“Twelve of em… I think”
Kepli, one of the Sweetlings best stalkers whispered as he look back to his fellows. He peeked one last time around the corner of a dark alley and watched a hunched over figure in dirty black linens waddle forward. Like the rest of the freaks he was wearing a porcelain mask, it was clean plain white and molded into the form of a crying man. Kepli squatted and pulled his crossbow out pivoting on the spot and silently aiming at the puppet. A hand planted on his shoulder and a stern tone murmured into his ear.
“Don’t, they haven’t seen us.”
Sasha watched the hunched form suddenly snap into an erect position and twist his neck back and forth. “K..k…” the empty shell pulled it’s knife out of it’s scabbard and suddenly looked near her and the Sweetlings. She narrowed her eyes seeing the face was off, it was looking at something else. “..k…Kitty?… KITTY?!” The head swayed left and right like the vague shadow of it’s mind was circling a drain as it held out it’s blood soaked out feebling feeling around the empty street for an invisible cat. “Oh… i’m alone.” it said despite other puppets staggering around in view, the maniac suddenly traced the razor edge along the right tendon of his neck splitting the flesh and trickling with blood before it said “…they… hurt her?” The head twisted showing the muscles and blood desperately trying to hold his neck together as the monster stared at a bolted door, boarded windows and silent flat apartment which likely housed a dozen or more people. The body of the puppet went still and the others looked at him as though curious.
“..y…yes.” it said meekly as it stumbled forward, then paced, jogged and suddenly exploded into a sprint as he let out a high pitched wail like a man being eatten alive as quickly rushed toward impact with the door. In the last closing feet the monster lowered it’s head like a battery ram at the reinforced wood continuing at full pace. The gore went everywhere as the remains plopped backward in a hefty spasm. As though the gore has marked the house, and all the people inside surely used everything they could to secure the building and hid under what was left of the furniture it didn’t save them. What started at eight to nine of these masked maniacs exploded into twenty and then above thirty in under a minute. Knives pryed up boards, fires forced openings, and everyone inside began screaming out as the craven sadists went to work.
Sasha and Kepli looked to one another and both nodded in agreement as they began to move. Samuel Scraggs and the others trailed behind with pistols, knives, swords and wires to deal with any threats. As they creeped away from the house a door suddenly flung open ahead of them. Sasha about drew her swords until she say a struggling woman with her son as she looked about in a panic and shot them a pleading look. Sasha held up her fist with an order of hold position, the sweetlings looked to one another after seeing the mother had been stabbed above her collar bone and was bleeding heavily. The silence was quickly broken by the sound of a cracked door and flipped table from inside her home. With panic on her she mouthed “please” before spotting a leather tarp and throwing it over her and her young son. Emerging from inside came a bloated hefty man in black linens, his mask was yellow and shaped like a pig. He held a bloody looking meat cleaver in his hand and shook angrily “Olly olly oxinfreeeee!” he say with a dumb chuckle snorting the air exactly like he were a pig or bloody thirsty boar. The Oaf moved with a girth and preponderance of an overweight man as he suddenly started to skip toward Sasha and the others who just narrowed avoided meeting as they turned the corner. Sasha stayed behind as Kepli looked toward to the Garrison of Chaser Island only two block away.
“I know a secret…hehe… I know a SECRET!” He said like a jovial nine-year-old stopping half way down the alley. Sasha held her breath as did the rest of the sweetlings. “I know your hiiiiiiding spot! Hehe” His chuckles turned into snorts as suddenly the lummox turned around and his voice turned deep. “I’m gonna make cutlets out of you.” he seemed empty saying it but the roar the followed bellowed with a fierce predatory howl as he crashed through the refuse in the alley and pulled the tarp off the terrifed mother and her son. She pleaded for her son’s life but the monster only choked her by the throat and pulled her a good five inches off the ground pressing her against the brick and mortar building as she gasped for her son to run. He only stared in frozen terror as he watched the meat cleaver smash into her face over and over and over again. The skull shattered in red twisted chucked bit my by like a stubborn bit of lumber as the murderer just continued to snort out laughs before shouting “So.. pretty.”
Kepli heard the screams… he had doubled back just in time to see the horror before him. Sasha watched without breaking her resolve. Kepli leveled his Crossbow at the monster and Sasha planted her gauntlet around the firing mechanism as she shook her head now. Kepli silently glared at her as he pulled the weapon only to find Sasha’s knee crushing into his nose which cause a groan of pain before the other Sweetlings Latched onto Kepli to keep him from making any more noise. Sasha watched as the inhuman filth that butchered that poor woman turned dumbly toward the Sweetlings watching without a word. Sasha locked eyes and began to draw her swords before a shrill scream echoed out and the boy skewered a small flenching knife he pulled off the oaf’s belt into his leg. The overweight behemoth dropped to the ground with a squeal before the knife was pulled free and the boy continued to stab him into the mask for a solid fifteen seconds.
Scraggs looked to Sasha and whispered “Well? what now?”. She said no words back she watched as the boy cried over his mother and trembled as he was drenched in blood. “We could take him with us… Atticus does enjoy the Orphans.” Most of the Sweetlings nod from experience as the others knew better than to take a moment of levity. The boy looked up at their whispers and his eyes widened maybe with anger or desperation as he stepped closer.
“Why…?! …Why did you just watch!? We need your h-”
Kepli sat up nursing a bloody nose as he blinked back into consciousness. An errie silence filled the alleyway as he looked around for a moment trying to get his barings. Suddenly his own crossbow was shoved back into his hands by Sasha.
“You’ll need to reload.” Sasha’s tone was colder than a Khardic night as she took point waiting for him to figure it out.
Kepli looked down the alley way seeing the frozen, twisted dead remains of the boy; shot with an arrow through the throat, he wouldn’t have gone quickly but it would have been silent. He looks over his shoulder to Sasha who was already moving the Sweetlings forward with signal language. Tears streamed down his face as he walked over to the boy separating from the group for a moment to pay his silent respects.
In odd silence he pulled out the crossbow bolt… realizing how hard it was to loosen from the bones in his neck. The shocked eyes of the boy were frozen on his face, after pulling the bolt out with a few twists he slid the boy’s eyes shut and kneeled down closing his own whispering out. “I…I’m sorry.” As he opened his eyes a pair of felt covered hands wrapped around his face which a light giggle.
“Peeka boo…” Kepli tried to struggle against the grip knowing he just needed to shout and he was safe. He didn’t get the chance, A dagger plunged into his eye releasing a sickly yellow trail of liquids into his body before the body went limp and silence overtook the Streets of the Abyss.