‘Pick me up.’
Whiskey heard Anima call out to her. ‘No.’ She yelled in her mind.
She looked past the blade trying to lose focus on it. Isaac groaned as the golem dragged him up by his feet.
“I’ve killed David, stomped on Maeve and am about to give Isaac a swirly in blood. Are you really the best the refuge has to offer?” Radu stepped out from behind the golem. “Oh you brought someone else. No matter.”
The golem threw it’s free arm as though going for an upper cut. The blood dragged along the ground, picking up Anima before hitting Whiskey head on.
The arm swallowed her up. She was smothered in blood again but managed to hold her breath this time.
She swirled around and around in the thick soup, holding her nose closed with her hand. Her lungs starting to scream for air.
Whiskey was suddenly deposited on the ground. She rolled onto her side and took the deepest breath she had ever taken. She heard the sound of metal hit the marble beside her. Anima entered her mind again.
‘Pick me up Whiskey.’ The voice was clear now, a gentle voice, like her mother’s.
‘I will not!’
“Such turmoil in this one. She’s a human, did we bring an apprentice Isaac? To a fight between masters?” Radu was close to her now, only steps away. “Magic has barely touched this soul. She hasn’t been trained at all?”
Radu made a few quick strides, his shoes tapping along the floor. “I guess I could use some minions after what happened. But first, we have to work out the kinks.”
His foot smashed into Whiskeys stomach. Her back hit something hard and all the air she had just got back was gone.
Whiskey opened her eyes. Her vision blurred but she could see enough. Isaac was hanging lifelessly from the hand of the golem. Maeve’s every move was met with a quick squeeze making her arms and legs contort against the ground.
‘Pick me up.’
“Look who’s awake.” Radu stared down at her.
‘Pick me up Whiskey.’ The voice was getting impatient.
“I- can’t…” Whiskey couldn’t pull in enough breath to speak.
“You can’t what?” Radu kicked her again. She pulled her head back in pain, she saw David’s headless body.
‘Pick me up or your friends will die by your hands!’ Anima screamed in her head.
Whiskey slowly pulled her hand away from her stomach.
“Are you going to beg for your life?” Radu laughed mockingly. The sword beside him flipped over, he looked down at it. It shot across the ground and landed in Whiskey’s hand. “What?”
Anima felt warm, yet her hand had began to feel numb.
“Stop whatever it is that you are doing.” Radu slammed his foot onto her forearm. The pain disappeared as quickly as it hit her. She tightened her grip.
‘I’ve never had to fill in this much. I can’t wait to see how this goes.’
The numb-warm feeling spread out from her arm and bloomed out once it hit her torso. She jumped to her feet, she felt no exhaustion or fatigue.
“Kill her!” The blood golems fist came down fast.
Anima flashed, the fist splashed down behind Whiskey, losing form and cascading into a puddle.
Radu disappeared into hyper speed. Anima came up and blocked the blow of his sword.
He darted around and slashed at her as fast as he could. Every time, Anima was there to meet his sword.
“H-how? You’re human! That’s just a sword! Isaac wasn’t like this with it!” The golem’s arm had regenerated. It dropped Isaac from the other hand and started to bring them together with Whiskey in between. She didn’t move, she wasn’t afraid.
The golem clapped with a wet sloshing sound. Radu pulled out of hyper speed and stared intently where the hands had met. The golem exploded like a water balloon in slow motion.
“A-” Radu squeaked as he started to shrivel back inside himself.
Whiskey stood in the rain of blood that came down. Anima resting on her shoulder. She let the drops fall on her face, smiling in the shower.
Radu’s blade came down at her. Anima was there to stop his attack, Whiskey just held her head back smile on her face.
“What are you?”
“I am free.” Whiskey spoke but two voices came out.
He swung again horizontally. Whiskey grabbed his blade out of the air. She lifted her head and saw the terrified look on Radu’s face.
“Are you going to beg for your life?” The second voice laughed mockingly.
Anima came down and sliced into his shoulder, not stopping for even bone. Radu didn’t scream he only opened his mouth and stared with wide eyes. Whiskey looked at the split she had put in him.
She looked back at his face. Her back started to hurt.
‘Don’t let me go!’
“No.” Whiskey spoke with just her own voice.
‘You can’t be complete without me!’
‘You won’t be safe.’
“No!” Anima dropped out of her hand. Pain and exhaustion hit her with a sack of Nokia phones. Her knees gave out and she fell to her ass.
Anima hit the ground, making small twangs with each bounce.
‘Pick me back up!’ The voice screamed over and over in her head.
Isaac half ran half limped over and snatched Anima off the ground. The voice cutting out with a whining scratching noise like a molested turntable.
Whiskey rolled over and held her stomach with both arms. She ached all over, her hair was sticking to her scalp and face. Her eyes burned trying to cry but nothing came out.
“How did she do that?” Maeve asked.
“I’m- not- sure.” Isaac winced as he spoke.
Maeve carried Whiskey to the car, Isaac carried David.
