Godan Blood Harmony by Garret Schuelke (Part Four)

Shadows began to cloak the Kalamazoo Mall as the sun went down. Families, buskers, college students, and various other folks were enjoying the evening, unaware of the evil presence that hid among the rooftops, waiting for his prey to arrive.

 

He felt his spawn approach. He looked over, and saw three figures in the distance, along with red beams of light.

 

Wolf Savage powered up his rapier, and once again shot at the doppelganger, which effortlessly dodged the energy beam.

 

“STOP CHARGING UP SO DAMN MUCH!” Godan yelled. “JUST HIT HER SO SHE SLOWS DOWN!”

 

“I KNOW WHAT I’M DOING!” Wolf Savage replied.

 

The doppelganger flew downwards. It landed in the middle of the Kalamazoo Mall. People around her began to scream.

 

“Throw me at her!” Godan yelled. Wolf Savage nodded, twirled around, and threw Godan towards the street.

 

The doppelganger picked up a trash can and threw it at Godan. He wound up, ready to punch it. An energy beam shot past him and blew it to pieces.

 

“Your welcome,” Wolf Savage said, twirling his rapier around. He heard a screeching sound to his right. He turned and saw a skeletal Lord Ruthven coming at him, arms outstretched, mouth wide open.

 

Godan landed, and ran at the doppelganger She smiled, and turned into mist. Godan stopped, and waited for the mist to go past him. He then swung backwards, slashing her in the face as she materialized.

 

“You’re just as stupid as Ruthven!” Godan said, tearing into the doppelganger with his claws.

The doppelganger jumped into the air, attempting to fly away. Godan leapt onto her back. She turned back into mist before Godan could swipe at her again. She materialized a few feet away and flew down the street. Godan landed and gave chase.

 

Lord Ruthven dug his fangs deeper into Wolf Savages shoulder. Wolf Savage froze, terrified at what was happening. A shot of intense pain brought him back to reality. He turned his rapier upside down, and smashed the bottom of Lord Ruthven’s jaw with the handle. The vampire’s teeth dislodged, allowing Wolf Savage to kick him away.

 

Jesus, Wolf Savage thought, holding his shoulder. Pain shot through his entire body as his fingers touched his puncture wounds. Don’t have a panic attack, Joe. Wolf Savage then realized that Lord Ruthven was no longer in front of him. He heard a screeching above him.

 

“YOUR LIFE IS MINE!” Lord Ruthven yelled, speeding up.

 

“Not helping!” Wolf Savage yelled, holding his rapier with both hands, charging it up.

 

Wolf Savage tried aiming at the vampire. Lord Ruthven’s sunken face, as well as the crazed look in his eyes, made Wolf Savage shake.

 

“NO!” Wolf Savage yelled, stepping aside as Lord Ruthven was about to make contact with him. Lord Ruthven grabbed Wolf Savage by his chest and threw him towards on top of a nearby parking garage. Wolf Savage skid to a stop.

 

“Ugh, shit,” he said, the pain in his shoulder intensifying after the landing. I can’t let him do this to me, he thought.

 

He got onto one knee and looked up. Lord Ruthven was coming at him. His mind raced, thinking of how to fight back.

 

He then remembered a move he did during a previous battle. “Please work!” he said, thrusting the rapier into the concrete. He closed his eyes, and poured more power into it.

 

“DIE!” Lord Ruthven yelled, nearly upon him.

 

At that moment, Wolf Savage surrounded himself with a large energy dome. Lord Ruthven flew into it, bouncing off and smashing into a nearby car.

 

“As good as I’m probably gonna get,” Wolf Savage said, drawing deep breaths.

 

***

 

Bystanders either stood in shock, or ran away, from the doppelganger as she flew down the street. One of them, a woman with a stroller, began running away. The monster hummed, and turned towards her.

 

“Oh, GODDAMNIT!” Godan yelled, predicting what she intended to do, racing forward.

 

The woman screamed as the doppelganger stopped in front of her. She landed, smacked the woman away. took a hold of the stroller, and spun it around to face her.

 

“OH, FUCK NO!” Godan yelled.

 

The doppelganger licked her lips, and reached towards the baby. The mother, screaming, tried getting up, but fell back onto her knees.

 

Godan wrapped his arm around the doppelgangers neck. She immediately bit down on Godan’s arm. With a loud grunt, the Gray Wolf flung the doppelganger toward a building that had an entire wall made up of reflective glass and had a fountain in front of it, his flesh tearing away.

 

“OW!” he yelled, looking down at his wound. He heard the doppelganger smash into the glass. The woman took a hold of the stroller and ran away.

 

Godan concentrated his healing factor, and watched as his wound healed. He looked over just as the doppelganger stood up, amid the broken glass, his flesh still in her mouth.

 

“I’ve been told that I don’t taste taste that good,” Godan yelled as he walked towards her.

 

The doppelganger sucked the flesh into her mouth, chewed, and swallowed—giving Godan a toothy grin.

 

“Okay, I lied—I’ve actually been told the exact opposite.”

 

The doppelganger tried to fly away. Godan immediately leapt on her as she was about to take off. They landed on the glass, puncturing the doppelganger in various spots. Godan grabbed her by the leg, and began smashing her into the ground.

 

For the first time since it was spawned, the doppelganger spoke.

 

It screamed in pain and terror.

 

Stopping, Godan took a quick breath and wound back again, smashing her into the fountain. The doppelganger became still. Godan brought his foot down upon her head.

 

Godan heard screeching above him. He looked up and saw flashes of red light. “Shit,” he spat onto the ground. “What did he get himself into now?”

 

Lord Ruthven smashed against the energy field again. Wolf Savage breathed rapidly.

 

“You won’t last much longer,” Lord Ruthven said, slowly getting back up.

 

Wolf Savage looked down at the pool of blood that surrounded him. Nausea washed over.

 

Lord Ruthven lunged at him again. Wolf Savage closed his eyes.

 

What he heard wasn’t a screech, but a scream. He heard Lord Ruthven skid on the concrete, followed by him yelling ‘YOU!’

 

“Who?” Wolf Savage asked, opening an eye.

 

“ME!” Godan said, standing tall, claws covered in Lord Ruthven’s blood.

 

Lord Ruthven lunged at him. Godan punched the vampire, sending him past Wolf Savage and down into the parking garage entrance.

 

“Jeez, how many more of those things is he going to create?” Godan asked, cracking his knuckles.

 

“Wait, that’s not him?” Wolf Savage asked, letting his shield disperse.

 

Godan’s eyes widened as he looked him over. “Holy shit—he really fucked you up!”

 

“He slurped up a lot of my blood,” Wolf Savage said, putting his hand back over his puncture wounds.

 

“He sucked your blood?” Godan walked over and looked at the wound. “None of the other two didn’t suck blood…”. He looked over to the entrance just at Lord Ruthven stood up. “That IS him!”

 

“He’s not as handsome as you described,” Wolf Savage said, trying to stand up.

 

“What did you do to him?”

 

“What did I do?!” Wolf Savage fell back to his knees. “I’ve been trying to prevent him from killing my ass!”

 

“I didn’t know your beams could turn people into skeletons, though.”

 

“I didn’t do that!”

 

Lord Ruthven suddenly dashed down the ramp.

 

“GOT HIM!” Godan yelling, giving chase.

 

“Thanks for the save,” Wolf Savage mumbled. His rapier had become completely red. He gulped, and pressed the blade against the wounds, cauterizing them.

 

Lord Ruthven hopped, and started flying through the parking structure. His wings kept hitting against the ceiling.

 

“YOU’RE MINE!” Godan yelled, speeding up. He got underneath the vampire and jumped, uppercutting him in the chest. Lord Ruthven smashed against the ceiling and fell to the ground.

 

“What happened to you, Ruthven?” Godan asked. “Did all the monsters you sent after us drain you?”

 

Lord Ruthven stood up, wiping his blood from his face. “No, this is all my mothers doing.”

 

“Your mother did this to you?” Godan whistled. “I don’t think that’s something you should be admitting, bro.”

 

Lord Ruthven retracted his wings. “It doesn’t matter. I may not look like it, but I have more than enough strength to kill you.”

 

Godan laughed. “Oh come on, you barely put a scratch on Wolf Savage! And I beat you when you didn’t look like a shriveled corpse.”

 

“I’ll be back to normal soon enough,” Lord Ruthven tried to walk towards Godan. He began to shake uncontrollably. He stopped and wrapped his arms around himself, trying to calm down. “Then I’ll make you pay!”

 

“Your still mad about the house?” Godan grinned. “What, you can’t get your mom to buy you a new one?”

 

“YOU FUCKING IDIOT!” Lord Ruthven yelled, throwing a punch at Godan, who easily caught it. “You have no clue what you’re dealing with!”

 

“Well, you’re right about that.” Godan caught Lord Ruthven’s other fist.“What, your mom’s got beef with me or something?”

 

“You caused her testing area to get blown up,” Lord Ruthven struggled to free himself, “mangling her boy toy, killed her experiments—”

 

“None of that rings a bell, dude.” Godan tightened his grip. “Start making sense, will ya?”

Lord Ruthven, enraged, started kicking at Godan. “She’s behind the Rudkus and Melton gangs!” He kicked Godan in the leg, freeing himself. “She created all those superhumans you’ve been hunting down in Chicago this past year!”

 

“Is that so,” Godan said, his voice trailing off. He thought of all the superhumans he fought—and befriended—since the night he took down Upton nearly two years ago. “You’re giving me clues, but no answers. Do I look like a fucking detective to you?”

 

“For fuck sakes!” Lord Ruthven cringed as he felt a sharp pain go through his stomach. “ Mysta Avon, scientist and head of Mysta Industries—she’s behind ALL of this!”

 

“Who?” Godan thought it over, then perked up. “Oh yeah, I’ve seen her on T.V.!” He raised an eyebrow. “Wait, the really hot, Elon Musk-wannabe is your mom?”

 

“YES, YOU MORON!” Lord Ruthven wiped the spit from his mouth and pointed at Godan. “She knows everything about you. She watched you ever since you came to Chicago, she has your DNA on file—”

 

“How did—”

 

“After she found out you killed Lycaon, she sent me after you. I refused her Alkaline Radicals, so she shot me up with some shit that made me like this!”

 

“Whoa, whoa, chill out,” Godan put his hands up. “You’re going too fast—calm down.”

 

Lord Ruthven stopped talking, breathing heavily. Godan thought it all over. He then remembered his own father.

 

“Well?” Lord Ruthven asked.

 

“You know, she kinda sounds like my Dad.” Godan said. “I finally had enough of acting like a bitch and left, though.” Godan looked Lord Ruthven directly in the eye. “My question is, what’s your excuse for sticking around your abusive parent, tough guy?”

 

Lord Ruthven stared at him. Godan grinned, and got into a battle stance.

 

“YOU BASTARD!” The vampire bared his fangs, screeched, and leapt at the Gray Wolf.

 

Wolf Savage rested against the car, eyes closed. He readjusted himself, pain shooting through his shoulder. He heard shrieks. He opened his eyes in time to see Lord Ruthven and Godan fly past.

 

“You bastard,” Wolf Savage muttered. He charged up his rapier and held it up. Slowly, he aimed at Lord Ruthven.

 

Godan tried to rake his claws across Lord Ruthven’s face. Lord Ruthven took this chance to bite into Godan’s wrist. Seeing that he was hovering in place, Wolf Savage fired at him.

 

“LET GO, YOU LEECH!” Godan yelled, punching Lord Ruthven in the side of the head. He saw Wolf Savage’s energy blast heading towards them. Shit, he thought. He tore his wrist out of Lord Ruthven’s mouth and jumped off him as the energy blast hit the vampire.

 

“You holding up?” Wolf Savage asked Godan as he landed next to him.

 

“I’m fine,” Godan concentrated on healing his wrist, “but next time, blow him up when I’m NOT attached to him, got it? It’s not fun tearing your own flesh out of someones mouth!”

 

Wolf Savage watched at Lord Ruthven came barreling down, smoke coming off him. “I knew you’d jump off just in time.”

 

“BULLSHIT!” Godan yelled.

 

Lord Ruthven smashed through a nearby cars sun roof. The crash made Godan jump. Wolf Savage saw that his wrist was completely healed.

 

“You gotta show me how you do that sometime,” Wolf Savage said, twirling his rapier.

 

“You got a healing factor too?” Godan asked as he turned around to face the car that Lord Ruthven smashed into.

 

“Yeah, but it’s not even close to being as fast as yours!”

 

They stood still and watched the car, waiting for Lord Ruthven to reappear.

 

“I think you got him,” Godan said, exhaling.

 

A muscular arm suddenly burst through the car window and shot a fireball at them. Godan pushed Wolf Savage to the side and punched the fireball, dispersing it.

 

“I guessed wrong,” Godan said as began to run towards the car.

