Tainted Victory – Chapter 8, Part 3 (Page-a-Day)

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Evelyn took out one of her knives. She began running the end of it under her fingernails. “I could be a knife.” She said with zero emotion. 

“No one is that fast,” Colt said. “It was like an instant.”  He snapped his fingers. Hounder jumped to attention. His eyes poked over the ledge of the table. He scanned the table. “Sorry.” Colt rubbed his head and told his dog to relax. “Anyway, it just seemed to happen too fast to be human.”

“It could have been a trap,” Hugh said.

“Big trap,” Goblet said. 

“That would make sense,” Evelyn said. 

“Well why didn’t you lead with that?” Claudia began picking up her arrows and slid them back into her leather quiver. “Instead of giving me the killer eye.”

“We don’t know anything. It was just a possibility,” Olivier said. 

“If I check his cut now I might be able to tell if it came from a knife, or an arrowhead.” Hugh scooted his chair back. “If I may.”

“Sounds good to me.” Claudia crossed her arms and dissolved in the chair. 

Hugh took a passing look around the table. No one said anything. He stood up. The chair scraped against the floor. He looked at Siguard. His body was a snake. His head flipped about, and drool pooled around the corners of his mouth. Hugh took a breath. He could feel the glares of the party. He took a couple steps over. The floor squeaked on his back heel. Even in his napping state Siguard loomed large. Hugh knelt down and placed his thumb under Siguard’s chin. It was prickled with beard hair. He could still feel Siguard’s distant heartbeat through his veins. They seemed to speed up. Hugh shook his head and lifted Siguard’s chin up. The blood had dried into a crusty brown curtain on his face. He changed hands and maneuvered to the side to get a better look. The pulse in Siguard’s neck quickened. Hugh looked over the cut. It spanned the length of his cheek, from bone to earlobe, and took a notch out of his ear. He took a finger and pulled Siguard’s loose skin down. The wound peeled and went a couple millimeters deep. 

Siguard’s eyes popped alive. He whipped his head side to side and yelled. Hugh tumbled onto his hands. The rest of the chairs squeaked back. Siguard yelled again. The scream flooded the room. He began to flex and bulge his muscles. The restraints bowed and snapped back easily. “Release me!” He yelled. His slobber rained down on the wooden floor. “Release me and I will kill you quickly!” 

“Not a great deal,” Evelyn said. 

“Who is your master?” Hugh said. He quickly stood up and dusted off his pants and vest. 

Siguard twisted his head to Hugh. It creaked and popped. “My master is my King!”

“We could figure that much,” Evelyn murmured. Siguard snapped his gaze at her. He snarled. “Oh look, another dog.”

“My master says to kill you first!”

“Come and try.” Evelyn waved her knife back and forth. 

Siguard jumped forward. They fell forward. His head bounced off the floor. “I will kill you.” He turned his cheek, resting it on the floor. 

“Very intimidating.”

“Just shut it,” Claudia said.

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