Blood Binds Us
a piece of Horror-Fantasy Fiction written by Tyr Kieran
(created via a social media book project)
and titled by Elizabeth Hisaw
All Content Copyright © 2009-2010 Tyr Kieran
I glance left to confirm a solid hit; that the threat is neutralized. Before I can turn back and engage the third Lycan, a sensation of fire erupts on my chest. The pain crescendos quickly as I stumble back. The beast slashed my chest, cutting four, deep ruts from my collar bone to my lower abdomen. A haze of shock hinders my response. But the faint sounds of Zune battling for his life a mere twenty feet away invoke a surge of adrenaline’s clarity and foresight. The haze dissipates just in time to deflect the werewolf’s next attack.
My new focus remains strong, despite the wounds’ throbbing sting. I manage to redirect several slashing attacks from the Lycan blocking my path. His frustration swells. Then, suddenly, the short grunts fade and the beast backs down to all fours. It stares at me with a cocked head like he’s thinking—like he’s planning. I stare back but center my attention on the concrete debris around us.
I sense slow movements behind me. These Lycanthropes are smarter than they let on! The beast is attempting to distract me! A subtle tremor vibrates in the floor beneath me, signaling the time to move. I drop to the floor as the massive “Mr. Bloodshed” soars over me and crashes awkwardly into his stalling brethren ahead. They tumble in a mass of fur, clawing each other as they try to get to their feet. But I’m not about to wait for that to happen.
With a firm shove of my palms against the floor, I quickly flip up to my feet; taking a low crouching stance. In a focus of kinetic energy, I bring my outstretched arms to shoulder height. Jagged chucks of concrete debris rise from the floor, following the movements of my arms. And without hesitation, I jolt my arms together with blinding speed. The thunderous clap reverberates off the walls, causing the glass of the nearest labs to crack in intricate spider web patterns. A field of varying size rubble rockets towards the stumbling Lycans just as they find their footing.
The werewolves, with little time to react, cower at the sudden view of potentially lethal harm. They begin to swat at the large projectiles, hoping to limit the damage, but it is the smaller fragments that pose a greater threat. Concrete particles, no larger than a quarter, whiz past their defensive movements and riddle their bodies like bullets from a Gatling. The smaller, and smarter, of the two, quickly finds shelter behind the frame of his dying brother. And as Mr. Bloodshed’s corpse falls over him, I’m already closing in to finish him off.
After initiating the debris storm, I take off toward the Lycan duo—towards Zune. While in route, an exposed piece of rebar catches my eye. The iron rod jutted out from a splintered pillar where splattered blood stained the support’s pallid outer shell. Without breaking stride I grasp the protruding end with my right hand and push kinetically with my left; snapping off a two-foot segment. I reach the cunning Lycan as he fails on his second attempt to escape from under his dead brother.
Upon seeing my arrival, he strains to free himself again, but the blood loss has weakened him too greatly. The beast’s jaws snap futilely at my legs as stand over him for a brief moment. Looking up at me he releases a growl the holds more fear than anger. With a quick flick of the wrist I reposition the rebar in my hands and drive the metal stake down through the werewolf’s head. While maintaining one hand’s grasp on the rebar, I reach down with the other and clutch the gore covered iron that protrudes from the back of his skull. And with a swift twist the Lycan’s head rips apart in my hands—ensuring he will not join the fight again.
The iron bar in my hand, dripping with blood and gore, glistened from the atrium halogens. “One more down.” I thought to myself. “I must keep moving; I have to help Zune.” But, a sudden rush of hot stench burned the left side of my face, forcing my eyes to close. For the moment I am blind and I know an attack is coming. I can visualize the rows of gleaming bone knives slathered in blood and saliva as they slice through the air, aimed at my throat. Without sight, nor hesitation, I thrust out my left arm to send the metal rod, like a dart, towards the source of the pungent heat.
