Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The Law of the Plains, chapter 15 (penultimate!)

(This is chapter 15 of the Law of the plains. In the previous chapter, the elders of the tribe, their mounts and their gifted hunting hounds fought the horde valiantly, trying to buy some time for the rest of the tribe. Despite their incredible bravery, they still all died and the horde pressed on.)

Kanaretah barked orders as she tried her best to get the tribe to disperse. She yelled so much her throat hurt and her voice croaked and broke. At the same time, she grabbed a young Nʉmʉ, almost an infant, Quanah was his name she remembered. As she was haranguing the stragglers, she held him tight against her and sent Neraquassi in a gallop.

It was useless.

She stared in utter disbelief as she saw snarling morlocks running on all fours gain ground on the horses. Some of them ran past her, trying to catch the humans that were the farthest from the horde, those that were in front of the convoy. She cried as she saw people, the very same people that she could have sworn moments ago were going to make it alive, people she knew and was supposed to protect, being cornered by the ravenous monsters.

She did not understand why the horses could not outrun the damned demons. It did not matter anymore. She grabbed her bow and dropped a few morlocks with well placed shots, but a beast pounced on Neraquassi and tore his throat open. She felt her friend's pain in her mind, it seemed she felt his pain more than her own as she hit the ground. Instinctively she had held the boy tight against her and had rolled on her back so as to break the fall and protect him, but because of that her head hit a stone. The concussion did not kill her though, even the mercy of such a quick death was denied to her. Neraquassi fell on her, breaking her leg, then morlocks swarmed the three of them and dug their filthy fangs in their helpless bodies. There was so many monsters fighting over her broken bones that she did not even know who or what killed her, but she would have been proud to know that in her last instants, she never let out the slightest cry of pain, and that she managed to pull her knife out and gut at least one of the monsters.

The whole fight wasn't one, not really. A lot of morlocks died, it was true, and the Nʉmʉ would have been proud to know how long they had managed to survive, but as Yahneequena had realized, they never had a chance. Within minutes, they were all dead and the only sounds that remained were the slow breeze rustling the grass and the morlocks feasting on their still hot bodies.

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