Finn frantically wiped at Arve’s ears. Adrik finally stopped puking up water, and Emma won’t quit crying. The slice on her hand was taken care of, at least. How could things go so wrong for no reason at all?
Blood seeped from Arve’s ears faster than Finn could wipe it away. Adrik coughed and Finn spun to face him.
“Oh no, not again!” Finn lifted Adrik’s dead weight up and aimed the spew of vomit water over the side of the ship. This time though, Adrik didn’t choke on water. Finn let out a breath of relief and dropped Adrik back down against the ship’s railing.
He went back over to Arve and continued to wipe the blood from down his ears to his neck.
The chaos had been going on for nearly two days. His friends wouldn’t wake up, and their condition only seemed to get worse. That is, except for him. Was it because he can’t sleep anymore?
Aijun had been the easiest case. A hard-on was the only thing that plagued him, and that had since gone away. Emma was doing better than before. Her full on wails were now quiet sobs, and the long serrated cut on her hand was wrapped. It looked like Adrik was through the worst of the vomiting.
In the beginning of all this mess, Arve’s heart had stopped beating. For three straight minutes, Finn thought Arve was going to die.
And that, is how Finn’s life has been going for the last two whole days. Forty eight hours of wrapping bloody wounds, holding sick people over the railing to vomit, and giving out CPR like it was candy.
There was no land in sight, and he didn’t know if they were even on course anymore. He couldn’t read stars, and barely understood the directions of the sun. Last he checked, they were going due East, and had been for at least a day.
He was losing hope. None of them had shown signs of waking up, and none of them seemed to be getting better. Adrik was still gagging, Arve’s heart stopped giving out but now his ears wouldn’t stop bleeding. The panic was seeping in and he could feel the creature gnawing at his control.
“What’s going on?” Aijun’s voice asked. Finn spun to see Aijun rubbing his head and looking around.
“Aijun! You’re awake!” Finn didn’t even try to contain his excitement. If Aijun could wake up, then so could the others. And this whole mess could end.
“No, sorry. It’s Jonathan. Aijun…” Jonathan paused. “Aijun won’t wake up.” Finn dropped the bloody cloth on the ground. Jonathan the werewolf had woken up, but Aijun was still asleep. Jonathan scratched his head in confusion. Aijun wouldn’t wake up. Finn didn’t know Aijun or Jonathan well enough to tell the difference between the two.
“What happened?” Jonathan stood up and looking at Emma, who was crying. Her eyes had been open for a while. She was staring straight ahead without blinking for almost an hour when Finn had finally closed her eyes for her. She was still crying but at least there weren’t any more screams.
Finn caught Jonathan up on all the strange things that happened. Even that gross thing with Aijun that Finn kept having to block out. Jonathan turned beat red where Aijun would have laughed and made some crude joke. Finn was started to realize how polar opposite those two really were.
A crack sounded from the side of the boat.
“What was that?” Jonathan asked cautiously. Finn stood up with the bloody cloth in his hands and peered over the side of the boat. He didn’t see anything alarming. It wasn’t like there were icebergs to run into or anything.
“Probably nothing.” Finn crouched back down and wiped the blood flowing from Arve’s ears.
Another crack, and the boat rocked unsteadily to the left.
The wood creaked as the boat steadied. Another crack, and the boat whipped sideways. Finn and Jonathan were knocked off their feet. Emma, Adrik, and Arve slid down the deck toward the railing.
“You can’t tell me that’s nothing.” Jonathan told Finn. He nodded. Finn went through a mental list of what it could be.
Mermaids were off the list. They only ate bad souls, and stuck mostly to tropical seas and coral reefs. A kraken doesn’t warn it’s prey before it strikes. Prehistoric great white sharks didn’t fit the bill either.
Giant pirate-eating crocodiles were out too.
That left sirens.
“Did we float right over a siren nest?” Finn asked even though he knew that Jonathan had no idea.
As if in answer, the crack sounded again and the boat tipped even further to the left. The unconscious three hit the railing, and Finn grabbed onto the mast to stay upright. Jonathan’s eyes were glowing yellow as the boat leveled out again.
Scratching noises could be heard from all sides of the boat. They were climbing up the sides! Finn went for his sword but hesitated too long. The first siren breached the railing and attacked. Jonathan was quick with his claws and knocked it over the side before it could do any real damage.
Two more reached over the railing and pulled themselves up. More scratching finally made Finn aware of how dangerous this was about to get. Even if Jonathan was a werewolf, he couldn’t handle twenty bony siren creatures on his own. Could he?
Finn couldn’t risk it.
“Grab the others and go below deck.” Finn didn’t give Jonathan a chance to register what he said before he pulled out his sword.
Jonathan threw Emma and Adrik over his shoulders and rushed downstairs. He came back for Arve. Finnigan’s eyes were soulless and black. Lines stained his skin, stretching from his face and curving down his body. The sword never looked deadlier in anyone else's hands.
If he moved too suddenly, Jonathan worried that he would startle Finnigan and be at the mercy of the monsters blade. He didn’t want to find out. Finnigan growled and revealed his long sharp canines as he went after the first of the sirens.
Jonathan let go of a careful breath and went after Arve. Finnigan sliced the bony siren in two, and went to start on the next. There were more and more coming over the railings edge. Their skin was so pale and ocean washed that it appeared a slimy green. Jonathan carried Arve’s small body below deck without another sound.
It was then that Jonathan had a moment to think. He was a werewolf. He could protect himself, dammit. What was he doing, hiding below deck?
Aijun would tell him not to turn. That it would ruin his body. There was only so long that could work before a full moon came along and forced him to change. What then? Jonathan had gone and changed a little bit. But not all the way in Aijun’s body. They weren’t to that point in time yet. Aijun still believed this was reversible.
Jonathan peeled off his clothes with no nagging voice inside his head to stop him. He kicked off his shoes and pulled down his pants. He could do it. He didn’t need Aijun’s permission, right? Sure, it was his body, but Jonathan was pulled out of his own so he should have some say. He could feel the presence of the wolf gnawing at him to change ever since he first woke up in Aijun’s head.
The change felt like the first change had. Painful. Claws sharpened and canines grew. His bones broke and realigned themselves in the right order. All of it would heal though. Jonathan felt right again. His reddish wolf skin was still red, just like his hair used to be. He missed the way he used to look. So screw Aijun, Jonathan needed this.
Jonathan emerged from the cabin and attacked the nearest siren. There were bodies everywhere, and it seemed like the siren’s just kept coming. His jaws snapped around a siren’s neck and she fell limp between his teeth.
Finnigan looked like he was having the time of his life. Cutting down siren’s left and right, and Finn not even making him feel guilty about it. He had full and total permission to kill these ugly creatures without a moment's thought.
Finnigan spotted a wolf and went straight at it. He noticed that the wolf had started carving its way through the siren’s as well, but it wouldn’t stop him from-
“No! That’s Aijun- no wait, that’s Jonathan. Don’t hurt them.” More guilt from the thing inside his head. He didn’t want to feel guilt course through his body. He wanted to feel the joy and euphoric release of killing without that pesky guilt. But he couldn’t ignore that thing inside him that screamed no.
The wolf had bowed its head low in submission to Finnigan. The siren’s were making their ways over the railings again.
“You help?” Finnigan’s voice was deep and gravely. But the wolf nodded.
Finnigan took that as the answer he was looking for as he swung his sword at another siren.