Author note: this is just a short installment meant to remind those reading this that i've not forgotten it. The rest of the story has been planned out fairly well. I just need time to work on it. The moss came to me while talking with a botanist friend. It will hopefully prove more entertaining later on. Roger and Hellboy are not mine. They are borrowed.
It was damp, dark and far too quiet for Hellboys' liking. The palest moonlight penetrated through the thick forest canopy. Moss-laden branches appeared to bow down, as if reaching over him with dripping bloody fingers. There was no underbrush, none living at any rate. The tree trunks were picked clean of twigs, allowing a clear view of the forest had it been daylight. Scanning his surroundings with a wary eye and a low grumble, he chambered a cartridge and continued walking.
His hooves cut into the dense forest path, the moisture of the forest floor absorbing the sound. Pine needles, moss and rotten twigs lay underfoot.
Standing in a small clearing, Helboy looked up at the pale half-moon, it's light outlining the rough dead branches of the trees and the narrow winding path before him. Clouds moved overhead, carrying a breeze that caused the branches to tremble and shake. Hellboy brushed off the moss fragments that landed on him and continued on the trail.
The path forked at the top of a small hill. Hellboy scanned through the trees and brush. The sound of rain rode on the breeze, something small and quick moved through the darkness and water. Hellboy turned left.
Roger closed his eyes as felt the mermaids' webbed fingers caress his shoulders and back. Her touch was light and gentle, her fingers turning small currents of water over his skin. He let out a deep sigh of pleasure. Roger leaned back into the sand as Ulas' tail wrapped lightly around his left leg; Roger could feel the softness of her scales brush against his inner thigh. Her thick hair gently wisped over him, dragging small grains of sand over his face and torso. Behind closed eyes, Roger saw Venice, the sewers and Cloacina. Her arms reached out to him, calling to him.
"You are more than these mere mortals. Come with me. Stay with me." Cloacina walked around him, her dress flowing, her hair neatly secured in her Goddess' headdress. "I will love you."
"They are my friends. I belong with them." Roger held his arms out to her, yet his touch failed to reach Cloacina.
"They will be your end. Stay with me. Forget about your friends, those who will have you destroyed."
"Whom do you love?"
"I love you, Cloacina. My friends need me."
"Come with me, if only for a while."
"I will come with you. For a while." Roger placed his hands on Cloacinas' shoulders and stared into her eyes. Cloacina placed her hands on his cheeks and moved toward him. She licked her lips and leaned in toward him.
Roger lay on the sand, the mermaid balancing over his head. She caressed his face, his smooth, hairless and grey face. The tips of her long hair brushed against his slowly moving chest. Ula placed her hands on the chest of the homunculus and slid them over his navel-less abdomen.
"You are my last hope, homunculus. May you not suffer for my actions."
The mermaid looked upward as she coursed her fingers between Rogers' legs, feeling the ancient wood and cold brass ring. The mermaid called out in agony, pulling her hands into her coiled tail. The ring was iron.
Hellboy brushed the moss from his jacket as he continued to follow the bobbing branches. It was moving quickly, whatever it was, yet appeared to be moving in a straight line. He holstered his gun and cut through the underbrush. He soon met up with the entity that had been running ahead of him. It was a girl, or rather the wispy shadow of one, that stood before him. Her feet melted into the damp earth, her shadowless form waving slightly in the night breeze. Her eyes were downcast, her dress soiled. Her arms were blue, her hands red.
"Where you headed, kid."
The girl did not respond, she did not acknowledge his presence. She knelt down and sifted through the forest floor with her fingers. Her hand moved the soil no more than a thought stops a raging fire. She shook her head from side to side and slammed her open palms onto the earth. She turned her head upward, staring toward the sky. Her mouth and eyes appeared as gaping black holes. Her mouth opened wide, her eye sockets disappearing as she let out a silent scream into the night.. The girl then faded with the breeze.
As Hellboy wandered deeper into the forest, the trees became taller, the light dimmer. Hellboy flicked another chunk of moss from his shoulder, which stung as he pulled it off. The forest was filled with wandering souls, like that of the girl, screaming out into the night in silence. He could feel the chill on the night air throbbing with their tortured pain.
Soon Hellboy arrived at a large twisted tree, one with a large round door between the uplifted roots. The tree was dead, rotting and moss-laden. The door, round and solid, reminded him of what a Hobbit would make.
Hellboy swept more moss fragments from his shoulder, yet realized they would not slough away. Scraping his skin with his stone hand, he realized it was growing over him. He pulled the buckles from the right sleeve and tossed his duster jacket onto the forest floor. A thick coat of pulsating green enveloped the jacket. He scraped the green moss from his neck and hair, blood seeping to the surface. He could feel the sting as the moss hungrily swallowed his raw and exposed flesh. He could taste salt as he pulled it from his face.
Hellboy drew pulled the round door off the hinges and pointed his pistol into the depths of the tree house.
"I know you're in here, Lady. Hand over the kid and I'll let you off easy."
A gust of cold air struck Hellboys' face. He took several steps back, then aimed his pistol at the swirl of dead leaves and damp air that emerged from the hole.
I hope this was a good fix / teaser. The battle sequences are not far away! More carnivorous moss to follow!