Posted Feb.18.18 at 03:00 pm
Hawk's wrists were tied to his ankles, and his wings were pinioned to his back tightly enough that the band beneath his ribs was crushing his feathers. There was nothing nearby enough to grab onto or hoist himself up with--he could only hang with his head a few feet off the ground, looking around, still gagged and collared.

"So, say you got some fuck muscling in on your territory," Aries said. He'd placed the machete down momentarily, and was now working the black glove off his left hand. "So you sell him this guy's feathers. You tell 'im they're gryphon feathers. He passes 'em on to a warlock."

As he spoke, his now gloveless hand caught Hawk's attention. It was a pale hand, and the one nail he could see was cracked and white--but that wasn't the part Hawk was looking at. Aries's hand seemed to be slightly off register, with color bleeding on its edges as though Hawk saw it on a bad television screen. From the joints of each finger, something black and smoky was hissing out.

"Whatever the warlock does with 'em doesn't work, cus they're fakes," Aries went on, either unaware or unsurprised by whatever his hand was doing. "He's got an unhappy warlock, now. Now imagine you've done that with this guy's blood and bones and skin and meat. Now you've poisoned the fuck's supply, see."

Aries raised the machete to test its edge against his bare thumb, and as he did, the machete seemed to bend where he touched it--in fact, everything seemed to bend and bulge slightly around his hand, going a sort of strange, noisy red as it did.

The owl was sitting to Aries's left, suddenly, on a tool box that had dented itself to curve away from Aries's hand. It too was off-register, and seemed to have been reduced to a rather flat-looking shape against the backdrop. Parts of it had shifted from one side to the other, and where that had happened, small squares of blackness full of noise seemed to have opened or appeared around it. Aries did not seem to notice this in the least.

Hawk stared dumbly at this, until Kei hooking a finger under his gag and yanking his head back distracted him.

"I getcha, yeah," Kei said. He'd clamped another rope to the gag at the back of Hawk's skull, and now pulled it back hard, forcing Hawk's head back and exposing his throat. "Probably make more offa this guy's parts than it's cost to keep him alive these couple a' months, yeah?"

"Oh, yeah," Aries agreed. With one foot he pushed a large red bucket forward until it almost touched Hawk's nose, positioning it beneath Hawk's throat. Hawk had to strain to peer at the owl again. It was still there, and as he looked, it rotated its head around to look at him from his own upside-down perspective. "Halfbreeds ain't worth the slop they eat."