I heard the sound just before I was finally able to open my eyes. And my hopes are confirmed; that wet thud of an injury was enough to halt the creature’s attack. The bar rests partially lodged deep in the Lycan’s mouth. It must have completely severed the spine when it punctured the throat and burst through the back of his neck. I’m not sure if the werewolf is dead, but the fierce snarl frozen on his face and those empty eyes do not bode well for his survival. I reach to retrieve my weapon as the body falls to the floor. It has served me well, and if the sounds behind me are any indication, I’m going to need it still.
Saliva oozes out between its teeth and drips at my feet. The beast’s arms, already drawn back in preparation to strike, never move. His muzzle contorted in a ghastly grin pauses before spitting out a stream of blood. I break our eye contact and refocus on the metal bar in my hand. My fist, still gripping the rebar’s end, stopped against the fur under his chin. The other end however, hadn’t stopped there. “Another one down—slowly thinning out their numbers”, I thought. But this one is not entirely dead.
My attention shifts slightly from the lobotomized Lycan to split second thoughts of weapon removal and my next course of action. I feel the jolt of surprise, before I realize that the beast’s arms finally moved. His hands now clutch my own. And despite the crippling damage, his grip crushes my fingers against the iron bar with surprising strength. I should’ve known better—thinking this injury would be enough. I wince as the pain in my hands start to remind me of my other wounds. But pain’s fire is quickly extinguished in cold panic. A disturbing sound rises in the werewolf’s throat—sending a chill down my spine. The gurgling chuckle foretells of success; a perceived victory, no doubt, in shared death.
I immediately focus on the surround area. My senses detect no imminent threats, but it is clear that this one had sacrificed himself to doom me. Despite the slow-fading glimmer of life, his eyes beam with satisfaction. Whatever it is, I must break free and face this peril head on! Using kinetic energy, I try to force my hands away from the rebar and provide an escape from the Lycan’s grip. But his strength is still too much. I quickly shift plans and focus on the small segment of rebar protruding from his head. My eyes begin to twitch as I attempt to will torque upon it—to kinetically force the bar to pivot within the beast’s skull.
Just when the rebar starts to twist, a horrible rumbling sound emerges. At first, I thought it was just the grunts of pain and resistance from the Lycan in front of me, but as these sounds intensify it quickly becomes obvious that there is another source. It must be the unknown threat. I have to maintain focus on escape! Gradually, my kinetic force moves the bar; causing the beast’s head to wrench apart ever so slowly. His rising snarl explodes into a deafening howl—burning my face in the wake of his rancid exhale. But now, my senses are overwhelmed and I am truly blind to the approaching doom.
I keep pushing, inflicting anguish, hoping that the Lycan’s hands will release mine before it’s too late. The blood trickling down his face is now gushing in strong currents, as if it were escaping from a sinking ship. And the beast’s thunderous roar falters; weakening enough for me to hear the other’s growl again. It seems close, but I just can’t sense its location. Straining, I twist the metal bar a little farther. “Come on.” With his head nearly split in half, the werewolf’s blood starts to run thin in a mixture with ventricular fluids. His fading howl morphs into a wet gurgle as his eyes roll back. I stare at the massive hands still clamped around my own. “Come on! Let go already.”
The sound changes—freezing my heart in an arctic burn that spreads through my veins. The threatening growl accelerated into a booming roar that is now descending upon me. Descending! I jerk my head back and glance up at a mass of fur and fury. The falling Lycan was easily the largest werewolf I’ve ever encountered. He must have climbed several levels while his brethren worked to distract and restrain me. Even with my kinetic abilities, I am left defenseless against the impact; the beast’s size and velocity ensures that the damage done will be absolute.
I force my eyes away from approaching death and work my hands in one last attempt at freedom. Pushing with one arm and pulling on the other, I struggle for space—my entire body shaking from exertion. My teeth—exposed in a humorless smile of tension—itch from the impending danger. I grunt while the fingers on my left hand release a cracking sound, one by one, as the bones fracture. Yet, there is movement! It might work. So I press on, knowing it’s only a matter of seconds till impact.
My hand rips free, scraped and broken, with just enough time to thrust it in the air above me. I look up into the beast’s eyes—now, close enough to notice the red flecks of rage floating among the yellow iris threads—and a strange tranquility flows through me like an acknowledgment of fate. Am I weak from my wounds or am I suddenly in line with destiny? I’m not sure, but my serenity does not mean I have to yield willingly.