 

A blast of red energy passed by him, followed by another. Godan stopped and looked behind him as Wolf Savage, down on one knee, blasted the car furiously with energy blasts. Godan grinned.

 

“DO IT, SAVAGE!” Godan yelled, pumping his fist.

 

Wolf Savage yelled as he increased the volume and intensity of the blasts. The inside of the car burst into flames. Some of the blasts strayed and hit the wall alongside and behind the car.

 

“Wait,” Godan said. His eyes widened. “WAIT! STOP! THAT’S ENOUGH!”

 

Wolf Savage did not hear him. He stood up, and increased the power of his blasts.

 

“STOP!” Godan yelled, running towards him.

 

The car exploded and went through the wall, toppling towards the ground. Godan ran to the ledge and yelled “LOOK OUT BELOW!”

 

He watched as the car crashed onto the deserted street. He sighed in relief. Nearby law enforcement, talking to witnesses on the Kalamazoo Mall, heard the crash and began racing towards the scene.

 

Godan looked behind him. Wolf Savage was on his knees, with his mask pulled back and rapier on the ground in front of him

 

“Feel better, asshole?!” Godan yelled, walking over to him.

 

“I didn’t mean to do that,” Wolf Savage said.

 

“SPEAK UP!” Godan grabbed him by the collar and yanked him up. “YOU COULD HAVE KILLED SOMEONE DOWN THERE!”

 

“I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to do that! I just wanted him to stop!”

 

Godan noticed that Wolf Savage was crying.

 

“I just wanted to stop him,” he said softly.

 

Godan let go of his collar. Wolf Savage took hold of Godan’s arms to keep himself on his feet.

“I’m so sorry,” Wolf Savage muttered.

 

“It’s okay,” Godan brought Wolf Savage into his arms and hugged him, “no one was down there.”

 

The cops, who had created a perimeter, heard a loud roar come from inside the car. Two large arms shot out of it, and began tearing the fiery vehicle in half. They drew their guns.

 

“I was just so angry,” Wolf Savage said, calming down.

 

“I was angry over a girl when I came here,” Godan said.

 

Wolf Savage sniffled. “What?”

 

“Her name was Dia. I was sent to kill her. She brainwashed me—made me think I loved her. She was Ruthven’s lover. He’s after me because I burned down his stupid house after she died.”

 

Wolf Savage looked up. “For real?”

 

Godan raised an eyebrow. “Well, yeah.”

 

The cousins stared at each other.

 

“What?” Godan asked.

 

“You’ve been acting bitchy all this time due to a girl!?”

 

Two large horns appeared from the wreck. The cops began firing.

 

“FUCK YOU!” Godan yelled, letting go of Wolf Savage and backing away. “SHE FUCKING BRAINWASHED ME!”

 

“Sorry, my bad,” Wolf Savage, giggling, wiped his eyes. He took a deep breath. “Yeah, that is a big deal.”

 

Godan face palmed himself. “Jesus Christ, Joe.”

 

Godan and Wolf Savage heard a beastial roar, and froze in place.

 

“It didn’t work.” Wolf Savage said.

 

“It’s beginning to sound that way,” Godan replied.

 

Lord Ruthven emerged, transformed into his demonic self. The bullets entered into his body as he stood up. He stretched his wings, looked over at the cops and, with his arms outstretched, blasted them with his fire.

 

Wolf Savage picked up his rapier. “How strong can he still be,” he asked, pulling his mask back on, “after all the damage we’ve done to him?”

 

“That’s one thing we have in common, I guess,” Godan said, cracking his knuckles. “We just don’t give up.”

 

Lord Ruthven suddenly appeared, hovering above them.

 

“THAT’S HIM?!” Wolf Savage yelled, backing away.

 

“Yep,” Godan said, glaring at the vampire.

 

Wolf Savage composed himself, and aimed his rapier at Lord Ruthven. “How many forms does he have?!”

 

“This is the only other one that I know about. I took him out last time he was in this form, so—”

 

Lord Ruthven clenched his fists, and began yelling. His muscles bulged to epic proportions. He grew taller, as did his horns and the span of his wings.

 

“You defeated THAT by yourself?!” Wolf Savage yelled.

 

Godan backed away. “Well, I did have that cop put a bullet in his head…”

 

Lord Ruthven shot towards them. Godan leapt towards him as well.

 

“Wait!” Wolf Savage yelled.

 

Godan prepared to punch the vampire. Lord Ruthven shot off a fireball. Godan swatted I away. Lord Ruthven grabbed him by the torso with his other hand.

 

He’s even bigger up close, Godan thought as he struggled. Lord Ruthven laughed, and Godan’s entire body burst into flames.

 

“NO!” Wolf Savage yelled, flying towards them. Lord Ruthven charged at him. Wolf Savage halted, and tried to fly away. Lord Ruthven grabbed him by the cape and flew at such a high speed through the streets that Wolf Savage became disoriented.

 

“STOP!” Wolf Savage yelled.

 

“Not until I have some fun!” Lord Ruthven yelled.

 

Wolf Savage suddenly saw himself be set on fire. Lord Ruthven laughed manically, and began swinging Wolf Savage around, smashing him into the side of a building and taking off the top of a tree.

 

“Scream ‘Uncle!’ “, Lord Ruthven said, looking back. He flew lower, smashing Wolf Savage into a stop sign, and bolted upwards.

 

Godan, still fully engulfed in flames, freed his arms. “AUNT!” he screamed, slashing the vampires face. Lord Ruthven cringed, threw Godan downwards, and shot him with a fireball, sending him into the Kalamazoo River.

 

Wolf Savage took the opportunity to propel himself upwards. He sliced off half of Lord Ruthven’s left wing.

 

Lord Ruthven screamed, letting go of his cape. Wolf Savage kicked him in the face and landed on a nearby rooftop.

 

Wolf Savage looked up, and saw that the vampire was gone. Where did he go, he thought frantically. He looked down and saw the Kalamazoo River, which was slightly illuminated by nearby street lights. “Oh shit—Gareth!”

 

“You should really worry about yourself,” Lord Ruthven said, his voice echoing through the night. Wolf Savage noticed that he was being surrounded by mist. He held his rapier out, remembering what Godan told him about Lord Ruthven’s ability to turn into mist.

 

“That’s more like it!” Lord Ruthven said. The mist turned orange.

 

Instinctively, Wolf Savage leapt out of the mist, which then burst into a fireball.

 

“Godan never mentioned that,” Wolf Savage said, covering his face from the heat.

 

“I didn’t use that move on him—I haven’t used that move in a long time, in fact.” Lord Ruthven appeared behind Wolf Savage and put him in a headlock. “Thanks for giving me the chance to use it!”

 

In the Kalamazoo River, a hand shot out of the water and slapped the ladder embedded into the wall. Claws raked across the steel until it took hold.

 

“Quite a costume you have there,” Lord Ruthven said, increasing the pressure on his headlock. “It withstood my hellfire much better than your friends did.”

 

“Weren’t you bigger just a few seconds ago?” Wolf Savage asked, gasping for air.

 

“I can change my size at will—and it’s much easier to do so after I reform from mist.”

 

Wolf Savage swung his rapier back-and-forth, trying to cut the vampire. “Very impressive.”

 

“Question: why do you call yourself a ‘savage’?” Lord Ruthven asked. “You aren’t that wild.”

 

“The name came to me after a weekend of brainstorming,” Wolf Savage explained, feeling himself becoming light headed. “I think it sounds good.”

 

“Well, what do you know,” Lord Ruthven walked them over to some pipes sticking out of the roof. “I chose my name the same way you did—brainstorming.”

 

“Are you actually royalty?”

 

“No.”

 

Wolf Savage laughed. “Then you have no right to make fun of my name, hypocrite!”

 

Lord Ruthven let go of Wolf Savage. He tore one of the pipes out of the roof. The pipe burst into flames. He retracted his wings and charged at Wolf Savage, swinging wildly. Wolf Savage barely

dodged each swing. Lord Ruthven then powered up his impromptu flame sword and swung down. Wolf Savage blocked it, the energy that between their weapons creating sparks.

 

“You will call me Lord,” the vampire said, pushing down. Wolf Savage felt, and heard, the roof underneath him crack.

 

He pushed Lord Ruthven back and attacked. Their weapons lit up the night with red and orange flashes. Wolf Savage thrusted at the vampire. Lord Ruthven dodged, and brought his flame sword down. It broke in half upon impact with the rapier.

 

“HUH?” they both said at the same time, each flabbergasted at what had just happened. They looked at each other.

 

“Um,” Wolf Savage regained his composure and jumped back, “sorry that didn’t work out for you.”

 

“Thanks, but I’ve gotten over it already.” Lord Ruthven picked up the broken pieces and set them ablaze. He threw the flame daggers towards Wolf Savage. One of them grazed his shoulder. The other hit the hilt of his rapier, forcing him to drop it.

 

Before Wolf Savage could recover, Lord Ruthven punched him. He caught the second fist, and fought back. Charging up his fists, Wolf Savage and Lord Ruthven traded blows.

 

Lord Ruthven engulfed his fist in flames. He deliberately aimed at Wolf Savage’s incoming punch. Paralyzing pain shot through Wolf Savages body the moment their fists connected. They both stood still. Lord Ruthven whistled, and pushed Wolf Savage, who fell onto his back.

 

“You put my hand to sleep!” Lord Ruthven said, waving it casually around.

 

Wolf Savage smacked his good arm around the roof until he found his rapier Lord Ruthven got on top of him as he took hold of it.

 

“I’ll be more gentle this time,” Lord Ruthven said as he grabbed Wolf Savage by the chin, pushing his head sideways.

 

Wolf Savage tried to swing his rapier. Lord Ruthven grabbed his wrist, held it tightly, and sank his fangs into Wolf Savages neck.

 

The shock of getting his blood sucked out of him made Wolf Savage unable to either move or scream. He gasped for air as his heart beat faster.

 

“So good,” Lord Ruthven mumbled as he fed.

 

Wolf Savage gripped his rapier. He closed his eyes and created a mental image of two wolves. He grunted, and from his rapier came a stream of energy. Lord Ruthven failed to notice this as the energy beam split apart, and formed into two large, red wolves.

 

“Take…” Wolf Savage gasped for air. “TAKE HIM!”

 

The two energy constructs leapt at Lord Ruthven, sending him tumbling off Wolf Savage. They tore into the vampire as he let out a familiar screech. Wolf Savage stood up, held out his hand, took a deep breath, and quickly clenched his fist. The two constructs exploded. Wolf Savage jumped off the roof and rolled as he landed on the ground.

 

“You okay, Joe?” Godan said, emerging from the shadows.

 

Wolf Savage smiled. “Gar!” He used his rapier to push himself upwards. “Oh my God, am I glad you’re—”

 

Wolf Savage saw that most of Godan’s clothes were burned off. He was covered in blisters, soot marks, and his hair was slightly tinged black.

 

“I’m in tremendous pain right now,” Godan said, stepping forward. He fell onto one knee. “Shit, that stings!”

 

“You’re doing better than I thought,” Wolf Savage replied, “meaning you’re not dead.”

 

The sky above them lit up. Wolf Savage grabbed him and jumped ahead. A fireball hit the ground, sending flames and debris everywhere.

 

“FUCKIN’ A!” Godan yelled, looking up as he struggled to his feet. “You did that?!”

 

Wolf Savage looked up. Lord Ruthven hovered over them, the disappearing smoke revealing that he was missing his jaw, as well as various chunks of flesh.

 

“I still have a few tricks I can use.” Wolf Savage replied.

 

Lord Ruthven let out a screech. Godan laughed loudly. “That’s hilarious!” he said, slapping his cousin on the back.

 

“OW!” Wolf Savage yelled, recoiling.

 

“My bad,” Godan said, calming down.

 

Lord Ruthven shot two fireballs at them. Godan grabbed Wolf Savage and jumped across the Kalamazoo River.

 

“OW!” Godan said as they landed.

 

“How much longer do you need to heal?” Wolf Savage asked, standing up.

 

“I’m too tired to be at one hundred percent any time soon.”

 

Wolf Savage held his rapier with both hands. “I’ll hold him off—attack him when you’re ready.”

 

Godan put his hand on his shoulder just as he was about to take off. “You’re in worse shape than I am! You rest.”

 

“Say’s the guy who got barbecued!” Wolf Savage said, putting his hand on Godan’s shoulder.

The pain Godan felt disappeared. He felt his body begin to warm up. He turned his head to the side and looked at Wolf Savage’s slightly glowing hand.

 

“Are you pumping your energy into me?” he asked.

 

Wolf Savage looked at him strangely. “No—why?”

 

Lord Ruthven screeched above them. The cousins looked up and saw the vampire charging up two fireballs.

 

“DO THAT!” Godan yelled.

