Thursday, March 6, 2014

Lost in the Red Sand: Part 4

Adrenaline flooded the man’s body. He was now in complete battle mode. The next hunter’s pale blonde Mohawk peaked over the top of the edge of the cave. The man was ready. He crouched down in the darkest part of the cave and watched as it scrambled up over the ledge. Upon seeing its fallen companion, the Hunter began yelling down to the others in its gravelly strange language. The sound of hastened climbing reached the man’s ears. The next hunter heaved itself up over the edge of the cave. The man knew he had to react quickly before the other two hunters made it up as well. Gripping the first hunter’s mace-axe, the man burst out of hiding with a roar. The two hunters saw the man and scrambled to adopt fighting stances. This time the man charged. Sprinting towards them, he hurled the mace-axe directly in between the two with all his strength. The hunter on the left was quick and managed to duck out of the way of the projectile. The hunter on the right was not. The braided chord holding the axe and the metal ball together wrapped itself around the creature’s neck. The momentum of the steel ball carried it on further passed the hunter’s neck. When the chord it was attached to came to its full length, the sphere was forced into a u-turn and buried itself in the creature’s face with a sickening crunch. It collapsed and fell over the edge of the cave’s entrance. 
The man slowed his run and faced the other hunter. Their eyes met and it snarled at the man, baring its teeth. The man quickly stooped down grabbing a handful of red sand. Before the hunter could react he flung the dirt into its angry eyes, blinding it. The hunter grunted and began back pedaling deeper into the cave. He rushed the disoriented creature and tackled it to the ground. Unable to get to his knife, the man unwound some of the utility chord he had wrapped around his hand earlier that day and began strangling the hunter. It kicked and grabbed at the man’s face as he pulled the chord as tight as he could around the hunter’s neck. It slowly grew still as its attempts to breath became more infrequent. At last, the creature died. The man crawled out from under the hunter’s body and immediately looked towards the entrance of the cave. The head of the fourth hunter had just appeared over the edge. The man, scrambling to his feet, took off in a sprint towards it. The hunter, seeing him coming, hastened his attempt to pull himself up. The man was there before it could. He kicked the hunter in the head with all his might hoping to knock it off the edge. As the full force of his kick buried itself into the hunter’s eye socket, a snapping sound, followed by excruciating pain emanated up from the man’s foot. There was no question, his foot was broken. The hunter went lip and dropped pathetically to the ground below. The pain in the man’s foot bit at his mind like a white hot knife, his vision going blurry and his head spinning. Hopping on one foot to maintain balance, the man landed on a small rock, causing his ankle to twist. There was nothing the man could do other than scream as he fell the edge of the cliff. 
The ground rushed up towards him, then, about half way down, he hit a ledge on the cliff face causing the world to tumble around him. The man landed with a thud, flat on his back, the wind rushing from his lungs, directly next to the two hunters he had just killed. He lay there for a moment attempting to regain his ability to breath. As he gasped like a fish out of water, the man desperately scanned the area around him for the fifth hunter. It was nowhere to be seen. The man gradually managed to take in a little bit more air with each successive breath and finally he sat up. He could see the hunter’s steeds off to the right. The odd reflective orb lay shining in the sand to his left. All five animals were still tied to their stakes which meant the fifth hunter was still there, waiting for its chance to attack. The man stood up, trudging away from the side of the cliff with a heavy limp as his head whipped back and forth, searching for danger. The seconds ticked by as he grew more and more anxious. Finally, he lost it.
“Where are you?! Come on out you little shit! I’ll kill you just like I killed all your little friends!” He hollered furiously.
Silence answered him; the kind of silence that can only be experienced in the middle of a hot, dry desert landscape. Then; the shuffling sound of something running in the sand. The man spun around and came face to face with fifth hunter. Before he could even raise his hands to defend himself, the metal ball from the hunter’s mace-axe smashed into the side of the his head. Every color the man could see burst into a molten shower of pure white light which was instantaneously replaced by deep, dark, blackness. He was unconscious before he even hit the ground.

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