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3 Ring Samurai: Part 2 The Space Between Worlds

By Ryk Brink All Rights Reserved ©

Action / Humor

Shaolin cowboy

On the otherside of the fence there were no torches at all. The only light coming from spill from over from the fence and a dull glowing radiating from the walls.

No sound but a scratching a shuffling which both seemed far off and all around.

Then a sound he recognised, the laughing of the sword being drawn, turning to the sound there was a small pool of red light flickering into existence.

The eyes of the laughing clown hilt lit up and for a brief moment he saw something, or someone.

Lots of someones.

A quick glimpse of grey flesh drawn taut over an angular frame.

Pookie stood still and held his breath trying not to make a sound. Just listening to them, trying to discern numbers and strength. They must have heard him land over the fence but maybe the commotion outside covered it.

He inched slowly, keeping low on the balls of his feet. Creeping towards the flashing glow of the red eyes, trying not to look at the maudlin shambling figures in the darkness. His eyes were growing accustomed to the dark now and could see their outlines against the dull glowing surface of the cave wall.

Naked gaunt figures with pale skin peeling from their bones shivering in the darkness.

It was in reach now, he could see it. The sword had come loose from the sheathe in the fall. The eyes were blinking on and off and the naked blade was stuck into the dry dirt of the cave floor, the scabbard a few feet away.

He took it by the handle and wiggled it gently free trying to make as little noise as possible.

Taking it one hand he went for the scabbard and like a total idiot he resheathed the sword causing it to make that loud canned laughter noise. The figures shifted in the dark, the air getting heavier and the sound of sniffing and opening of mouths, the smell of desiccated death all around.

“Ah crap.”

-

On the otherside Canard crawled on his belly like someone trying to sneak out of a married woman’s bed. Through a series of tunnels comprised of robed legs trying to kick and stomp him to death.

Luckily kicking people in a flowing robe was pretty difficult especially in a big crowd of total morons.

Just a little further” He spat trying not to let his lungs collapse.

“There he is!”

“I’ve got him!”

“WAIT!” Canard shouted as he crawled toward his stick.

And oddly all of them did, being the sort that takes orders. They stopped crowding and grabbing and kicking and just stared in dumb silence. Canard took his staff and used it to raise himself into a sitting position with them all crowded around him. Just one minute” He said as they all surrounded him looking at eachother as if they’d all ran in here and forgotten why it was they ran in here.

Canard sighed and flicked the blade out of his staff and said “Ok continue.”

They all rushed at him at once Canard hesitated for a second then it became clear. He rolled his body forward throwing out his shoulder over his good leg and launching himself forward into a roll. The blade of his spear sweeping in a broad low arc cutting off the legs of all the cultists in a three meter radius of him.

Still not rising to his… foot, he did what I believe in yoga is called a ‘teddy bear roll’. Leaning onto his lower back using his hips and thighs to leverage him into another spin. Sweeping the blade up cutting arms and hands off and pointedly one with a decorative revolver in it.

I think I’m getting the hang of this.” Canard said as his breakdancing spins picked up speed. Violently slashing at whatever was sticking out like some terrible blender from hell.

For a second he lost focus and his guts started to churn and he felt dizzy.

I think I’m gonna throw up.” He said as the spin he was currently in started to wind down, in the centre of a radius of blood and carnage at least ten foot in all directions. Spreading out like some kind of expressionist painting dotted with severed limbs and entrails.

“Did I do that?” He said as he used his stick to raise himself to his foot wobbling slightly.

But there was something off about it. The men on the ground were still moving and some even were picking among the maelstrom for lost limbs and organs, seemingly trying to reattach them. This both amused and bemused Canard until he started to realise that what they were attempting, was working.

Efron too saw something she liked. She smiled broadly as she picked up an arm holding a decorative revolver. She carefully pryed the fingers free and let the arm drop to the ground, the arm twitching slightly.

“Ooh pretty” She said as she regard the gun with the care and finesse of an effienado. She held it out in front of her with two hands “Pew pew”.

They were picking up their limbs and putting them back in place unphased and turning their attentions back on Canard.

“Well that’s not good.”

Then suddenly a noise stopped them all in their tracks, a rhythmic banging coming from the fence.

“THE ELDERS ARE RESTLESS, THEY SEEK TRIBUTE, QUICKLY SECURE THE SACRIFICE.”

The others surrounded Canard as he hopped on one leg feeling rather dizzy. Covered in dust from the cave floor stuck to him with lots of weird smelling blood that may or may not have been glowing.

The banging grew louder and stronger until there was an odd whirring sound and a flash of sparks. A section of the fence fell away into a few neatly cut segments and Pookie walked through it with his sword unsheathed.

“You didn’t hear me knocking?” he asked with a slight tone of irritation as he dug around in his ear with his pinky.

The cult leader approached him goggled eyed as if he was looking at a ghost. Then he turned his attention to the hole he’d come through with a grim astonishment. Staring into the void of darkness.

“I wouldn’t go in there bud, it’s full of zombies.” Pookie stated. “likely to get your whole head chewed off” He said as he sheathed his sword with the signature canned laugh track.

As soon as he said it the ‘elders’ started to shamble out of the darkness one by one as they slowly became accustomed to the light.

