Hey all! This post is kind of a two parter, so if it seems like a lot of weird stuff happens and doesn’t get explained in this post, calm yo self. I’ll post the next one really soon.
I’m super excited to get back into Rylo’s story, but before we do….
Yeah, it’s exciting and all, but it is no excuse for that shirt. No excuse, Marina!
And then this happened.
Marina: I… I think you have the wrong legacy. We just do zombies here.
Nigfop: Whoops, I goofed. Bye now.
Don’t worry, alien pollination is not permitted in my legacy. Joey’s paternity is safe.
Great, now that that’s covered, let’s waltz on over to Rylo’s freaky corner of the world, where they eat people.
Rylo’s been lying still for hours, listening carefully for slow, deep breathing. Once he’s sure everyone’s been asleep for some time, he rises silently from his sleeping bag.
He creeps through the warehouse until he reaches the sleeping forms of Harlan and Danek. He spots the crossbow lying on the floor, and bends to claim his awaited prize.
Mostly out of convenience he stops at Danek’s backpack. He could use some new clothes.
The last stop is Bea’s backpack. Rylo’s heart pounds as he gingerly removes every item in the bag until he feels the fur at the bottom. He nearly flees from the building when Byron rolls over in his sleep, but after what feels like all night he manages to get everything he needs.
Feeling better dressed and better equipped, Rylo slinks out the door and into the blackness of the night.
Having spent his childhood in a basement, Rylo’s eyesight is well attuned to the dark. He breaks into a paced run with the intention of putting as much distance between himself and Harlan’s group as he can. He’s very aware of what the consequences would be if he ever ran into them again.
Pause. I need to say. Yes, Rylo is wearing his dead dog’s face on his head.
People have described this legacy as “not family friendly” and “not for the kids”. I frankly have no idea what they’re talking about.
After some time Rylo slows to a walk to conserve his energy. Almost immediately he hears the sounds of shouting behind him. He turns to see his pursuers running wildly through the dark, although they don’t seem to have seen him yet.
Harlan: Figured he take my bow, but the asshole had to take my shirt too!
Elijah: We should’ve just eaten the guy, I’ve been saying it since day one.
Harlan: Yeah, well, I’m an idiot and I thought we could trust him. At least-
Renna: He’s there! I see him!
Panic comes over him and Rylo races through the forest, the hunters screaming curses after him. There are four of them and he’s only one, but he knows he’s faster than them and much more confident in the dark. Rylo darts around trunks and under bushes until finally he breaks out of the treeline.
Barrels of fire light up the hillside, but Rylo has no time to stop and find another way. He’s winded from the run, and the hunters behind him are closing the gap.
Elijah: Shit, it’s Ravenna’s.
Harlan: Damnit. I liked that bow.
Renna: We’ll find you a new one. Let’s get out of here, I hate this place.
Deflated of all their furious energy, Rylo’s attackers retreat back into the forest.
Running up the lighted hillside, Rylo senses that Harlan’s group has let him go. He slows to a nervous walk, glad to be out of their grasp but on edge about what it is that could have scared them off.
Rylo cautiously approaches the flames. They give off a sharp, heady odour, and seem to beckon him to come warm his hands.
His hands are chilled from the night air, and the warmth seems to tickle at his rough palms. Rylo breathes in deeply and is filled with an exhilarated sense of lightness in his entire being. The urgency of the past 24 hours melts away, leaving him feeling as innocent and unknowing as a child. His mind feels soft and empty, and the dark world around him seems so safe and kind.
Rylo takes in another deep breath of the pungent air, and a slack smile slides onto his face. Vacantly, his gaze drifts upwards.
And then Rylo’s comfortable dream shatters and his jaw drops open.
His head fills with wordless screaming, although no sound escapes his lips. Somehow he regains control of his legs and breaks into a stumbling run.
Through the bushes is another scene of horror. Rylo’s mind and body feel so heavy, and can’t seem to work together. Rylo scrambles desperately away from the ghastly face in front of him, tearing at dirt and brush.
He backs up against something hard and clings to it, keeping his eyes glued to the terrifying face in front of him. And then his groping hands feel an eye, and a shrieking mouth.
Horrified, he leaps away and slams into his back downhill. He does a few rolls and lays prone in the dirt.
The smoke from the barrel fills Rylo’s lungs, and his fears evaporate. He can’t remember what he was just doing. He can’t remember what he was supposed to remember. Everything’s fuzzy and soft.
Then a word comes to him… run. Why? But then he’s pulled himself to his feet and is again crashing through the forest.
Rylo wanders back out of the trees and stops dead in his tracks. He wants to scream. He wants to cry. He doesn’t know how to fight these.
But this one seems to look right through him. It flails around purposelessly, slow and directionless.
Finally it takes a few slow, staggering steps and disappears into the trees. Rylo loses track of himself.
Clumsily he crashes through the thick bushes, not even feeling the claws of the branches scraping at his face and hands. He’s unsure if he’s just been going in circles, but finally he hones in on a light shining through the leaves and follows it desperately.
Rylo stumbles out of the brush and plunges deeper into the nightmare.
Surrounding him on all sides is a swarm of horrific zombies pacing around the hillside.
He tries to run from them, but his legs are unable to manage anything more than a clumsy shuffle. He staggers from left to right and careens straight into a tree.
Rylo drops to the ground and heaves with hopeless sobs. He can’t move, he can’t think. All that’s left to do is surrender to the will of the faces or the zombies, whichever come first.
Rylo moves in and out of consciousness, and vaguely registers his body rolling downhill. He feels the welcome heat of the flames lick his skin, and breathes in the heavy smoke. His mind fills with water, with sand, with colours, with darkness.
And then he grasps the edges of consciousness again, and he’s become one of them, lurching and staggering and haunting the hillside.
He feels the evils inside himself telling him this is where he belongs. These are his true people. The directionless, the purposeless, the already dead.
The bitter smoke fills his lungs and his mind empties. He releases his thoughts, his fears, and becomes a shell like them.
Rylo staggers through the dark, the only constant being the thick black smoke pooled in his lungs.
SO. I think I’ll cut it short for now, but we’ll pick up right where we left off next update. Tune in to see if this is all just in Rylo’s head, or if the entire legacy is over because the heir has been zombified.
Hint: I’d never do that. Homeboy is hallucinating big time.