 

Wolf Savage nodded, and closed his eyes. Godan watched as his body began to glow red. He concentrated his healing factor. The wounds and burns he sustained instantly healed up.

 

Lord Ruthven combined the fireballs into one, and threw it down at them. Godan pushed Wolf Savages hand away and jumped towards the fireball. He wound his fist back and punched it, making it dissipate.

 

wHaT?” Lord Ruthven gurgled. He then realized that Godan was coming straight towards him, fist still outstretched. He veered to the side and Godan began to fly past him. The Gray Wolf used his other claw to dig into the vampires wings to stop his momentum. He tore through the wing, and fell back to the ground. Lord Ruthven thrashed around the air, howling.

 

Wolf Savage stared at him. “How did you do—”

 

“Give this a shot,” Godan said, taking the rapier from Wolf Savage. He aimed at Lord Ruthven, and tried to channel the energy Wolf Savage had put into him through it. “Come on!” Godan waved the rapier around. “Pew, pew!”

 

“What the hell are you doing?!” Wolf Savage yelled, snatching his rapier back.

 

Godan looked at Wolf Savage, who recoiled at the sudden movement. He shook his head, took back the rapier, wound up, and threw it towards Lord Ruthven. The sword pierced the vampires back.

 

“ARE YOU SHITTING ME?!” Wolf Savage yelled.

 

“You couldn’t hold it anyway!” Godan turned around. “Get on.”

 

“Why? Are we running away?”

 

“No, I have an idea.”

 

Wolf Savage wrapped his arms around Godan’s neck. “What could you possibly have in mind?”

 

“Use me as your sword,” Godan replied, looking up. Lord Ruthven was trying desperately to pull the rapier out of his body. “Pump me full of energy—”

 

“Okay, I may have an idea of what you’re getting at.” Wolf Savage interrupted.

 

“…then unleash it—he’ll blow up like that demon’s head did!”

 

Lord Ruthven finally got a good grip on the rapier.

 

“I’m not gonna blow you up in order to take him down!” Wolf Savage said.

 

“Your sword doesn’t blow up when you force energy into it,” Godan replied.

 

“You’re not an inanimate, magical object!”

 

Lord Ruthven began pulling the rapier out of himself.

 

“I’m full of your energy right now—and I feel fucking great!” Godan winked at him. “Just trust me on this!”

 

Lord Ruthven had finally pulled the rapier out of his body.

 

“Oh, and it’s the only way you’ll get your sword back.”

 

Wolf Savage growled. He began pouring as much energy as he could into Godan.

 

“AWESOME!” Godan yelled as he felt himself powering up. Some of the energy began to swirl around him as a fiery red aura. “HANG TIGHT!”

 

Lord Ruthven examined the rapier. His hand began to burn.

 

“HEY, BLOODSUCKER!” Godan yelled, rocketing toward the vampire.

 

Lord Ruthven twirled around, and threw the rapier at them. Godan used his left hand to swat it away. He reared his right arm back.

 

“DO IT!” Wolf Savage yelled, pouring his all into the Gray Wolf.

 

Godan drove his fist into Lord Ruthven’s chest. It instantly came out the other side. The vampire gasped.

 

Wolf Savage pushed his energy out through Godan’s arm like he would his rapier. Lord Ruthven’s eyes glowed red, and energy shot out of his wounds. The vampire let out one final shriek as his body expanded, and exploded.

 

The blast separated the cousins, sending them in different directions.

 

“FUCK YEAH!” Godan yelled as he was blasted towards the Kalamazoo River. He saw Wolf Savage’s rapier next to him and grabbed it before he smacked into the water.

 

Wolf Savage landed. “GARETH!” he yelled, hobbling towards the river. Pieces of Lord Ruthven fell around him. Wolf Savage ignored them and continued looking around.

 

Godan’s hand appeared. He sprung himself over the railing, and landed in front of Wolf Savage.

“Told ya it would work!” Godan said, twirling the rapier around.

 

Wolf Savage shook his head. “I never doubted you,” he said, smiling.

 

They heard a thud behind them. They looked back, and saw a large object bounce off the ground.

 

“Is that Ruthven?” Godan asked, handing the rapier back to Wolf Savage and running over.

 

The upper half of Lord Ruthven’s torso came to a stop. Smoke emitted from its wounds. The vampire had a shocked looked on his dead, eye-less face.

 

“He’s finally gone,” Godan said, kicking the corpse. Wolf Savage flinched at his cousin desecrating their now former foes corpse. He fell to his knees, and relaxed.

 

Down towards the mall, they heard sirens blaring and saw lights flashing

 

“We better leave,” Godan said, handing Wolf Savage back his rapier and picking up the corpse. He wound it back, and threw it into the river. “When we get back, I’ll teach you how to use your healing factor better.”

 

Wolf Savage smiled. “My hero.”

 

“No prob,” Godan bent down, “what are cousins for?”

 

Wolf Savage nodded, wrapped his arms around his neck, and relaxed as Godan lifted him onto his back. He closed his eyes as Godan began racing away.

 

Far above them, Upton watched until they were out of his sensors range, and he dove into the river.

 

***

 

Gareth, Joseph, and Floyd stood near the tracks at the Kalamazoo Transportation Center. Joseph repeatedly flexed his hand.

 

“Arm still numb?” Gareth asked.

 

“Kinda,” Joseph replied, pinching his arm.

 

“Well, just keep doing those exercises and meditations I showed you last night,” Gareth adjusted his backpack, “and you’ll be healing up like I do in no time.”

 

“You sure you don’t want to stick around for another day?” Joseph leaned in so he could whisper. “ I could probably teach you how to fire energy blasts.”

 

“Don’t you need your sword for that?” Gareth said aloud.

 

“WHISPER!” Joseph muttered. “And no, but it’s a lot easier to do so with the rapier.”

 

“I will if you let me have your sword.”

 

“That ain’t gonna happen.”

 

“Then I don’t need to learn it.” Gareth held his hand up. “These claws are all I need.”

 

“What you need is some income, dude,” Floyd said jokingly.

 

Gareth looked at them sternly. “You guys sure you don’t want me to pay you back for the clothes and train ticket? When I get back to Chicago, I can send—”

 

Joseph and Floyd both said “NAH”.

 

“Wait, Floyd, you just said—”

 

“Sarcasm,” Floyd laughed. “Learn it!”

 

“A hero with my fashion sense couldn’t let you just thrift some “new” clothes,” Joseph said. “I thought you deserved better.”

 

“You thought I needed to be more colorful, though.”

 

“Well, you do!” Joseph looked Gareth. “You’re so plain and drab!”

 

“What other colors would a ‘Gray Wolf’ be, though?” Floyd asked.

 

Joseph glared at Floyd. “You asked me that already when we were at Meijer.”

 

“And I’m asking you again, since you didn’t answer me then!”

 

The gates came down, closing off the nearby street as the train began to pull into the station.

 

“I’m finally going back home,” Gareth said, taking off his backpack.” Sweet home, Chicago!” He then grimaced. “I do have a lot of info to unpack though, some of which I still don’t understand…”

 

Floyd tapped him on the shoulder. “You okay, dude? You’re mumbling big time.”

 

Gareth turned to Floyd. “I’m fine.” He held up his fist. “Floyd, thanks for the hospitality. Sorry for being a dick at times.”

 

“Hey, it’s all right,” Floyd bumped fists with him. “I got to hang out with legit superheroes—it was worth it.”

 

“Stop by Chicago sometime, we’ll go get a drink or something!” Gareth then turned to Joseph. “Joe, dude, thanks for all the help.” He extended his fist.

 

“That’s it?” Joseph asked.

 

“What do you mean ‘That’s it’ ? What more do you want?

 

Joseph snickered. He grabbed Gareth’s wrist, and pulled him into a hug.

 

“It was nice meeting you, cousin,” Joseph said, squeezing hard.

 

“So, we’re making it official then?” Gareth replied, hugging back.

 

“My as well—like I said, I can’t think of any other way to explain how we’re connected. Plus, I just think it sounds cool.”

 

Gareth slightly pulled away. “I’m sorry for acting like a dick towards you as well.”

 

“Don’t worry about it,” Joseph patted his arm. “Remember what I said last night while you were teaching me how to better use my healing factor.”

 

Gareth remembered last night in Floyd’s apartment where, after cleaning themselves up, Gareth started teaching Joseph how to tap into his healing factor like he did. As they sat in the living room, eyes closed, each in a lotus position, Joseph broke the silence.

 

“Hey,” he said, opening his eyes. “I’m sorry again for bashing you about the way you’ve been dealing with being brainwashed.”

 

Gareth took a deep breath, never opening his eyes. “It’s cool—keep focusing.”

 

“If it helps, do what I do when I’m feeling down: think about your abilities, the good you do with them, and all the people you love.”

 

“Dude, keep focusing. I can’t stay around forever teaching you.”

 

Joseph laughed. “Right, right, sorry.” He closed his eyes and began focusing on his healing factor again.

 

Gareth opened his eyes and looked at him. Warmth spread throughout his chest. He smiled, closed his eyes again, and resumed meditating.

 

Amtrak officials began allowing people onto the train.

 

“I will,” Gareth nodded. “You should come visit me in Chicago.”

 

“Sure, as long as you promise to visit me in Windsor.”

 

“Deal. I’ve never sneaked across an international border before.”

 

They laughed, hugged again, and Gareth got in line. Just as he was about to get on, Gareth turned around one last time, waved at Joseph and Floyd, and entered the train.

 

“You know, I’ve put some of the pieces together,” Floyd said, “but he never told me exactly why he was so angry when we first met.”

 

“It was over a girl who did him wrong,” Joseph replied, “big time wrong!”

 

“Wait, really? Not the vampire, or the—”

 

Joseph put his arm around Floyd’s shoulders. “So, I got one more day left in town.”

 

“Is that so?”

 

“Yeah, and I haven’t been to Bell’s Brewery yet.”

 

“Oh, it’s pretty much down the street from here.”

 

“Good! Let’s go for a drink. I’ll tell you everything Gareth told me. Will they have Oberon there?”

 

“Maybe, but they got shit that some say is way better than Oberon!”

 

“Lead the way, then!”

 

Gareth stuffed his backpack into the storage space and sat down. He looked out the window and saw Floyd and Joseph walking away. He smiled, took out a copy of the latest edition of the Western Herald from his side pocket, and started reading it.

 

***

 

In the back of a cemetery in Portage, Mysta leaned against her limousine, writing in her notebook. She noted that Godan now “apparently has” the ability to absorb energy. She had just finished writing her observations of using her Anti-Radical formula on Lord Ruthven when Upton landed in front of her, holding two large bags over his shoulders.

 

“Hey, honey,” she said, closing her notebook. “Did you find the rest of him?”

 

Upton shook his head, and replied in a robotic language that only Mysta could understand. He opened up the bags, one holding Lord Ruthven’s upper torso, the other holding the body parts and chunks of flesh he was able to locate.

 

“Good enough—I’ll be able to recreate and resurrect him fairly easily. Be a dear and head back to Chicago and prepare the lab for me, will you?”

 

Upton nodded, closed and picked up the bags, and flew off.

 

“I’m sure he’ll be back in town soon as well,” Mysta said to herself as she got into her limo. “You’ll be all mine then, Gareth Manion.”

 

Mysta closed the door. The limo started up, and exited the cemetery.

 

***

 

A few days later, Floyd returned to his parents home in Alpena. He grabbed his suitcase from his backseat, and quickly entered the house. The family dog, Rambo, greeted him at the door.

 

“Hey there, boy,” Floyd said, patting the dog as he took off his shoes.

 

“Floyd?” Naomi said, peeking around the door frame leading into kitchen.

 

“Hey, Mom,” Floyd finished taking off his shoes and entered the kitchen, followed by Rambo.

 

“You didn’t tell us you were coming, dear,” Naomi said, hugging and kissing Floyd.

 

“I just decided to come last night,” Floyd hugged her back, then broke away. “I’ll tell ya all about it in a sec.”

 

Floyd entered the living room. Henry was relaxing in the recliner, reading The Alpena News.

 

“Hey, Dad,”

 

Henry put down his paper. “Hey, Floyd,” he said, sitting up. “Didn’t know you were coming.”

 

“Split second decision.”

 

“How was the traffic coming up?”

 

“I’ll tell you all about it in a sec. There’s something I gotta look up in my room first.”

 

Henry nodded. Floyd walked down the hall, entered his room, and closed the door. Rambo sniffed the door and whined.

 

Floyd flung his suitcase to the side and bent down to the bottom shelf of his bookcase. He pulled out the Alpena High School yearbook from his senior year. He went to the directory, searching for students named Gareth. He found two. One turned out to be a member of the football team.

 

“Yeah, there’s no fucking way that’s him,” Floyd said, turning back to the directory, then turning to the page where it said that the second Gareth’s picture was located.

