Carnival of Blood Part IX
September 2, 2013
Jack could still hear the undulating horde of distorted circus freaks following him as he forced his battered body to press on. “As long as I get to kill that damn carnie, I could die happy,” he grumbled under his breath as drops of his blood rained onto the floor with each passing step.
“Oh, is that true?” A voice echoed through the darkness. “So you won’t mind if I hunt down and torture your mother for weeks because of the pain you caused me or if our master Vile Darken devours your whole planet, not that you could have done anything to stop him even if I healed you completely and sent you off with a bag full of sandwiches.”
Jack clutched his dagger tighter. “The only thing I want from you is your head.”
“Well then come and get it,” the top hat of the carnie bobbed on the other side of a long room, just under a dim source of light.
Jack hurried forward and grunted when his face collided with a transparent pane of glass. Beyond this, a myriad of mirrors elongated and twisted his reflection into bizarre parodies.
“A hall of mirrors, I should have expected another cliché, you foul puke pile.” He growled. “I don’t have time for this.”
Then he noticed that the mirror’s frames where made of wood. He smiled inwardly and touched the top of the glass he had just collided with. From behind, the noises of the pursuing freaks grew louder.
Focusing some of the last few drops of his precious KI, Jack called on his patron Yig, the allfather snake and the lord of nature. The power of the forest pulsed through him and like a striking serpent, lashed out through the maze of wooden frames.
The brown frames swelled and grew. The sounds of mirrors cracking began slowly at first, but then drowned out all other noise as the glass exploded in loud bursts. A rain of jagged shards pelted the floor. Jack cracked a grin as the last of the glass fell and his path became clear.
He hurried over the mess and his boots crunched through the piles of glass as he rushed toward where he had last seen the evil carnie.
He had just passed through the destroyed maze of mirrors when he came upon a large red slide that descended down into the darkness. He wondered if this once might have been a normal ride, before the Xemmoni moved in and this was the method when the patrons had returned to the ground. But such thought didn’t linger long when he saw the Carnie appear out of the shadows and gaze at him with eyes full of malice.
“I hope you are proud of the destruction you have brought down upon my humble existence. You have cast me greatly, Stalwart, but in the end, I will cost you more.”
“We’ll see,” Jack said through clenched teeth as he continued to march toward the Xemmoni.
“Oh yes, we shall,” the man hissed as he brought his hands up and mumbled an incantation.
Jack braced himself, but there was no way he could have anticipated the horror that crashed into him. At once his body twisted and broke, pulled and stretched. He screamed in agonizing pain as he flesh bubbled and burst. Bones bowed and Jack plummeted to the floor unable to move as fits of burning pain tore through him.
“Since you have killed some many of my freaks, it seems only fitting that you help me replace them. Some fine tuning may be needed, but I think I might have found myself a new creation. Half man-half snake. Perhaps I can call you the Serpent man… yes that has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?”
As growing scales sealed his mouth closed, Jack became unable to scream.
To be continued next Monday