Monday, July 11, 2011

Story a Week 22 - Propheteering, Part 9

So, I'm sitting at the airport facing a five hour delay, so I thought I'd finish the story I started working on for last weekend.  It's a continuation of my Propheteering storyline.  I hope that you like it.


Rixi saw Meentha pull out her bow and begin firing off arrows at the hydra's body.  Cuddlington roared and charged at the monster as Melbrid began chanting and moving his arms about.  Rixi stared at the monster, frozen in place.  She saw one of the creature's five heads knock Cuddlington down.

Rixi could do nothing but stand there in fear as the same head that knocked the dwarf down threatened to chomp down on him.  The jaws opened and as they were about to close down on the prone dwarf, an arrow struck the head in its left eye.  The head reared up and the creature let out an awful screech.  Cuddlington rolled away and got to his feet.

All Rixi could do was watch the combat, she was so paralyzed by fear of the creature they were facing.  Melbrid yelled out, "Rixi!  We need your help!"

Rixi looked over to the sorcerer.  The hydra had moved between Cuddlington and the rest of the party.  The dwarf was managing to fend off three of the heads, but one of the heads was looking at Melbrid and the remaining head was trying its best to eat the pantheron ranger.  Rixi watched in horror as the fifth head latched on to Meentha's shoulder.  The beast picked her up, but she kept on fighting, stabbing it repeatedly with a dagger.  The beast flung her across the room and Rixi watched, the rage building up inside of her, as her new friend crumpled against the wall and didn't get up.

The fifth head turned its attention towards Melbrid and Rixi made her first move.  She quickly and quietly walked around to where some of Meentha's gear lay and picked up her discarded long sword.  The young rogue made her way behind the creature.  In a sudden burst of motion, Rixi leapt upon the creature's back and stabbed the long sword into its spine.  The creature let out another horrible shriek and all five heads began to turn towards Rixi.

She knew that she didn't have long so she quickly drew her own swords and began to hack away at the creature's back.  The beast began to shake its body, trying to dislodge the little elf, but she was too agile to be thrown so easily.  Rixi saw out of the corner of her eye that Cuddlington and Melbrid were taking advantage of the beast's distraction to score some wicked hits against the beast's front.

Confused and heavily injured, the beast tried vainly to fight back against the sudden onslaught.  One of the heads did manage to finally dislodge Rixi from its back by head butting her hard.  As she fell from the beast she dropped one of her swords.  She wasn't too worried about that as she saw that the fight would be over soon.  The beast was bleeding badly from the wounds that they had inflicted upon it and two of the heads were lying motionless on the floor.

Rixi stood as the head that knocked her down approached her menacingly.  She gripped her remaining short sword and deftly jumped up onto the beast's head.  Surprised, the head reared up ever higher as Rixi repeatedly stabbed her sword into its skull.  Rixi felt the strength drain away from the hydra's body as it died moments later.

She was startled by Cuddlington's shout, "Rixi!  Watch out!"

Suddenly, she saw that the head of the hydra had carried her about fifteen feet into the air and it was starting to fall as the beast died.  She threw her sword clear and prepared to land.  Just before the head hit the ground, Rixi pushed off and jumped forward into a roll.  She landed hard, but it was a lot better than it would have been if she hadn't been prepared.

As soon as she stopped moving, Rixi sprang up and ran to where Meentha lay against the wall.  She pulled her healing potion out of a pouch on her belt and popped the cork as she arrived.  As Rixi knelt down she saw that Meentha was alive, but unconscious.  Rixi, not knowing what to do, began to drip liquid from the potion into the ranger's wounds.  Cuddlington and Melbrid joined her then.  Rixi looked up at the dwarf with tears in her eyes and Cuddlington nodded at her and placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder.  She looked back at the fallen pantheron and saw that her wounds were beginning to close.

"She'll need the rest of that potion, lass," Cuddlington quietly said.

Rixi nodded and carefully poured every drop of the potion into Meentha's wounds.  She watched as the wounds slowly closed.  She heard Meentha moan and looked back at her face with hope in her eyes.

Meentha's eyes fluttered and she opened them a moment later.  She smiled weakly up at Rixi and croaked, "Is the beast dead?"

Rixi smiled back and nodded, tears rolling down her cheeks.  "I was afraid that we'd lost you," she managed to squeak out.

Meentha shook her head and Rixi could see the strength returning to her friend.  She tried to sit up, so Rixi helped her.  "You can't get rrid of me that easily, Rrixi," she replied once she was sitting.

The whole group laughed at that and Cuddlington said, "Well, what do we do next?"

Rixi helped Meentha stand and the four of them looked around.  Rixi said, "Well, the gap that the hydra came through is still open.  Since it doesn't appear that we're going to be transported quite yet, I suggest that we go through there."

The rest of the group nodded their agreement.  Melbrid, Meentha and Cuddlington began to walk towards the opening, but Rixi hung back.  The other three turned to her, but she wouldn't meet their gaze.  "What is it, Rrixi?" Meentha asked.

"I...I would like to apologize for my hesitation against the hydra," Rixi replied.  "I...I was just so scared, you know?  I didn't know what to do, or how to fight such a creature."

Rixi looked up and saw the understanding on her friends' faces and felt a little better.  She said, "It shouldn't have taken one of my friends getting hurt to get me to move."  She hesitated for a moment, meeting Meentha's gaze before saying, "It shouldn't have happened and it will never happen again.  I promise."

Meentha smiled at Rixi and put her arm around her.  "Do not worrry, young one.  We've all experrienced fearr like that at one time orr anotherr.  Brraverry is not the absence of fearr; it is the overrcoming of fearr."

Rixi glanced at her other two friends and they were each nodding at Meentha's words.  She smiled and said, "Well, in that case, the passage beyond looks really dark.  I think that I could sneak in there and make sure that it's safe for the rest of you."

Her three friends chuckled and Cuddlington indicated that she should lead the way.  For the first time today, Rixi felt confident that the four of them would survive whatever Yif could put in front of them.

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