 

Before him, along with the other senior portraits, was Gareth Manion: a student with long, shaggy, unkempt brown hair, brown eyes, wearing a dress shirt. He had the same intense look on his face as Godan did when Floyd met him.

 

“Holy shit!” Floyd laughed. He pulled out his other high school yearbooks. “How could I not remember that guy?!”

 

Rambo circled around, then walked back to the living room. More laughter came from Floyd’s room, as well as the sound of turning pages.

Bio: Garret Schuelke is the author of the GODAN series (2018-present, Bakunin Incorporated) WHUP JAMBOREE: STORIES (2017, Elmblad Media Group), ANAMAKEE (2016, Riot Forge), and three poetry ebooks. He is also the host of The Garret Schuelke Podcast. He can be reached at his official website, garretschuelke.tumblr.com , or through Twitter @garretschuelke

Godan4Sketch

GODAN: BLOOD HARMONY by Garret Schuelke (Part Three)

Lord Ruthven ran into the bathroom and vomited. He nearly missed the toilet, and dropped to his knees.

 

“Your slave didn’t succeed, Varney?” Mysta asked, leaning against the door frame.

 

“DON’T CALL ME THAT!” Lord Ruthven yelled. He leaned up against the tub, took some deep breaths, and passed out.

 

Mysta shook her head and snapped her fingers. Upton entered the bathroom, picked the vampire up, and took him back to the bed.

 

“I’ve made up my mind,” Mysta said, opening up the window. “Go back to my office, and retrieve my Anti-Radical serum.”

 

Upton nodded and walked over to the window.

 

“You should know where it is—call me if you have any trouble.”

 

Upton nodded his head again. He then jumped out the window, initiated his jet pack, and began flying to Chicago.

 

Mysta closed the window. She turned around and looked at Lord Ruthven, who was hugging one of pillows.

 

“I’ll give you one more chance tomorrow,” she mumbled, closing the curtains.

 

***

 

Floyd put the pitcher and three glasses on the table.

 

“What’s this?” Joseph asked.

 

Gareth smiled. “PBR.”

 

Joseph looked confused. “PBR?”

 

“Pabst Blue Ribbon!” Floyd said, filling up a glass and handing it to Joseph. “I’ve gotten into it since I’ve moved here. All the kids in the Vine Neighborhood drink it!”

 

“I see,” Joseph accepted the drink and looked it over. “I really wanted to try out this ‘Oberon’ though.”

 

“Oh, my bad! I’ll go get you one.”

 

“I’m good for now, thanks.”

 

Floyd patted him on the shoulder. “My treat, don’t worry about.”

 

Joseph tried to give Floyd a five dollar bill. Floyd put his hand up, repeated “My treat”, grinned, and walked across Waldo’s Campus Tavern to the bar.

 

“He’s really cute,” Joseph said, watching Floyd swagger up to the line. “Is he always this energetic?”

 

“I just met him earlier today, so maybe?” Gareth said, filling a glass for himself. “He seems pretty hammered already.”

 

Joseph nodded. “If I hadn’t recently gotten into a relationship with possibly the most handsome man ever, I’d try to seduce him.”

 

“Don’t let something like a loving relationship stop you,” Gareth downed half his beer. “ ‘What goes on in America’, etcetra etcetra.”

 

“You’re finally smiling,” Joseph said, resting his head in his hand.

 

Gareth realized that he was smiling, and dropped it. “It’s the beer. It’s good, though I’ve become more of an Old Style guy since I moved to Chicago.”

 

“Okay, so what’s been bugging you? Is it this ‘Lord Ruthven’ guy?”

 

“That’s at the forefront right now,” Gareth finished his drink, “but these past few weeks have just been really, really fucking shitty. I almost think I shouldn’t have taken this trip.”

 

“So, what happened?”

 

Gareth sunk into the booth’s cushion. “Don’t want to talk about it.”

 

“Really? You’re seriously gonna leave your cousin hanging like that?”

 

Gareth glared at him. “Yes, you’re the second person I’m gonna leave hanging today.” He sat up. “Why did you just call me cousin?”

 

Joseph hummed while taking a sip of his beer. “I think I know why you’re able to hold my rapier.” He put down his drink. “Wanna take a wild guess?”

 

Gareth rolled his eyes. “Is it because I’m ‘pure hearted’, ‘worthy’, or something,” He poured himself another drink. “Cause I’m neither of those things.”

 

Joseph laughed. “No, it’s because we’re probably related somehow.”

 

Gareth stared at him. “Is that so?”

 

“Yeah. Basically, the guy I got the rapier from told me that no one, in recorded history, has been able to wield it until I came along.”

 

“If no one could ‘wield it’, then how were they able to move it around until it got to you?”

 

“I mean, hold it with your actual hands. You know, grip it, swing it around…they found ways to move it until now.”

 

Gareth sipped his beer. “Okay, I think I’m getting what you mean now. That’s why Floyd said his hands felt like he had put it on top of stove after he held it for a few seconds.”

 

“Yep, I guess that’s the swords self-defense mechanism, you could say.”

 

“So how is it a requirement that only people related to you can wield it though?”

 

Joseph thought it over and shrugged his shoulder. “I just kind of came up with it while we were fighting that monster earlier. It makes sense to me!”

 

Gareth hummed. “Okay, and who exactly was this guy you got this sword from? Some kind of historian? Archaeologist?”

 

Joseph shook his head. “No, he was a mad scientist.”

 

Gareth stared at Joseph.

 

“What?” Joseph asked.

 

“A mad scientist?”

 

“Yep.”

 

Gareth held up his glass. “The most reliable of sources!” He took a big swig.

 

Joseph cringed. “Too true.”

 

“YO!” Floyd yelled, suddenly appearing at the table, surprising the two superheroes. “Bartender said that they’re out of Oberon, but they still got Two Hearted, the other beer Bell’s makes, on tap. Still interested?”

 

Joseph composed himself. “Yeah, that’ll be great!”

 

Floyd winked at Joseph, gave him a thumbs up, and walked back to the bar.

 

“Ain’t he a sweetie?” Joseph asked Gareth.

 

“Yeah, he’s letting me stay overnight in his campus apartment even though I got blood all over his work area, so he’s cool.”

 

Joseph took another sip of his beer. “So, this Lord Ruthven situation,” he looked Gareth directly in the eye, “I’ll help you take him down.”

 

Gareth shook his head. “No, dude, I gotta take care of this myself.”

 

“Why not? We made a pretty good team against that monster. You said it was one of his minions—how hard can he be?”

 

Gareth glared at him. “I barely beat him on the train here. And I took on his other subordinates—they weren’t a joke like this one was.”

 

“All the more reason why you’ll need me around.” Joseph pointed at himself. “Hell, if you weren’t around, I’d be going after him myself!”

 

Gareth shook his head. “He’d waste you in a sec.”

 

“And you just admitted to ‘barely’ beating him. You need my help.”

 

Gareth growled as he stared down at the table.

 

“Oh, I get it—you’re the “Lone Wolf” type. I bet you’ve never even teamed up with another superhuman before now.”

 

“I’ve worked with plenty of other superhumans.” Gareth shot him a glare. “What about you?”

 

Joseph shook his head. “I haven’t until now—it’s why I’m so excited!”

 

Gareth groaned, and rolled his eyes.

 

“Look, I’ll follow your lead,” Joseph said. “After we do our radio interview tomorrow, you’re entirely in charge.”

 

“Who said I was gonna take part in this interview?”

 

Joseph snorted. “You did, after I bugged the shit out of you.” He pointed at Gareth. “No backing down now!”

 

They hear yelling coming from the bar. They looked over and saw Floyd arguing with two fraternity brothers about him cutting in line.

 

“Just what I need,” Gareth said, cracking his knuckles as he stood up.

 

Joseph slipped past him. “Let me take care of this. I think my way will lead to a more peaceful resolution.”

 

Gareth snorted, and sat back down. He was about to refill his glass, but then noticed that the pitcher was nearly empty. Jeez, he thought, draining the rest while watching Joseph get between Floyd and the fraternity brothers.

 

***

 

“I see that you ordered room service while I was gone,” Mysta said as she entered the room.

 

Lord Ruthven ignored her as he ate his steak.

 

“Did you just wake up?” Mysta asked, taking off her wind breaker.

 

Lord Ruthven continued to ignore her, finishing his steak and picking up his bottle of wine.

 

Mysta glared. “How are you feeling?”

 

Lord Ruthven closed his eyes as he chugged the wine.

 

Mysta walked up to him. “ANSWER ME!” she yelled, slapping him alongside the head.

 

The wine spilled onto the bed. Lord Ruthven shot up. He wound back the bottle and brought it down towards Mysta’s face. Upton instantly got between them, blocking the bottle with his hand, shattering it to pieces.

 

“I’M FINE!” Lord Ruthven yelled.

 

“Appears so,” Mysta said, looking over the now fully closed hole that Godan had put through the vampires chest. “I take it that you’re just about ready to start hunting again?”

 

“You damn right!” Lord Ruthven grabbed the blanket and began wiping the wine off his arms, stomach, and chest. “I still have his scent, so even if he took off yesterday after battling my spawn, I can still track him easily…”

 

“Funny you should mention that,” Mysta took out her phone, “because he’s still in the area, along with his new friend.”

 

“New friend?” Lord Ruthven then remembered Wolf Savage from the demons memories. “Oh yeah. Well, that pussy won’t be a problem.”

 

“As a matter of fact, they’re about to go on air in a few minutes.”

 

“On air? What are you going on about?”

 

Mysta handed Lord Ruthven her phone. He looked at it and saw that it was a from WIDR’s official website, detailing Godan and Wolf Savage’s appearance on one of their shows later that day.

“Oh, you have got to be shitting me,” Lord Ruthven said, scrolling.

 

“Nope, seems like your spawn just made them more famous.”

 

“Whatever,” Lord Ruthven grumbled, handing Mysta back her phone, “this just makes it easier to hunt them down—and cause some more carnage!”

 

Lord Ruthven walked to the window and whipped open the curtains.

 

“Leaving already?” Mysta asked.

 

“Not yet,” Lord Ruthven opened the window. “I’m going to lure them to me.”

 

Mysta realized what he was about to do. “DON’T WASTE YOUR STAMINA ON THAT!”

 

Lord Ruthven grinned, closed his eyes, and clenched his fists. He grunted, and his back began to expand.

 

“DAMN YOU!” Mysta looked over at Upton . “Go help him—”

 

Lord Ruthven held up a hand. “I CAN DO THIS MYSELF!”

 

A woman emerged, gasping for air, her hair flowing down Lord Ruthven’s back. He grunted again, pushing her out of him and onto the floor.

 

“She isn’t as powerful as the last spawn,” Lord Ruthven said, standing up straight and stretching. “But she’ll get the job done.”

 

The spawn stood up. Mysta looked her over and became angry.

 

“How dare you,” Mysta’s voice was shaking, “you little shit.”

 

“What, you don’t like it?” Lord Ruthven put his arm around his spawn and parted her hair, reveling her to be a duplicate of Mysta. “How can you not be flattered that I patterned one of my monsters after your beautiful looks?”

 

“Change her look, NOW.”

 

Lord Ruthven turned them around. “Just shut up, Mom.”

 

Mysta snapped her fingers. Upton opened up the compartment in his chest that contained the briefcase he was sent to retrieve. As Lord Ruthven explained his orders to his spawn, Mysta opened up the briefcase to reveal a syringe containing a black serum. She picked it up, examined it, and nodded approvingly towards Upton.

 

“…then we’ll take them together.” Lord Ruthven rubbed his spawns shoulder. “Is that understood?”

 

The doppelganger nodded. Wings spouted from her back.

 

“Good. Remember, don’t engage if you can—LEAD.” The doppelganger nodded again. Lord Ruthven grinned, and pointed out the window. “GO!”

 

The doppelganger flew away towards WMU’s campus. “Now, I just have to wait,” Lord Ruthven said to himself as he shut the window.

 

He heard a snap behind him. Suddenly, he was ensnared by Upton’s tentacles.

 

“WHAT’RE YOU DOING?!” Lord Ruthven yelled. Before he could break free, Upton stunned him with an electric shock, and pulled him into a bear hug.

 

“You’ve disrespected me for the last time, Varney,” Mysta said, holding up the syringe, “it’s about time you got a proper punishment.”

 

Lord Ruthven’s eyes widened. He screamed ‘STOP’ as Mysta jammed the syringe into his neck and injected him. The vampire struggled, but stopped as he felt his heart become numb.

 

Mysta stepped back and put the syringe on the table. “This serum is something I whipped up shortly after I perfected the formula for Alkaline Radicals.”

 

Lord Ruthven screamed as his skin started to wither. Upton let him fall to the floor.

 

“It was a simple idea: if Alkaline Radicals can enhance someones abilities, then there should be an Anti-Radical that can take them away.”

