“What was that?” Brianna asked, stepping away from a tree where the noise had come from.
When the words left her mouth, a creature sprung forward, out of the trees. It was a satyr, the very same they had seen only a little over an hour ago. Without taking a pause, it pulled out a sword from a sheath at its waist and charged at Richard.
“Run!” Ridley shouted, but too late.
Everything happened so quick, but every detail was played out as if it were in slow motion. Richard didn’t even have time to pull free his sword. His wide eyes lowered to look at the sword sticking out of his stomach.
The satyr ran Richard through.
“NO!” Katie screamed, her pain forgotten.
The satyr pushed Richard off his sword, and Richard crumpled at his feet. Ridley was running, his own sword high over his head. Brianna stood next to Katie, watching everything with wide eyes. The thought of magic didn’t even enter their minds.
The satyr blocked Ridley’s strike and swung his sword around. It came in contact with Ridley’s side. Ridley cried out in pain and shock and dropped to his knees. He placed a hand over the free flowing blood.
Katie looked at Brianna for an instant, then took off running. Brianna was right on her heels. The satyr raised his sword above his head, ready to slam it into Ridley’s head. Katie was only a few feet away when the blade started to come down.
Ridley brought his sword up and barely blocked the attack. It threw his off balance and he landed on his back. The satyr leaned forward and yanked Ridley’s sword from his hands. Its sword went up.
Katie jumped in front of the sword, not thinking about what was going to happen. She raised her own sword and parried the satyr’s sword. She pushed her weight against the satyr, causing it to step back. Her shoulder and arm screamed in protest.
Brianna had her sword raised and was ready for battle. She took a step forward to help Katie.
“Brianna, stay back!” Katie shouted. She rose her sword and went for the opening that the satyr left. The creature turned and easily parried her hit. “You’ll only get in the way! See if the guys are...” She couldn’t say alive.
Brianna leaned over and started to drag Ridley away from the danger. She pulled him next to Richard. Ridley was groggily moving around. Richard wasn’t moving at all. The satyr counterattacked her attack and spun into her, knocking her to the ground. Katie raised her sword and parried the next attack with all her might. The satyr stepped back for a moment and Katie tried to lift herself to her feet. The creature jumped forward and slashed at her.
She fell to the ground again and parried the attack. She lifted her legs and kicked the creature away. With the moment of freedom of the satyr, Katie jumped to her feet and raised her sword, ready.
The satyr turned and glared at her.
“You think you will win?” it rasped. It’s voice sounded like two boulders rubbing against each other.
“Yes, I do,” she said, her voice shaking with anger.
“I will kill you. And then I will kill your friends,” it said. Katie ignored him, focusing on the attacks.
The satyr stood watching her. Katie stood panting, watching it back. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw Ridley standing on shaky feet. His right side was soaked in blood. He still had his sword in his hand, but he was using it to hold him up.
Seeing that she was distracted, the satyr raised its sword and swung. Katie saw her mistake and ducked out of the way.
She saw the sword fly right past her eyes.
The satyr leaned forward and kicked her hand. Unwillingly, her hand released the sword. It flew from her grasp and stuck in the ground many feet away. The creature reached in and shoved her to the ground.
She slammed into the ground and her breath came out in a whoosh. She grunted as she lifted herself up on an elbow. Her wounds burned, but she tried to ignore them. She looked up at the satyr. He was pointing the sword at her face.
“I told you,” the creature said. “After I kill you, I will kill your friends.” He grinned at her, sending shivers down her back.
He raised his sword. After a moment, his eyes looked over at the others. Katie followed the look. Ridley was trying to run towards them. He was stumbling and tripping. Brianna was leaning over Richard.
“No, I think I have a better idea for you,” he said, grinning wickedly. He reached down and grabbed her arm and yanked her to her feet.
“Hmm,” the satyr rasped. He pulled her close and whispered in her ear. “I have a very good idea as to what I should do with you. You must be worth a lot of food.” He laughed.
He yanked out a knife from his waist and stabbed her in her thigh.
Katie cried out in unexpected pain. He released her and she slipped to the ground in one fluid motion. Her head hit the ground, but she didn’t black out. She almost wished she would black out. She placed her hand over the wound and felt blood gush through her finders.
The satyr walked past her and out of her sight. She tried to move around, but the pain was blinding her. She felt a scream rip out of her throat as she tried to control herself.
“Katie!” Brianna shouted from a short distance.
“Stay away! Run!” Katie screamed back. She tried to focus and made herself stop screaming. She knew she screamed more out of horror of the thought that Richard was dead than pain.
She heard a crash of sword against sword. She pushed herself up on her elbows and looked. Ridley was stumbling around while trying to keep Brianna and Richard from harm. Brianna was starring at Katie. Richard still wasn’t moving.
“Ridley, run!” Katie shouted. She tried to push herself to her feet, but was unable to hold herself up. “Get Richard help!”
“No!” Ridley shouted back. “I won’t leave you!” The longer he fought, the quicker he seemed to become.
Katie watched in horror as Ridley danced around the satyr’s attacks. She knew that one hit, even a little one, would take him down. She only hoped that he could get Richard help. She hoped it wasn’t too late.
Her thigh was bleeding freely. It burned every time she moved around on it, but she forced herself to endure it. The best thing she could do was help Ridley. Maybe if there were two of them, they would be able to take it down. It was either that, or they all died.
“Brianna, grab your sword!” Katie shouted through gritted teeth. She pushed herself to her feet and urged them on. She stumbled and screamed again. Blood ran down her leg as she forced herself to stand. She would have to help. If she, Ridley, and Brianna all attacked, maybe they had a chance. She limped closer to Ridley and the satyr.
Brianna nodded and lifted her sword, which lay beside her. Katie slowly urged herself to move. It was a slow process, but she was coming. Ridley counterattacked and evaded an attack that would have taken his life.
Katie finally was close enough to help. She raised her own sword and gripped it tight.
“Now!” she screamed.
Brianna rushed in with her sword raised. She let out a fierce shout as she brought it down before the satyr could even look at her. Katie did the same from the other side of him. Ridley took advantage of the satyr’s confusion and rammed his sword into the creature’s stomach.
The satyr’s eyes rose to Katie’s. She saw fear and unexpected confusion. He hadn’t been expecting them all to attack as one. A moment later and Katie was looking into dead eyes. Ridley let the creature slide off his sword.
Katie stumbled over to Richard. She collapsed right next to him. She rolled him onto his back and pressed her hand to his neck, feeling for a pulse. She felt one, but it was weak and distant. He wasn’t long for the world.
“Richard,” Katie whispered as tears leaked from her eyes and landed on his chest. She felt his chest rise and fall in rough uneven breathing.
Brianna knelt down next to Katie. She placed a comforting hand on her shoulder. Katie looked over for a brief moment and saw tears coursing down her cheeks too.
Ridley was lowing himself to the ground next to Richard. He didn’t even bother looking at her, but started to pull his shirt free of the large gash that was there. Katie hadn’t even noticed it there. She gasped and stood. She nearly stumbled again as the pain her thigh made her shriek. She forced herself to shut up.
She and Brianna walked a short distance. Katie turned to look at Brianna. Her arms were held wide. Katie gratefully walked into the embrace. In an instant, she broke down and started crying in racking sobs. It was too much.
She wished she had told Richard what she felt about him.
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