Read The Lynnie Russell Trilogy Online

Authors: R. M. Gilmore

Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Mythology & Folk Tales, #Teen & Young Adult, #Science Fiction & Fantasy, #Fantasy, #Paranormal & Urban, #Fairy Tales

The Lynnie Russell Trilogy (8 page)

BOOK: The Lynnie Russell Trilogy
11.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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I wanted to ask him what the hell he was talking about, but of course the animal I was couldn’t up and have a conversation, no matter how hard I tried. I just wasn’t built for visiting. Killing and maiming more like.

 

The man crouched to the ground with me. He crawled on his hands and knees in the dirt. My human face would’ve blushed pink at the sight of a naked man crawling toward me, but the beast just watched and waiting for him to get closer. Close enough to eat. The man stopped at my feet and bowed his head to the ground.

 

I sat in wait inside that furry body of mine. I waited for the purple blood to flow, to shoot from his body like a sprinkler. That’s what happens when you slice into an artery; the blood shoots out like a squirt gun. I felt a little lucky that the blood would be purple; it didn’t seem quite real in shades of purple instead of red.

 

Without my control the beast did as it pleased. I was only a feeling, a soul trapped in this body of death. I was scared so that I would have to watch as I tore this lovely man to shreds.   It’s the strangest thing being stuck in a body that isn’t yours, one you can’t control by any means.

 

 

The beast stood up and looked down at the man on the ground. A huff of a breath came out with a snort. Something like a horse. I was so tall over the man, I got an idea then of about how tall I was really. Nearly the size of a foal, or a bear even. I wished then I’d gotten a better look in the mirror when I changed in my room.

 

The man looked up at me, the beast standing over him. “I’ve been waiting so long for you. Three days in these woods, I almost died all on my own.” He laughed a little bit. “I’ve grown weary.” He said in a voice that sounded much wiser than that of a young man. “Finish it, I’m ready. Set me free. Finally, free.”

 

The man was begging me to kill him. To take him from this life. I’d made that same plea to God, my plea wasn’t answered. His was about to be.

 

“I don’t know who you are, but thank you. I was what you are now, death. Your sacrifice has freed me from that prison. So many years I walked the night.” His voice sounded like a man who’d given up. He talked low, nearly a whisper. “Find strength were you can, accept what you are, and do everything you can to stay alive. There is no more that I can say; this journey has to be yours.” He looked at my fiery eyes for a long minute. “End this, quick.”

 

The man dropped his head again. The beast let out another snort bucked its head back, and let out a screeching howl like an elk in heat or the never ending cry of a wolf. I was trapped inside without control, but I could feel the release of the howl. It felt good.

 

The beast came down on the back of the man’s head with a strong swift strike. The man fell to the ground flat. He wasn’t dead, I could hear him breathing. Just a little knocked out is all.

The beast nosed the man in the shoulder till he rolled on his back. He was a very pretty man, even if he was all purple. It was a strange mix of colors with the purple man lying on the green floor of the forest. I wondered why he was purple. Why the rest of the world was green. The red haired woman and the others were purple too. But Rusty and Garret weren’t. I wanted to ask the man if he knew why, but of course I couldn’t say anything.

 

I tried to make the beast stop, to wait till I was human again so I could talk to him. I had so many questions. Instead of stopping, the beast dug its teeth into the man’s neck. The purple blood came out fast and flooded the beasts’ mouth, my mouth. I tried not to pay any mind to what was happening. I tried to close my eyes and go somewhere else. I couldn’t close eyes I didn’t have. Or really, didn’t have any control over. I had to watch the man be eaten, by me.

 

I wished I could stop. I wished I could throw up, or scream, or cry, anything a human would’ve like to’ve done. The beast didn’t have any wishes. Only its instincts. The man was dying. His heart was starting to slow down and he wasn’t breathing as much. The damn animal I was didn’t give two cents; it was doing what it was supposed to. What that man asked it to do.

 

I felt bad for him, I did, but he’d asked for it. I felt worse for me, I needed him. He knew what I was. Hell, he’d been the beast himself. I wanted to escape the furry body of the beast. I imagined my hands punching and my legs kicking out trying to tear out of the body. I didn’t have legs to kick with. I was stuck. Forced to wait it out ‘til dawn.

