Shadow Wolf time! This is part of my weekly writing exercise, written raw and rough. The first story arc, Blade Breaker, can be found here. The first story of this arc, Red Fangs, can be found here. The previous week’s post can be found here.
“Fuck you, bitch,” spat Cinder. “Say hello to my BLOODHYDRA!”
The floor heaved. The remaining vampires scattered, scampering up to safer ground. Cinder glared at us from across the warehouse. I exchange a glance with Berkhilda.
Then the floor in front of us exploded, I raised my arm to protect my eyes as wood shot outward. For a moment everything was obscured by dust and debris. Then I saw movement, something big. Six serpentine necks, glistening red and round as a tree truck swayed sinuously before us. The heads were more like that of a shark, instead of something more reptilian, with snapping jaws big enough to swallow a man whole.
“Skygge, this is a sight that few have seen,” I whispered. “I gift this secret to you.”
Two clawed limbs gripped the wood at the edge of the hole that it had smashed through the floor. It heaved itself up and forward, the heads lunging toward us. The heads wove in and out, making it hard for me to keep track of them. Then as they neared me, two of them darted to the side and inward, coming at me from the flanks.
Rather than stand my ground, I dropped back and rolled out of the way, feeling hot breath on my back as something snapped shut close enough for me to feel the click of its teeth. I turned, meeting the baleful gazed of the blood hydra, it surge forward, jaws turning and snapping shut, I avoided the maw, by sidestepping and then slashed my greatsword across the beast’s eye. The head reared up, and the beast roared.
Before I could get my bearings one of the other heads slammed down. I barely avoided being crushed underneath of it. The floor splintered and the head twisted as I scrambled to avoid falling. Jaws snapped at my heel. I found enough purchase to heave myself away as another head came down. I rolled to the side, but it kept coming jaws snapping, forcing me to roll quickly to the other side. This time I gained my feet and lunged as it came, driving the point of my greatsword through the roof of its mouth. The head recoiled.
My stomach lurched as I spotted Berkhilda, caught in the jaws of one of the heads, but she seemed undaunted, hacking at the neck that held her and swatting the other heads as they tried to attack.
Then I saw Cinder, across the room, aiming a crossbow at my companion. I ran toward Berkhilda.
The heads attacking me reared up, and dove, cutting through the air with all the grace and agility of a shark in the water. Cinder was taking aim. I could see little room for error. I veered toward the diving heads, ducking under the first and sidestepping the second. I did not see the third, but time was short. I sprinted, roaring and brandishing my sword, and leapt as Cinder fired.
One might forgiven for thinking that I was putting my body between Berkhilda and the bolt, but that was not the case.
The heads attacking my companion twisted and lunged at me. The bolt hit one of them in the neck.Berkhilda’s axe came down hard, severing the head that holding her. I landed on my feet.
I had about a heartbeat to enjoy my little victory before the hydra bit me from behind, crushing the breath from me and lifting me into the air.