Friday, September 13, 2013

The Treasure of the Iron Range-11

Ken smelled Wendigo’s foul essence as the cracks in the sarcophagus worsened, and soon became so palpable that he could taste it. He did not hesitate to attack, rushing it and thrusting Gabriel’s sword through one of the cracks. Within came a primal howl of pain, sending Wendigo into a frenzy that fueled his efforts to burst free of his prison. Knowing that his advantage soon would be gone Ken thrust the sword through more cracks, wounding his prey again and again before he had to fall back. As he got clear, the last blows from within shattered the sarcophagus- Wendigo was free.

The old demon, his long-dessicated corpse burning in places, locked eyes with Ken and saw that Ken wielded Gabriel’s sword. Words in a tongue long lost to time flew from Wendigo’s mouth as if they were hurled stones, but still both could not escape the similarity between them: both white as snow, both apex predators, both with inescapable drives and the means to satisfy them. Had Wendigo been fully in his power, as he was in life, only being a hirsute giant would meaningfully differentiate the two.

Ken and Wendigo now circled each other, like rival predators fighting over territory often do when they challenge each other, and both knew that this would not be a fight over status. This was for life itself, to true and eternal death, as neither would allow the other to survive. Despite similarities, Ken and Wendigo noticed fundamental and irreconcilable differences. All this they both knew without a doubt within a moment’s consideration, and that is why both of them pounced to attack.

Wendigo, still quite weak and already wounded, nonetheless struck hard against Ken and bloodied him bare-handed. Ken, once more filled with strength beyond previous expression, cut deep into Wendigo and flame licked at the wound. Wendigo picked up a club and used it against Ken, forcing him to block; Wendigo kept Ken on the back foot, slamming that club at him relentlessly, backing him up until Ken dodged an overhead blow while backed against the ruined sarcophagus and took off that hand.

Wendigo punched Ken and sent him reeling, giving the fiend time enough to pick up his severed hand and reattach it as it nothing happened, and then turning to cave in Ken’s skull with the club. Again Ken got out of the way, and this time Ken took off a leg at the knee. Wendigo fell over face-first, and this time Ken torched the severed limb, burning it to ash. Wendigo got up on his one remaining leg, but already Ken was upon him. First his arms, and then his other leg, got cut away and burned to ash in turn at Ken’s hands.

Wendigo howled, knowing what this meant for him. Desperation and defiance, mixed together into a horrific scream of pathetic tones, nearly deafened Ken as he stalked towards Wendigo’s limbless form. Off came Wendigo’s head, and Ken consumed its bits.

“Well done, monkey.”

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