Tainted Victory – Chapter 11, Part 15 (Page-a-Day)

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Claudia bashed the end of her crossbow against the soldiers. They stumbled into each other, but did not fall like dominos. Instead they hopped back up like a ball. “I know, but I cannot use the arrow.”

“I have the knife!” Goblet called. He held its golden mass with a sense of pride. “I will throw it!”

“Wait!” Hugh said. He placed his arm on her shoulder. “You‘ve done so much already. You can do this.”

Claudia nodded. She turned her crossbow around. The soldiers took to the stairs. She placed her finger on the trigger. A swirl of energy flowed from the arrow. It set her hair on end. She took a breath. The soldiers took a step closer to her. She curved her finger around the metal. An image of a slimy creature with long tentacles, a bird’s beak, and a bulbous head flashed in her mind’s eye. She gasped. Her finger hit the trigger. 

The arrow flew out of the bow. It hit the closest soldier in the chest. A black residue started to build and bubble on his chest plate. The soldier tumbled back. A tentacle whipped out of the black bubble. The tentacles started wrapping around the other soldiers. They screamed. A tentacle completed a full wrap of a soldier it pulled the tentacle into the bubble, leaving the soldier stuck to the growing bubble. The soldiers fell and grew like a snowball until all the soldiers were stuck to the oozing black ball. 

Claudia dropped her crossbow. “Oh my Runes!” Any color left in her face vanished in that moment. “What is that?” She pointed to the congealed soldiers still trying to tear themselves away. 

“We will deal with that in a moment,” Hugh said. He ran past her. She made her way cautiously down the stairs. She gripped the railing tightly and examined the oozing ball of trapped soldiers. Her heart sank. 

Goblet threw the knife. Hugh caught it. He placed it in his left hand. It was burning. He could not figure if it was his hand or the item within. He tightened his grip around the knife. He felt the heat expand. He shook his head then closed his eyes. 

A force vibrated from the knife. It repelled Hugh’s hand and sent tingles down his nerves. His hand soon felt as though it had been dangled from a tree. Numb, and tingling. He tried to close his hand tighter. A wave of the vibrational energy shot out from the knife. The wave sent a concussive slam to his chest. He felt his torso jerk back. He closed his hand tighter still. Bolts of energy flew from the knife. A stray bolt zapped a streak of flesh from his wrist to his bicep. The skin was coal black and smoking. He placed his hand on his arm. He let out his golden healing light. Both sides of his body were a flickering light show. 

A second wave of repulsive energy erupted from the knife.

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