Wasted Gifts

10 minutes read


The town center was packed as the crowds gathered with malice suspended in the air. The humanoids of the town snarled and roared as the local bar owner knelt before them; a Mycre was curled up on the ground next to him, her body bloodied and broken. Her ears had been ripped off, and her tail had been mangled in several places; the blood dripping from her nose was forced out as she tried desperately to breathe.

“I am sorry, friend; this is all my fault.” The bartender said as he averted his eyes from the Mycre lying next to him.

“Silence, welp.” The preacher shouted as he slammed a heavy bag across the face of the bartender.

The bartender’s head and upper torso were forced sideways by the force of the bag; he remained upright but stayed in the now slanted position. The preacher stepped forward, standing before the crowd.

“Friends, family, and followers of faith. We have the…”

“Not you.” A woman yelled from the crowd. “It was your church that chased them down there; now they are larger than ever.”

The crowd screamed out loud in agreement, and the preacher began to fluster as he held his bag ahead of him.

“But, I, I, this is the, we have what we need, the church provides.”

“The church provides us with nothing but enemies, the rat monster army is larger than ever, and there are those of us who favor them over us.” The woman added.

“How many more of us are sympathizes? How many more of us are aiding these monsters?” Another man added.

“People, please, we only need what the church offers. We don’t need to squabble.” The preacher interrupted, just to be spoken over as the crowd grew in tension.

“Who associates with the barkeep? We need to know who among us is going to turn us over to these monsters.”

The crowd searched itself and brought forward a small group of people who were protesting.

“This is not fair; I drank at his bar; I didn’t know anything about him and these beasts.” The man yelled as he spat at the Mycre that was still panting on the ground.

Others from the crowd looked at one another with distrust and turned back to the newly gathered group.

“You six are associated; you six need to suffer the same fate.” The original woman shouted as she moved through the crowd, the people parting to let her through. Taking her place at the front of the crowd, she pointed at the enraged group.

“You six are known to spend the most time with him; you are the ones that are most likely to be aiding him. You six must die too.”

“That is too far.” The preacher screamed. “This is what must happen.” He said, pointing to the bag. “If we start killing everyone who associated with him, then we must start killing all of those who are known to be with them; soon, we won’t have a town. We need to stay together, we need to stay strong, we need faith.”

The crowd stood in silence, and as the preacher reached into the bag, a large, dripping chunk of mud flew and collided with his temple, forcing him to step back and remove his hand from his bag.

“This is your mess; we don’t want your help.” The Preacher’s assailant yelled, juggling another thick, heaping mess of mud in her hand.

The crowd laughed while the woman at the front raised her hand.

“These six, the bar owner, and this vile beast all die. Today.”

The crowd cheered and pushed the preacher aside as the mob wrangled their victims. The six newcomers struggled against their captors while the bar kept leaning into the shoves and grabbing that the others used to move him, trying his hardest to give little resistance. Meanwhile, the Mycre limped and fell as she was pushed around, struggling to stay standing for any length of time before collapsing to the ground. Those around her punished her every time she fell until. Eventually, she could not stand, let alone walk.

“What do we do with the beast now? I ain’t carrying it.” Yelled a man as he prodded at the Mycre with a stick.

The woman leading the march turned to see the Mycre laying on the ground, shallow breaths, blood pooling from her mouth and nose, flies already starting to buzz around her wounded head.

“Leave her. It is not long for this world; she will die whether we do anything or not at this point; let us focus on the sympathizers.”

The crowd moved on, kicking and stomping down on the Mycre woman; she barely let out a cry as her life started to depart her body. She shuddered as the last of the humans walked past her, the warmth in her body pooling out next to her body. Behind her was the sound of scuttering as a small group of Mycre picked up their fallen and carefully carried her back to their home, using the execution to move freely without being seen. They held her body with reverence as they moved in silence back to their home; through sympathizer doors and down hidden stairs, they made their way back to their home in the caves. As her body was carried through the many tunnels of their home, the nearby Mycre all followed them; they whispered quietly as the body was taken deep into their home. Down past the learning chambers, past the rest chambers, down to the river, then deeper still. Eventually, reaching a chamber of Mycre skeletons, each one with a book, each one with knowledge for all to learn from and expand on. Her body was carried to the center of the room, where she was laid upon a raised stone bed that lay in front of the founders.

“You did what need be done, so have that of those on top. Today is a day of surfacing. You rest now.” Said an elderly Mycre, that tenderly touched her hand as she passed.

