Bon dropped his machete and the flashlight, which clattered as it fell among the debris of the floor, the beam aimed up at the Revenant.

Splotches of black oozed across its face. Or perhaps it was just that Mackenzie couldn’t breathe and the spots were in her vision. She clutched at the hand around her throat but didn’t dare claw at it; she hadn’t worn her gloves. If her nails broke through its skin, she risked contamination.

“…please…” She hit at its fingers, feeling the squish of rotting flesh beneath skin. With the next strike, the flesh had firmed. It held no heat; her throat burned from the ice of its touch.

The snarling face pressed closer. Black-and-scarlet eyes bore into hers. Bon squeaked a protest. The pressure eased on Mackenzie’s throat.

“Speak, girl.”

She hitched in a breath and broke into a hacking cough. Damn cold. Damn Revenant. She’d never sleep through the night now, not with the coughing and the nightmares that were sure to come.

“I’ll give you five minutes before I decide to eat you. You’re wasting time.”

Bon’s eyes, slightly bugged as he struggled for air, pleaded with her silently.

“Help.” She wheezed, hacked until she choked, and finally gained enough control to spit out a fragment of a sentence. “Came for your help.”

Leonard jerked in surprise, drawing backward, easing his grip on her throat just a fraction more. She sucked in precious air and then wished she hadn’t. His rank stench filled the air, thick with the stink of rotting flesh and blood. After the first startled seconds, he began to laugh, his breath washing over her face. She gagged at the sickly-sweet fetor of decomposition.

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