 

Through the eyes of the animal I watched the man’s eggplant blood run over and around my paws. His blood changed color when he died, I think. When he first got bit it was the brightest lilac I’d ever seen. When his heart slowed to a stop it turned the dark color of an eggplant. His color was gone with his life.

 

The beast licked the naked man’s face a time or two. I felt like the beast might’ve been sorry for killing him just like I was. But, I felt like he had to die, like it was the time for him to go home.

 

Me and my beast left the man, naked, and dead in the woods. I prayed for a second that God would take him, that his soul, and mine, were still pure. Oh hell, as pure as they could be considering.

 

By some miracle my animal turned us around and started back where we came from. Dawn was coming on soon. The air smells different just before the sun come up. Cleaner, more pure. Like God himself comes down from heaven and pulls the sun up over the horizon, leaving a trail of that heavenly scent behind him.

 

The sky was still dark, but I felt it wouldn’t be long before the day would change me back.

 

The thick paws of my beast thumped along the earth while it walked me back to my truck. I knew we couldn’t be too close; we’d walked a long way into the woods before we came up on that man.

 

Eventually, my strong legs slowed down. Paws slapping the dirt like a lazy old dog. The beast laid us down on the cool dirt. I begged it to keep moving, to get me closer to my truck. I didn’t have a damn clue how I was gonna get back when I had my body back. I wasn’t even really sure where I was.

 

A familiar wrench hit my stomach. I couldn’t control the body I was in, but I sure as hell could feel its pain. I knew why the beast laid us down, we were about to change. About to become human again. I thought for a second about how it felt for the animal to change, if it hurt like I did.

 

Our legs stretched and the muscles tore again, making human legs from animal ones. My heavy paws pushed and uncurled into fingers. Human toes made their way from rounded paws. Fur shrank into my skin and claws sucked back into their beds. My back leveled out and my boobs broke out from my chest. Our muzzle shoved its way back into a human face and the beast howled. Cried that horrible scream like an elk in mating season. It felt pain, just like I did. My face was coming back to me and the howls of the beast turned into the screams of a human.  The green color of the forest faded away and it was as dark as it could be before dawn. I was human, and naked, and alone.

 

I laid in the dirt and cried. I was crying, but I was happy. Crying meant I was a human being. Meant I had a soul.

 

I wanted to run back into the woods and find the naked man. See if he was really dead. If I really had killed him. Ask him so many questions his head might spin off his shoulders. I needed to know what I was, how to fix it, and how to not kill my brother. I knew there was no point. He was dead, damn dead.

 

It was hopeless. I didn’t have anyone. Only an old woman who said I was death incarnate, a useless naked dead mean, and a furry green monster that forced me to eat people. I was screwed six ways to Sunday.

 

 

 

Cryin’ In The Dirt

 

Sitting in the Ozarks naked and alone, waiting for dawn, is a damn lonely time let me tell you. With my human eyes I couldn’t see even half as good as I could have if I was still furry. I wasn’t even sure I could make it back to my truck even in the daylight.

 

The sun was starting to come up and shine through the trees. The slices of light peeking down and touching the ground were like fingers of God bringing the forest to life. There wasn’t quite enough light to bring the world to full view for my shoddy human eyes, but I knew it was coming soon. Soon I could try to make my way back to my truck and my clothes. Being lost in the woods and a little scared was a lot harder to take while I was freezing my tail off.

 

I had myself curled up into a tight ball under a tree, trying hard not to shake too awful bad.  In the light coming through the spaces between the leaves dust glittered in the wind. I was staring at it too long, I started seeing things. In that shine of light I thought I saw a man. A big breeze blew through and more dust and dirt was kicked up in the light. In the middle of it all I saw Rusty. I thought I was seeing things. What in the world would Rusty Kemp be doing in the middle of the woods? Besides, he’s dead. The thoughts went through my mind a while until I remembered that night in my bedroom, when Rusty came out of a shadow.

 

“Rusty?” I said to him.

 

“Well, hell, Lynnie. What a mess you got yerself into.” Rusty answered me.

 

The dust and dirt settled down and Rusty was standing in a shine of light. He looked like an angel. Well, if an angel would wear an old pair of Levi’s anyhow.

