My eyes darted between the two strange Elementals standing menacingly in front of us before landing back at Malum. “You’ll take us over my dead body!” I spat at Malum
His decayed mouth smiled. “That can be arranged”
I could feel the muscles in my arms and legs twitching from over exhaustion from Combat but the trembles coming from Cara were practically tangible in the air and I stepped slowly to the side to shield her even more. I wasn’t sure how long we stood staring at each other, surely it was only a few seconds but for those few seconds it felt like a Western standoff where it could mean the difference between life and death.
And I wasn’t planning on dying; neither would I allow Cara to die.
I felt the water molecules around me and willed myself to be able to move quickly enough. I breathed in slowly, and in a blink of an eye I sliced my hand across my body and formed a double headed scythe like I saw Derrek wielding not even an hour ago. The stiff ice snath of the scythe grew as I collected more and more molecules and at the same time both the blades curved outwards, the jagged edges glinting even in the dim lighting.
“After you” I whispered dangerously as I eyed Malum, while I positioned the scythe across my body, almost like a shield.
Malum’s blood red irises flicked over to the side and in the corner of my eye I saw the green tinged, mantis Elemental charge towards me. He raised both his curved, blade-like arms and was the first to strike down. I raised the scythe to block it. I hadn’t anticipated his strength and my knees buckled under the force but I gritted my teeth and pushed forward. I managed to glance at him and saw that his calloused eyes were indeed as blank as an apocalyptic zombie’s. They held no emotion, no sense that his actions belonged to him but was just an order being followed.
I twisted my arm and used his strength against him as he tipped to one side and the jagged edge of my scythe sliced across his cheek. He cried out, but it sounded too animalistic and I heard Cara shriek as she cowered back. He stumbled backwards, wiping the blood trickling down his chin before charging at me again. Now that I knew how strong he was, I lifted the snath up, ready to block another one of his downward swipes but the force of it broke the scythe in half. Small pieces of ice shattered to the ground and I gasped as my weapon instantly became two. I was beginning to think I was too weak for this, I too tired... but I had to keep fighting. I was our only chance!
Malum’s low chuckle sounded from behind the mantis boy, “I expected a little more from you Valerie. This is quite disappointing”
My nostrils flared and I cried out as I charged forward, this time swinging my handheld scythes in each hand towards the mantis boy. He stepped back and swung his shoulders backward dodging my swings. It felt like he was toying with me, it felt like they all were! “Come on!” I screamed at him in frustration. What was his game?!
I ran forward and swung while he did nothing to fight back. He simply dodged my attacks and stepped back towards the mouth of the hallway. I didn’t realise what he was doing until I heard Cara’s shrill scream farther behind me. “Val! Val hel-!” Her screams were cut suddenly and the sound of a heavy thud caught my ears as I realised she fell to the ground.
On instinct I turned and saw the other boy standing next to her with the blank look on his face but had bright sparks of electricity shooting between his fingers and buzzing in the palm of hand. “Cara!” I screamed as the turmoil set in. It was all a trap! And I fell for it! They wanted to get Cara first! As I took in the image of Cara’s body slumped motionlessly on the hard ground, I felt a piercing pain slicing down the length of my back.
My screams mingled with Malum’s laughter as he urged the mantis boy to continue. Pain shot through my torso as I twisted around to try to defend myself. The mantis boy didn’t stop. His praying mantis-like arms shot out and extended, trapping my arms in its tight grip. I could feel the warm blood dripping down my painfully numb back as he squeezed harder, urging me to drop my weapons.
I squeezed my eyes tight and screamed as my last hope of defending myself shattered to the ground. He released me and swiped at me again and again and again. I felt like I was in a blender, and all my strength and energy was quickly dissolving away. Soon enough I could do nothing but stumble backwards as he sliced the rest of my body. I was in so much pain, I knew I was... but I couldn’t feel it. The mantis boy sliced across my collarbone before extending his arm again gripping it around my neck. My vision was blurring and I felt cold and warm at the same time as I was lifted slightly in the air. Behind him I could barely make out Malum nod his head and the next thing I felt was a hand laid on my back and pain, in the form of a thousand tiny lightning bolts, shot through my body.
Oh God... I’m so sorry Cara...
