Chapter 1 - Hello? Hello?

"Mother fucker." That's the only words that left Cyril's lips as he sat up in his bed, the blaring alarm of his clock ringing in his head, setting off a headache from his late night binging. He wasn't even too sure why he planned on waking up so early that morning, but he had to do something to make up for how much he had just drank. He tiredly slammed his hand on the snooze button, sliding himself out of the bed, and forcing himself to get dressed. He had recently received a new shirt in the mail, a replacement for one he recently ripped.

He just didn't understand why he only got things in the mail if the person giving him these things was obviously always near. He brushed it off for the time being, however. He had bigger things to worry about, like getting out and jogging to try to ignore the pounding ache in his skull and drinking enough water to quell the burning dryness in his throat. He was an adult, he could handle himself. At least, that’s what he liked to tell himself.

It was relatively gloomy out, still, as it had rained the night prior. The air smelled of wet dirt, there was some fancy name he had been told for the smell but he didn’t bother to learn it, he really didn’t care either way. He stretched as he left through the front door of his RV. It was currently spring and he had found a nice camp to park in for a few months, but he was already planning to move again. He wasn’t a big fan of staying in one place for very long. It left him paranoid. That was all irrelevant. He began making a mental checklist of everything he needed to get done that day. Feed the duck, take her out for a swim, eat a meal, maybe even two, clean the dishes, finally. A nice collection of tasks, something to fill his time. Anything that could fill his time left him feeling something, at least.

He couldn't recall when he had begun jogging, much less when that jog had turned into a sprint, but he found his body gasping for air as he pushed himself to a limit he forgot he had. He slowed down his pace, panting, thirst clenching at his mouth and throat, strangling him, but he pushed on. The back of his mouth tasted of blood, but he really couldn't care less. He didn't realize he had gotten so far from the campsite when he stopped running, looking around at the area.

It was a simple road, trees denser than he expected surrounding both sides of it. He glanced around the area, paranoia seeping its venom into him.

He should’ve just started jogging back, he knew he should’ve just started getting back home, but something told him to stay, beckoned for him to get closer. Of course, that was until he saw what called for him.

A rancid smell filled the area as he watched an ooze seep onto the street from between branches that laid strewn upon the ground just beyond the asphalt. He knew what it was, he was quite well acquainted with it. His eyes darted up from the viscous liquid, shimmering like oil, and just barely dodged a long, clawed hand, dripping in the substance. A creature whose head appeared to be simply a helmet carved to appear like a human, yet failing so deeply, stared at him, its eyes so human yet simply sitting atop the ooze that was visible from within the eye holes on the side of its head, the liquid dripping from a hole in the helmet where Cyril was certain its mouth was, mixed with something else. The liquid was mixed with something else.

He felt nausea spring up in his stomach thinking about what this creature had done before he had come to witness it and began backpedaling from where it was, watching its stillness intently, knowing damn well it was planning its next strike.

He felt he got a comfortable distance before turning on his heel and sprinting off.

Now all he had to make sure that thing didn’t kill him was blind luck and a little divine intervention.

He almost felt stupid when he crashed onto the ground just beyond the campsite, panting and wheezing as he looked around the area in a frenzy, praying he wasn’t followed. He began coughing, the taste of blood in his mouth getting worse before the coughing increased in severity. He covered his mouth with his hand, eventually pulling it away to reveal droplets of blood.

“Might as well have TB,” he mused to himself before wiping off his hand. He felt drenched in sweat, mostly because he was, deciding to take off his shirt in an attempt to cool down, wiping his brow with it before walking up to his RV. He heard a whistle as he was opening his front door. It was someone who was simply camping there, a girl who couldn’t have been much older than her mid-30s, at least, that’s what Cyril could estimate.

“You know, I thought it was against the rules here to carry around firearms, maybe you should be putting those guns away,” she said, in a way Cyril assumed was an attempt at flirting. He just gave a forced laugh before walking inside.


He shook his head, getting greeted by Ruth. He knelt down and gently rubbed her head, the soft feathers relaxing him from the scare he got mere moments prior.

“Let’s go get you fed,” he murmured, standing back up and walking into the back of his “house”. He grimaced at the food and water bowls he had forgotten to clean out the night prior, mentally berating his actions. He didn’t enjoy forgetting to care for Ruth, she was the only thing that stood between him and an early death, and he wanted her short life to be as happy as it could be. He quickly threw out the old feed and got her a cup of fresh feed, changing the water before setting the bowls back in their place.

He almost smiled hearing her quack before running over to the food and begin eating. He then made a note to take a bath, grabbing a cup and filling it with water, gulping it down. He kept repeating the word bath in his head, as if it was vital he remembered to take one. Well, to some extent it was. He was already starting to smell awful. He sighed deeply, setting the cup down. Well, it was now or never when it came to him.

The bath was quick, just long enough to freshen up. Though, he now had to remember to pick up more shampoo. He shook his head, taking a hair brush and slowly combing through his hair. He had cut it recently, though kept it down to his shoulders. He preferred having longer hair, it made him feel like he could make his own choices.

He hummed as he fluffed up the still damp locks, shrugging as they stuck in slick clumps. He had other things to do. He ran the towel over his body to dry off, frowning at the scars that littered his muscular form. He shook his head, sliding on a new shirt. He had an incredibly plain taste in fashion, trying his best to not stand out, at least, in that way. He knew he was odd, it was part of life.

Just as he was about to step out of his bathroom, he heard a knock at his door. His breath caught in his throat.

Who the hell wanted to talk to him?

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