The car rolled to a stop, Ned at the wheel.

“This it?” he asked, looking over at Leon, who checked his phone.


Viking had sent his location to them via some social network chat app that Ned didn’t really understand. Leon seemed to get it, though.

“Can you park up? I need to piss again,” Monday said from the back of the car.

“Yeah,” Ned replied.

“Seriously, you have the bladder of a cat and drink like a rhino! It’s like you spend a third of your life just pissing!” Leon chastised, with no actual cause.

Ned ignored them. In truth, they had only stayed friends for as long as they had, because Ned ignored most of what they were saying.

He stopped the car in an appropriate bay. Next to some shops. They were closed. It looked to be a pretty nice little complex in the day. Right now, though, it was the middle of the night. The only lights came from the neon signs on the shops, which shops never turn off, for some reason, and the street lamps. There weren’t even any cars passing. It felt eerie and isolating.


Monday leaped from the car and began pissing in the parking bay next to them. Ned wondered why he couldn’t have at least gone one more bay over. He could also see the bungle getting it on his own shoes.

Ned got out of the car and leaned against it while he called Viking. On the opposite side of the car to Monday’s river.

“Really, Neil? A phone call?” Leon said disapprovingly. “You’re like someone’s nan! Who phones people in whatever year this is? I don’t even have a phone. Not now that someone threw it onto the floor.”

Ned wondered if Leon actually knew what year it was, as his phone rang into his ear.

“Ned?” came a familiar monotone voice.

“Viking! We’re here, finally! Where are you?” Ned asked, less monotone.

“Keep the engine running, there’s some freaky shit going down! I’ll be there in a second.”

Viking hung up. Ned looked at his phone, perplexed.

“What did he say?” Leon asked.

“To keep the engine running…”

Ned didn’t have time to explain the oddity of the call because he was distracted by the sounds of someone running in the quiet evening. They both looked over to the far end of the street. Viking, a man who was better built for lifting heavy things, was sprinting towards them.

“It actually looks like he’s running in slow motion,” Leon observed.

“Oddly magnificent,” Ned replied.

They looked on, entertained. The lumbering giant got closer; as he did, it began dawning on Ned that perhaps he really should have kept the engine running.

As Viking ran under a Lamppost it sparked and the glass lamp covering exploded into shards, raining down. The glass rain was accompanied by white sparks, which only added to the drama.

The electric sparks fell behind him, making the light hazy. There was obvious movement behind it. After another moment, the curtain of sparks was split by a huge shirtless man who was sporting large leathery wings and claws the size of kitchen knives.

“What the fuck?” Ned asked as he got back in the car, with the speed of a properly motivated man.

“Fuck that, let’s go!” Leon said as he ran around to the other side. “Monday, stop the flow. We’re leaving!”

Monday, who was still pissing, turned to look back, wondering what all the commotion was about.

“Oh, you found Viking!” he said gleefully. “What’s that behind him?”

Ned vaguely heard Monday say something like, “shitting hell,” before clambering into the back seat. He really hoped he had stopped pissing.

“Go, go, go!” Leon demanded, banging the dashboard.

Ned drove away from Viking and the winged monster-man for a moment, before turning the car around in the car park. The turn was sharp and handbrake assisted. It probably looked like Ned knew what he was doing. He didn’t.

“Ned! Why have we stopped?” Monday asked, one arm on the top of the car and one leg against the door, to steady himself.

“We came here to save Viking. We are saving Viking!” Ned said, heroically, as he put his foot on the accelerator, aiming his massive four wheeled weapon at the monster-man.

Viking, choosing life, dived out of the way as the car came careering towards him. He had at first been rather worried when it drove away from him, but he was certain that Ned wouldn’t leave him.

The car hit the man, head on, smacking him into the lamppost with enough force that it bent. The man was huge. His arms were wide enough to grab the car from each side. He pushed the car back and looked at Ned through the windscreen. Up close, the man’s red eyes and pointed teeth added a whole new layer of horror to the already terrifying visage.

The man pushed the car with all his might. Ned put his foot on the accelerator again. The tyres screeched as the car and the monster were locked in battle. After a few seconds, the man screamed and spat blood at the windscreen. Ned turned on the wipers. The man shoved the car back, thrusting it away from him. Ned stopped accelerating and pulled the handbrake.

The winged wanker looked at him, doubled over in pain, the occasional spark still raining down on his gloriously chiselled face. He flapped his wings with obvious effort. After a moment, lifted into the air.

“What the fucking shit!” Leon screamed, scared half to death. Monday was pushing himself so far back into the rear bench seat that he looked like he may vanish into it at any second.

Ned cut the engine and flung open his door to get out of the car. He ran to his friend and hugged him.

“Viking you lunatic! Who did you piss off?”

Viking looked back, breathing deeply from his running and subsequent car-avoidance diving. He nodded gratefully and held out a hand with a finger up, indicating he needed a moment to get more oxygen into him.

Ned looked up the road, making sure no more monster-men were coming.

“Okay… I’m fine… yes. Thanks for the rescue,” Viking finally said, still panting like a dog after one heck of a walkies.

“Want to fill me in then?” Ned asked. Still eyeballing the road suspiciously.

“Yeah, but we should really be driving,” Viking replied, finally getting back to his monotone self.

Ned nodded, fairly sure he could see something in the distance. It was too dark for him to be sure, but he was convinced that they were being watched.

Viking opened the passenger door and looked at Leon. “You’re in my seat,” he said sternly.

Chapter 7