Chapter 8 Page 33
Posted August 4, 2023 at 05:32 am

Literally thought today was yesterday but you know what. Got the page done. We all love and remember Max's weird egg, right? Thanks for reading.



        “L-listen, buddy,” Max stuttered. “You really have, like, NO reason to eat me.” He knew his pleas were falling on deaf ears, or none at all (he had some brushing up to do on herpetology, should he manage to survive this), or being parsed as synaesthetic bursts of please-eat-me red in Scrapdragon’s creepy electromagnetic predator vision, but Max was at a loss for everything but useless words. “I mean there’s biting the hand that feeds you, and then there’s biting the hand that infinitely generates your yummy, yummy, tasty, spooky spirit mist—EEP!!”

        Max let out a piercing yelp as his bat and all the other metal on Scrapdragon’s back was suddenly lurched closer to the spirit’s mouth with one snort of its six nostrils.


        Just as Max was about to let go of his bat and take his chances with Lefty’s reflexes, the crash of clasping teeth above him froze his nerves in place.

        Scrapdragon had taken a great gulping bite at the spectral energy that Max’s distress had swirled off him, and was basking in the attempt’s futility with all the satisfaction and unfulfilled appetite of a dog going hog wild on a sprinkler. Max shielded himself from falling shrapnel loosed by the impact, staring up at his spirit with a mix of abject fear and meager hope.

        “S-s-see? Y-yummy spooky spirit mist, what was I just telling you? Here—”

        Max dug deep for Isabel’s instructions and slowly began pooling spectral energy at the point of his finger. The core of the bubble of black bloomed gray, then viscous white, as gas became the liquid of his not-quite-correct spec-shot.

        “Look, Scraps!” Max shakily shouted, waving it around like a weird water balloon. “You want something more substantial? Hup!”

        Max threw the spec-shot with all the strength he had; if he could get Scrapdragon to play fetch, even once, Lefty might reach him in time to—

        KrrruNCH!! Scrapdragon’s lunge was absurdly immediate, the force of the air it displaced a hot burst that flew Max like a flag. Once the now-disheveled spectral had finished his screaming and found both his footing and grip, he forced himself to squint up at his spirit to see how his desperate treat had been received.

        Scrapdragon was staring off with the blank eyes of a beast as it chewed thoughtfully—or, perhaps, without a single thought at all—upon Max’s projectile.

        “...W-well? What’s the verdict? Any good?” Max craned his neck to try and get a glance at Lefty’s progress, but there was far too much Scrapdragon in the way. “Six blinks for yes, a dozen for no.”

        The spec-shot suddenly popped in a flash of black light. Searing mist licked from the gaps between Scrapdragon’s teeth like flames, which trailed out in wisps as it slowly turned back to Max with an irritated snarl.

        “Oh! Right! Ha ha!” Max gulped. “Hoo! That’s a martial arts technique! Not a culinary arts one! Um. My bad?”

        Scrapdragon fanned its metal frill out like a cobra’s hood in a scraping surge of magnetism. There was the briefest of moments where it looked like its head had split into two—one red, one blue—before both were consolidated once again into a pair of starving mouths. Then it roared, and all the metal everywhere roared with it.

        “Welp,” Max mumbled grimly. His fate was in Lefty’s hands now—no, one more easy joke. Lefty’s hand. He prepared to go out shooting. “More where that came from, I guess! Literally eat this—!!”

        Another weird egg spec-shot was flung from his fingertip, this time right towards his spirit’s huge gullet. Before that, though, it lost momentum, bounced off a stop sign and a crooked, rusty girder, and sailed off-target into sunset sky. Whatever, Max thought, good enough distraction—

        KrrrchoMPP!! Scrapdragon twisted to catch it, seizing it between two teeth. Then it flipped it back into the air and swallowed the glob whole. A muffled pop broke Max’s stunned silence moments later.

        “What, you actually liked that?” he asked, dumbfounded.

        Scrapdragon snarled at him once again.

        “AHH, fine, fine! Eat your freakin’ fill

        Max lobbed another, which it snapped up in a flash. Then a pause, then a pop, then a snarl.

        “Please and thanks works too. Just saying. I am putting something roughly equivalent to blood, sweat, and tears into feeding you, y’know. As in a bodily secretion.” Spectral energy gathered once again like evil dew, like the devil’s pitch black snot, on Max’s still-trembling finger. “All right, here comes the airplane! God, you would eat a whole airplane, wouldn’t you? You sick freak—”

        Before long, Max had achieved a precarious peace with his enormous and extremely terrifying spirit. Every five seconds or so, he’d toss it a shot, and every sixth second it would threaten to kill him, and so on, and so on, repeating ad nauseam, while Max waited for Lefty to climb close enough for luck to play no part in his safe rescue.

        “So you’re like a—hup!—like a grudge, huh?” Max was sitting up now, hunched and tired, facing the sunset, as he chucked an endless volley of wet eggs at his weird snake. “You got a lot to be upset about? Life real hard for you, is that it?”

        Scrapdragon snarled. Max chucked it another egg.