“That’s most definitely a snatchie,” Poppy warned. “You can tell by the way the redness radiates.”
“A snatchie?” Shireen frowned at the unconscious woman on the ground in front of the office door. The woman’s hair was pulled into a messy side ponytail, allowing them to clearly see her nape.
Why were people always leaving weird unpleasant shit on her doorstep?
“They’re like magical burrowing spiders that use the web of blood vessels from human hosts to manipulate the body. Metaphorically. It’s more complicated, and more disgusting than that, but we’re basically looking at a body snatcher.”
Considering her youth and lack of experience, Poppy the intern sure knew a lot about a creature Shireen had never heard of. Although, it sounded an awful lot like…
Shireen squinted at what must be the equivalent of a shiny black spider abdomen poking out of pink skin. She kicked the woman’s feet to see what happened. Nothing.
“We’re going to need a little more to go on, Pops.”
“Merkles,” Poppy whispered the term, “but you don’t wanna say it ‘less you have to.”
Shireen looked at Poppy, surprised at the superstitious reaction. Yup, merkles. Creepy little fuckers, too. “Odds she can be fixed?”
“Very poor, according to my grandmother’s Regulator journals.”
Shireen grunted, trying to remember what she knew. Someone had done them a solid by incapacitating her somehow, but they still had to figure out if there was a way to save the woman. And how much time did they have before she woke up?
“When the body dies, it looks for a new host,” Poppy said standing several steps away.
“She’s just unconscious. And we’re not going to kill her.” At least, not on purpose. “Your grams know a way to lure them out?”
Poppy licked her lips. “No. The only thing she knew was how to kill the…it…and the host never survived.”
“And her way was…?” Despite Poppy’s concern, Shireen tapped the merkle. Her nail drummed on a hard shell.
Poppy gasped. Shireen gave her a stern look, and the girl took a deep breath and straightened her shoulders.
“Her way was killing the host first, then using an Illumati torch.”
“So, what kills metaphorical spiders? Metaphorical wasps, maybe?”
“Yeah, maybe something venomous.”
Shireen nodded. “I think we have just the thing. Gargoyle vomit.”
Mac wouldn’t say what he’d eaten that had been the problem, they’d only seen the results. The garden had been demolished by the toxin he’d spewed from the roof. His hob had been besides himself with the loss.
Shireen hadn’t told anyone, but she’d kept a small jar of Mac’s vomit to secretly analyze and for just-in-case.
Well, here was the just-in-case.
“Won’t it hurt her too?”
“We’ll try not to let it. Wait here.”
Shireen found a pastry brush and the venomous vomit, and returned.
She pasted the vomit onto the shell, then they waited.
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Genre: Urban Fantasy
Wordage: nape, grunt
Image Credit: Oblongata