“Let not the suffering go ill; today, we claim for the scientist, for the founders, for those who got us here. We do this for us; we do for her.”

The heads of the Mycre lowered as they paid their respects, taking just a moment to acknowledge that their companion had used their life so others may live on. Once the moment was over, the room emptied of all life; the Mycre sprinted through their chambers and halls, gathering weapons and armor. Then as one unit, they started to swarm to the many entrances of the town, eager for what was to happen next.

The crowds above screamed, their hatred coming out in volume, and saliva, and fear. The Barkeeper knelt with honor at the block, his eyes fixed on the doors of his own bar with anticipation. The six associates fort across the platform as the executioner slowly climbed the stairs to the top of the platform; the last of the six were being bound and beaten into submission as the executioner’s hulking form took center stage. He took off his hood and stared across his seven victims, locking his eyes onto the back of the head of the barkeeper. Stomping across the wooden platform, the plants creaked and warped, adding to the uproar being caused by the last of the men that were still fighting their binds. The executioner placed a hand on the bar keepers head, his thick fingers wrapping around his skull.

“Place your head on the block scum.”

The Barkeeper kept his eyes on his doors as his head started to be pushed down towards the stained block, cocking his head, he maintained his eyesight, turning his eyes upwards so hard that his vision started to blur. Once the large meaty hand of the executioner lifted, the barkeeper stood, and the executioner readying his sword grunted in annoyance. The barkeeper stood with his back facing the executioner.

“I’ll stand, for I have done no ill deed. I saved a people.”

“You betrayed your own kind to save monsters.”

“We shall see.”

The bartender grinned as he watched the door to his bar open.

“It begins.” The bartender whispered under his breath right before the executioner’s sword parted his head from his body.

As the bartender’s head struck the ground, the crowd started to notice the increasing number of Mycre that had started to pour out from the local buildings.

“Rat beasts!” One man yelled as he started to run to his home.

With that, the township fully noticed the now screaming Mycre as they charged the executioner platform. The masses started to run in all directions in a desperate hope to flee their assailants.

“Come get me, you filthy beasts.” The executioner screamed as he steadied his enormous dual-handed sword and took a defensive stance.

Cleaving his blade through Mycre, he tossed their limp corpses to the ground, mangled and sliced. His swings slowed as the never-ending mass of fur and claws slowly overran him. His weapon fell hard to the wood as he was jumped on by a mass of Mycre biting, stabbing, and gouging chunks of flesh until he fell to his knees and stopped moving. With his corpse now still, the Mycre moved on from him. Finding their next target for the assault.

The town was overrun quickly; with Mycre swarming through the streets, they outnumbered the humans ten to one. Once they were satisfied with the dwindling number of humans, they started to drag them all to the center of the town, a few seemingly lucky individuals. Ten humans were sat down bloodied on the ground, panting with minor wounds. They huddled into one another as they watched the endless sea of Mycre shift around them. The Mycre tore through the town, finding hiding holes and purging all of those who hid. The corpses were stacked in a circle around the ten humans who were huddled on the ground.

“What do you want with us?” A human yelled, just to be ignored.

They watched with increased confusion as they stacked their own fallen kind onto the circle of corpses.

Dressed in robes, a small sect of Mycre started to surround the circle, chanting softly under their voice. Their leader stepped into the circle with a crystal ball that had a strange swirling smoke inside. Handing the sphere to the person sitting in the center of the huddle.

“You hold or suffer further.” The Mycre snarled, handing over the sphere.

The human took it in their hands and remained sat, transfixed by the smoke. The others around them went to protest, but as soon as they were laid upon the smoke, their faces drooped as their muscles relaxed.

The lead priest returned to their position in the group, the chants grew stronger, and suddenly, there was movement coming from those who had recently been slain. Their bodies shifted as if they were being pushed, toppling over one another. They started to roll towards the transfixed living humans. The living humans reached their hands out and pushed them through the crystal, their bodies disintegrating as they touched the smoke, but their expressions didn’t change. Soon the corpses were rolling over the top of them, and everyone was being forced into the sphere. The light from the ritual started to beam into the sky, a strong green light that could be seen from all the surrounding hills.

The preacher had his bag slung over his shoulder as he marched away from the town; turning back, he took a moment to lean against a nearby tree and watched the lights beam up.

“Fools, not that it matters.” The preacher adjusted his bag as he stood up. “The baron won’t turn down these gifts; he will do what needs to be done to purge these beasts.” He mumbled as he continued his march away from the town.