***Disclaimer the Monster Hunter series is the intellectual property of Larry Corriea and Baen books.***
So I was thinking about short stories that could be put into an MHI anthology 🙂 when I remembered a colorful character I created way back in Monster Hunter: Millers Blood. Has it really been a year since I first posted MH:MB?
I’m trying to write this story so anyone can pickup and read it not just Monster Hunter fans.
Anyway here’s the first installment of Chew Toy’s story. Enjoy.
It was getting harder and harder to remember what home was like. In the early days it was easy for me to see the faces of my family and friends. They were all but gone now; all I held onto were faded memories. Warm and happy feelings from when I wasn’t a vampires slave.
“Chew Toy!” The monster yelled. My real name was just a shadow in the back of my mind.
I ran toward Her inner chamber, if I was too slow she would hurt me. I came into the room; decorated with spoils, gold coins, antique furniture, and lava lamps. Scarlet Mara lay on her velvet couch in her red silk dress. Some victims said she was beautiful before she killed them. I knew better, she was a horrible monster. Beneath the perfect pale skin, lay a hideous murderer.
“Yes warship.” I said cowering at her feet.
“Chew Toy, I am… unhappy.”
I cringed, when she was mad she hurt me. I stared at the smooth rocks at my feet.
“Do you know why I am unhappy?” She asked.
“No warship, Choo Toi no under sand.”
She slid off the couch and stood in front of me. I cowered lower wishing the rocks would swallow me.
“Filthy Monster Hunters are on their way here.”
“Mon stair ‘unters?
“Yes… humans who are too stupid to keep their noses out of our world.”
“These ‘unters same ones kill master?”
She crouched down her sharp fangs bared. I hunched my skinny shoulders and waited for the pain she would inflict on me. She nipped pain shot through my long green ear and I cried out. I covered my lips with a hand trying to keep the noise from escaping. She seemed to feed on my screams almost as much as my blood.
Her tongue licked a few drops of fresh blood from the bite in my ear. Sandpaper would have felt better. She slapped me, I fell back and stared up at my owner, would she finally finish what she had started? How much of my blood had she tasted? She usually complained that it was foul maybe that’s why she kept me alive.
I covered my eyes and cried, I prayed to my ancestors to deliver me. The floor was cold against my green skin, always cold. Sometime later I risked a peek; she was sitting back on her ornate couch.
“Chew Toy, worthless little piss blood Goblin, I have a job for you.”
I stood and bowed before her again, trying to avoid her wrath. “Yes warship?”
“I need you to take this Rune to the mass grave out back.” She picked up a black fist sized rock off a table next to her. “I’d like to have a present ready for the Hunters.” She whispered a few words to it in a language I didn’t understand. She pushed the stone and it floated in the air toward me. I shrank back, it was filled with evil. Whoever made the Rune was even more evil than Scarlet Mara.
“Pick it up!”
“Yer warship… but it be evil.”
“Of course it’s evil, pathetic goblin, all necromancy is evil.” She made the Obsidian rock float closer. I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to be in the same room with it. “Take it!”
I gingerly reached out a hand, my three fingers and thumb wrapped around the rock. It felt warm to the touch, a wave of revulsion passed over me. The rock was full of trapped souls. I could feel them moaning and moving inside it. She stopped levitating the Rune and I almost dropped it.
“Now go, place it on the burial pile and cover it with dirt. Then run.”
“Unless you’d rather become friendly with the zombies.”
“No yer warship.” I bowed and slipped out of her chambers.
Her voice echoed after me. “Hurry, they’ll be here soon.”
I ran through the caverns holding the black rock as far away from me as possible. I could feel something rolling under the surface wanting desperately to get out. The dim light of the tunnel made it hard to see, but I rushed onward wanting to get rid of the evil artifact as soon as possible.
Strange ancient characters I hadn’t seen before began to glow a deep red. I squealed as the rock grew hot. I dropped the rock, it rolled and bounced down into a crevice. My mistress would slow roast me over a fire if I lost her artifact. I scrambled down, the rocks grabbed at me tearing shallow gashes through my green skin.
