathan coming up to me, ripping away his amulet and holding his hands towards my arm. The stone head jitters and gets stiff, letting go of whatever's left of my arm. I would thank him with all I have, but I decide to faint instead. I deserve that much rest.


***


I was not the only one fainting that night. Nathan's mojo was all used up on me, and he collapsed right after he sealed up Ñox Cayù again. Domenica woke me up with a few slaps and a kiss on the forehead when I got to. Well, love slaps, nothing mean about it, she just needed help to carry the kid down the mountain. Well, he did most of the job here today, didn't he? Apart from me, running around and distracting the thing, I guess.

Going down feels a lot longer with the pressure off. I am also still carrying that gross stone head, now stuck with a strained and lopsided facial expression. That probably adds a lot to the feeling of weariness I'm feeling right now. Domenica told me the head was probably safe now anyway, with what Nathan did to it. Still, I'm not ready to carry it close to my body again. None of what we've done here today has exactly been science. Maybe it's not to late to be a little cautious about the magical stuff.

Half an hour to an hour later we're down the mountain, but we now realize that we'll have to walk the rest of the way home. There's nothing to feel panicky about, though. Nathan is sleeping soundly in Domenica's arms, acting like a kid for once in a while. Ñox Cayù's disappearance seems to have ended the weird weather and the temperature is steadily rising back to its usual summer levels. Behind the town, the sky gets bluer as dawn arrives. Domenica and I exchange a look and smile.

Yeah, we know what we're feeling. Relief. Tomorrow I might be upset again about the amount of bullshit we've been through in just a few days, but hey, we're alive. Tig is alive and so are my parents. The majority of the town is safe thanks to us. For now, I'll consciously omit the ones that were probably sacrificed in the process and hope I didn't know too many of them.

Some might say that I'm a selfish, heartless bitch for thinking like this. Well, they can go head-to-head with a giant monster, survive, then come back and tell me how I should feel. For now, I'm enjoying the walk home on a silent road. I'm taking in the cool wind blowing our way. Walking beside me is a girl who likes me, a partner who I have still to discover.

Life is kind of beautiful, when it's not trying to kill me.

Things continue to feel that way through the rest of the day, where we begin to realize just how much of the population had been brainwashed by the chicken god. People are walking around in the streets utterly confused, without any idea of what they've been doing these past few days. We pay a visit to the hospital for Nathan and my arm, just in case. It's filled to the brim with people who've scratched their skin open or otherwise found themselves ill or indisposed after Ñox Cayù used them like puppets. We three must be the only ones there in a good mood. Sorry, no way the ambient chaos can break our spirit. Not today. We'll be cheerful as fuck.

By the way, all they give me for my serious-looking bite bruise is a cream to rub on. Turns out, the stone teeth being roughly carved out and hundreds of years old saved me a good part of the complications. I'm lucky it wasn't a diamond skull or something.

All in all, things are as slow as they come. People gradually settle down, some of them sleeping right in the corridors in the middle of the day. There is that quiet sense of anarchy you get on field trips or occasions like that. My kind of mood.

Nathan comes out of the doctor's office and he's perfectly fine just like he kept telling us. I'm sure we're not done hearing about it. They still want to check him up on some stuff because he fainted, though. I doubt they have any idea of what they're dealing with.

It might just be the perfect time to take a nap like those corridor people. We kind of saved the day, didn't we?

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