 

Lord Ruthven held his stomach as he felt his insides crush together.

 

“And then some.” Mysta bent down on one knee and watched her son suffer. “I found out through my experiments on the Rudkus’s that it’s perfect for controlling superhumans like you.”

 

Lord Ruthven made a weak leap towards her, mouth wide open. Upton stepped between them. The vampire bit down on the androids leg. He felt his teeth crack.

 

Mysta stood up. “Like Alkaline Radicals, it only lasts for a short time though. The question is, do you think you’ll survive that long?”

 

Lord Ruthven curled into himself on the floor, holding his mouth, screaming.

 

Mysta stepped on his neck. “Only a few gangbangers survived until it wore off, though I obviously expect you to outlast it, with the power you have.” Mysta smiled. “It’s a shame that you won’t get your chance to get revenge on Godan, though.”

 

Lord Ruthven’s eyes widened, and he became still. He felt the intense pain begin to dampen as his rage intensified.

 

“Next time, watch your big mouth.”

 

Lord Ruthven shot upward, sending Mysta stumbling on the floor. He let out a screech so loud and obscene that it made Mysta covered her ears.

 

“STOP IT!” she yelled as Upton covered her. “EVERYONE IN THE WHOLE DAMN TOWN WILL HEAR YOU!”

 

Lord Ruthven’s wings shot out of his back. He stopped screeching and breathed heavily.

 

“I can’t believe it…”

 

Lord Ruthven glared at Mysta, growled, and ran to the window. He smashed through it and flew off.

 

“He is amazing,” Mysta mumbled.

 

A loud banging came from the door, with a hotel clerk on the other side asking if everything was all right.

 

Mysta sighed as Upton helped her to her feet. “Now’s the time to really put my bullshitting skills to the test.”

 

***

 

“This the right place?” Wolf Savage asked as they landed in front of the Faunce Student Services Building.

 

“You tell me,” Godan said, letting go of his hand.

 

“Come on, Gar, don’t be like that!”

 

Godan rolled his eyes. He pointed at the door, which had a sign indicating that WIDR studios was inside.

 

“Yep, we’re here!” Wolf Savage laughed. “Sorry, I’m kinda giddy and nervous and excited, all at the same time, I think, being my first radio interview, and—”

 

“Okay, I get it!” Godan crossed his arms. “Relax, will ya?”

 

Wolf Savage put his hand on Godan’s shoulder. “Thanks for accompanying me.” He gave Godan a sincere look. “I will help you track down this Lord Ruthven guy after this.” Wolf Savage started walking towards the entrance. “After all, what are cousins for?”

 

Godan sighed, and followed Wolf Savage. They went down the hall and found the studio, where Imogene McDonald was hosting her show.

 

“…by Days N’ Daze, and ‘New Mexico Song’ by the legendary Johnny Hobo.” Imogene said, listing the previously played songs as she shuffled through her papers. “You know what the best thing about running this show folks? It’s having to go through these songs and censor out all those explicit, naughty bits, and hope to God that it pleases the FCC.”

 

Wolf Savage knocked on the window. Imogene looked over, saw Wolf Savage waving, and smiled.

 

“Oh my God, folks, it’s that time already! As I announced on my blog post on WIDR’s official website, the canine duo that saved all us students from the monster attack at the Renaissance Festival yesterday, Wolf Savage and Godan, agreed to be interviewed today—and they literally just showed up! Please hold on a sec as I let them in.”

 

Imogene took off her headphones and ran to the door. “Hi guys!”

 

“Hi, Imogene,” Wolf Savage said, extending his hand, smiling.

 

“I am SO glad you two actually showed up,” she said, shaking Wolf Savages hand.

 

“You seriously doubted us?”

 

“Somewhat,” Imogene laughed. “I always raise my expectations too high.”

 

“Well, we’re gonna bring your expectations to that level,” Wolf Savage put his hands on his hips, “and beyond!”

 

Oh, Jesus Christ, Godan thought, rolling his eyes.

 

“Come in and sit down,” Imogene led them inside. “Put on the headphones, and we’ll get to the interview as soon as I finish these announcements.”

 

They sat down and put on said headphones as Imogene began detailing upcoming shows and community events. Godan noticed that Wolf Savage was having trouble putting his headphones on due to his wolf’s head mask. Godan scooted the chair over and adjusted them. Wolf Savage whispered ‘Thanks, cousin!’, and gave him a thumbs up.

 

The doppelganger landed on campus and began looking around. Nearby students saw the naked spawn and began chatting eagerly amongst each other and taking pictures.

 

“…and finally, Shonen Knife is performing this Sunday night at The Strutt, eight o’clock. I’m pretty sure y’all already know about my most favorite venue in town, so check out their official website, Facebook page, or Shonen Knife’s official website for more info.” Imogene shuffled her papers again until she found the questions she wanted to ask the superheroes in her studio. “Now that that’s all been said, today’s show has transformed into a VERY special episode of The Crack House, your hour of all things Folk Punk, hosted by ya girl, DJ Ragged Woman, here at 89.1 FM, W-I-D-R Kalamazoo—your only source for Radio Evolution.”

 

“Deep breaths, ‘Gene,” Wolf Savage said, “deep breaths.”

 

Imogene laughed. “Believe me, I’m used to doing long monologues like that.” She composed herself. “That, folks, is the voice of one of my guests. If you were lucky slash unlucky—depending on your perspective—to have been around the Sangren Pedestrian Mall yesterday, you may have noticed that we were being attacked by a LITERAL monster.”

 

“Looked more like a demon to me,” Wolf Savage said, grinning.

 

Godan nudged him. “Shut up and let her finish,” he mumbled, his hand covering the microphone.

 

Wolf Savage rubbed the back of his head. “Sorry, sorry.”

 

A custodian came out of the Faunce Building and noticed the doppelganger walking towards him. He stopped dead in his tracks. “Uh, ma’am?” he said, not knowing how to react to the beautiful, naked woman in front of him. “Are you all right?”

 

The doppelganger ignored him, staring ahead, unblinking. The custodian moved to the side and the doppelganger entered the building.

 

“College kids,” he mumbled, getting out his phone and dialing the number of campus security.

 

“So let’s welcome to The Crack House, all the way from beautiful Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Wolf Savage!” Imogene started clapping. Wolf Savage did the say. “As well as The Gray Wolf of Chicago—no real introductions needed, I believe, since you have all undoubtedly heard about his feats in the Windy City one way or another—, Godan!” Imogene noticed Godan’s sour look. “Who I can tell is just absolutely enthused to be on the program today.”

 

“Don’t worry about it,” Wolf Savage said. “He’ll come around.”

 

“So, before we began some formal interviewing,” Imogene took out her phone and began taking pictures, “I just want to say, Mr. Savage, that I think your uniform is absolutely fabulous—though I do think the wolf’s head does look a bit clunky.”

 

Wolf Savage laughed. “I’ve gotten that critique a lot, actually. I assure you though that it’s quite comfortable—I wouldn’t be wearing it otherwise.”

 

“Very nice.” Imogene swirled her chair around towards Godan. “No offense, Mr. Gray Wolf, but your uniform, in comparison, is pretty casual and, from what I’ve observed, pretty ragged.”

 

Godan raised an eyebrow. “The lady who calls herself ‘DJ Ragged Woman’ is ragging on me for wearing shitty clothing?”

 

“Nice unintended pun,” Imogene laughed, “but what was that you said? ‘Shifty Clothing’? Wink, wink.”

 

Godan realized what he said. “Oh, yes, ‘shifty clothing.’ That’s totally what I said, FCC.”

 

“That’s what I thought,” Imogene gave him a thumbs up. “For real though, that’s just my observation of your style choice, no offense intended.” She sniffled. “By the way, does anyone else notice that smell?”

 

Godan smiled. “Well, I like to keep it fairly simple.” He rested his head on his hand. “I’m not a flashy person in general, it saves me money—”

 

Imogene held her nose. “Indeed, it does.”

 

Wolf Savage laughed. Godan grinned, and shook his head.

 

“I can assure all the folks listening at home,” Godan tapped his nose, “that my sense of smell tells me that DJ Ragged Woman stinks just as much as I do.” They all broke out in laughter.

 

“See, I told you he would come around,” Wolf Savage said.

 

“No offense, fellow punker,” Godan said.

 

“Why would I ever get offended by something so controversial, yet so true, Gray Wolf?” Imogene replied.

 

The doppelganger finally found the studio. She looked in through the window.

 

Imogene had turned her attention back to Wolf Savage, asking him about his ”origins”. Godan relaxed in the chair—the first time he felt as such in the past couple of days.

 

There was a loud tapping on the studios door window.

 

“Oh, come on!” Imogene looked over. “Am I really being interrupted while conducting my first major radio interview?”

 

Wolf Savage and Godan turned their chairs around. The doppelganger continued tapping the glass.

 

“Who’s that?” Wolf Savage asked, turning to Imogene. “You know her?”

 

Imogene shrugged her shoulders. “No clue. You know her, Godan?”

 

Godan clenched his chair’s arm rests. Shit, he thought, sniffing rapidly.

 

“Uh, Godan,” Imogene got up and tapped his shoulder. “You still with us, hero?”

 

Wolf Savage noticed the look in Godan’s eyes. “Who is she?” he asked, getting up. “Is that ‘Lord Ruthven’?”

 

“Who?” Imogene asked.

 

Godan bolted from the chair and slammed into the door, breaking it off its hinges, and smashing the doppelganger into the wall.

 

“OH, SHIT!” Imogene yelled. She covered her mouth, realizing that she swore on air.

 

Wolf Savage summoned his rapier into his hand. Mist emerged from behind the door and floated down the hall.

 

“GET HER!” Godan yelled, running down the hall.

 

“Just my luck,” Wolf Savage looked at Imogene apologetically, said ‘Sorry!’ and followed Godan and the doppelganger

 

Imogene fell back into her chair. “I’m so fired for this.” She looked at the mic, and sighed. “Okay folks, we’re going to a break, so I can process what has just happened, and probably cry.” She pressed a button. “Here’s a song by Defiance, Ohio.”

 

Godan and Wolf Savage burst through the door. They watched as the doppelganger materialized—with wings—and flew away.

 

“That’s Lord Ruthven?” Wolf Savage asked.

 

“No, but it smells just like him, and that monster we fought yesterday.” He extended his hand. “Let’s go!”

 

Wolf Savage nodded, grabbed onto Godan, and flew off.

Bio: Garret Schuelke is the author of the GODAN series (2018-present, Bakunin Incorporated) WHUP JAMBOREE: STORIES (2017, Elmblad Media Group), ANAMAKEE (2016, Riot Forge), and three poetry ebooks. He is also the host of The Garret Schuelke Podcast. He can be reached at his official website, garretschuelke.tumblr.com , or through Twitter @garretschuelke

Godan4Sketch

GODAN: BLOOD HARMONY by Garret Schuelke (Part Two)

Godan4Sketch

Floyd Spicer entered the laundry room and leaned his broom against the wall. His small radio started to emit static.

 

“This is what I get for thrifting a three dollar radio,” Floyd sighed . He placed it on the window still and adjusted the antenna until WIDR, the student radio station of Western Michigan University, came in perfectly.

 

He looked around and saw that someone had once again removed the detergent dispensers from the washing machine. He rolled his eyes, sighed again, and put them back in.

 

Floyd examined the rest of the room. His eyes zeroed in on red splotches that covered the floor. His anger grew.

 

“That’s it—I’m requesting that this room get shut down for a bit!” He opened up the door and pulled in the mop and bucket he had left outside. “I knew this vandalism-warning sign bullshit wouldn’t work!”

 

The red splotches disappeared after two swipes. He took care of the rest of the floor. His mop bumped up against the storage room door. It slightly opened. Floyd then noticed that doorknob was busted.

 

“OH…kay,” Floyd said, standing still. He looked down and saw the same red splotches on the floor leading into the storage room.

 

He looked through the crack. Sunlight beamed through the storage room window, illuminating some leftover bedposts from previous tenets, cleaning supplies, and a mattress on the floor.

 

Floyd leaned against the door in order to get a better look. He saw a person curled up on the mattress.

 

“Huh?” Floyd muttered.

 

The door began to creek loudly. The person instantly sat up and glared. Floyd slammed the door, and ran out of the laundry room.

 

“Ah, fuck me,” the person said, rubbing his eyes.

 

“WHERE THE FUCK IS THAT NUMBER?!” Floyd yelled, scrolling through his phone contacts for campus security as he sprinted across the second floor. He said ‘Fuck it’ and dialed his supervisors number. He looked behind him and saw that the person wasn’t following him. The phone began to ring. He calmed down, and walked down the stairs.

 

“Not getting paid enough for this shit,” Floyd muttered, listening to the phone ring.

 

At the bottom of the stairs stood Gareth. His mask hung around his neck, and his entire front was covered in blood.

