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Quest For The Witch Chapter Ten
Chapter Ten Monster
Alexandra turned tail and ran screaming as the monster chased her down. Everyone dived aside for cover, and when the beast was past, they sprang into action. Rick pulled out his pistols and sent a volley of energy bolts at the creature's behind. The monster didn't even take notice.
"Are you sure it was a good idea for someone like her to become Gwendolyn the Witch?" Lulu asked Gwen.
Gwen shrugged. Even now, she was getting second thoughts.
Alexandra jumped forward just in time as the beast took a bite at her. An idea suddenly crossed her mind and she dropped to the ground. The beast bounded right over her, unable to stop its momentum. When it was past her, Alexandra scrambled to her feet and sprang the other way, back to the others.
She ignored the pain tearing at her side, and the near lack of oxygen in her lungs as she ran as far and as fast as her legs could carry. The monster saw that its prey tricked it and skidded to a halt just barely stopping itself from colliding with the house in front of it. It's claws dug dents into the ground as it launched itself after the girl.
"Don't bring it back here!" Caesar protested, but the beast was already bound their way.
As Alexandra ran, the tip of her shoe got caught in an imprint of the beast's foot on the ground. She tripped and fell flat on her face, shaving skin off her nose and cheek with a short skid. At that moment, Alexandra became a prime example of why witches don't wear pointed shoes anymore.
The beast was already over Alexandra when she turned around, trying to ignore the sting on her face. It was cooled by the beast's slobber as its tremendous head hovered over her, its jaws opened wide. Then a bolt of lightning sent it flying back.
Alexandra looked in disbelief and then twisted around to see Jack with his sparking hand raised while the other held his glowing staff. He gave Alexandra a smile, and then stared coldly at the beast that almost took her head.
The creature managed to roll onto its feet and skid to a halt. Its fur went rigid and it let out a haunting howl. There were sparks of flame amidst the hot breath escaping its jaws. Windows shattered. People cried. And all but Gwen was collapsing onto their knees because of the noise.
With a wave of Gwen's hand, everything suddenly went quiet. Alexandra didn't understand what was going on, as almost everyone else still had their hands clapped over their ears and their faces twisted in agony, while the beast continued with a mute roar. Then she brushed aside a strand of her hair and felt something round and plastic over her own ear.
Alexandra turned to Gwendolyn, who sat at the front bench of the wagon, in her child form, swinging her legs to and fro. The witch yawned and stretched, and then mouthed to Alexandra: "Deal with this."
Just like her to put everything onto poor old Alexandra's shoulders. With sagging shoulders, Alexandra looked at the ferocious beast that her mentor and previously jailer was making her fight.
Think, Alexandra. Think! What would Gwendolyn do? Well, the answer, obviously, would be to blow the dumb monster to smithereens. But Alexandra doesn't have that kind of power. So she will have to think of something else.
"Hurry up!" Caesar mouth-screamed.
The monster stopped roaring and took a swipe at the boy. Caesar ducked and rolled, before getting back on his feet and taking a swipe of his own at the monster with his sword. Before the blade could touch, the monster jumped back, crouched down and growled.
"Clever boy," Rick said, aiming both his pistols at the monster. "At least you know what you shouldn't touch." He ignored the throbbing in his ears. He just knew that in a matter of years, he was going to need a hearing aid. The gold markings crisscrossing the weapons lit up as he gathered up as much power as he could. When he pulled the triggers, huge beams of energy shot out. They came too fast for the beast to leap away.
The monster was sent crashing into one of the buildings. Skeletons scrambled away screaming their heads off. One shook an angry fist at Rick.
"Sorry!" Rick shouted back.
As the beast got up and out, the store sign crashed on top of its head. It let out a painful howl, shook its head and angrily snapped at the wood sign.
A light orb lit up in Alexandra's mind. She took a deep breath, dramatically flourished a finger like how Gwen liked to do and willed her spell to life. A giant anvil appeared above and dropped over the beast.
Alexandra thought that it would work. She really did. But the beast sensed the magic above its head, twisted around in an aerial spin, batting the falling anvil away. The chunk of metal flew like a cannonball, crashing into one of the second story windows of the Elder's dwelling. The headless skeleton waved an angry fist at the outside world before going back inside to gather up the pieces of its skull.
"Sorry!" Alexandra said, grimacing.
Jack stamped the butt of his staff against the ground, and chains popped out, wrapping themselves around the beast and forcing it to its knees.
"Now!" the wizard shouted.
Screaming, Caesar lunged forward with his sword. However, the beast was suddenly smaller. It slipped through the chains and caught the sword's blade with its jaws. With a slight pinch in muscle, the sword snapped, and the pieces fell to the floor.
"Whoa!" Caesar cried out, diving to the side as the beast bounded at him. It was big again, this time standing on its hind legs while its fore ones became muscular arms with long fingers with talons that could cleanly cut iron. For some reason, it was wearing full, metal armor now, complete with leggings, and a helmet. Strapped to its back was a large broadsword.
"Well, well, well," went Gwen watching from the sidelines. "It's been a while since I've seen one of his kind. And what's this? What an unusual collar!"