My brain was foggy and my vision blurred as my head wobbled back and forth. I was moving, yet I wasn’t moving... what was going on? I pried my eyes open further and tried to focus on what was in front of me. Legs? Dirt? I groaned as I tried to move but realised I couldn’t. Was I being carried? It seemed like it, over someone’s shoulder it seemed. I had to get away, but where was Cara?
Another shock of a thousand lightning bolts wracked down my body to my toes and fingertips and blackness overtook me again.
My stomach was churning. Was I still being carried? Wind whooshed past my face, biting coldly into my open wounds. It took more strength than last time to open my eyes and yet when I did, I wished I hadn’t. We were in the air... high up in the air. We were flying?! The loud sound of flapping caught my ears up ahead but I didn’t have it in me to turn my head. My eyelashes fluttered and the last thing I saw was the eagle eye view of a forest of dead trees.
Screams. Shrieks. Cries.
The sound of tortured men and women woke me up again and I realised I was being dragged across a stone floor. The dirt and grooves of the stone pulled at my wounds and I felt tears well up in my eyes. Where was I? How the hell did I even get here? This place didn’t look familiar to me at all.
“Where should we put them?” A deep, dead voice asked.
“Leave them in the dungeon... I want them weak and compliant” Malum’s familiar voice growled lowly.
Them? Cara was here too? I cringed as I turned my head, taking in my surroundings and noticed we were in some sort of stone building...? My body was lifted and tossed around like a rag doll until I was roughly thrown over someone’s shoulder before the person carrying me turned back around. My sore eyes widened when I saw Cara’s unconscious body being thrown onto the mantis boy’s shoulder as well.
I must have gone in and out of consciousness because I couldn’t remember reaching the hallway of cells that we were now walking down. Every cell had either a strange Elemental or a scared and crying man or woman. Most cells were blocked off by rusted metal bars while others looked newly renovated and had thick glass holding the person... or thing... inside.
The person, I was assuming the electric boy, suddenly stopped and turned to throw me on the ground of a cell. I cried out as the pain resonated around my torn up body but I ignored it as I pulled myself to my hand and knees. The small movement took most of my strength and I breathed harshly pulling back the tears that threatened to fall.
“Where’s Cara?!” I shouted. He stared blankly at me before turning around and closing the thick glass that acted as a door. “Where’s Cara, you Elemental bastard!”
He didn’t respond. He simply locked the glass, turned a dial next to it and continued walking down, but I choked on my sob when I saw the green mantis boy follow behind him carrying Cara over his shoulder, blood trickling down where his blade-like arms held her. All my pain and fatigue was pushed aside as I gasped and ran at the glass. I tried to push at it... scratch at it... I hit it over and over again while trying to see where they were taking Cara.
“Cara!!!” I screamed until my throat felt as though it was shredded paper, “Cara!!! Cara!!!”
But they turned a corner and she was soon out of my sight. The only thing I was left with was the dry, stone cell and the screams that echoed off the walls. My gasps were shallow and quick as I throttled my brain to think of something. I tried to feel around for water molecules but was shocked when I couldn’t feel any.
Suddenly, I noticed just how dry it was in this cell. My lips were quickly becoming dry and my eyes felt like salt had been thrown on it. What was going on? I pressed my fingertips against the glass and realised that the electric boy must have done something when he turned the dial next to the lock. I weakly slammed my fists against the glass and let my forehead fall against it.
I failed once again, just like my test in the big glass box in Combat proved I would. I always just failed and now I was failing in real life as well, just when I desperately needed to win.
My mind slid over to Derrek, Helena and the rest of the Elementals. What were they doing? Did they even know we were missing and in the hands of the most dangerous Abled known in Abled history? No... how could they? The atmosphere around me was so dry it was practically sucking the moisture from my skin and soon I was heaving dry sobs, for even tears wouldn’t comfort me now.
I was scared.
I was back in the hands of Malum and memories from the caves flashed behind my eyelids from the last time he had me. Amidst my turmoil I could feel determination sprout, I wasn’t going to let Malum get to me without a fight. He might have me here... but I would rather die fighting before he makes me one of his monsters again.
Welcome back! Welcome back! Welcome back!
Yes, yes I know it’s a short chapter but the next part really deserves a chapter of its own so I left it here. Thank you everyone for being patient (or not patient... but waited anyway) with me and stayed by my side.
As promised, my fans who liked my Facebook page saw the name, cover and got a teaser of this chapter first so if you didn’t... well then you missed out lol.
Are y’all ready for the final instalment of The Elementals? (n,n)