 

“Hey, I’m sorry for scaring you like that,” Gareth said, adjusting his backpack, “and for the mess. I’m leaving now.”

 

They stared at each other. Floyd’s supervisor’s phone stopped ringing and went to voicemail.

 

***

 

Lord Ruthven felt someone shaking him. He opened his eyes and saw light coming through the sides of the window curtains. The figure gripped his shoulder, and turned him over onto his back.

 

Lord Ruthven swung. The figure caught his wrist.

 

“Calm down, son,” another figure, sitting in an office chair across the room, said.

 

Lord Ruthven pulled his arm away and got out of the bed. “Where am I, Mom? he asked , pulling back the curtains. He looked out the window and saw Michigan Avenue.

 

“At the Raddison, located in beautiful downtown Kalamazoo!” The figure leaned back in the office chair, allowing her long, black hair to flow down. “This is my first time staying here, and I’m actually liking it. It’s much quieter than Chicago.”

 

“What a hole,” Lord Ruthven muttered, turning around.

 

“And you used to say that I was spoiled.” Mysta Avon, Chicago entrepreneur and head of Mysta Industries, said as she crossed her legs. “Now get back to bed before the hole in your chest—and the holes in your head—open back up.”

 

Lord Ruthven looked down and saw that his torso was wrapped in bandages. He touched his head and felt the bandage that surround his skull. He flinched.

 

“Careful now, boy—you’re not even close to being healed up. You’ll probably have scars too. You might want to consider growing your hair out again.”

 

Lord Ruthven growled. “How did you recover me?”

 

Mysta thumbed towards the bed “I had him monitoring you since you left all of a sudden. As always, my instincts were correct about you being in trouble—near death this time.”

 

Lord Ruthven looked over and saw a large, flat-faced android with square eyes, mouth, and long, dreaded hair standing obediently, waiting for orders. Lord Ruthven recognized him as the former leader of The Rudkus’s.

 

“So, you finally got the boy toy you wanted,” Lord Ruthven did not hide his disgust. “Bet that feels good.”

 

“I always try to relish in my goals being accomplished.” Mysta snapped her fingers. “Upton here retrieved you from the ambulance as I took care of these accommodations.”

 

Upton walked up Lord Ruthven and stood in front of him.

 

“What is he doing?” Lord Ruthven asked.

 

“Oh, he just waiting on my command to force you back into bed if you don’t do so on your own.” Mysta replied, chewing at her nail.

 

Lord Ruthven glared. “Excuse me?”

 

“You need your rest,” Mysta stood up. “Cause you certainly can’t face the Gray Wolf of Chicago again in your current state.”

 

“Fuck off! You don’t tell me what to do!”

 

Mysta shook her head, snapped her fingers, picked up a bag, and walked into the bathroom. Metal tentacles shot out of Upton’s back and, before Lord Ruthven could react, he was enveloped in them.

 

“LET ME GO!” Lord Ruthven yelled as he struggled. Upton lifted him off the floor.

 

“MOTHER KNOWS BEST, DEAR!” Mysta yelled from the bathroom.

 

She made him stronger, Lord Ruthven thought as he glared at Upton. He tried to summon fire from his hands, but he could not feel anything come up. Upton walked him over to the bed and laid him down, severing his own tentacles.

 

“This may be hard for you to believe right now,” Mysta said, coming out of the bathroom, “but you’ll thank me for this later.”

 

Lord Ruthven calmed down. He looked at his mother and noticed that she had changed out of her business attire. “What’s with the track suit?” he asked.

 

“I’m going out for a little run around the town,” Mysta said, stretching. “You just lay back and heal, Varney.”

 

Lord Ruthven’s rage exploded. “DON’T CALL ME THAT!” He started struggling to break out of the tentacles wrapped around him. “LET. ME. GO!”

 

Mysta put her hands on her hips. “You’re not gonna let this go, are you?”

 

Lord Ruthven glared.

 

“Then we got no time to waste.” Mysta bent down near her luggage and picked up a briefcase. “His healing factor is vastly superior to yours.” She put the briefcase on the desk and opened it. “But I don’t think I need to tell you that.”

 

Lord Ruthven growled.

 

“He’ll either come for you, or he’ll be making a run for it.” She took a syringe out of the briefcase. “And based on how you fought last time, it might be the former—since I don’t see any reason he has to fear you—”

 

Lord Ruthven’s eyes widened. “OH, FUCK NO!” he yelled, beginning to struggle again.

“Sad but true, son.” Mysta said, examining the syringe.

 

“There’s no way in hell you’re shooting me up with your Alkaline Radicals!”

 

Mysta rolled her eyes. “You want to heal up right now? Cause this is the only way to do so!”

 

Lord Ruthven stopped struggling. “Just give me a day or two, I’ll be ready by then.”

 

“Now you change your mind,” Mysta sighed. “I never understood your opposition to my serum.”

 

“I’m not going to explain it to you AGAIN why I don’t like that shit.” He looked up at Upton. “It worked really well for him and rest of his gangbangers, didn’t it?”

 

Mysta walked up to Lord Ruthven and pressed her hand down on his forehead. “I think you’ll change your mind once you actually experience it for yourself,” she said, lowering the syringe towards his neck.

 

Lord Ruthven’s eyes bulged. He screamed, and an arm broke through the tentacles, swatting away the syringe, which smashed against the wall.

 

“NO RADICALS!” Lord Ruthven yelled, freeing his other arm and sitting up.

 

“Better calm yourself,” Mysta said, pointing towards Upton, who had his open palm next to Lord Ruthven’s head, ready to fire an energy blast.

 

Mother and son glared at each other. Mysta, while angry, kept her composure. Lord Ruthven breathed heavily as he sat up.

 

“I told you to calm down,” Mysta said.

 

Lord Ruthven grinned. He closed his eyes and grunted. Two arms suddenly shot out of his back.

“NO!” Mysta yelled. “YOU’LL KILL YOURSELF!”

 

Lord Ruthven screamed in agony. The arms grew claws. Upton got between Mysta and Lord Ruthven just as a demonic monstrosity shot halfway out of his body. It immediately grew long, drooping horns and wings.

 

“UPTON!” Mysta smacked the androids arms. “GO PULL THE REST OUT OF HIM!”

Upton nodded, and got behind Lord Ruthven. He grabbed the demon by the arms and pulled. Lord Ruthven screamed as the rest of it came out of him.

 

“TASE AND RESTRAIN!” Mysta yelled. Upton nodded again, wrapped the demon in his tentacles, and shocked it, bringing it to its knees.

 

“Let him go,” Lord Ruthven said, getting out of bed.

 

“You’re insane for doing that,” Mysta said.

 

 

“I’m way stronger than you’ll ever give me credit for.” Lord Ruthven walked up to Upton and glared. Upton unwrapped the demon and backed away.

 

“Come here,” Lord Ruthven said to the demon. The demon got up and looked him over. “Look into my eyes.”

 

The demon did so. Lord Ruthven and his spawn communicated in a way that only they were capable of.

 

“So fucking stupid,” Mysta muttered.

 

Lord Ruthven smiled, patted the demon on the shoulder, and led him towards the window. He opened it up, ripped out the screen, and the demon flew off.

 

“You could have done yourself in,” Mysta picked up the broken syringe, “pulling a stunt like that.”

 

“But I didn’t, now did I?,” Lord Ruthven said, laying down on the bed.

 

“Where exactly is he going?”

 

“Hunting for wolves,” Lord Ruthven grinned.

 

Mysta put the broken syringe on the desk and walked over to the window. “And how exactly am I supposed to explain this to the staff?” she asked, closing the window.

 

Lord Ruthven rolled his eyes. “Cut them a check or something,” he said, grabbing a pillow and putting it on top of his head.

 

Mysta growled. She looked at her android. “Upton, guard duty. I’m going for a run.”

 

Upton nodded. Mysta glared at Lord Ruthven, who she could already tell was back asleep. “Moron,” she muttered, leaving the room.

 

Upton stepped in front of the closed door, turned to face the room, and stood guard as demanded by his mistress.

 

***

 

Joseph Crowfoot looked at the campus map again. He scanned the dining hall, and threw the map into the air

 

“You look very frustrated,” Floyd said.

 

“OH!” Joseph said, surprised by Floyd seemingly appearing in the booth he was standing next to. The map landed on the table, between Floyd and Gareth, on top of their food.

 

“Oh my God, I’m so sorry,” Joseph said, trying to compose himself. Gareth glared at Joseph, and growled. Joseph laughed nervously.

 

“No prob,” Floyd handed Joseph his map. “What are you looking for?”

 

“I’m here for the Renaissance Festival. Do you know which way it is to the Sangren Pedestrian Mall?”

 

Floyd nodded. “Yeah, it’s right across campus that way,” Floyd pointed towards wall. “Go outside, take a right—you can’t miss it.”

 

“Joseph smiled. “Thanks much!” he folded up his map, and noticed the pizza sauce coating the bottom. “Sorry about the freakout.”

 

“It happens to all of us,” Floyd said.

 

Joseph looked at Gareth. “Sorry, friend.”

 

Gareth grunted. He took another slice of pizza and bit into it.

 

“For real, I’m sorry—”

 

“He’s been grumpy all day,” Floyd said. “Even getting a free meal hasn’t made him crack a smile.”

 

“I see.” Joseph looked at his phone. “I gotta get going—I’m nearly late!”

 

“All right, best of luck.”

 

Joseph gave them a quick wave and ran out of the dining hall. Floyd watched him leave. He the turned his attention back to Gareth, who was licking his lips.

 

“As I was asking,” Floyd held up that days issue of the Kalamazoo Gazette. “You did this?”

 

Gareth picked up another slice of pizza. “Yep.”

 

The front page, which had the headline “UNKNOWN CREATURE BROUGHT DOWN BY MASKED VIGILANTEE, POLICE”, featured a photo of Lord Ruthven, in his demon form, laying underneath a white sheet surrounded by members of the Kalamazoo Police Department.

 

“How?”

 

“Cause I was stronger than him.” Gareth took a bite out of the pizza.

 

“Really?” Floyd looked at the photo. “He looks way bigger than you.”

 

“He was, but that didn’t mean shit.”

 

“But he did get you pretty good, with all the blood you shed,”

 

Gareth swallowed. “Yeah, but I was too distracted to manually heal myself and—”

 

 

“ ‘Manually heal yourself’?” Floyd looked confused. “Like a healing factor, or something.”

 

“Yeah, I can heal myself if I concentrate, or, as when we met, it goes into affect over time.”

 

“Why didn’t you heal yourself right after you took him down?”

 

Gareth glared. “I was preoccupied.”

 

“With what?”

 

“Getting away.”

 

Floyd snorted. “That’s it?”

 

Gareth growled. “It’s been a hard couple of days for me.”

 

“Oh.” Floyd looked concerned. “What happened?”

 

Gareth grabbed a slice of pizza. “I don’t wanna talk about it.”

 

“HEY! THAT WAS THE LAST ONE YOU PIG!”

 

For the first time that day, Gareth smiled.

 

Joseph ran through the Renaissance Festival crowd. He bumped into a punker with dreads that nearly went down to her waist. Joseph apologized, and kept running. The woman called him a dick, and returned her attention to her subject, introducing herself as Imogene McDonald, DJ and intern at WIDR.

 

On top of the Bernard Center, Lord Ruthven’s demon spawn landed, and started scanning the area.

 

Joseph stopped to catch his breath. Okay, now where’s my group at, he thought. He put his hands up in frustration. Seeing a bench, he walked up to it and sat down to rest next to someone dressed as a warlock.

 

“So, you said earlier that you were coming from up north?” Floyd asked.

 

Gareth took a sip of his water. “That also falls under ‘I don’t wanna talk about it’ category.”

 

“Hey, you brought it up earlier when we first met.”

 

Gareth glared. “I was just trying to make conversation so you wouldn’t freak your shit.”

 

“Okay, let me guess then: Traverse City?”

 

Gareth cringed. “No,” he muttered, wiping his hands off with some napkins.

 

Floyd hummed. “Alpena?”

 

Gareth cringed again. Floyd’s eyes widened. “Damn, I guessed right?” He clapped his hands together. “I’m from Alpena!”

 

Gareth tossed the napkins to the side. “Good for you.”

 

The demon spotted a student holding her corgi. The corgi barked, put its two front legs on the students shoulder, and licked her ear.

 

“Are you originally from there?” Floyd said, following Gareth

 

“Yeah,” Gareth muttered, walking faster as they left the dining hall.

 

“Oh! What year did you graduate high school?” Floyd kept up with him. “You look about my age—I graduated in 2006!”

 

“No, I didn’t mean that!” Gareth exited the Bernard Center. “Leave me alone!”

 

“Wait, what?” Floyd got in front of him. “Why the hostility?”

