Carnival Of Blood Part VI
July 29, 2013
Jack limped back to the intersection. After kicking the thorned beast-man, the soles of his feet ached and he felt more inclined to kick his feet up on an ottoman and drink beer for a week, instead of heading deeper into the damned haunted funhouse. But he knew that such choices remained behind him and he had given up the comfort normal lives afforded.
He chose north this time and again the lighting stayed dim. Dark angler shapes loomed up on either side of him. For a moment he thought an attack came, but they remained in a fixed position. Upon moving closer, he found them to be walls dotted with numerous passageways. “A maze, it figures. I’ll probably be assaulted by a scarecrow next.”
He hadn’t traveled much further when he hit his first dead end. “Damn, I hate these things. Hated them when I was a kid and I hate them now.”
Something snorted loudly. Jack readied himself and hurried out of the dead end. Shadows moved and the walls shivered. Small piles of darkness dotted the floor. They looked like splattered brains or tossed organs. With closer investigation he discovered that some were indeed such things. The severed arm he discovered left little doubt to the common fate that befell those who entered this labyrinth. But something else littered the floors as well, the steaming piles of some type of feces. Jack would have guessed a herbivore if white pieces of splintered bone weren’t protruding from them.
He could hear it breathing.
He hurried though corridor after corridor. How big could this place be?
Every shadowed passage held a menace. The hairs on the back of his neck rose and he could have sworn he felt the unknown creature’s hot breath on his shoulder, but when he whipped around, there was nothing there.
He tried to pick up his pace, but cursed when he ended up in yet another dead end.
It was behind him.
He turned just in time to be buffeted but a charging thing. Two oversized horns sought to disembowel him, but he turned his body sideways and avoided the lancing points. However, the ramming he received by the head of the creature proved enough to send him flying.
He scrambled to his feet with hand axe in hand, but the beast had stopped to… laugh at him. It sounded brutal and primitive in the dark, like a pig that had found speech while it crewed on your bones.
Then he saw the source of the creature’s amusement, for it grasped an axe in two ham sized fists that stretched as long as Jack was tall. Over the twin crescents of pewter tinted steal, a large bovine head was topped with glaring red eyes. metal links of armor covered him from chest to waist. The thing made bipedal strides while caused his massive form to tower over Jack’s by at least three feet.
“A flippin’ Minotaur, all half a ton of him.”
With a bellowing roar that shot globs of bloody spit into the air, the Minotaur raised his axe and charged.
Jack’s back was at the dead end and the monster’s bulk blocked almost any hope of escape.
Gritting his teeth, Jack waited for another second and then leapt at the thing. It might have expected an attacked, but it wasn’t prepared for Jack to wrap both his arms around its mighty axe. It bellowed again and tried to shake Jack free, but Jack wrapped his arms around it tighter and refused to let go.
With another roar, it bit down on Jack’s shoulder. His several layers slowed down the bite, but Jack still cried out in agony as those huge squared teeth tried to meet in the center of his shoulder.
With a roar of his own, he chopped down with his hand axe and took off three of the Minotaur’s fingers. This caused several things to happen. The first was the thing opened its mouth to scream which released Jack. It also released the grip of its right hand and with Jack’s full weight on the axe, it slipped through the Minotaur’s left hand.
Jack scrambled to his feet and hefted the giant weapon.
The Minotaur roared in rage and charged.
But again Jack surprised it. It had bent in low, perhaps expecting a hard blow from the Stalwart, but instead Jack braced the end of the axe against the wall. With its head down, the Minotaur didn’t see the axe until one of the metal crescents had shattered its skull. The axe broke and so did the thing’s neck and Jack couldn’t be sure with echoed louder. Jack’s body was hammered horribly and he might have lost consciousness for a moment for he woke up pinned under the dying beast. He had a moment of panic where he thought the weight of the thing had him trapped, but with some effort and spraying himself with blood, he made free.
Once he’d gathered his wits, he inspected the broken battle axe. Half of it hit was gone, but it had been too big for Jack anyway. “It will be a little awkward, but not to bad.” He placed his hand axe back into his jacket, shoved the wooden stake of the broken axe through his belt, and strode back into the Maze. “Hey, I got a real weapon now, you pukes and I’m coming to get you!”
That was when the ride was plunged into complete darkness.
To be continued next Monday