Taking Fate by the Horns

Act 2 – Part 6

 

A strong hand grabbed Sha tightly around his throat, hoisting the young lad off his feet and slamming him hard onto his back in the dust. Blasting air from his lungs, his head spun, dizzy and disorientated from the swift action. Blinking dust from his eyes just in time to see a fist aimed at his face, no time to react, unable to even turn his head for the vice like grip on his throat, stealing his breath. The fist slammed into his nose with a bright flash and  sickening crack. He tasted blood, pain shot through his head, he gasped for breath, struggling, panicking, anticipating a second blow. Sha turned his face aside shortly before a following punch landed heavily on his jaw. He bit his tongue, lip split.

He had to gather his senses, to swallow back his fear and the blinding pain. He knew he needed to remember his training, to recall the correct maneuver before he ran out of air in his lungs and got his head dashed in against the hard earth. The pace of the raining punches were slow, deliberate and forceful, Hi attacker really pulling his fist right back to put as much strength behind each blow that he could. This gave a short period between each punch, yet Sha was struggling now to remain conscious.

Blood filled his eyes, his mouth, his ears rang, muffling sound. His lungs burned… Yet somehow the boy raised his knees towards his chest and kicked upwards with the last fragment of his fading energy to force his attacker backwards kicking the bastard in his ribs, forcing him backwards… Stumbling… the grip on Sha’s neck was released and he gulped in air desperately and rolled out of the way, attempting to stand, fighting nausea, knowing that he had just mere moments before the vicious attack resumed.

His sight was blurred red and Sha saw the beast he opposed… A man… clad in Northern Clan garb, but his head, his head was that of a beast… The beast snorted, steam billowing from flattened wide nose. His boot dragged up the dirt, the beast lowered his head, a circle of vicious sharp horns crowned his forehead. Two longer, sharper, like curved scimitars aimed at Sha’s torso and it charged…

Sha fought the urge to flee, reached for his sword, the scabbard empty upon his hip, the beast narrowed the gap between them howling unnaturally. Sha freed the scabbard from his belt and swung the empty sheath at the creatures eyes by the narrow edge, putting as much strength as he could behind the blow, using the beasts own momentum to add power to the blow.

Cracking violently across the bridge of it’s nose, blinding the creature temporarily. It bellowed in rage, human hands reaching for it’s bull like head… Sha swung the scabbard again and again, aiming at the back of the knees, at its ribs. He wiped blood from his eyes, hammering blows to try and prevent the creature from rising again against him. His scabbard bent and broke apart… Yet the beast was on his knees!

Sha clambered clumsy onto the creatures shoulders, keeping his body behind the giant bull head, he reached round and took hold of the two largest horns to twist the head aside. Though he wasn’t sure of himself, his strength was fast fading and the Minotaur was regaining energy. He was huddled behind the giant head, gripping the horns, riding the thrashing wild monster with little thought of action. He wasn’t strong enough to twist the head, it took all his effort to cling on and he was starting to slip.

As he slipped Sha pulled the two horns apart and there was a slight give… The Minotaur howled… It hurt him… Sha wrenched harder, pulling the two main horns apart with all the strength he could muster. There was a splintering crack, but it wasn’t enough. The bull man bucked and struggled to reach the young lad tugging at its head, however it’s own actions aided Sha the horns gave a little more, as it shook it’s head the sharp bone cut into Sha’s hands, blood causing his grip to slick. He tumbled, fell backwards from the Minotaur’s shoulders.

Landing with a crumpled twist of limbs, his body afire with pain, energy fast leaving his body, darkness threatened to overwhelm his senses. Yet Sha had kept a firm grip on both horns and as he slipped and fell both horns were torn free from the bulls head.

The Minotaur crumpled to his knees gripping its head as blood gushed freely over its fur muzzle it gripped the bleeding stumps and tore its face in half with a fierce tearing of flesh and a desperate cry. Pulling the Bulls head free from his shoulders Kane gasped for breath, letting the torn flesh fall from his hands, running his hands over his face, through blood clotted hair. His human head free from the restraints of the bulls skull.

He turned to face his son, the lad trembled in fear and understanding.

“You killed him!” Sha uttered, spitting blood, backing away from his own Father… “You Killed him… You killed the Guardian!”

Kane lowered his head, ashamed … Yet Sha had already drifted into an exhausted unconsciousness…

 

Anne Harrison 13.06.17

 

Part 70

The Birth of Prophecy

 

Novana, shocked and stunned by recent events, the lies, betrayal, death… Six weeks before her due date and she went into labor. Her waters broke as she was restrained roughly by brutal guards, bound and dragged without a care for her nearing contractions. She was pulled towards the palace chapel, the peaceful sanctuary had been violated in the most horrific manner. Corpses hung limp from rusty chains, their blood gathered in brass bowls and used to decorate the walls and ceiling and floorboards in vile magical runes, corrupt language and morbid symbols.

Fear gripped her heart as the desire to push increased, pressure building within her tummy, a rancid goat, diseased and maggot ridden was draped over the alter like a sick trophy, its slick black blood used to strengthen wards in a circle upon the floor. Terrified, Novana was stripped and painted in blood. No chains were required to hold her now as the magic spell decorating her body held her immobile. No scream, either in fear or in pain, could escape her throat.

Nine robed men, or women, she couldn’t tell, entered the ruined chapel and stood circling the struggling pregnant woman, her body craving birth, but Novana was trapped within her body, in her mind, she could only see the terrible scene evolve around her. The hooded figures started to chant, to sway, repeating a strange arcane phrase in a rolling pattern.

Carrying a severed leg, totally naked save for blood stained hands, Fendor walked into the circle. Novana knew the boot and she tasted bitter bile at the back of her throat, yet the spell even prevented her vomiting from repulsion. He used the blood from the stump to draw upon her convulsing stomach, uttering the same chant as his fellow robed companions.

Her fear was overwhelming as Fendor stirred his seed into the blood, yet she could not even shed a tear. For at one point, Novana had loved Fendor, loved him enough to carry his child, the babe now struggling to breach free too early, too premature. To be born into this gore was devastating, she wanted nothing more than death, she silently prayed to die in childbirth, to save her soul from this evil magic which was suffocating. Yet that was selfish, she needed to protect her babe but how was that possible while immobile?

Her eyes were dry now, fear and shock overwhelmed her mind as Fendor cut his child free from her womb, her mind tipped on the edge of insanity. Only the sudden cry of her tiny daughters first breath drew her back from the verge of madness, the pain was unbearable and finally there was nothing more than blissful darkness and the dwindling cries of a new born babe…

 

Anne Harrison 19.04.17