John accompanied Nick at the door, and he too was caught off guard at the three mirrored individuals. He slammed the door shut while pushing Nick out of the door way at the same time. If it only served as a temporary obstacle to anyone still inside the cabin, that would have been more than enough for John.
“My jacket, it’s still inside,” Nick remarked.
“Fuck your jacket old man, don’t you see these people?”
“Why yes, of course I do, but it is frigid out here.”
The three guests looked on at the two men bicker back and forth, mumbling commentary back and forth to each other. Finally, the blonde woman with the angel wings stepped forward to address both of them.
“Excuse us! The sun is beginning to set and we simply do not have the time to entertain whatever this is right now.” Both John and Nick ceased arguing and were immediately taken by her brash confidence. It was easy to see why she was the leader of this band of misfits.
“Merlin! Step forward and present the map!” The man with the tail stepped forward, folded map in hand. He knelt down on one knee in the snow, extending his hand towards John.
“So your version of me is named Merlin? What an awful name. I feel for you,” he said, snatching the map out of his grasp. As he unfolded it, Nick stood closer to him in order to get a better view. The cabin door eased open, and Jennifer joined both men outside. As to be expected, the first thing that caught her eye was her winged counterpart. She could care less about the map and immediately graced her presence.
“Your wings… May I see them?” It would be safe to assume that this recent jolt of confidence had a great deal to do with the whiskey that she had downed just moments ago.
The obviously powerful angel woman looked down at Jennifer, both figuratively and literally, before responding to her request. She actually looked like a wiser, more confident, slightly older version of Jennifer, and this resemblance caught John from the corner of his eye. He continued to discuss the map with Nick while keeping a portion of his attention on the two angels in front of him. As much as he wanted to bombard the trio with questions, he felt the smart thing to do was to let this unfold naturally.
“You may look at mine if I am able to inspect yours first.”
Jennifer looked at her and agreed before kneeling down with her back facing her, spreading her wings slowly. Merlin, the bald headed fellow with a tail slithered around her in excitement, his tail pit-patting against the snow under his feet.
Nick stopped reading the map that this mysterious trio had brought along with them to spend his full attention on the odd situation at hand.
“Marcus! Retain this savage,” shouted the winged woman who could most accurately described as a queen. Their cyclops stomped forward, sending dusts of snow a foot into the air with each step. He grabbed Merlin with one hand, snatching him by his neck and tossing him backwards with ease. Merlin rolled through the snow until a tree impeded any further progress.
John looked on and said, “badass. Why can’t ours be named Marcus?”
Nick chuckled and put his hand into the pockets of his jeans, causing John to remove the coat off of his back to pass to Nick. “Advantage of being cold blooded,” he said to the old man, trying to mask any hint of empathy he may have shown.
As Jennifer spread her wings to their full extent, the assumed queen ran her fingertips around the designs on her wings and inexplicably backed up from Jennifer. She hollered out for her cyclops, Marcus.
“Marcus! You and Merlin, go and retrieve me some fire wood. Don’t take too long, I don’t trust these folks.”
Marcus nodded in agreement and placed Merlin on his right shoulder, stepping into the green forest a mile or so ahead of them.
“Fire wood? We have a bon fire?” John asked her, folding the map back up and placing it in his back pocket.
“Something like that,” retorted the queen, “your angel here… let’s just say that she’s not an authentic item.”
“She’s not an item at all, you psychotic bitch.”
“Ah, so you must be John, which renders him useless,” she said as she seemingly transported to behind Nick, snapping his neck almost as quickly as his body hit the snow. “They warned me about you, child.”
“Oh yeah? And who would that be?”
“Tell me John, did they tell you that you were special? That this was your destiny? The only thing that you’re destined to do out here… is die.”
John had a witty reply on the tip of his tongue, but it remained there as screams of pain ruled the air. Jennifer had sprung into action and tackled the queen to the ground, wrestling her for a moment before pinning her, face down in the snow. Jennifer had rage in her eyes, and that was all that John needed to see to give him a reason to stay out of it.
The ground began to tremble as Marcus came rushing back as fast as he could, but without Merlin. Jennifer used all of her strength to extend this presumed queen’s wings. The rumbling fell silent as Marcus stopped dead in his tracks, looking on in horror as Jennifer ripped off the queens wings, tossing them onto the front porch of the cabin.
“I asked to see your fucking wings.”