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.
They say few things terrify a man like being caught in the jaws of a beast. Becoming food has a way of changing one’s perspective, I suppose.
One of the Bloodhydra’s heads caught me unawares, catching me from behind. The only thing that saved me from being bitten in half was my trusty kingsmail. It lifted me into the air, toward the forest of headless corpses handing from the ceiling. Then it tossed me up. For a moment I floated, weightless, then the the chains of gravity dragged me down, down toward the open maw of the Bloodhydra.
But I am no light morsel to be swallowed alive; I have fangs of my own. My greatsword led the way as I plummeted into the creature’s mouth, and although the jaws closed around me, bring darkness and pain, they soon went slack.
Then, I presume, the now lifeless head fell to the ground. There was a thump, and the teeth dug into me more for a moment, and then my feet found purchase on a solid surface. The thought of being snatched by another ravenous hydra head lent me strength, and I pulled myself from the maw.
One of the heads was on fire, writhing and boiling in the air. The fire framed Berkhilda, standing tall and brandishing her axe as the others dove at her. I saw Git in the corner of the warehouse, and Murith aiming her arbalest and firing at Cinder, who decided that discretion was the better part of valour and pulled one of her guards into the path of the lethal projectile and then returned fire.
A closer movement obscured my view as one of the remaining heads descended upon me. I stood still, holding my greatsword at the ready above my head. The jaws opened wide and twisted to envelop me. Roaring my defiance I brought the blade down with all my might. The shock of impact nearly drove the blade from my grasp. Blood spattered everywhere. The jaws enveloped me but they did not close.
The lower jaw of the head, severed completely by my attack, slipped past me and fell over while the upper jaw reared into the air, gurgling and fountaining blood.
Bull and Renoit joined the fray now, with the big man harpooning one of the heads, fastening the rope to a sturdy beam. The hydra head pulled like a hooked fish, cracking the beam with its efforts. Bull added his weight to the line, holding the head close to the ground while Renoit darted in, a blur of motion that ended with the his rapier buried to the hilt in an eye the sized of a man’s head. Renoit was on the move before the surorsied looking head could fall to the ground, leaping over the body and running toward the back of the warehouse.
I ran toward Berkhilda, who was fighting the last head. As I closed, she sidestepped the snapping jaws, graceful despite her heavy armour, and slammed her axe down on the back of the creatures neck with a mighty splash of blood. Then she raised the axe and brought it down again, stilling the beast.
“So much for the bloodhydra,” said Berkhilda, pointing her axe at Cinder.
My eyes found Renoit, fighting two armoured vampires, with Git and Murith behind him. Murith was wounded, but standing.
Cinder shrieked. “Fucking finish them off you dogs. Now, while they are still tired.”
And her pets came boiling forth from the shadows.