Within a soundless second knives were hurled wildly in all directions. Ghostly white hands throwing them out and sometimes not. Half the hand movements seemed only to be mischievious imitations, feints. Feigning a knife thrown when in fact nothing but air was moved and no sound was made.
Canard stumbled stumbled backward sweeping his staff deftly. Moving knives out of his way like a cars windscreen wiper moving drops of rain. He paused to look down as he heard a mocking twanging sound as he saw one of the blades stuck into his peg leg. “Great” he sighed.
Pookie rolled without drawing his sword. The small thin blades arcing following his trajectory and flowing over his shoulder and head. They pierced the tent wall leaving pin pricks of orange glowing light probing into the dusty murk of the tent.
Before they could catch their breath and counter there was another distinct set of stealth ripping and lashing sounds. In moments there was a new perfectly rectangular door in the side of the tent. A pause later; knives were entering without warning in the same slap dash pattern.
Canard cursed as he span his polearm trying to deflect the flurry of knives aimed directly at him. A few of them slipped passed taking some skin off his arms as they flew by.
“Fucker!” He cried as his swept polearm around like a javelin and in anger launched it through the new gap in the tent. “How you like that?!”
The other assailant still hidden in the falling dust and murk was focusing all their attention on Pookie. From them came an unrelenting torrent of knives and possibly other kitchen implements. Leaving no room for a counter attack at all, there was no pause in the assault. He couldn’t even draw his sword without a knife aimed directly at his thumb. Pookie ducked down pulling his cot onto it’s side as makeshift cover.
He waited there for a second listening to the steady drum beat of knives embedding into the paper thin mattress.
Canard’s staff came walking through the doorway sticking out of the chest of a tall thin man wearing all black with a hood. His face painted ghostly white spattered red with the blood running from his lips. A knife clutched in his hand as he staggered forward his mouth agape with no sounds escaping his petrified face.
He stumbled into the room, his eyes wide and full of a muted hatred. He lurched forward throwing his last knife at Canards head before sagging his shoulders forward.
Canard awkwardly rolled forward on his one leg, his peg clattering on the earthen floor. Springing on his forward hand he swept the leg of the killer forcing him forward onto his staff.
The staff point poking out of his back like the tip of a lollipop someone bit off. The wooden staff bracing him against the ground like a kickstand as he flailed for more knives to throw.
Canard rolled to his feet and kicked his stack flipping the mime onto his back. He gripped the end of his staff ratcheting it as he tried to free it from the half dead mime writhing on the ground. The mime’s eyes still had a dim light in them and finding another sharp shank to poke with he stabbed at Canard’s good leg.
The acrobat shifted his weight quickly onto his peg and pirouetted away from the attack “Would you die already!?” He screamed as he turned about stamping his good foot on the mime’s knife hand. The mime grimacing in a silent scream revealing a stump where his tongue used to be between his blackened teeth.
Pookie sat behind his low cover waiting for the little thuds to stop rattling the cot, gap in the attack so he could act. They had to run out of things to throw eventually, but there was no way of knowing how many knives they actually had.
There, a brief pause in the angry rhythmic thuddings, Pookie waited for another gap, trying to see if there was a pattern. Two knives, then a pause, then three knives, they must be trying to preserve their ammo, which means they’re running low. Then one knife followed by a pause then two more.
Then it stopped ominously.
Pookie had his blade sheathed sitting next to him as he listened to silence. There wasn’t a sound, not even a breath.
Pookie looked over at the stupid grinning face on the butt of his sword and hatched a stupid idea. He didn’t really have enough room to draw his sword cramped up against the wall of the tent and the mattress. Which is fine because if he could he might’ve been tempted to just hop over the cover and charge headlong into the unknown. Which seemed to be working for him up until now. But without knowing the position of his attacker he could be royally fucked with a spork between his shoulder blades.
Holding onto the scabbard he poked the handle with the silly face over the top of the mattress. Predictably followed by a light thunk. He quickly pulled it back and plucked a literal sharpened spork out of the handle of his sword.
“Gotcha now” He smirked to himself.
He positioned himself low and listened “Fuck it.” He cursed under his breath as he gripped the lacquered sheath of his sword in one hand and the ring pull mechanism in the other. Holding it in front of him like he was holding onto the pin of a grenade.
“Gotta do this fast” He said to himself.
In one fluid motion he lifted his sword above his head and over the cover pointing that ridiculous smiling face in the direction the knife came from. He yanked the cord hard like he thought a parachute or a cannonball might shoot out or a thousand lawnmowers might start up with a jolt.
The sword flew through the air like a missile carried on the wings of the tinny laughter coming from the smiling devil face mocking life and death.
Using his staff still poking out of the mime’s chest as leverage Canard thrust his peg leg through the mime’s eye socket. A guttural squelching crunching sound as the leg widened out crushing and piercing the soft eye, cracking the skull. The dull emotionless face of the mime still staring up at him without uttering a sound.
Pookie listened and he heard a hard thud and a clash and clatter like someone tripped and pulled out a whole cutlery draw. Cautiously he poked his head over the mattress and saw the soles of shoes staring back at him. As the dust started to settle a toppled figure lying on the ground like a puddle of spilt milk appeared.