 

“Look, I’m sorry for being a dick, but I already told you enough.” Gareth pushed past him. “I have a secret identity to maintain, and I gotta get back to Chicago.”

 

Floyd narrowed his eyes. “Dude, you told me your real name.”

 

“Shit,” Gareth thought it over. “Well…that’s not really my name!”

 

Floyd grinned. “Then what is it?”

 

“Niles Standish.”

 

“Okay, now I know both your real AND fake name.”

 

Gareth realized that Floyd had unknowingly tricked him. His anger grew.

 

The demon dove towards the student, claws outstretched.

 

Gareth caught a faint scent that he recognized as Lord Ruthven’s. “He’s still alive?” he said, looking around and sniffing rapidly.

 

“What?” Floyd asked.

 

The demon reappeared into their view, shooting back up into the air, holding both the student and her dog.

 

Gareth saw it, cursed, and dashed into some nearby bushes. Floyd followed him.

 

“Is that the same thing you fought last night?!” Floyd asking, crouching besides Gareth.

 

Gareth put on his mask. He then transformed—his hair instantly turned gray, and his finger nails grew into claws.

 

“Guess it is,” Floyd said, speechless.

 

At the same time, Joseph shot up from his resting spot. He watched the student scream into the demon’s face. The demon roared back. The corgi barked at it and attempted to attack, though it was unable to escape its owners grasp.

 

“So much for a peaceful class vacation in the U.S.,” Joseph muttered.

 

The demon roared again, and bit down onto the Corgi’s head. The student screamed louder, and thrashed about, as it tore the dog’s head off its body.

 

Joseph looked around desperately. He noticed some of the students were running into a building called The Peace Center. He followed them inside and immediately saw a sign indicating that the bathroom was downstairs.

 

“OUTTA MY WAY!” Joseph yelled, pushing the students aside. “I’M GOING TO BE SICK! LET ME THROUGH!”

 

The students did so, and Joseph entered the bathroom and went into one of the stalls. He locked the door, took a deep breath, closed his eyes, and concentrated. His entire body became enveloped by a red aura. The aura swirled around him, and suddenly disappeared.

 

Joseph now wore a black spandex suit, bearing a red wolf’s head on his chest. He also had red gloves, red boots, a red cape, and a wolf’s head mask. He held out his hand.

 

“Looks like Kalamazoo will be the first American city,” a rapier materialized into his hand, “that Wolf Savage will make an appearance in!”

 

Godan sped through the fleeing students, knocking some of them over. Fuck this, he thought, crouching down. He leapt into the air, heading towards the demon.

 

“This is so fucking cool!” Imogene, one of the few students who did not run away, said to herself as she recorded Godan flying through the air with her phone.

 

Godan grabbed onto the demon’s legs. He immediately climbed up to the demon’s shoulder and punched it in the face. It’s not him, Godan thought. It then dawned on him that someone was screaming in his ear. He turned his head and saw the student, covered in her dogs blood, still clutching it while crying. The demon roared.

 

“Sorry about this,” he said, grabbing the headless carcass out of the students arms and shoving it into the demons mouth. The demon released the student. Godan dove off, grabbed the student, and held her close as they landed.

 

“OKAY! OKAY!” Godan yelled, pushing the screaming student away from him. “YOU MADE ME DEAF!”

 

Wolf Savage flew out of the Peace Center and went straight up. He extended his rapier, and stabbed the demon from behind. He demon coughed up the dog carcass and wailed. Wolf Savage poured his energy into his sword, causing red energy blasts to erupt out of the demon from various points.

 

“Fast and easy,” Wolf Savage said, grinning.

 

The demon suddenly turned around, causing Wolf Savage to lose his hold on his rapier, and swatted him away.

 

That’s usually a one-hit take down, Wolf Savage thought, regaining his composure. He looked down at his uniform and noticed that it was splattered with blood. “Ugh! Really?”

 

The demon roared, and flew at Wolf Savage.

 

“Pretty good call on my part,” Wolf Savage raised his fists, “not going with that snow white variation of the suit.”

 

Who the hell is that, Godan thought as he watched Wolf Savage and the demon trade blows. He clenched his fists. At least he’s giving me a good opportunity!

 

Godan jumped back up. He landed on the demon’s back and put him into a headlock.

 

“WHO THE HELL ARE YOU?!” Wolf Savage yelled, backing away.

 

“None of your business!’ Godan said, tightening his grip. He turned his head towards the demons ear. “Where’s Ruthven at?”

 

“Ruthven?” Wolf Savage asked.

 

The demon shot upwards, and began flying around erratically, trying to get Godan off.

 

“ANSWER ME!” Godan yelled, raking his claws across the demons chest. It flew backwards and smashed Godan into a building.

 

“THAT’S ENOUGH!” Wolf Savage yelled, driving his fist into the demons stomach. The demon coughed up blood. Wolf Savage winced as the blood splattered his mask. He then started rapidly punching it in the stomach.

 

“SHIT!” Godan yelled as Wolf Savage’s blows caused him to be crushed even harder between the demon and the building. “STOP IT, YOU DUMB MOTHERFUCKER!”

 

“WHO ARE YOU CALLING ‘DUMB’?!” Wolf Savage then saw some pieces of the building fall to the ground and realized what he was doing. “Oh, no,” he backed away. “Sorry!”

 

The demon shot upwards, causing Godan to lose his grip. He grabbed the handle of the rapier, pulling it out of the demon’s back.

 

Just what I need, Godan thought, looking at the sword that he thought would stop his fall, more pain.

 

Godan looked over at Wolf Savage as he passed by. Wolf Savage looked flabbergasted.

 

“HELLO?!” Godan yelled, waiving his arms around. “YOU GONNA SAVE ME, OR WHAT?!”

Wolf Savage snapped to attention. “Right!” he yelled, swooping down and catching him. “How the hell are you holding that?!”

 

“Huh?” Godan looked at the rapier. “Why can’t I hold your sword?”

 

“I’m the only person that can wield it without getting burnt!”

 

“Burnt? Doesn’t feel that hot to me.”

 

They heard screeching. They looked up, and Wolf Savage move just in time to dodge the demon’s slash.

 

“THROW ME AT HIM!” Godan yelled.

 

Wolf Savage nodded. He twirled around, and let go of Godan’s hand. The demon turned around. Godan then thrust the rapier through the middle of the its face, destroying its nose. Godan held onto the hilt, put his feet against the demons chest, and braced himself as they crashed into the pavement.

 

“BLAST HIM LIKE I DID!” Wolf Savage yelled as he flew down.

 

“Do what?” Godan replied, standing up, shaking from the impact.

 

Wolf Savage landed. He pushed Godan to the side, grabbed the hilt of the rapier, and sent a surge of energy through it. The demon’s head exploded.

 

“That,” Wolf Savage said, bring the rapier up and twirling it around. “I should have put more power into it when I first attacked.” Wolf Savage put the rapier in his holster, placed his hands on his hips, and smiled. “He was tougher than I imagined!”

 

“More likely, you’re not as tough as you think you are,” Godan said, glaring at Wolf Savage as he wiped the chunks of demon off himself. He sniffed at Wolf Savage rapidly.

 

“Is there a problem?” Wolf Savage asked.

 

“Plenty,” Godan looked him over. “You smell really familiar.”

 

They heard a commotion behind them. They turned around, and saw a woman pushing her way through the slowly emerging crowd of students.

 

“Looks like the student we saved is coming to thank us!” Wolf Savage said.

 

Godan cringed. “I think you’ll be surprised.”

 

The woman emerged, notepad in hand.

 

“That’s not the chick we saved,” Godan said, sighing in relief.

 

“HEY, GUYS!” the woman said, reaching them. She took a deep breath.

 

“Hey yourself,” Godan said, rubbing the inside of his ear. “Don’t shout, will ya? My ears are still ringing from all the screaming and roaring.”

 

“Sorry, sorry,” the woman composed herself. “I’m Imogene McDonald, DJ and intern at WIDR. Can I interview you two?”

 

“Interview?” Wolf Savage’s eyes widened.

 

“No,” Godan said, “me and this guy have to ta—”

 

“I’d love to chat!” Wolf Savage said, getting in front of Godan. “Ignore him—he’s grumpy.”

 

Imogene grinned. “Great! Who are you?” she asked, pointing her pen at them.

 

Wolf Savage pounded his chest. “I’m Wolf Savage, guardian of Windsor, and Canada’s most well know superhero!”

 

“Really?” Imogene wrote it down, “so does that mean you’re with the Ontario student group that traveled here for the Renaissance Festival?”

 

“Yes, I am!”

 

Imogene looked him directly in the eyes. “So you must be student then? What school do you attend? What year?”

 

Wolf Savages smile disappeared.

 

Nice, Godan thought, grinning.

 

Wolf Savage smiled again. “No, I’m not a student! I just heard about this trip and, going on some information that I got from my contacts, thought it would be good idea to shadow them.”

 

“Your contacts?” Imogene stopped writing. “So you knew this was going to happen?” She pointed at the headless demon. “Did you tell anyone in the group? Anyone here at WMU?”

 

Godan covered his mouth, trying to contain his laughter.

 

“No, because I didn’t want to needlessly alert anyone in case my contacts were wrong!”

 

He’s got an answer for everything, Godan thought.

 

Imogene tried to ask another question, but was interrupted by Wolf Savage. “I’m just glad I was here to help before anyone got hurt. Did I mention that this is my first time visiting the United States?”

 

Imogene shook her head.

 

“It is! I’m glad to say that I’ve helped out here!”

 

“That’s awesome,” Imogene said, writing down in her notes. “And how long have you known The Gray Wolf of Chicago,” she asked, pointing her pen at Godan.

 

Wolf Savage suddenly looked at Godan, wide-eyed. “THAT’S THE GRAY—” Wolf Savage then pretended to cough, and composed himself.“A long time, in fact!” he put his arm around Godan’s shoulder. “Ol’ Gray and I are longtime buddies.”

 

Godan glared at him. “I never even knew you existed until today.”

 

Wolf Savage bit his lip and looked at Imogene, who was giggling. He then noticed various flashes, and saw the students gathering closer, taking pictures with their cameras and phones.

 

“How about you, Godan?” Imogene said. “Why so far from Chicago?”

 

Godan waved his hand. “No comment.”

 

“Oh, come on!” Imogene got closer. “Can I get at least one comment, pretty please?”

 

The crowd had completely surrounded the trio—most of them praising Godan and asking him for an autograph or a picture.

 

“Godan is just a little anxious being around this many people after a hard battle,” Wolf Savage said. “If you would like, Miss McDonald, I can fly us to someplace where we can give you a more in-depth interview.”

 

Imogene perked up. “I have a better idea.” She flipped over the paper in her notepad. “Want to be on my radio show? You two can be my first ever interviewees on it!”

 

No,” Godan mumbled.

 

“We’ll do it!” Wolf Savage said. “What the time and place?”

 

Imogene wrote down the time and location of WIDR’s offices, ripped the page out of her notepad, and handed it to Wolf Savage, who assured them that they would be there.

 

“Cool, I’ll see you guys then!” she said,

 

Godan pinched Wolf Savage’s arm. “Fly us out of here, now.”

 

Wolf Savage looked at his arm. “You better not have ripped my suit!” he muttered.

 

“Or what, you’ll blow me up?”

 

“That’s one possibility.”

 

“You couldn’t even find your way here with a map, asshole,” Godan pointed at him. “You expect me to think you’ll—”

 

Wolf Savage put his arm around Godan’s waist. “Fine, let’s talk.”

 

Wolf Savage flew them away from campus. The crowd cheered, chanting both of their names. Imogene pumped her fist and congratulated herself.

Bio: Garret Schuelke is the author of the GODAN series (2018-present, Bakunin Incorporated) WHUP JAMBOREE: STORIES (2017, Elmblad Media Group), ANAMAKEE (2016, Riot Forge), and three poetry ebooks. He is also the host of The Garret Schuelke Podcast. He can be reached at his official website, garretschuelke.tumblr.com , or through Twitter @garretschuelke

Godan Blood Harmony by Garret Schuelke (Part One)

Godan4Sketch.jpg

Pain shot through Gareth’s face. He screamed, turned to the side, and covered his cheek.

“You really have been pounding the bottle hard,” he heard someone above him say. He heard some slurping. “I could probably get drunk on your blood.”

Gareth pulled his hand away. In the moonlight, he saw blood cover his palm. He turned around, looked up, and saw a muscular figure wearing a sleeveless undershirt and jeans standing over him, licking his nail.

“That’s my sweatshirt you’re wearing,” the figure said, leaning forward. “Mind giving it back before we begin?”

Gareth growled. “Begin what? Making out?”

The figure punched Gareth in the face, making his head bounce against the gondola. Gareth caught the second blow, and pushed him back. He tried to stand up, but the trains movement made him stumble back down onto his backpack.

