A Death in the Family

Part V - Rescue

Chapter 8

Spiral smiled as he felt the presence of his new creation. It was time his captives learned how grave a mistake they'd made in surrendering to the General. He smiled as he opened the door.

Soon he would have ‘the maiden' and her time would be over. She represented life and renewal– things he hated with all his heart. He served the powers of chaos and ruin. She built– he destroyed and soon, very soon, her reign would end.

He did not believe in the General's cause, even though he too was a servant of chaos. There was a difference between them. The General thought he was doing what was necessary for survival– he deluded himself to believe that he was a creature of supreme order.

Spiral knew better. The General was a destroyer who felt that destruction was necessary for rebuilding, Spiral knew that destruction wasn't the means to an end– it was the end and he reveled in it.

He could feel the word unraveling around him. Everything was as it should be– and now that his creatures were drawing near, he would have more. They would corrupt the flesh of his captives– turn them to his subjects with a simple touch leaving his power free to deal with the maiden.

He looked at his captives eagerly and smiled. It was time.

"Bring them along," he told the sergeant with a hungry look. Soon the Maiden would not be able to stand against him.

Davy felt the temperature in the room drop when the shaman pointed at them and told the General's men to bring them out of the cabin.

He looked at his brothers then bowed his head. He'd failed them. As the guards moved in on him, he began working on a desperate plan. If he attacked at the right time, maybe one or two of them would get away– it was better than nothing. All it would take was the right moment.

He stumbled slightly as he was hauled to his feet. As one of them prodded him with their rifle, others moved in on his brothers. He noticed that three of them had attached themselves to Tommy.

He watched the way his brother moved and knew that Tommy was in no shape to escape– his fate had been sealed when ‘General' Brighton had shot him. Even now, he staggered as he tried to move. That left Kenny and Wayne.

Kenny was still hooded, although they had at least cut the duct tape that bound his legs.

Davy's sagged again. There was little to no hope that they would remove the hood before they were done. Kenny was too much of a threat. That left Wayne.

He looked over and was surprised when Wayne met his gaze and shook his head. His message clear. He was not going to leave his brothers behind. Davy looked at him pleadingly. One of them had to survive.

As he tried to make Wayne understand, his brother simply smiled and nodded back at Davy.

He was the patriarch. He was the one they all looked to for guidance. He was the one who should be protected– the one who should escape. Davy looked at him and shook his head. He couldn't leave his brothers behind. Not now, not when he was the one who had gotten them into this mess in the first place.

"Move it," one of the guards growled as he prodded Davy forward. Davy allowed them to herd him out of the cabin, all the time searching for an opportunity.

Once they were clear of the door, he froze– horror stricken. He could see the decaying remains of what had once been a man shambling towards him. The shaman's creature moved at an ungainly gate, but worse than the creature was what followed behind it.


Davy was oblivious to everything else now. All he saw was his brother, worse– what his brother had become. It still looked like Geoff, but the eyes... The creature's eyes reflected the shaman's love of wanton destruction, and the hatred of life itself. There was no sign of his brother behind those eyes.

Davy swallowed the bile welling up in his throat.

"No..." It came out as a half sob, half plea that only made his tormentor smile.

Wicasa watched intently as the door to the cabin opened and Spiral stepped outside. The stranger's sacrifice seemed to be working.

As the guards moved in, it became obvious that they were more concerned with trouble coming from the strangers than from the outside. That would be their undoing.

He allowed himself a brief smile as he signaled the others– if they could end this here and now– his sister would not need to suffer anymore.

Spiral smiled as the 'brothers' witnessed his handiwork. Their brother now belonged to him. He savored their reactions of horror, denial, and shock as they realized the fate he planned for them. One simple touch was all it would take, and it would be delivered to them by one they once loved and trusted.

His only regret was that the snake shaman couldn't see any of it. He contemplated removing the mage hood, but realized that it would be far too dangerous. Better to just let the others witness their brother's demise than to run the risk of him being able to counter his magic. It would give them more time to contemplate the fate that awaited them.

He smiled, and called to his creatures. "Come my children- welcome your new brothers to the fold."

Around them, the ring of soldiers took an involuntary step backwards. It was obvious they wanted nothing to do with Spiral, or his creatures.

'Too bad,' Spiral thought. 'You'll be mine soon enough.'

He raised his head and smelled the air, delighting in the hint of decay that followed his creatures...

He froze, uncertain at first. Something was wrong. He sniffed again and realized that the scent only followed the older one. The newer one- the brother, still smelled fresh. His eyes narrowed as he scanned first the elf, then the surrounding woods.

The enemy had to be nearby. There was no other explanation-- the elf would not have lasted this long without her intervention. He let out a snarl as he realized the threat too late.

"Destroy them!" he ordered pointing towards the Wilson brothers. He would have his revenge and then, he would deal with the one who resisted him.

Witashnah could feel her heart racing as she tried to cover the ground between her and Geoff. For the first time in her life, she didn't care about her duty- the burden of who she was- all that mattered was Geoff.

It seemed that the forest itself sensed her need and moved to help her. She was oblivious of how the branches moved out of her way- all she knew was she should have been there already.

How could they ask this of him? How could she have let him face this alone?

'I will never leave you.'

The promise was so faint now. She could barely hear it, barely sense him. All she knew was that she had to move faster.

'I am coming... do not leave me!' The thought became a chant in her mind as her heart pounded out the rhythm. 'Do not leave me!'

Copyright 2001 - M.T. Decker

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