The Nosferatu Adventures
page 136, chapter 136
He arrived at the cabin, worse for wear. It had been a long and difficult journey emotionally for him. But, if anyone could help him get his brother back, it was the Seer. Looking up at the cloudy sky, Harker felt a sickly chill run over him. Something wasn't right.
As his boots crunched on the gravel and dirt of the front lawn, he spotted a large wolf stretched out on the porch. The animal did nothing at first, just yawned as he approached, sniffing the air around him. Opening the door to the cabin, he entered carefully, his crossbow in hand.
"Ash?" he called out as he spotted the kitchen empty, the fireplace cold. There was a sound as the bed creaked, and was followed by the patter of clawed feet. A nose twitched as it peaked around the doorway, followed by a yelp. Tombstone was upon him suddenly, licking him, his tail wagging. The animal sat still, howling, then turned around in a full circle, his front paws lifting and dropping again as if dancing in place. The creature continued to make noises, as he shuffled back a few steps, his eyes bright. "I can't understand you. I'm just a human, I don't have the abilities my brother and the others do." he crouched down having put the crossbow on the kitchen table along with the leather bags he'd been carrying.
Tombstone stopped moving, giving a snort as if understanding Harker's words, before running back outside. Harker stood again, spinning on his heels as three timber wolves seemed to enter the cabin. "Hello, who are you lot?" he asked as the largest one shook himself off, fur and dirt flying everywhere. Dewy sniffed the male, seeming to recognize something about his scent, and headbutting Harker's knees before moving on to sit in front of the cold fireplace. Looking back at him, he stood back up, and started to paw at the gate in front of the fireplace. "Are you asking or telling?" Harker said crossing to the fireplace, and grabbing some of the pieces of wood. "How long has this place been empty?" he asked out loud as he lit the fire. Tombstone yawned as he stretched out then on the sofa.
Harker moved through the small cabin, making sure no one was injured in the back rooms, finding himself completely alone with the creatures, before heading back outside to check around the property. There was a strange heaviness to the air in the far corner of the garden. Bending, he picked up what was clearly Ash's coat and a broken shovel. "What happened here? Where is everyone?" He crossed back to the front door, his boots scuffing as he did. One of the timber wolves came up beside him, pressing against his legs tight, as if afraid to be alone. Reaching down Harker scratched at the back of her ears, wondering why the animals had taken up residence with Tombstone? "Okay, come girl. You go inside, I am going to fetch something to eat."
The sun was going down few hours later, when Harker sat on the front lawn, a small chicken roasting on the outside oven. All four of the animals had taken spots around the yard within sight of him, as if making sure he didn't abandon them. Remembering some of the spell books Nosferatu had written about in her notebook, he'd made a quick trip to the old witch's cabin, and found a few. He sat there as the chicken cooked, thumbing through pages looking for some sort of translation spell. The four wolves guarding Ash's place knew what happened, he just needed to know how to understand them.
"Nice try." a voice said out of nowhere. Harker looked up to see a male coming across the lawn from the main path. Tombstone jumped up running towards him. "I give you credit for being inventive, but even that's a bit far fetched. And you were wrong earlier, just because you're human, doesn't mean you can't understand them. You've just got to watch their body language. Wolves, dogs, canines in general, can express as much as humans can with eye movement, shrugs, etc."
"And you know all this because?"
"Right, I forgot you haven't been around lately. Loki. Your brother and his pack are fine. Mostly. Nothing to worry about, they will be back in one piece soon." he waited for his words to sink in, as he ran his hands through the fur of the hellhound.
"My brother is dead. I watched him..." he cleared his throat. "...he drowned."
"Yes he did. But I won't take that fact for granted. They've only been gone the day so far. Scattered like seeds in the wind. Myself and another god decided to reunite them, just not here. Till then, the animals need to be looked after." he shimmed then and was gone.
Harker said nothing, did nothing for a few long minutes as the information played over in his mind. "Dagan is still alive." he heard a snort as he turned, blinking back tears as Rufus headbutted his arm informing him to turn the chicken.
Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your heroine...me (straight up story. You thought I forgot about the hot pirate brother didn't you?)