“Never mind,” the figure said, brushing his hand through his buzz cut, “it’s just a sweatshirt. You can wear it in your grave.”

Gareth felt his hand brush the neck of his whiskey bottle. He grabbed it, and threw it at the figure.

“Pathetic,” the figure said as he swatted the bottle away. “I’m starting to think I got the wrong guy.”

The figure noticed that Gareth was no longer in front of him. He looked down the gondola and sw Gareth tying on his mask.

“Nope, it’s you.” The figure hummed. “Wait, don’t you have…”

Gareth’s hair turned gray, and his claws grew, as he transformed.

“Yep, my assassins weren’t imagining things.”

“WHAT ARE YOU BABBLING ABOUT?!” Godan yelled, getting into a battle stance. “WHO ARE YOU?!”

“Take a good look, dog,” the figure said, crossing his arms. “You spent all that time in my house—surely you saw a picture or two of me hanging about.”

Godan glared. “What house?”

“Come on, really?” He suddenly glared at Godan and bared his teeth, revealing fangs. “The one you just burnt down, asshole!”

Godan’s eyes widened. His thoughts immediately went to the portrait he first saw in the hallway of the house when he broke into it, which featured a man wearing a suit and a woman in a lab coat wearing some sort of crown.

“You’re him,” Godan stiffened, “You’re Dia’s lover— ”

“See? I knew you were just playing dumb.”

“You’re that Lord Ruthven guy!

He rolled his eyes. “It’s just ‘Lord Ruthven’, okay?”

Godan took a deep breath. “How did you find me?”

“That was easy enough.” Lord Ruthven tapped his temple. “Just as my assassins were mentally linked to one another, I’m connected to them as well. I saw everything they saw—what you did to them, what Dia did—”

Godan’s anger grew. “So, you’re here for revenge?!”

“Revenge? Yes, I…wait, what do you think I’m here for?”

Godan raised an eyebrow. “Because I was fucking Dia while you weren’t around, then she up and died?”

“Jesus, Christ,” Lord Ruthven mumbled as he face palmed himself. “No, I don’t give a fuck about that werewolf freak!”

“Okay, then why are you here. I’m stumped.”

“Like I said,” Lord Ruthven took his hand away and balled it into a fist, “ you burnt down MY. FUCKING. HOUSE!”

Godan stared at him.

Lord Ruthven’s anger grew. “What are you staring at?”

“You’re coming after me for burning down your house?”

“Yes, you stupid canine! Just how thick is your goddamn skull?!”

Godan shook with rage. “FUCK YOU!” he yelled, pointing at the vampire. “FUCK YOUR HOUSE, FUCK DIA…”

Lord Ruthven began to turn into mist.

“FUCK TRAVERSE CITY, AND AGAIN, FUCK…”

Godan watched as Lord Ruthven disappeared.

“You…” Godan trailed off. He looked around rapidly. Where he go, he thought, getting back into a battle stance.

Lord Ruthven materialized behind Godan and put him in a headlock. “Before I pop your head off, I’ll tell you how I found you, since I kind of just went ahead and change the subject there,” Lord Ruthven squeezed Godan’s neck as he leaned into his ear. “I followed my noise—which was an easy way to track you, since you stink!”

Godan swung his neck to the side, and flung it back, bashing Lord Ruthven in the face. The vampire released him. Godan jumped back, then rushed at him, smashing Lord Ruthven in the chest with his elbow, ramming him against the wall.

“Exposing your neck like that,” Lord Ruthven coughed, “pretty ballsy move to do in the clutches of a vampire!”

“If those weirdo ‘assassins’ of yours are any indication, then I don’t have anything to worry about.”

Lord Ruthven noticed the scratch he made on Godan’s cheek closing up.

“Nice healing factor,” he said, grabbing Godan’s arm. “Let’s see how well it fares against a true king of the undead!”

Godan swiped at his face. Lord Ruthven instantly turned into mist. Godan’s claws went through the air, spinning him around. He looked around for and saw Lord Ruthven on the other side of the gondola.

“DAMMIT!” Godan yelled.

Lord Ruthven held his hand out and grunted. Godan felt something wrap around his body, and he was propelled forward. Before he could break free, he fell into Lord Ruthven’s arms, and was put into a bear hug.

“Too easy!” the vampire said, biting into his neck.

Godan gritted his teeth. He tried pulling his head away. Lord Ruthven tightened his embrace and sucked harder. Godan screamed as he tried to head butt with no luck.

Godan stopped struggling. It worked once, he thought. Godan opened his mouth, threw his head down, and bit into Lord Ruthven’s shoulder.

“SHIT!” Lord Ruthven yelled, releasing Godan and pushing him to the ground. “YOU FILTHY ANIMAL!”

“Just like your ‘assassins’,” Godan spit Lord Ruthven’s blood out of his mouth. “You can dish it out, but you can’t take it!”

“Oh yeah, you did bite one of them,” Lord Ruthven put his hand up again. This time, Godan felt a force smash into him, sending him flying across the train. “Absolutely disgusting!”

Godan stood up. He noticed Lord Ruthven’s arm begin to bulge.

“Remember this, wolf boy?!” Lord Ruthven yelled as his palm opened. Bats burst forth and went straight towards the Gray Wolf.

Godan charged at the bats. He slashed at them rapidly, making his way towards Lord Ruthven.

Well, damn, Lord Ruthven thought, he’s actually deflecting them. He concentrated his power, shooting more bats at a higher velocity.

Godan slashed faster. Seeing Lord Ruthven’s smiling face between the bats filled him with rage. He launched himself forward. The bats sunk their teeth and claws into his skin. He grabbed Lord Ruthven’s hand and pinned it against the wall.

“Your slave tried that already!” Godan yelled. “It didn’t work.”

Lord Ruthven laughed. “Oh, dog,” he said, shaking his head. He used his other hand to flick off a bat that was chomping on Godan’s shoulder, “ Dia’s memory says differently.”

Godan threw a punch. Lord Ruthven turned into mist and reappeared behind him. Godan tried kicking him. Lord Ruthven hopped back.

“What, did Dia keep you updated on how her brainwashing of me was going?!” Godan asked, ripping the other bats off of himself.

Lord Ruthven put his hands on his hips. “I extracted the entire adventure you two had when I was draining her corpse. Her psychic abilities come from me, so of course I could search her mind like I could my assassins.”

Godan tore off the last bat. “She would have been just as rotten without your ‘powers’.”

“Agreed. She thought of me only as her ticket out of the woods—”

“Well, you’re right about that.” Godan crushed the last bat.

Lord Ruthven sighed. “Indeed. But I learned after taking her in—the first time sleeping together, in fact—that you can’t take the beast out of the forest.” Lord Ruthven grinned. “By the way, how was your visit to Alpena? Was it a nice homecoming, hick?

Godan threw the bat at Lord Ruthven, who swatted it away, and leapt at him. Lord Ruthven once again turned to mist as Godan slashed through him.

Vanilla, Godan thought, picking up the scent as he turned around. He continued trying to attack Lord Ruthven, who kept turning into mist. It’s the same smell that was in the air when I first met Dia!

Godan stopped, closed his eyes, and concentrated on the scent. He caught it directly above him. He opened his eyes, and launched himself upward.

Lord Ruthven reformed himself. He looked down and saw Godan’s knuckles. Godan uppercuted him. WHAT?!, he thought as his head snapped back.

He fell onto the tracks. Godan landed and grabbed his leg before he could react. He spun Lord Ruthven around, and threw him towards the woods.

Godan heard a large tree fall. He slid down the track and ran towards the continued cracking sounds. He looked saw a leg and arm of Lord Ruthven’s sticking out from under a tree. He walked up and kicked his foot. Lord Ruthven did not move.

“Asshole,” Godan muttered, spitting on Lord Ruthven’s hand. He ran up onto the track and sped back towards the train.

The spit ran down Lord Ruthven’s hand. Suddenly, it became clenched, and shook until blood began to drip.

“CANINE BASTARD!” Lord Ruthven yelled. He closed his eyes. No more holding back, he thought.

Wings shot out of his back. They grew in size as Lord Ruthven’s muscles began to bulge. His nails extended, and he grunted as he became taller.

“FUCKING MUTT!” Lord Ruthven shouted. A blast of fire erupted, destroying the tree that was on top of him and scorching the area around him.

Lord Ruthven stood up. Horns grew out of his forehead. He let out an howl, and took flight.

Godan sat down on one of the mounds. He stretched. Doing so revealed the damage he took during the battle. It dawned on him that, despite the pain he was in, he did not care to heal himself.

He went over the fight in his head, and thought about how Lord Ruthven gave off a vanilla scent when he turned to mist. He remembered that Dia had the same scent, and began tearing up.

“Goddammit,” he said, wiping his eyes as a heaviness expanded in his chest.

He heard a howl. No, Godan thought, standing up. He heard the howl again, closer this time. He got into a battle stance.

Lord Ruthven landed in the gondola . He stretched himself out, and roared at the Gray Wolf.

He looks like the second assassin, Godan thought, recalling his battle with the vampire assassin in the Grand Traverse Mall, who also transformed.

They stared at each other. Godan growled, and Lord Ruthven did the same. They inched closer to each other.

“So, are you going to try frying me, or what?” Godan asked, breaking the silence.

Fire engulfed Lord Ruthven’s fists. Godan braced himself. The fires then disappeared.

“No,” Lord Ruthven said, his voice considerably deeper. “Beating you to death will be more rewarding!”

Godan charged at Lord Ruthven, his fist cocked back. Lord Ruthven did the same. They threw their punches, their fists connecting, Godan flew back into the wall.

“Wow, he got stuck,” Lord Ruthven said as he watched Godan struggle to free himself from the indentation his body made in the wall.

The train halted. Lord Ruthven tripped, slamming his face into a mound. The train began moving again. Godan popped out of the wall.

“ENOUGH OF THIS!” Lord Ruthven yelled, leaping at him. Godan dodged the vampires claws, and slashed at his shoulder. Lord Ruthven grunted, and shot into the air. Godan jumped after him.

“YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T TAKE ME IN THE AIR!” Lord Ruthven yelled, extending his palm.

Godan knew that a fire ball was coming. When he was at level with Lord Ruthven’s chest, he threw a punch at it.

Lord Ruthven recoiled, spitting up blood that splashed onto Godan’s face. The Gray Wolf shook his head, grabbed a hold of his shoulder, and threw another punch at his chest. This time, Godan’s fist went through.

They fell back into the gondola, which was starting to slow down. Godan pulled his arm out and backed off. Lord Ruthven held his chest, wailing and twisting about.

The train stopped. Godan grabbed his backpack and jumped over the wall. He landed on the tracks, put his backpack on, and ran down the street. He noticed a sign that said ‘Kalamazoo Transportation Center’.

“HEY, YOU!” a cop yelled, running towards Godan, drawing his taser

“Shit,” Godan muttered, raising his hands.

“ON THE GROUND—NOW!”

A loud roar came from the train. The civilians around the area froze. Lord Ruthven rose above the gondola. Blood flowed freely from the hole in his chest, dripping down onto the street. His hands erupted into flames. He roared again, and flew towards Godan.

Godan prepared himself. Lord Ruthven put both of his arms in front of him. The flames became thicker, concealing his face from view.

“WHAT THE HELL IS THAT?!” the cop yelled while backing away. He took out his gun and tried to draw a bead on the vampire.

Godan ran towards Lord Ruthven. Before they could collide, Godan slid underneath him and grabbed him by the leg. Using all his strength as he was dragged along the concrete, Godan whipped Lord Ruthven to the side. The vampire flew across the station and smashed into a bus. Godan jumped on top of him as he hit the ground.

“BLAST HIM!” Godan yelled, holding Lord Ruthven’s arms down, hoping that his weight would restrain him.

The cop came up, violently shaking. Godan yelled at him again to shoot the vampire. The cop asked what it was. Lord Ruthven’s hands started to become enflamed again.

“JUST SHOOT HIM THE HEAD, ASSHOLE!” Godan shouted.

The cop put the gun to the top of Lord Ruthven’s head and fired until he was empty. Flames ceased to form on Lord Ruthven’s hands, and he became still.

“Took you long enough,” Godan said, letting go of Lord Ruthven’s arms. “I thought you pigs were supposed to instantly kill anything you deemed a threat?”

The cop called in for backup. Godan got up, flipped the him off, and sprinted down the street. He head the cop yell at him as he made his way towards downtown.

Bio: Garret Schuelke is the author of the GODAN series (2018-present, Bakunin Incorporated) WHUP JAMBOREE: STORIES (2017, Elmblad Media Group), ANAMAKEE (2016, Riot Forge), and three poetry ebooks. He is also the host of The Garret Schuelke Podcast. He can be reached at his official website, garretschuelke.tumblr.com , or through Twitter @garretschuelke

Garrett Sch