WARNING This one is rated R for language.
Greenwoods was not that far away from Konakove. But it was a large place. Steopa followed the trail that Jeremiah had driven down, the first night of their freedom. Steopa looked around. Perun should still be here, he thought.
“In the old days, they would leave pork or beef with the vodka,” Perun said.
Steopa turned. Perun looked much younger now. His hair was neatly plaited in small strands that hung around his face. Perun had even braided his beard. He could almost past for a human, if you did not see his feet.
“I owe you these,” Steopa said, holding out the bag.
Perun took the bag and looked inside. “Where did you find these?” He asked.
“Does it matter?” Steopa asked.
“Hell no.” Perun laughed.
They walked deeper into the woods. “Jeremiah is still here,” Perun said, “Vindar too, but he is leaving soon. Have you see Navarro and Amanda?”
Steopa nodded, “Amanda has convinced Navarro to try to live like a human.”
“Really?” Perun shook his head, “What some men won't do for love?”
Perun turned on to at one time had been a street, but the forest had taken it over and it was just a wide path now. Ahead were the buildings that were slowly falling into decay. Jeremiah waved from the porch of one of the houses.
“Look who it is!” he shouted. “I heard what you did.”
“You did?” Steopa asked, as he got closer.
“Yeah,” Jeremiah stood up, “the one that oversees the woods told me.”
“He has let you stay?” Steopa asked.
“He likes me,” Perun said.
Jeremiah chuckled, “Yeah, but he's been showing me the ropes.”
“That's good.” Steopa said.
“But you!” Jeremiah smiled, “How many vampires did you kill that night?”
“Six,” Steopa said.
Steopa turned. Vindar was standing a little further down the path. He was dressed in a suit. Steopa glanced back at Jeremiah, who shrugged.
“Vindar?” Steopa asked.
Vindar nodded, “I know, I don't pass for a human.” he said.
Perun sat down on the porch with one of he bottles of vodka already open. “So you don't look like much of a troll, either.”
Vindar grinned, “I have been walking in the town at night.” he said, “People don't look at me too odd, if I am wearing human clothes.”
“Until they see the rocks on your head.” Perun said, pointing the bottle towards Vindar.
Vindar walked to the group. “It has been worth it. I am leaving in a few days.” he said.
“Where are you going?” Steopa asked.
“To Canada,” Vindar said, “The Northern Territories. I think another portal is there.”
“Steel had a map,” Steopa said.
Vindar nodded, “Steel is coming with me.”
Perun belched. “I don't know why you are going.”
“Because I want to make sure all the portals are destroyed.” Vindar said, “It is my duty.”
Perun rolled his eyes. “You need a woman.”
Jeremiah laughed, “That's why you are sticking around here.” he said to Perun.
Perun grinned. “Oh, yeah.”
“I do not want to know,” Steopa said.
“You know, the college has a running track right through here,” Perun said, “Those girls that come by...” He made a gesture that did not leave much for the imagination.
Jeremiah giggled. “I've gotten a few meals off them too.”
“Just wait until I get a hold of one of them,” Perun said, he drank long swig of vodka, “They'll be sore, but smiling.”
Steopa closed his eyes and tried not to laugh.
“You brag too much,” Vindar said.
Perun shrugged. “I'm happy.”
“You are in contact with Steel?” Steopa asked.
Vindar nodded, he sat cross legged on the ground. “I ran into him a month ago, no one believes him.”
“Of course,” Steopa said.
“So we are going to make sure those portals are never used.” Vindar said.
“I still say you need a woman,” Perun said.
“You cannot tell me that you are just going to sit here while those portals are out there,” Vindar said.
“I told you, if you can't fuck it, fight it, or eat it, why worry about it.” Perun said.
Vindar shook his head.
Steopa grabbed a bottle of vodka, “We should just enjoy the night,” Steopa said.
Perun leaned over his his bottle and clinked their bottles together. “True, this is not a bad place.”
Vindar reached over.
“What?” Perun asked.
“Give me one,” Vindar said.
“You don't drink.”
“You never asked me.”
Perun handed a bottle over to Vindar. “We will miss you,” he said.
Vindar smiled, “Thank you.”
“Do not worry about the portal here,” Steopa said, “I am watching it.”
“What the hell do you mean?” Jeremiah asked.
“The base is a perfect place for me to rest.” Steopa said.
Jeremiah shook his head, “I won't go back in there again.” He said.
Steopa leaned back on his elbows and looked up at the stars. Over the tops of the trees a thin ribbon of the northern lights could be seen dancing. He sipped the vodka and watched the northern lights. This was good, he thought, the first time in a long time, he felt alive.
Thanks for Stopping by