Carnival of Blood Part VIII
August 12, 2013
As Jack fell, he caught a glimpse of the top-hated carnie that kicked him back into the shambling horde of side show freaks. Strangely their bloated and mangled bodies protected him from greater damage. The one beneath him perished in a fit of snapping bones and jagged screams. Three others were knocked aside.
This gave him just enough time to get to his feet and yell, “You want me so bad, come on!”
Then his axe cut huge paths through the disfigured mass of freaks. Under normal circumstances, Jack would have felt pity for such tortured creatures, but regardless of their past state, the Xemmoni had corrupted their souls. It might not have been fair, but Jack knew that pain filled hearts became Darkened easier than most and the evil eyes that glared at him from forty skulls confirmed this.
Jack stepped into his wild swings and then drew back and braced himself. He tried to keep moving and the foe wouldn’t grow too thick, but within seconds he was forced back into the dead end. Bodies had already piled at his feet, but the horrid enemy came in waves. Elongated arms lost their hands and fat heads coved in odd growths were split in half. Hands, nails, claws, and ratty teeth tore at him. With most of his jacket already destroyed, he had only his hardened flesh of Yig to fall back on. So far it kept him alive, but the numbers grew overwhelming.
His eyes darted toward the opening he had carved overhead. So close, but it might has well been on the other side of this Yig-forsaken town. There was no way he could fight his way free of this press and make it up there without the freaks pulling him back down.
He braced a heel against the wall of the dead end, took a deep breath, and then roared. It was the roar of the savage fighting to keep from being devoured, the Viking storming the shores on an unknown land, the cave dweller defending his mate.
The freaks withdrew for a moment, but then the carnie’s voice shouted down. “At him, rend the flesh from his bones or his fate will be yours!”
Then they came.
Like a tidal wave of flesh, they descended at him. Midgets mixed with giants. Some had too few limbs, while others had twice the amount they should.
Jack unleashed with a primitive fury. His eyes glowed with the green of Yig while his axe ripped through them in bloody arcs. They fell by the half dozen, but still pressing in. Soon their blood painted his body. Drops of crimson flew from the ends of his hair and rolled down his arms in strings, which mixed with his own more often than not.
Still they came. A nightmare of mutated flesh. Mouths snapped where hands should be. Bodies seemed to flow and join together until he couldn’t be sure where one enemy started and another ended. All the while they hammered and gibbered, clutched and bit.
The sea of flesh parted to let a thundering form charge him. Big enough to be five men, the circus fat-man lurched toward him. Its blubber bounced in stench-ridden waves the size of his thigh. The foul head resting above the swollen form seemed overly small and insane laughter erupted from a mouth full of splintered teeth. Hands the size of baked turkeys slapped together, like they already anticipated tearing him apart. To be caught in those hands would mean his death.
Some times in life you have to do something stupid to stay alive.
Jack threw the axe at the thing’s head.
The move was so unexpected the fat-man had no chance to block the steel headed missile and the mighty axe split its skull. The pale mountain of obesity toppled backwards with a drawn out moan and killed four of his former allies when he crushed them flat.
Another oversized freak had been following the fat-man. This was a hairy giant that could have been mistaken for a Bigfoot. No clothes concealed the layers and layers of course matted hair that sprung from the towering figure’s form. Its gait and profile both had an apish feel, as thought this creature was a throwback to an earlier predecessor of man. This eight foot tall giant tore the axe out of his fallen friend with a roar and turned to face Jack.
But Jack was already moving.
Between the minions of freaks moving aside for the fat-man and then being either crushed or cut off from him but its colossal bunk, Jack had a few feet of clearance around him. Drawing his hand axe, he raced up onto the chest of the boated corpse and jumped onto the top of the maze’s wall he had so recently perched from. Losing his balance, he began to topple back toward the giant axe welder and his remaining freakish followers, but the hook of his hand axe lashed out and caught on the lip of the hole he had cut into the ceiling.
“Oh I don’t think so,” the carnie said and Jack heard boots thumping toward him. At the same time, he spotted something he hadn’t slowed down long enough to notice before.
From where he stayed perched, he could see the exit to the maze.
Behind him the hairy giant prepared a blow that would cut him in two, while above him the booted foot lined up to kick his hand axe away.
With a yell, Jack reversed the grip on his hand axe and sent it cutting into the carnie’s shin. This caused the bastard to scream as Jack flung himself over the wall—seconds before the Bigfoot’s axe cut through the air where he had been.
He hit the floor on the other side of the wall and sprinted toward the maze’s exit. The hairy freak and its foul fellows gave chase, but he found the exit and hurried through. After frantically searching for a door he could shut, but finding none, he raced forward. Jack quickly traveled past what he guessed was the empty freak show. Once through the cages and filthy display cases, he found a staircase in the back going up.
The undulating horde of flesh followed from behind while the carnie and other tribulations waited for him ahead.
Jack wiped the lingering blood from his eyes and pressed on.
To be continued next Monday