Thursday, October 03, 2013

Featured Creature: Eagle of Vz Part II

Continuing the fiction from the Featured Creature post, Eagle of Vz:

The Eagle of Vz
Part II

As soon as the Eagle's spotlight eye landed on me, I took off.  I used the same trail I'd followed up to the house, but I still nearly broke my foot several times running helter skelter through the darkness.  As I leapt over a large root in my way, the angle of the hillside sharpened suddenly and I lost my footing.  I slid the last fifty feet.  I finally stopped, a cloud of dust swirling around me.  I jumped up immediately, knife in hand.  I had landed on the next street down and just several yards from a street lamp.  I could hear the beast screeching far above me.

I vaulted to the base of the street light and threw my duffel bag down in front of me.  I couldn't see the beast yet, but that meant little.  The sky was black.  It could be right behind me.  From the duffel I grabbed the remains of the salt and quickly spread it at the edge of the circle of light.  There was barely enough.  I saw the beasts eye clear the edge of the trees as I began to call the directions.  This time I used my knife in combination with the remaining tincture and directed the energy outward.  Soon faint blue energy tinged the air, surrounding me in a protective sphere.

The beast swooped down but was repelled by my circle of protection.  It came at me again and opened its maw as it passed, spraying black tar in a thick line.  The tar ate into the asphalt and passed easily through the sphere, hitting my duffel and splashing onto my arm.  The duffel began to smoke and give off a terrible odor.    I felt the attack psychically and physically.  My arm stung as though I had burned it with steam and my stomach churned as if to vomit.  My head ached with pressure.  If I didn't bolster my protections somehow, the beast would have me.

The pain, at least, gave me focus.  I put my hand against the cool metal of the streetlight for support and felt the electrical energy there.  I visualized the energy flowing from the pole and into arm then outward.  I imagined an electric blue chaos sphere emerging from within my chest and spreading outwards to match the circle of my protection.  I pointed my knife in the direction of the beast as it approached, feeling the runes on its hilt warm slightly at the focusing of my intent.

A thin line of electricity arced between my knife and the edge of the shield.  My teeth hummed with the vibration of it.  I clenched them tight and imagined my sphere as electrified.  The Eagle moved in.  It sprayed again, but this time the ooze flowed to the edge of the sphere and melted into the asphalt at the outer edge.  The beast roared and flew at my shield, grabbing the sphere in its black claws.  There was a loud static pop as the beast made contact with the shield and we both shook with the surge of energy that followed.

I felt the beast's contact like a punch to the gut.  The creature and I were locked into each other, the electricity acting as a chain between us.  I felt the pulse of the electric flow as the creature shook and screamed above me.  It glared at me with it spotlight eye and began to squeeze my shield, tearing holes in the energy matrix with it claws.  It spit again and a swath of the black tar slid down the side of the shield.  I raised my knife directly at the beast and imagined the surge of energy expanding and pushing at the beast.  I felt a pressure within my nose and felt a pinprick coolness as blood began to run across my lips.  Above me the beast howled.

In the midst of our grappling, a set of headlights appeared further up the road.  A passing car slowed to observe the spectacle.  I could see the face of the driver as pale realization settled upon him.  His wide frightened eyes stared out of the shadows of the car and quickly disappeared as he sped away.  His engine revved loudly and his tires squealed.  As his taillights faded, I could see further up the mountainside, the house burning brightly in the background.  The beast tore a yard long gash in my shield and screeched.  My focus was failing.

The squealing tires of the passing car echoed inside my mind as I watched the Eagle tear fresh holes.  I watched the pale blue energy spark and fade with each incursion.  Faintly, beyond the screams of the beast, I could hear the motions of distant cars.  Crickets chirped in the shelter of the trees.  Above us the street light hummed.  Nearby a dog barked.  I drew it in.  I drew it all in.  I imagined the arrows of my chaos sphere turning, moving inward, becoming smaller.  I focused my intent on drawing in the energy.  Even the scream of the Eagle.  The sound of my own breath.  Then nothing.  All sound and vibration gone.  My chaos sphere had shrunk to a tiny dot at the center of my chest.  Pressure and silence were all that remained.

The air became heavy and thick.  I felt my eardrums shift under the pressure.  I pulled in as much breath as I could muster, but it seemed as though even the air was contracting.  The beast realized what I was attempting and tried to extricate itself, but too late.  I saw my shield buckle slightly at the pressure, then I let it all go.  There was a bright flash as my chaos sphere expanded explosively, racing outward, pushed by the power of all the energy I'd drawn in.

There was a loud THOOM as the air rushed out.  The Eagle exploded in a wall of black goo.  Its remains splattered across the roadway in a slick black smear.  The streetlamp above shattered as bolts of electricity arced.  The trees across the road flared as if hit by a sudden wind and below the hillside, a section of lights suddenly went dark.  Distant car alarms echoed and many dogs began barking.  My teeth chattered with the reverberation of the forces leaving me as my vision blurred into darkness.


I awoke lying on my side across the street, several yards away from the streetlamp.  My arm was underneath me and sore.  There was acrid smell in my nose that I could not expel.  Where it had bled was now crusted and dry on my upper lip.  My mouth was parched and there were several charred marks on my coat and pants as though they had been on fire.  Wisps of smoke lethargically danced across my pant legs.  I'd managed to hold onto my knife.  It was only luck that I had not run myself through with it.  I adjusted myself and rolled over until I was facing the destroyed streetlamp.

After several minutes I was able to stand, but my limbs were wooden.  Each step was an undertaking.  I dug a pin flashlight from one of my pockets and searched for my duffel.  I found it just a few yards down from where I had landed, smoldering and half melted.  Upon examination, most of the black tar had neutralized and the supplies within seemed to be intact.  The thick duffel had taken the brunt of damage.  I threw it over my shoulder and began to hobble down the roadway to my car.

If my luck held, there was only the one Eagle and no other minions.  If any others showed, I was too exhausted to fight.  Between the Spawn and the Eagle, there may be a nest somewhere about, but that would be a quest for another day when there's sunlight and hopefully other Magi backing me up.  Definitely after several good nights of rest somewhere safe and maybe a bottle of whiskey or two.  Perhaps if she wasn't still mad, Deidre would let me stay at her place.  Otherwise, it would be two states drive before I could sleep.

There was a faint haze where the streetlight had gone dark.  Beyond it and up the hill I could see the reflections of the firetruck lights mixing with the soft orange glow of the burning house.   At least I got the Spawn.  The Eagle was a bonus, but it will take some time to recover from this fracas before I be ready for anything else.  I stumbled down the roadway towards my car, focusing on my one foot and putting it front of the other.

~ Fin ~

{8x5.94 Sharpie and Uni-ball Vision Elite Pen with color added in Adobe Photoshop}

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