Missionary reached for a discarded drink can and lobbed it aside. The tin clinked with the next shot as he dived and rolled behind a concrete and stone encrusted bin. He sat back, flattening his back against it, trying to think of his next move.
“That was a good shot on that can,” Missionary called out as he unsheathed a dagger.
“Thank you,” came a voice from the other side of the street. “You’ve picked a precarious spot for cover though!”
“If you don’t mind; I’m just going to sit here for a bit, then move on!”
“Take your time!”
Another shot thundered, raking stinging chips of stone across his cheek and ear. Missionary winced and stiffened, denying the instinct to lean the other way. To do so, would expose his head to another shot.
“You’ve got good discipline!” said the manog.
“You’re going to laugh at this, but a manine taught me!”
He did laugh.
“It’s not that funny,” Missionary said tapping his dagger blade against the bin on his right.
The Hunter’s next shot jarred it from his grip as he rolled left and dived behind a car as another round zipped across his back. It stung like barlus flower sap. He worked his back and twisted; a lot of pain, but full movement, informing him that the bullet had only creased him.
He leant back against the tire.
“Good one; you nicked me in the back that time!”
“I’ll tell you what; anything outside the head isn’t counted!”
Missionary slowly raised his head to peer through the passenger side window to locate the manog. A glint of sunlight just above the bonnet of a ute suddenly veered his way, forcing him to duck. Glass shattered into tiny shards, showering his head and shoulders.
“You know; I’ve only got to walk over there and put one through your head!” said the hunter.
Missionary plucked the last grenade from his belt, twisted the timer cap, and placed it within the hollowed head of his last hatchet. He rolled his head aside from the tire to see the hair covered feet of the manog beneath the ute. Praying swiftly, he slid the weapon across the road. It clattered to a halt, stopping in the gutter by the merge mutation’s feet.
“Did I?” Missionary whispered.
A bang followed as smoke billowed, totally enveloping the hunter. As Missionary rose, he saw a flailing hand. The creature coughed and retched somewhere within the thick plumes. Missionary tore off as fast as he could, not knowing where he fled. It only mattered that he lead the manog as far away from Gary’s family as possible. He decided on the opposite direction, cutting through a large park. The faint scent of manog came to him as he covered three quarters of the way across, then the sound of swiftly moving feet.
A road lined the end of the park. He could see a lower level of graded ground beyond the tarred strip.
The manog’s gait quickened then stopped.