I start to push with all the kinetic force I can gather in the single second that remains. Then… darkness. A void. Except, I hear muffled sounds like voices whispering through water. This cannot be death—I feel a floating sensation. I feel the pains of my wounds. And my skin tingles… no, my skin crawls! I can feel the touch of a hundred murky fingers on my body. They’re slithering across my face and around my brain!
If I’m not dead, then what the Hell is going on? It seems like I’ve been here for hours and the conditions have worsened by the minute. The liquid void that surrounds me turns harsh—growing cold and viscous. The overlapping voices swell into hateful screams, booming and echoing inside my head. I can’t take much more of this! The groping fingers leave trails of inky corruption that start to burn like acid. I’m losing control! Pressure builds as if the ether itself is trying to crush me. The shouting intensifies and threatens to rupture my consciousness when a warm light begins to form around me.
Dark void recedes in the white light’s wake. Either in contrast or by nature, the light seems pure and benevolent. It expands around me, soothing my pains from the void’s punishment. The grimy fingers, along with their acrid trails, are washed away as I’m bathed in illumination. Maybe, I am dead and this is salvation freeing me from Hell’s justice? But do I really deserve deliverance? The fading voices trail away into succulent silence.
But I may have judged too soon. The white light continues to intensify, forcing me to squint and shield my eyes even with them closed. Suddenly, I feel a sensation of rapid movement. Have I traded one Hell for another? Wind stings my face and gusts loudly past my ears. The light glows brighter and brighter—forcing me to cringe. Once again the agony of my environment pushes me to the threshold of obliteration. Then, in an instant, it stops—it’s all gone, taking the pain with it. A hand lands heavy on my shoulder, jolting my eyes open. “Iames, it’s all right.” Vex, staring at me with concerned eyes and a warm, caring smirk, steadies my imbalance with the other hand against my chest. “That was a close one, eh?”
“V…Vex? What just happened?” My hesitant voice reflected the confusion displaying across my face. Gently squeezing my shoulder, Vex widened his smirk. “I got to you just in time. You were about to stain your way out of existence.” My eyes shifted back and forth as I replayed the recent events. “But what happened to the Lycan? And what the hell was that torturous place?” He replied in a soft tone and with a single, confidently raised eyebrow. “Iames. Relax. The Lycan is gone. I left him in the “torturous” shadow realm. I was able to open a portal beneath you just before the Lycan landed. You both entered and I pulled you out.”
“Next time I might just take my chances with death.” As a laugh forces its way from my throat the tension throughout my body finally eases… at least for a moment or two. “Vex, I don’t know how you handle the Shadow Realm over and over! I don’t think I could take a second trip.” Running a hand through his ashen-blond hair, Vex answers with a sigh. “That’s a common reaction. I think I was born with some kind of tolerance for the darkness. The shadow fiends never bother me much, in fact, most of the time I feel more at home there than out here.”
Vex, shifts his weight and rubs at the back of his neck. We both can’t help but contemplate the possibilities that weigh down his last statement, like a shadow looming around a corner with unknown allegiances. And in this uncomfortable moment—Vex starring at the floor—his features seem more youthful than ever. I break the silence and manage a casual tone. “Well, I for one am thankful you’re out here with us. I owe you one, brother!” Jerking his head up, like he was startled from sleep, Vex laughed. The chuckle carried a tone of gratitude. His smile draws back into a thin line and he nods over 4th level railing to the battle below. “True, but right now we both need to repay our boons to the Rus.”
Vex turns back to me and offers his hand. I glance at it and narrow eyes, before meeting his gaze again. “It’ll be faster” he explains with a cocked head and subtle smile; finding humor in my hesitation. “No thanks. I’ll meet you there.” I watch with fascination as he melts into a nearby shadow. His voice, calling back to me from the abyss, grows distant, dark, and… complex. “I’ll watch your backk. Gooo.” My body jerks in a violent shiver. Those voices!
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