The Last Huntress

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Destroy Me (part three)

Strength coursed through my body, my heart hammered in my chest. But I was free. From of the cuffs and bars that held me back.

Now I just needed to stay alive and not drink any vampire’s blood for at least twenty-four hours. If I can go nearly thirty-years without turning then I can get through this. I needed a way out and when my newer heightened sense of smell told me to go to the right.

Finding Howl was my number one priority and if I could use this stupid mess running through my blood to get to her then I would say a silent thank you to Donovan for giving me a sneaky little boost even if he’s gone to their side, it was a good way to say goodbye.

I hit the first hall, one I didn’t recognize and followed my new sense of direction. He told me she was being held as I was, so they need a rather large room with chains and cuffs like mine. They better have her completely bound, otherwise, I will be coming into a bloodbath when she gets loose; and I don’t have time for that.

I scurried from hall to hall until a sound stopped me in my tracks. The softest, most broken howl came from my left just before I turned for another hall. It was Howl, I would know that voice anywhere. I backed up until I came upon another door that was locked. I grabbed the handle as hard as I can but it didn’t budge. Then I tapped into some of the stolen strength and cracked the metal doorknob enough to get into the almost too small room where she was suspended in the air by chains and cuffs.

I wanted to scream and then find the specific monsters that did this and rip their head off, but again, I didn’t have time for that. Instead, I scurried into the room and checked every corner before getting to the center to help her down. Her small desperate howls for help. It was breaking my heart to hear them, never in my life have I heard this tone of voice from her.

I quickly made my way to the cuffs that kept her feet bound together. If I wasn’t careful she would fall to the ground the moment they were cracked off her. When Howl’s eyes met mine she stopped her soft whines and instead began to struggle against the cuffs, trying to set herself free. I ran a hand through her fur trying to tell her to calm down. When she felt my hand through her fur she seemed to calm down.

I could tell from the five days down here she had lost a significant amount of weight. I could feel her ribs too easily and a wave or pain rocked through my body. Her pain was my pain and soon the vampires that did this will feel the same pain.

I gently, but with a strong hand, broke the cuffs on her front set of the cuffs and allowed her to gently get her footing while her body twisted just before I cracked the last pair of cuffs around her back legs. The rest of her body twisted properly and she landed on all fours as she should be. It was a matter of seconds before she began to rub her face and head all over my legs while my hands ran through her fur.

“We don’t have much time, let’s get out of here and maybe take some heads while we’re at it. We can’t full on fight right now. We’re both starved and we need backup, as much as I don’t want to admit to that.” She stopped loving on me for a moment and we snuck back over to the door I entered through. What made almost zero sense is that no one has stopped me yet. Which either meant they were all busy or this was a horrible set up and I was going to run straight into his clutches.

I didn’t have time to consider any other aspect of this journey through the bowls of Ba’al’s castle. Instead, we quickly ran through each hall and still encountered no one in our way. It only made my heart pound faster and her paws slap the floor harder as we made our escape.

Then the real issues began.

We came to a door and it seemed as good as any door to use as our exit, but the moment it opened the grass and the deep night sky wasn’t the only thing that greeted us.

I didn’t count each individual one, but there had to be at least a thousand vampires at the ready stretched over the grassy lands in front of this door. I had to pick this exit, didn’t I?

Howl was anxious beside me as she stepped from foot to foot but my heart screamed at me to leave, to turn back, but I’ve never stepped down from a fight and I stupidly wasn’t going to start now. No weapons, all guts, and hopefully some glory. I walked out into the lines of vampires standing and waiting for their move, but none of them moved to attack. I walked and walked until the thick of the army was around me, then I saw his face.

“You’ve made it out in nearly record time. My queen will be pleased to know this, I expected a full week or that you would die eventually. You proved me wrong, now you’ll be pitted against the best in my army and yes there is a lot of them.” He waved over the men and women around me like they were pieces of art. He pulled something out of his cloak and gently unwrapped the shiny metal and presented it to me.

“Your dagger, the dagger that’s taken hundreds of my army’s lives. I give it to you now so that things might be a bit evener.” He waited for me to walk forward and grab the shiny silver dagger that I’ve had since I was a child. The ruby gleamed at me as my eyes scanned over it. I grabbed it quickly and turned it in my hand letting the moon’s glow catch the sides. I looked up at Ba’al one more time before taking a step back. If this is how he wanted things to start with my declaration of war, then I would play the game. I just needed to make sure I won.

Before my eyes, smoke began to plume around his body in large quantities and then he was gone before I could say anything. Once the vampires surrounded me on all sides, I backed up slightly and made sure Howl was near me at all times. Then the first attack fell and I used the newfound reflexes to dodge the claws the had on the ends of their fingers that aimed for my face.

Then the real battle started and all I could see was blood spraying from every direction and I couldn’t tell who’s was who’s as my dagger made contact with them and their claws made contact with me.

_____________________________

I wasn’t sure how long it’s been or how many I’ve killed but there was still a lot of them standing and I was on my way out. Howl wasn’t doing much better, the last time I looked over at her and her fur was stained with blood and her teeth were dug into the chest of a dead vampire.

My body was weakening, the blood was exiting my system with the more of my own I lost. Blow after blow I pushed myself further. My dagger has never been this slick with blood before and as it nearly came out of my hand with it being deep inside a vampire’s sizzling heart, I realized I wasn’t paying as much attention to my surrounding as I should have been.

I blow came to the back of my head and I stumbled to my knees. They pressed into the grass as the vampire behind me took my good arm and pulled it behind my back.

“Little Slayer, oh how far you’ve fallen.” The one behind me spoke up and when their face came forward I realized it was someone from the first human village I ever lived in. He was one of the several that sent missing and never returned. We always assumed that he died or was turned and here he was.

“You know, I never like that dog of yours.” He pressed the side of his face into my own and whispered grossly into my ear. I struggled against him but my strength had dwindled to my normal human levels.

“Let me go and I won’t kill you immediately.” I pulled against him while he twisted my arm more and more behind my back. If I came out of this with my left arm gone as well I was going to be pissed.

When Howl was brought into my vision amongst the screams of pain and anguish, my body went rigid with the fear of what they were about to do.

“This dog of yours is the only thing that gives you a real leg up on anything you do. We’ll have to fix that,” He whispered in my ear and while I ignored the spit that was sprayed into it, I couldn’t ignore the knife at the throat of Howl. I could see her struggling against them but they had her bound almost worse than I was right now.

I screamed her name, I screamed louder than I have before but they didn’t let her go and they didn’t let me go.

Then the worst thing imaginable happened.

They cut into her throat and spilled her blood over the grass and dirt. I pulled so hard against the men holding me back that my shoulder painfully popped out of place, but it didn’t matter. I needed to get to her and I would take both my arms away if it allowed me to.

With my joint out of place, it gave me the give I needed to get out of their hold and make my way to Howl’s body. I collapsed onto her blood-soaked corpse and tried my best to do anything. Nothing happened, her eyes were glazed over and her voice was gone. The slit in her throat wasn’t bleeding as bad anymore telling me she was almost out of blood.

The vampires didn’t attack, they stood around us as I wailed for my best friend and for the life she lived with me. Her fur was clutched in my hand and her blood was all over the front of my clothing. I was soaked but I didn’t care. I leaned into her body and stayed as still as I could. The screams of war and cries of victory sounded from around me.

They believed they won and I couldn’t say anything against it because they did win. They destroyed the slayer.

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