 

“Rusty, help me. I’m so lost. I been prayin’ and prayin’. I even went out to see Mama Lee.”

 

“And she weren’t no help neither?” He laughed a bit. “Yeah, you gotta find the right help, Lynn. Mama Lee can help, she just don’t know how yet.”

 

“Where? Where do I go?” I was damn near crying I was so desperate for help.

 

“You gotta know what the problem is ‘fore you can fix it.” He was smiling.

 

“Wha’? How?” I started to stand up before I realized I was naked. Rusty might’ve been a ghost, or something, but I wasn’t about to show of my goods, even to a ghost. “Rusty, tell me what to do! I’m so scared. I already went and killed you, I can’t think about Garret….no. Not Garret.”

 

“You know, you do, Lynnie. Just think ‘bout it.” Rusty smiled and rubbed his hand through his messed up hair.

 

A gust of wind came through and rustled up the leaves. Sounded like someone was opening a brand new bag of potato chips they crinkled and swished so loud. The sparkly dirt kicked up and swirled around Rusty’s legs and up his body. He was still rubbing over his hair when the dust devil took him away from me.

 

 

I reached out for him, but it didn’t do no good. He was gone. I let my body fall to the dirt. I cried until my body shook. I pounded my girly little fist into the earth over and over again. I grunted and hollered into the dirt under my body. It did no good.

 

“Carolynn Russell, you get your butt up of this ground and get out of these woods. You ain’t doin’ nobody any good cryin’ in the dirt.” I was talking out loud to myself, but it was my nana’s voice I heard in my head.

 

My nana always made me feel better. She always knew just what was wrong and just how to make it better.

 

I sat up straight and pulled my shoulders back. My head turned quick to the right and I knew that was the direction I needed to go. I let my instinct carry me.

 

In a flash I was on my feet and running through the woods. I felt like an ancient tribal woman. Strong, fearless, naked as a jaybird and running free through the woods. I smiled at the wind in my face. I passed a deer drinking in a little stream; it picked up its head and watched me run past. My heart thudded hard against my chest. For the first time in a week my head was clear. No jumbled up thoughts and worries, just instinct. Like the beast, I felt my way through the woods.

 

I ran so fast and so far my legs burned. My feet were getting cut up from the sticks and leaves under them, but I didn’t care. Through some trees ahead I could see the old worn out paint of my pick-up.

 

I was at the truck in a few seconds. I almost couldn’t stop my legs from working. I slammed into the side of the old truck and made an echo of a thump.

 

My clothes were right where I left them. I pulled on my dirty jeans and shirt and jumped in the truck. The old piece of crap fired right up. I hauled out of the woods and back toward Havana.

 

I was off to see my nana.

 

 

 

Poor Percy

 

Dirt kicked up under my tires when I turned hard into the long dirt driveway that lead up to my nana’s house. The road wasn’t too awful long, but it felt like it took twenty years to get to the end. My nana’s house sat far from the paved street, back on an old dirt road filled with potholes and weeds.

 

I slid to a stop just in front of the old porch. Paint was chipping off the steps and the screen had holes in it, but it was hers outright and she was proud of it. I was out of the truck and up to the door before I could think straight. I stopped my hand before I turned the knob over. I was scared. I didn’t want my nana to think I was some kinda crazy woman, or worse, a killer.

 

I was standing there, stuck on stupid, when the door swung open.

 

“Well, there you are! Lynnie, honey, your brother’s worried sick about you.” My nanny’s scratchy voice came through the holey screen door.

 

I could see my nana through the holes in the screen door. She wiped her hands on her blue-checkered apron while she talked to me. I could hear all the rings on her fingers clanking together while she did it. The sound was so comforting I nearly broke down and cried right there on that rickety old porch.

 

“Lynn, you alright? Com’on in. Why you standing out there in the sun?” She pushed the screen door out my way to let me in.

 

I took two steps through the door on shaky legs and fell to my knees. My body hitting the hardwood floor made a sickening thump in the house. I stared at my nana’s slim feet and legs standing in front of me. I didn’t know what to say or how to say it. I could feel my face just sitting there doing nothing.

BOOK: The Lynnie Russell Trilogy
11.39Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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