For the Bonus Series
Warning, this story is very violent 🙂
“They must be killed!” I screamed as the underground chamber was divided by patches of golden lamplight. Small circles of visibility and triangles of fading light were crafted by the torches and flashlights of the warring friends. I saw a man cleave the foot from a woman and I watched that woman step back on top of her severed appendage with the bloody stump. The entire, disgusting wound sealed itself in an instant as if nothing at all had happened and she carried her enemy off into the darkness as he begged for a quick execution.
I saw a man crippled by a savage blow to the spine. He stood back up without screaming and the shattered vertebrae simply rearranged and straightened under the covering of the bruised skin. There was no fear or hesitation in the abomination, he wandered peacefully through the patchy melee as if this combat was nothing more than an inconvenience.
These creatures that looked like our friends and grabbed at us like predators from our nightmares seemed indestructible. Nothing could put them down. Bullets and bludgeons and blades were useless and they picked off individual soldiers from our band of desperate killers to be carried off into their lair for later consumption.
Soon we were just defending ourselves. The advantage we had claimed upon attacking had vanished and we fought back to back in pairs and small groups as the demons emerged from the darkness.
I found Antonio and we stood together, thrashing out with fists and feet and weapons whenever a devil approached. We heard laughter and we looked around to see that our allies were vanishing and everyone was weeping, terrified and helpless in that horrible chamber.
“Don’t stop! Never stop!” I cried out into the web of terror around me.
“Never stop!” Antonio repeated and we worked together to damage any monster we could see.
As if to mock our feeble efforts, Alice stepped from the darkness with her arms raised by her sides.
“Young men, there is no need to die today. Enough of your companions have been sacrificed. Embrace me and we’ll fight together. You can still walk away from here.”
Neither Antonio nor I bothered to reply to the disgusting matriarch. Instead, we fell on her with all the fury we could summon. She parried and blocked and scrambled to defend herself, but we smashed away at her all the same.
I was exhausted and Antonio had two other demons clinging to him as Alice crouched in front of me, her broken fingers clutching at her battered torso.
I felt someone pulling at my leg and I knew I was about to be lifted from the ground. I had a single second remaining before my imminent death and I would be DAMNED if I let that dirty old witch escape with even the smallest scrap of pleasure remaining. Alice was still laughing when I brought the mallet down on the back of her head.
The entire top half of Alice’s head exploded like a champagne bottle smashed over the bow of a new boat.
Gore fell everywhere and the horrible creature slipped in her own blood.
I thought Alice would repair the injury and my efforts would be wasted, but instead she fell.
I was lifted from the ground and I dropped my weapon to watch the body on the floor. It did not heal.
“Look! Look at your captain!” I screamed and it was my turn to laugh.
I don’t know how it happened, and I doubt anyone can explain this strange phenomenon, but it seemed as though Alice’s almighty immune system had been overcome. I now believe that these creatures had a finite level of power and every time their mighty souls were asked to heal a debilitating injury, they lost some of this power. Eventually, they were as weak as mortal beings.
Every person stopped and stood silently to watch Alice’s fallen body, waiting for her to heal and rise. Before the rest of the congregation had accepted the reality that this fight might be more even than originally supposed, Antonio had struck at the demons carrying me and I was once again free to attack the creatures.
They were not ready to be mortal and they were not ready for the bloodlust and determination that overwhelmed Antonio and me.
We came at them again and this time, we could see the fear in their eyes.