The obsidian soul stone lay wedged in-between two rocks just out of reach. I pulled off my dirty Hello Kitty backpack and unzipped it. Inside I pulled out a little aluminum flashlight stolen from one of her victims.
Somehow I managed to wedge the light beneath the stone and pop it out. It burned my hands again, but this time I stuffed it inside my pack and slipped it on. I could feel its sick warmth at my back. I put the light in my mouth and twisted it on. I climbed up a rock face until I could see the slightest sliver of sunlight up above.
Mara’s caverns were a honey comb of tunnels; it was easy to get lost inside. There were places I hadn’t been even though I’d been here a long time. I chased the sunlight until it became blinding. I stood waiting for my eyes to adjust. The evil rock burned and I dropped my backpack.
I stared out at the desert longing for freedom but where would I go? The desert might kill me, and I couldn’t ask for help from the tourists that came to visit Carlsbad Caverns. Who were these Hunters? Would they try and kill me too? I’m no monster, just a little goblin slave, I wouldn’t hurt anyone.
I picked up the formerly pink and white backpack and held it at arm’s length. I strode out into the daylight squinting as I ran. Nothing was out here yet. In the distance I heard some people talking. I double timed it to the burial mound. This was one of the places where my mistress disposed of the dried up bodies of the victims she killed.
Wild animals didn’t come anywhere near here; they didn’t dare dig up the bodies that had Her taint in them. I found the top of the mound and dug a shallow hole. I unzipped my bag and dropped the evil artifact in. Shoving the dirt back in the hole I tamped it down.
A multitude of evil voices began whispering in unison, “Interdum feror cupidine partium magnarum mundus vincendarum.”
I scooped up my bag and dashed for the caverns hoping to escape the zombies that would soon arise. I tripped and rolled halfway down the burial mound, something in my leg popped. I bit my lip to keep from screaming. The humans were getting closer. I could hear them talking and climbing over the rough terrain.
If they saw me I knew they would dash my brains out on the rocks. I had to get inside the cave. My leg didn’t want to work. I crawled up toward the cavern, pain shooting through my leg every time it bumped into a rock. I looked back at the burial mound, the voices were almost imperceptible but they repeated the same chant. “…magnarum mundus vincenfarum… interdum feror…”
I blocked out their wicked noises and scrambled to the mouth of the cave. Safely cloaked in darkness I caught a glimpse of the hunters. They were wearing strange heavy clothes, nothing like the dead tourists, and carried large boom sticks.
I limped as fast as I could into the cave until I heard one of them say. “Miller snap out of it! We need you in this fight!”
I froze and became best friends with a stalagmite. I began chanting the mantra of protection my mother taught me before she died. I repeated it silently in my head as the men entered the cave. Heavy booted feet walked by. I waited for them to shoot me but they didn’t.
Their voices disappeared into the distance echoing off the cavern walls as they made their way toward the vampires nest. I waited as long as I dared and was about to crawl away when I heard others talking outside the cave.
I listened to them talk about monsters for a while. Was I a monster to them? Did they collect bounties on my kind? I lay behind the stalagmite trying to figure out how to stay alive one more day when one of them yelled.
The evil obsidian artifact had done its vile work. I shuddered, I could feel the inky black ghosts trapped inside had gotten out. They fired their boom sticks and ran into the cave. They made horribly loud noises, I covered my ears and chanted the mantra of protection “Duck and cover!”
Something fell next to me; I opened my eyes and stared at the lifeless body of a zombie with a hole in its head. I scrambled back, the hunters didn’t see me I crawled further into the cave away from the horde of undead I had unwillingly summoned.
One of the men yelled, “Fire in the hole!”
That was a bad thing; I had heard those words in movies before… before I lived in the caves. I tried to run, stumbling and scrapping my knees. I cowered behind rocks, covered my head and cried out “Duck and cover!”
The bomb made a deep thump I felt in my chest and the sunlight was snuffed out.