The Thrall

Writing Prompt: You’ve stumbled upon a group of demonic bikers, flaming skulls and glowing-eyed wolves making up the thrall. They call themselves The Pack and, despite first impressions, you find that they’re all very progressive and down to earth.

I’d heard rumours of their existence, a biker gang unlike any other. The Pack, they called themselves. A collective of Risen Demonic Creatures, Flaming Skulls without so much as a body to hold them high, and Wolves, with eyes that screamed against the dark (not were-wolves, you should know, but Wolves enormous… the Hell Hounds of the Underworld).

I didn’t think I’d ever have the displeasure of meeting them, until one day Angus and I were chasing down some lowlife scum who were beating an elderly couple. The elderly men (much to the disliking of these savage lowlifes) had done nothing of blame. It was just a case of wrong place in the wrong time.

“Pick on someone your own damn age!” Angus yelled, pulling up on his bike (a beast in its own right), blocking off the entrance (and exit) to the alley. I flew in behind him, reaching for the knife I kept strapped to my lower left leg.

“Mind your own f*cking business.” one of the larger men, a brute by all accounts, hurled their boot into the man closest to him on the floor. We’d learn his name was Ian, and at this time he was curled into a tight ball,clutching at his stomach, face streaming blood and sorely bruised.

The two skinnier men leered over Ian’s partner (George) who was lying frightfully still. I remember thinking he must be dead, I remember the men of the alley laughing, one threatening to urinate on George, I remember the red mist that fell, the rage that filled me wholly

One of the skinnier two (wearing a flat cap and jeans low on his waist) pulled a gun from behind him and waved it in Ian’s face, “Come on then f*ggot, get up and fight us. If you’re really proud of what you are, then stand up and show us you are. It ain’t hard. Or are you the f*ggot that takes it? Too sore to stand up for yourself?”

Tears were streaming down Ian’s dirt-stained cheeks, I could see his lips curl into a snarl as he looked over at George, his lover lying still. Ian’s teeth ground down in stubborn determination. “F*ck. You” he stammered as he tried to stand.

The brute shook his head, “Back on your knees, f*ggot.” he hurled his boot again into Ian’s side, I could hear the ribs snapping like twigs.

Angus whirled into the alley and jumped onto the brute’s back, taking a chunk out of his ear with naught but his teeth. Angus was a f*cking lunatic, a wild child, and he didn’t care much for bullies. He was my closest of friends.

Climbing over the brute, gouging at his eyes, Angus screamed, “Well don’t just stand there!”

A trickle of blood left the brute’s left eye, he was swinging madly over head, trying to grab hold of Angus.

I drew my knife, and the flat cap with the gun dropped his eyes on me. I remember noticing how scared he looked (serves the little sh*t right, beating on old men then turning pale when a real fight comes his way). I’ll never forgot that look.

BANG.

The gun went off. Once, twice. The first shot hitting nothing in particular, only serving to deafen the alley and the sounds of the city outside. But the second shot… right through the side of Angus’ head. He dropped dead without a fight. The brute scrambled to his feet.

“You f*cking idiot! Why’d you shoot him?” they flew past me, all three, out of the alley and onto their own bikes, racing off double-quick.

I was left in stunned silence, blood boiling, heart aching. I nodded to Ian, and he gave me his thanks, sprawled over George, showering his lover in kisses, whispering, “Wake up, please wake up.”

I jumped onto my bike and chased down the b*stards that shot my friend. It was a long ride, and when I caught up to them… that was when I met The Pack.

“You got a death wish? Trying to end up like your friend?” the flat cap quivered, waving his gun at me. I didn’t care, if I’d have died there and then I’d have died at peace knowing I’d done what I could. Vengeance may not be a just cause, but it was my cause at the time.

“Angus!” I screamed back, “His name was Angus… you b*stards murdered him!”

The brute stepped up to me, towering over me with hands curled into fists, “That’s what queer loving c*ck suckers like you deserve.” he spat in my face.

Well, he’d wish he hadn’t done that. Close by the sound of bikes came roaring over the stark silence of the night. There had to have been twelve at the very least. They came ripping round the corner, screeching to a halt by the side of the pavement where I and these three stood.

There were men with horns sticking out of their foreheads, some with tails whipping about casually behind them, others with hoofs and talons for toes, each with ashen grey skin and sullen black eyes. Behind them hovered a band of merry skulls, chattering and screaming behind their smiles, flames peeling from the bone. And hot on their tails came the Hounds, or Wolves you might call them. Heavy, shaggy creatures as big as bears with eyes that pierced the deepest dark of night.

This was The Pack. And as it happened they didn’t care much for hate crime.

“What do we have ‘ere then?” a piggish looking man named Hogs slipped off of his skeletal bike, two enormous Wolves coming up beside him.

I remember feeling oddly at ease, as if the hellish wrath of these creatures was directed entirely at the three men I’d chased down, not even an ounce reserved for me.

“Get back, I won’t warn you again!” the flat cap raised his gun at Hogs. What a big mistake.

With a hulking fist Hogs tore the gun from the flat cap’s hands, crushing it easily beneath his steady grip, “Sick ’em boys.” he cried.

The Wolves growled delightfully and set upon the three men, tearing them limb from limb. It was an agonising death, of that I’m sure.

“Ain’t no place for hate in the World.” Hogs grumbled, “We got enough o’ that down there.” he flopped his head to the ground. I’m sure he meant Hell, or whatever accounted for Hell in his World. “You get folk strolling around like the World owes ’em a favour, like life is their God given gift and only they get to enjoy it. The kind o’ folk that go around spoiling it for every other poor f*cker.” Hogs looked me in the eyes, truly he seemed saddened, “I’ll tell you something for nothing kid, hate sure as Hell won’t make you happy. And that’s all anyone wants in life, to be happy, to be let alone to live as they please. We’re all human ya-know,” he chuckled – I truly believed at some point in his life Hogs was human – “don’t matter what shade o’ skin you wear, what throat you stick your tongue down, what sounds come out as language when you speak. None o’ it matters. Not really. We all die in the end, there ain’t no escaping it, so all any o’ us can ask for is to be happy.” he turned to the rag-tag band of bikers sharing whispered words behind him, “We learned that the hard way, didn’t we boys?”

I owe Hogs my life, as does Angus. After The Pack finished with those three little sh*ts they asked me what happened. I told them everything. Before I knew it they were hurrying me back to the alley screaming as they rode. Turns out those Skulls weren’t just for show. I watched one literally devour Angus, body and soul, then regurgitate him whole, only without so much as a scratch on him. He was alive again! But he’d never speak of what it was like to gobbled down and spat back up by a flaming skull (I don’t imagine it’s particularly pleasant at any rate).

They took less drastic measures with George. He was still breathing, just comatose on account of his attackers. One of Hogs’ demons, a frog-faced man with hoops in his ears, and round his neck, and coating his arms, turned out to have been a doctor in life, and a damned good one at that. Even better now he had the aid of supernatural medicines and black magic. A bottle of Hell’s Fire can cure more than just a cold.

When all was said and done The Pack took us on to a bar. A Drag Bar called Little Fingers, Big Hearts. They were the most compassionate of people I’d ever met, The Pack, and that’s really saying something. Well, you have to admit the World’s a pretty f*cked up place when you consider that the spawn of Satan are more open minded, progressive and loving than your fellow man.

Copyright © K R Perry 2019

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