“Brothers, elder ones, we mean you no harm, we simply had to lock you away for your own good. Too much exposure to the waters of life had left your minds bereft. We had no choice but to-“ He was rudely interrupted by zombies munching on his whole head. Sticking their grubby gougey zombie fingers in his eyes and mouth.

“Welp I warned ya” Pookie said as he kept on working towards Efron who he saw stuff a gun down the back of her strawberry shortcake underwear. “Can we go now?” He said.

The two of them looked at the room as the elder zombies ravaged the cultists. Tearing them limb from limb and devouring anything they could get their hands. The scene more comical as the cultists didn’t seem to bleed or be that upset by it. It looked more a bunch of human sized teddy bears getting torn apart.

Canard hopped towards him using his spear digging into the ground to keep his balance.

“Don’t you wanna stick around and kill some zombies?” Canard asked.

Pookie looked at one eating the eyes out of a head of a cultist. Putting them on his fingers like hula hoops and munching them one at a time and said “Nah I killed some inside the fence but you couldn’t see.”

“Can’t I just shoot one of them?” Efron said looking up at him making her eyes round and moist.

“Sure kid, knock yourself out” Pookie said.

“Yay!” Efron said as she pulled the revolver from her soiled underwear aimed with both hands and hit a zombie right between the eyes.

“Beginners luck” Canard said.

Pookie merely pursed his lips and looked impressed nodding his head.

“Ok now I really wanna kill some zombies” Canard said.

Pookie looked him up and down “What do you call that, flamingo style?”

“Sure, flamingo style, just call me the ‘pink flamingo’ from now on”

Pookie smiled “Ok why not?”

Pookie drew his sword and let the laugh ring out as he walked into a crowd of zombies. They huddled around a cultist trying to keep all his limbs attached and failing miserably. His screams and shouts were more of annoyance than terror.

“Oh thank god” The cultist said as Pookie drove his sword through his brain.

The zombies then turning their attention on to Pookie.

Canard hopped over to a crowd of zombies milling around and not doing anything. Just confusedly trying to hump the walls like some glitched out npc in a pre-alpha kickstarter videogame.

“I can do this, I can balance on one leg” He took up a stance balancing on his one leg with spear in both in front for balance. “Can you just come over here?” He asked the zombies who seemed intent on humping the wall. “Ok screw it”

Canard flopped forward throwing all his weight into a downward sweeping strike. He fell slicing the zombie closest too him into two neat vertical slices.

He rolled back around on the ground and cut the others legs off rolling over it’s carcus to impale it against the ground with the tip of the spear. Flipping himself over in the process. Using the spear as both an ore and high jump pole to keep his momentum.

The others started to take notice. “Oh here we go.” He pulled the spear tip out of the zombies head. He swiped the blade along the ground flinging rocks and dirt into the faces of the zombies who for a brief moment were bereft of any sense. Which gave Canard the little window of time he needed to roll under the first zombie and split him between the legs. Twisting his body to move around back of the other and impale him, using the leverage like a pole volter to flip forward and lop the last zombies head off.

Letting it stand there for a moment before flailing and t-posing then ragdolling to the ground.

Pookie cut a wide swath with his sword, cutting a clean but uneven slice through the crowd of shambling ghouls surrounding him. Mouldy looking brain matter and glowing goopy blood flying in all directions. But it felt oddly unsatisfying, their flesh was dry and tough and their reaction to stimuli was slow and boring.

Pookie let his disinterest get the better of him and before he knew it he was elbow to elbow with them. Even then it didn’t seem like they were particularly interested in him. Focusing all their carnivorous activities on the cultists instead.

Feeling crowded he jumped up and propped himself up, each foot on a zombie head. Keeping a shakey balance as he hoped from head to head decapitating them swinging his sword like he was teeing off.

Still they seemed totally nonchalant.

“This is more boring than I thought it would be!” Pookie shouted at Canard.

“Hmm, maybe they don’t like the way we taste”

“They still ate your leg”

“What?”

“Nevermind”

“I guess we could just kill eachother” Canard threw out offhandedly.

Pookie jumped down off the crowd of zombies and walked over to Canard who stooped propping himself up with his staff.

Pookie sheathed his sword and said softly “I don’t want any part in your suicide.” As he said the last word, one of cornersof his mouth curled up.

“Is that how it is?” Canard smiled wryly “I don’t need your charity, but one of us isn’t walking out of here alive”

“If that’s the way it has to be” Pookie’s grin faded as his fingers fluttered over his sword hilt.

Canard gripped the shaft of his spear and readied his balance.

There was a silence blanketing the sounds of zombies eating semi conscious weirdo cultists. It seemed impenetrable until.

BOOM!

A gun shot rang out and the two ridiculous warriors turned to see a very pissed off little girl. She was holding gun that looked larger than her head aiming back and forth between them, her hands shaking.

“Enough of this macho posturing bullshit!” She cried “I’ve been with you guys two minutes and I’m already sick of it” Her voice shook with the gun.

The two warriors looked back at each other again and a brief moment passed and a decision was made wordlessly.

The sound of clinking metal and an instantaneous flash of violent intent. Their blades connecting, sparks flying in the dimly lit cave now littered with corpses.

And then another shot rang out.

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