The monster, in its new form, beat its chest like an ape, roaring ferociously. It, then lunged at Alexandra, who gaped at the creature like a witless fish. When it was above her, she fell back on her bottom in a fright, her back pressed against the wall of the barber's shop. She could hear yelps through the wood wall as the shop's occupants backed away in fright. The beast had its hands pressed against the wall, which tore slightly from the pressure.
Alexandra felt hot and wet breath with the monster's snout just an inch from her nose. The monster's mouth formed a snarl, and she heard rumbling from its chest. And those eyes that bore into her were red and wild with blood lust.
She swallowed hard and pressed as far back against the wall as she could. Then she felt something wrap around her ankle and pulled her down. Alexandra dropped to the floor and was pulled beneath the monster then away from it.
As she was pulled beneath the creature, she felt something drop to her face. Above her, an eye was blinking at the monster's neck. She blinked back. And then she was pulled some more as the monster looked down.
Looking at her feet, she saw Jack, Rick, and Caesar pulling the rope that was holding tightly to her ankle as fast as they could, chanting "Heave-ho!"
For some reason that annoyed her.
"You okay, kid?" Rick asked, firing bolt after bolt at the monster. They all hit their mark, but were only strong enough to push the monster back.
"There's something up with its collar," she said.
Jack pulled out a monocle with an emerald green lens. He peered through the glass with a frown on his face that got deeper the longer he looked through the glass.
"She's right," said Jack. "The beast, itself, is not at fault. It's running wild due to the Darkness that's latched onto its neck."
"So we just have to take care of the collar?" Rick said. "Works for me. Beats trying to take down an actual monster."
He took aim again, but then lowered his weapons and dived for cover, pulled Alexandra and Caesar with him. Jack flew up, lifted by his staff, as the beast came crashing by.
Alexandra heard Rick swore beneath his breath.
"There's no way we're going to get that collar off of him the way he keeps moving," he said. "And even if we go back to Plan A, this guy's tough."
"Maybe we can try hold it down again like Jack did before?" Alexandra suggested.
"The guy'll just shrink again," Rick shot down. "He's smart and slippery for a big and strong dude. Not a good combo to fight against."
"You lot are helpless without me," Gwen said, shaking her head.
"Gah!" went the trio, jumping back. None of them noticed the witch floating behind them.
"Well, I expected as much from you three, but JACK, get your game on!" she said. "You heard these three, right? You know what to do."
Jack, riding his staff like a flying broom, nodded and gave a thumbs up, before diving down with a resolute face. He zipped around, flying zigzag while avoiding swipes from the monster's tearing claws. Globs of glowing goo flew from the wizard's hand, striking the monster and slowing its movements.
"That's probably the best Jack's got, so take aim cowboy," Gwen said.
"Please," Rick sneered. "This'll be cake now."
He took aim, the markings of his weapon lighting brighter than they have ever lit up before. His brows furled together as he concentrated. Rick kept as still as a statue as the beast continued to thrash around, trying to free itself of the sticky gunk.
Caesar, feeling impatient was about to shout at Rick to hurry it up, but both Alexandra and Gwen clapped their hands over his mouth, shooting him with dirty looks.
"Don't disturb him," Alexandra mouthed with gritted teeth.
Rick fired. Light streaked toward the beast, swerving slightly because of the wind, and then curving toward the beast's neck. The concentrated bolt hit the collar. There was a loud, high squeal and then silence as the collar crumbled and disappeared.
The beast went slack and then collapsed. Jack's goo shrank and disappeared as well.
Lulu was the first to slowly approach the snoring creature.
"Don't go near it!" one of the skeletons hissed from behind a water barrel.
Lulu ignored him. She shifted to her skeleton form, removed her left arm and used it as a poking stick. The beast did not stir. After putting her arm back on and turning back into human, a smile crept onto her face.
"They did it!" she cried out, and the whole village burst into cheers.
They all swarmed out from their hiding places and patted the heroes on the back, voicing their congratulations and thanking them through tears.
Alexandra was at a loss for words. She shrank down with hunched shoulders, shaking hands with people she never met before, and with skeletons. Cheers and the rattling of bones were everywhere.
They were soon replaced with screaming and fleeing when the beast suddenly got back up with a groan.
"I so hope you're right, Jack," Rick said, taking aim again. "I don't want this to have been a celebration too soon."
"Ach!" went the beast, rubbing his head. "I haven't felt this bad since I ate that bit o' haggis that went bad! Where am I? And why am I all muscle like I'm gonna bust some 'eads? Aurgh! I haven't felt this bad since the games!"
"I knew it," Gwen said. "I recognize that accent anywhere. 'ey, you numpty McFinnigan! What's a sorry sack o' bum like you doin' out here?"
"What's this? Now who been insultin' the great McFinnigan name?" The beast twisted around. He froze, his eyes wide. "Do me eyes deceive me? If it isn't the great witch! I haven't seen you since I was a wee pup still attached to his mummy's skirts."
- Quest For The Witch Chapter Nine
After having rescued a girl who could turn into a skeleton from spending the rest of her life in pieces, the party heads to the girl's village where they must deal with a horrible monster.
- Quest For The Witch Chapter Eleven
About time I added another chapter to this story.
Also by the author:
- Silverwest Manor
Marcus Weatherby's family just moved into a new town after inheriting a mansion from a distant relative. After finding out that magic is real, Marcus must become a warlock and defend his new town from an old evil.