He limps in. He thinks he twisted his ankle. Maybe it’s some bone wreaking disease. “Yes, yes. Bone eating. Bone crushing.” He scratches at his face. Stops. There is dirt and skin lodged beneath his finger nails. He nibbles on them, revealing the salty bite. He walks normally, now. His shoulder jerks. It’s sore. “Lyme’s. Lyme’s. Lyme’s,” he chants. The tents around him sway in the moonlight. Sway. Sway. He quivers with it. He smells meat. His nose inches further up his face as he pinches it. “Not food. Not food. Not food,” he cries. He’s dragging his fingers against his slimy scalp and tugging at his dreads. When did he last take a bath? A few days ago while swimming in the stream and catching his lunch. When was the last time he took a bath with soap? He grumbling lowers. “Bubbles. Suds,” he whispers.
“Fuck!” a man sneers—a Lycan. “Piss in your own pants this time?”
Isaac took the question seriously. Maybe one night he was too lazy to actually get up… it was plausible. He rubbed a bare foot on packed down earth. Rubbing the fungus infested toes along his canvas pants, the stains numerous and the original color questionable, his shoulders curved to cradle his head farther, submitting to the other Lycan’s superiority. “No challenges. No challenges tonight. Only smelling. That’s it. That’s all. Just some new perfume.”
The Lycan stopped listening as soon as pungent stench scorched the inside of his nostrils. Most did. With acute senses anything too severe sent Lyans reeling. It wasn’t as if Isaac was worth acting polite around. Manners didn’t waste their energy on him. Although not new to the Pack, they all knew to steer clear of him. Pity. Disgust. Hatred. He represented something they were all uncomfortable seeing—the virus which changed them into awesome creatures was not as awesome as they believed. For every living Lycan there was five dead because their bodies rejected the change and even after that other brothers (and the occasional sister) continued to die due to its strength.
Isaac is a wraith around camp. Many figured he’s getting ready to kill himself, but are confused about why it’s taken him so long. Others speculate maybe he’s actually sick and has one of those illnesses he’s always ranting about, but they know their immune systems can’t be compromised the same way the humans’ are. Almost all wish Darius would banish him from the pack. Why keep around a parasite like him? He disappears so often, but still manages to stagger back, disrupting meals with his grumblings of such carnivorous diets. Tonight would be no different. He started before he entered the light of the dinner circle.
“Killed. Murdered. Murdered. Hot L-Z! Hot L-Z!“ He violently lurched forward. “Huey dewy.” He made disturbing growling noises and pathetic whines. The revelry around the tables did not stop, but many scorned his antics. Isaac’s jagged, decaying teeth jutted out as he gasped for breath. His eyes glassy and intent on the ground. One of his legs dragged, phantom pain jolting him as he stumbled forward. Soon, he began a chant, “Darius. Darius. Darius. Darius.” He paused for a moment between the entwined couple. His head lifted ever so slightly. His eyes screwing closer together. “Darius. Darius,” he began again shoving his stinking body between his Pack Leader and the bitch. Isaac bent close. “Darius. New. New. New. Newnewnewnewnewnewnew,” he snarled. He spoke quietly because he never challenged anyone, but everyone heard him. Now they were silent as he continued ranting “new.”