I gasped for air, my lungs scorched from the heat of his attack. My eyes were still adjusting to whatever darkness I’d managed to travel to, and I hurt. Everything hurt. Using my left hand, as my right hand only twitched spasmodically, I tried to assess the damage he had dealt me.
Burns. My skin, and probably the flesh beneath, had been burned badly. I couldn’t feel much of my body, and only wished I couldn’t feel the rest. I could smell my own flesh, still cooking, stretching and bloating. I reached down at my calf to find it had split to the bone like an overcooked sausage.
I lay back and closed my eyes, unable to even capture enough air to clear the smoke. I felt the warm spring sun on my arm and part of my face and wondered how long it would take for me to die. If my blood would even allow it?
Well, technically, it was my blood that had demanded it, wasn’t it? That filthy Beastman alongside my own son. It was my own progeny that called for my death, and it looked as though the Blood obeyed his demands.
I opened my eyes wide. I could clearly feel the sun, but there was nothing to see. I couldn’t see. The last thing I saw was that DIRTY BEASTMAN I WILL LIVE TO KILL THAT SON OF A BITCH.
Gasping again, I was forced to relax and accept that the sudden rage inside me was telling lies. Unless my brilliant progeny were to follow me and find me here, I wasn’t going to live through this. Killed by a Beast. I would have laughed if you’d tried to tell me.
I felt magic nearby— an impossibly quiet Pact travel. There was only one man who could do that, and it wasn’t the man I was hoping would find me.
“Oh, Arkh, my brother.” He spoke quietly nearby, in his funny way, “What trouble have you found for yourself?”
I wanted to respond. To spit at him, to cut him and dominate him. At the very least insult him. As it were I think I may have drooled a bit.
He continued to speak whimsically as he moved closer, “I expect you finally saw your boy? Is he well? I suppose so, considering your face… and considering he has FRIENDS… oh? Was that a grimace? Whatever for?”
What I wouldn’t give to fight him. To tear him apart and use his Blood to amplify my own. There was just nothing left in my body to HURT and no one near to proxy.
Then he was standing over me, holding my shoulders… maybe shaking them? I could barely feel the difference.
“Oh, brother. I expect you’d like to die now, hmmmmm?” He laughed, “Oh, you poor, suffering, MOTHERFUCKER YOU DON’T GET TO BE DEAD UNTIL I MAKE YOU DEAD.”
His spittle actually felt a bit nice on my burning face. I raked in the deepest breath I could manage, and hissed at him, “I… will live… to… kill again… Rathiel… kill you…”
I don’t know where he took me, but it hurt to go.