January 20, 2014
Pit looked over at his dark mate, Midnight. Although much of her tight ebony dress had splashes of blood covering it, it pleased him to know she had fully healed herself, which appeared to be more than he could say for the rest of the whining rabble that filled the black van with him.
Riding in the back were what remained of the dozen Xemmoni who had positioned themselves around the Stalwart Doctor’s home. A full half of them had been slain when the Serpent and the Grape had come calling, which had become the tag the Xemmoni of Boston had given Jack Primus and Phillip Brownhurst. The only satisfaction he got was when the Doctor refused to join the three Stalwarts when they fled, with their tails between their legs, back to the suburbs. It hadn’t been a difficult decision to give chase.
One of the Caradon’s annoying voices, a man named Sender, sounded over his shoulder. “Hey, a few of us could use some more healing back here, including me.”
“I already told you that you have all the healing you’re going to get from us tonight. We aren’t going into this final battle with nothing.” He passed to add a lie. “Besides if one of you goes down hard, don’t you want us to have a chance to save you?”
This seemed good enough for the Caradon and he sat back down on one of the benches that lined the side of the van.
Pit opened up telepathic communications with his mate. “They act like there’s some reason I would want any of them alive. Boston has always belonged to the Darcarre, despite who our elders had been foolish enough to align themselves with. As far as I’m concerned, let them all get killed off. It will make for a more pleasant Boston when the last of the Stalwarts are cleaned out.”
She placed her pale, delicate finders on his leg. “Yes, my dark prince, but we may need them before this night has closed. Primus and Brownhurst have a way of surviving.”
“Bah. it’s only the protection afforded by their Pagan gods that allows it to be so. With enough concentrated Bestows, they’ll go down.” He could just make out glaring red tail lights of the truck the Stalwarts drove fleeing before them. It mattered not if he lost sight of them, for he could detect their presence far past what his eyes allowed. He needed no headlights to see in the night and the van sped after the retreating truck like a giant black bullet. “They know their minutes are numbered. They must have been wounded before the battle even started. Why else seek out their best healer. We will crush them before sun up.”
The only other female in the van, a Gloom, interrupted their silent communications. “I worry that the surroundings become more rural,” she said. “Perhaps they have no hide out and are just retreating into some random farm.”
“Wisp, are all Glooms as paranoid as you?” Pit’s voice kept its cruel edge. “You should be thankful that you’ll be honored by being with us when we eliminate the last Stalwart threat.”
“Their vehicle slows my mate,” Midnight said.
Wisp, who still had her wizen grey head between their chairs, “I think it’s stopped.”
“I know that,” Midnight affirmed quickly.
“Ready your weapons. Get ready to be the monster you’ve always wanted to be. We’re hunting Stalwart!” A ragged grunting cheer answered him and he wondered once again how he got stuck with such obtuse ‘allies.’
He knew an ambush would be impossible since their presence glared at him like to colorful splinters in the night. “They had already fled their vehicle. Get out, they’re fleeing, there’s no worry of attack.”
The other Xemmoni did as they were told and they eight of them entered the harsh cold of the Massachusetts winter. There was a trail wide enough to drive a car down on the other side of the Stalwart’s truck. The couple chuckled when Sender instructed the Caradon to help him flip the pickup over.
Wisp appeared less pleased. “The sign here says, Easterbrook Forest. I was told never to fight Stalwarts in the wilderness.”
“Idiot! You would come all this way just to let them go? We could even just freeze them out if we had to.” But looking over at his mate he realized he wouldn’t be popular with her if he made her wait outside in the middle of the winter in just a mini skirt. “Sender, your kind can track by smell correct?”
“It’s actually done by following the trace particles-”
“Enough, do it find the trail.”
The Caradon began to grow and stretch. They let out a howl and both their arms and legs elongated to twice their normal lengths. They looped into the woods, building speed as they went. Pit nodded and the Glooms drew their sickles and a fog began to grow within the forest as they joined the case. Wisp however remained close to the Darcarre. She kept her hooded back to them as though they might forget her foul presence.
He was just about to command her forward when the yelling started. Shouts of alarm became screams and the screaming was over far too quickly
“Pit,” his mate looked his way. “Perhaps we should…”
He saw that Wisp already fed toward the van and gave a shrill scream when the trees came alive and appeared to be attempting to draw and quarter her.
Within seconds both he and Midnight were also ensnared by the mighty bows of the trees.
Primus came walking out of the forest. A bloody axe filled his hands. “You know what the great thing about this spell is?” When his answer was only him witnessing their struggle to escape, the Stalwart continued. “It doesn’t matter how resistant to Magick you might be, they are still only trees and trees hate Xemmoni… a lot.”
“I’ll show you Magick, fool!” Pit yelled as he sent his Black Veins Bestow crashing into the Stalwart.
Jack took a step back and grunted as the Bestow hit him. When he raised his face, a grin could be seen there. “That hurt. Congratulations. You get to die first.”
Pit’s awareness toppled through unconceivable pain long enough for him to figure out he had been decapitated two seconds before he died.
To be continued next Monday