There wasn’t a spot in the room that I could go that he couldn’t reach me. Ella was on her way to the weapons cache, so I just needed to hold out a bit longer. “I see the stories have exaggerated you beast!”
He reared up on his hinds legs, extending to his full height, which was twice of tall as me. “When I pick your bonces clean of flesh, muscle, and fat, I will spit them back out into the cliffs. They’ll lay there as a reminder of what awaits the foolish!”
He took a swipe at me, grazing me across the chest. His talons were razor sharp, so it didn’t take long for the three long gashes to start bleeding. I kept my balance, but the pain just from a slight hit was harrowing. In my mind, I was urging Ella on, I was out of my depth.
Gryndel’s tongue darted out between a pair of stitches. “Fresh human blood – it has been too long.” He got on all fours, ready to attack again. “So young and so sweet, I will relish this meal.”
“Enough!” Ella’s voice was fierce, domineering. “It is I you want creature, not the boy.”
His good red eye opened wide, like he found a long lost treasure. “The blood of those who did this to me! Oh how fate’s smiled on me this day.”
A long, silver sword was in her hand. She looked like a warrior from another time, her blonde hair whipping beside her. I had no doubt in my mind she could defeat the Gryndel.
She approached her target and he turned to meet her. “You were foolish to come here girl. It took both your grandfather and father to subdue me. Even then, I was able to rip the heart from your dear grandpa-pa’s chest. It was delicious.”
She swiped her sword at him, his words bringing a rage out of the fair princess. “You forget he took your eye too. I will finish their work and rid the world of a plague like you.”
His claws and her sword met on the second swipe. Flashes and sparks flew as the two collided. The Gryndel stood tall and using his off hand, tried to take her head off. Ella moved quickly and he only hit air. She cut low, the blade’s edge digging into his leg.
The beast cried out in pain. “”It looks as if I underestimated you. I won’t make that mistake again.”
The Gryndel got low and scampered towards Ella like an insect. She backed up, thrusting her blade forward towards his head. He avoided it, backing her up into a bad position. Completely forgetting about me, I decided it was time to overcome my own fears.
I ran towards the cache of weapons and looked quickly at what was there. For some reason, a silver bladed dagger with an intricate handle kept taking my attention. When I grabbed it, I felt complete. I didn’t know why, but Ella needed me. The time for curiosity would be later.
She was trapped against the wall and the Gryndel was lining up the death blow. I ran, blocking out the searing pain from the wounds on my chest. When I got close enough to the creature, I jumped upwards on to its back. My weight was met with bucking from him, trying to fling me back to the ground.
I had one choice. I held on with my right hand while I fumbled with the dagger in my left. I almost dropped it, but held on long enough to dig the silver into its back. He jerked, sending me to the ground, but the damage had been done. Ella was free from confinement and charged forward. Her sword entered its belly and she sliced it upwards. Its internal organs poured out as the creature thrashed around in pain.
The two of us stood away as the Gryndel collapsed to the floor. As it was in its death throes, it began to shrink and return to a more human form. The red eye became blue and the hatred was replaced with relief.
I walked over to it. I reached out and touched the man on the face and he smiled at me. “Thank you… for relieving me of that pain.” He coughed a few times, blood splattering on the ground. “You are brave boy.”
Ella was beside me. “You are human? How is that possible?”
“Before she met… your father, I was Tremaine’s husband.”
“My God!” It may not have been the most appropriate thing to say, but words failed me. “How did she do this to you?”
More blood came from his coughing. “I do not have much time.” He closed his eyes, only to open them just as quickly. “Tell your father Ella that I am grateful.”
“I will sir.”
He looked to me. “I don’t know how you came to be here, but it’s no coincidence.”
“What are you talking about my Lord?”
His hand stretched out, so I placed mine in it. “You’ll find out soon. I’m glad we met before I…” His eyes shut again, only this time they didn’t reopen.
*Come back next Monday for Issue #9 – Truths to be Told!
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