~ Meetings ~

There was a long pause. I finally found something to say.
“You are directly the fuck out of your mind, aren’t you?”
The larger shadow snorted in amusement. It sounded like a prize bull huffing to scare off predators.
“You father’s missing, yes?”
“My dad, yeah. What do you know about it?”
“We know who did it.”
“Call the cops.” I thought about it. “Or should you just turn yourselves in?”
The air actually got chilly. “You think we did it?”
I shrugged at the open night, wondering if they could even see it.
“You think we’re… dirt-eaters?” There was movement I caught only a bare second before the speaker was holding me by the shirt and pressing me against the side of the house. I looked down into a face a good foot and a half lower than mine, covered in random smears of grease that ran thickly into his hair and beard. The knotted tree-branch of the arm that held me was covered in grease as well, or tatoos, or both. His eyes were bright in the moonlight and I could hear his teeth grind.
“Brock.” The shadow that still stood in the trees spoke softly, but his voice still seemed to vibrate in the ground. “He did not mean anything by it. Let him go. You’re choking him.”
The voice was right; I couldn’t breath, but not because of the hand on my chest — the stench of sweat and oiled hair surrounded the short bastard in a miasma that made my eyes water.
“Take…” I managed to choke out.
“Whazzat?” He growled in my face. His breath was a whole new color in the bouquet surrounding him.
I shoved sideways on his arm as hard as I could, using whatever leverage advantage that my height gave me, and staggered away from him. “Take a damn bath, you putrid son of a bitch.”
Another pause, this one broken by a deep chuckle from the trees that his partner on the deck eventually joined in on. I was glad the bedrooms were on the other end of the house.
I glared while the chuckling died down. “Yeah, I’m hilarious, I’m sure. What the hell are you?”
“Allies, if perhaps not friends.” The shadow took a step out of the trees that carried it into the moonlight and nearly to the edge of the deck.
It held a spear in its left hand and stood at least nine feet tall, but mostly I was focused on the curving horn in the middle of its forehead.