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Of the Shadows - A Short Story

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

[This is “Chief” Laèrtes Kamkàlion's second short story and probably the one which reveals the most about him and his personality. In fact, the artwork above should give you an idea...]

“Chief are you receiving me, over.” crackles of static and blarts of inference. I’m hearing this but it doesn’t make sense to me, although something tells me it should. Ears are ringing and head hurts. It’s enough of an effort trying to figure out where I am and whether I’m dead or not.

“Chief? Nikos here, we got out. Chief? Respond.” I tried to move something; an arm, a leg, maybe even a finger but everything hurt, and I could see nothing. Was I blind? The fact that I was feeling pain and could feel my breath coming in sharp hikes convinced me that I was alive but for how much longer? The spasmodic pattern of my breathing meant my body was either starting to panic, or the air here was running out, or both. The great “Chief” Laèrtes Kamkàlion may well be about to die.... again! More psyber-mimetik parts to adorn my beautiful face, perhaps? Oh, the unbridled joy!

“N...” I coughed rather impressively and fought to clear what I assumed to be - hoped to be - dust from my dry and ragged throat. I spat a clod of something out and was glad for the lack of light as I did so. Running a gummy tongue around my mouth, I tried to steady my breathing and winced as I felt the jagged edges of broken ribs. It took a further moment of near panic as I took a few experimental deep breaths, steeling myself for the pain, and listening for the wet whistling that would indicate a pierced lung. Nothing but the whining of a snivelling mýràt choì who can’t find the teat. Pull yourself together, Laèrtes!

“Niko, you harmen kuna, you’re alive!” My voice sounded weak and scratchy, even to me, but the whine was gone from it, I was sure. Good. Niko clearly heard something in it, though, because there was a not insignificant amount of concern in his tone.

“You ok, Chief?” He asked, making me want to strangle him the first chance I got. He paused for the