Pookie circled around the mattress and dragged his naked sword off the earthen floor. He looked down at the figure dressed in black, a mat of long hair covering their face.
“Die die die!” Canard cried as he stomped his peg leg repeatedly into the frozen ghostlike face of the mime. Blood and brains and shards of bone bursting up at him with each stomp until little remained except the hood and a few clumps of sodden hair and teeth.
“Would you stop fucking around?” Pookie said.
“What’s up?” Canard replied.
“I think we fucked up.”
“You don’t say.” Canard said as he limped over shaking a piece of scalp off his peg leg, some visible teeth embedded into the gnawed and splintered wood.
Pookie stood as he slid the sheath of his sword back into his pants. He pointed his sword at the face of the mime who tried to kill him. Using the pointy end of the sword he turned their face over.
“Well fuck me” Canard said.
“Jersey” Pookie said as he sheathed his sword.
“Well what do we do with her?”
“Don’t kill her” A little voice said. Efron scurried out of her hiding spot.
“Well that’s not an option.” Canard balked with a mocking laugh.
“She comes with us.” Pookie said.
“Are you fucking kidding me?!”
Pookie bent down and hoisted Jersey’s unconscious body over his shoulder like a ragdoll and padded towards the opening the other mime had made.
“We’ll sort all this out later, we need to get out of here first.” Pookie whispered.
“How do you suggest we do that?”
“We cut our way out, what else?”
Canard hissed and went over to the body of the mime he killed, he bent down and dragged it over to Pookie why it’s bloody matted collar.
“Ya see this?” He said pointing to a dark white and black lotus symbol on the mime’s suit. “You know who these guys are?”
“Mimes” Pookie said flatly.
“Yeah no shit, they’re assassins, ruthless killers that know no fear, they kill women and children. They’re barely human, soul less automatons, marionettes that just follow orders without pleasure or pain. They feel nothing, they are nothing, we can kill them but they’ll keep coming.”
“Fine by me”
Canard scoffed and readied his weapon as Pookie cautiously poked his way out of the tent.
Once they were out, walking at a quiet trot looking all around them, the fires on all sides. Noxious fumes from the burning tents billowing purple smoke into the air. Pookie in front with the mime girl on his shoulder, Canard, Efron and the dog following closely behind.
“Look over there, it’s one of the trannies!” Efron exclaimed pointing emphatically into the dim darkness back lit by the flames and plumes of grey smoke.
Out of the mist a figure glided like Charon the ferryman over the waters of the underworld making no sound. Their head down and body floating towards them getting faster.
“Watch out!” As the girl screamed the earth seemed to shift under their feet.
Canard span around narrowly dodging a deathly claw clutching at his peg leg, which actually wouldn’t have hurt him at all.
“Oh yeah I forgot about that” he said.
The loose sandy earth parted and shifted like quick sand. Suddenly erupted a group of mimes like enemies that pop up in a turn based jrpg videogame except without the annoying music and weird cuts. Like a shitty fade or a dissolve.
Canard readied himself to attack but heard a weird almost inaudible sound. He felt a strange pull and couldn’t move his polearm he turned to look in the direction of the strange pulling force. It was the tranny pulling at his wrist with some invisible rope. Canard pulled back and his/her wig fell off revealing the ghastly white face of a mime (which was fairly obvious, I didn’t really build that up).
The sound came again and he felt the pull on his leg (his real leg) and then around his neck, tightening and he couldn’t breath. Three of the mimes were holding him in place and choking the life from him with their invisible ropes.
Pookie leapt forward with the mime girl still on his shoulder, more of them leapt from their hiding spots under the earth in his path.
The first sprang noiselessly at the clown side. Not even the sound of earth falling could be heard as he tossed himself without fear of death at the killer clown.
He was on him so fast he left no room or time for Pookie to draw his sword. Instead Pookie turned his body so Jersey was facing the other way and pulled the cord on his sheath hard like he was trying to start a chainsaw. The blade shot into the air at an angle with that signature laughter crossing the throat of the mime causing a shallow but mortal cut across his neck. A light stream of blood hissed from the mime’s artery but he uttered no sound and did not fall.
Pookie caught his sword out of the air, the timing and speed left him no time for a forward grip. Clutching the blade in a reverse grip he transferred the girl from his shoulder roughly to his underarm. He rolled with a sweeping reverse slash that took the mime’s leg just below the knee. The other mime in his path saw his opening and struck with a crude spiked club down at the killer clown as he came out of his roll in a kneeling position.
Pookie brought his blade up and narrowly blocked the powerful strike almost knocking him off balance. The mime strained forcing his club down towards Pookie’s face. A barbed nail that was definitely infected with tetnis creeping closer to his eye.
Pookie lacking the strength of his other arm, channelled his power through his calves and hips and shoulders. He forced his attacker to stagger and ready for another strike.
Pookie could only manage a shallow slash across the mime’s torso. Which seemed to have little effect as he watched the club coming down again towards his head in slow motion. And all he could think about was something completely unrelated.