“I’m putting her in front. I’ll sit next to David.”
“Okay.” Isaac’s tone hadn’t changed since Whiskey had gone catatonic.
She lifted the door handle with her foot and placed her down as gently as she could. She could feel a war going on inside Whiskey but she barely moved on the outside.
Maeve pulled the seatbelt across her.
“Thank you.” Whiskey breathed the words warmly into her ear.
“No, thank you.” Maeve checked that all Whiskey’s limbs were inside the car before closing the door. Isaac was just as careful with David.
“So how did she do that? That was full soul fusion, it would take years to blend that well with a weapon let alone one like yours.”
“I said, I don’t know.”
“And how did she let go? She was gone, you heard the sword speak through her.”
“Soul magic isn’t an exact science, I guess she just had the willpower to overcome it.”
They got in the car and started the engine.
“How can you be as plain as her?” Whiskey turned to Isaac.
“What?” Isaac asked.
“You, you’re not feeling grief at all, not at any stage. David is dead and your acting exactly like the soulless we have in the back seat.”
“He’s not going to stay dead.”
“No wonder life doesn’t mean anything to you lot, death holds nothing over you.”
Whiskey popped open the glove compartment and pulled out the holy water David put in there. She took a long swig and stared out the window saying nothing else.
Isaac drove all the way out of the city back to their small town. He dropped Whiskey and Maeve off at Whiskey’s apartment at Maeve’s request. He made sure that they were inside before he took off back to the magic shop.
He parked outside the back entrance, picked up David and carried him inside.
Gently putting him down on the sofa Isaac moved to the store room briskly. He grabbed a small box from the top of a small tower of identical boxes and started to fill it with items.
He must have been around the whole storeroom twice before he came back out.
Isaac dropped the box on the staff room counter and walked over to what seemed to be another cupboard. It opened onto a library, it was two levels high and stacked with books even though the building only had one floor.
He stopped in the middle of the room and closed his eyes, he pointed his finger out in front of him and slowly twirled around. He stopped and extended his arm out further.
There was a shuffle of leather and cloth as a thick brown book slid out slowly then glided elegantly across the room to him. He plucked the book out of the air and left, slamming the door behind him.
The book made a loud thump as it hit the ground next to the sofa. Isaac rustled through the box of ingredients. He took out and carefully placed a small satchel next to the box. He picked up a small sack and threw it back in the direction of the store room. It slapped the door and sagged onto the ground.
Isaac pulled a pen and notepad from his inside pocket. He scribbled a few words on the first page then ripped it off, stuffing it into the satchel.
He stuffed in a few other items as well directly from the box. A small cat bone, a vial of blood, and a pinch of sand from one of the sacks. He dumped the rest of the box onto the floor and sat next to it’s contents.
Isaac started to draw onto the concrete floor with some black chalk. There was already some faded lines drawn in that he was just filling in.
After the circle was complete, he poured himself a cup of water, which he then used to wash away the runes in the middle of circle.
He reached over to where David lay and grabbed the book.
He flicked through the pages and found what he was looking for.
Isaac frowned, he dropped the book onto its spine, leaving it open. He jumped to his feet and re-entered the library. He came out a few moment later with a much thicker and darker book.
He sat back down and began flicking between them as though trying to find differences. He was matching names of the runes to how they looked in reality. He could never remember how to draw them.
Once he had memorized their looks he pulled himself up again. He kicked the box away and shifted its previous contents around with his feet.
He went into his coat again and pulled out his own wand. It was carved nicely to fit perfectly in his hand and decorated with jewels and golden thread.
Pointing it at the ground he gave it a flick, black goo shot out the end of it and splattered in the middle of the circle. With a few more flicks the goo shifted around into the runes he had wanted painted down.
“Why did you always draw these?” Isaac looked at David and grinned.
He picked up the satchel off the counter and put it down in the middle of the circle.
He gave a relieved sigh now that he had finished. Pulling up a stool he closed his eyes and started to chant in his head, he didn’t have to wait long.
“What do you want?” Isaac opened his eyes and saw the corpse in front of him. It still looked alive, freshly made up for the funeral he assumed.
“You didn’t have to come yourself Death, I’m sure one of your assistants could have sorted this one out.” He stood and pushed away the stool.
“You haven’t answered my question.” Death pulled up one of the body’s arms and inspected the rings and other jewelry on it’s hands.
“David, to come back. It’s all in the offering.”
“You want more souls?”
“I don’t want anything, David’s not coming back.”
“What? After all the things I’ve done for you.”
“All things that I have compensated you for.”
“Don’t play games with me! Give him back right now!” The corpse moved faster than any soulless could have. It was suddenly in front of him, dead eyes staring into his.
“You dare try to command me. I could take you right now without a moment’s thought.”
“You do this and I won’t be doing anything for you ever again.”
“I know, that was the point.” Death disappeared, so did the runes of the circle and everything in it. Isaac dropped to his knees.
He stayed there till the sun rose the next morning.
Hi, so you may have noticed that this one was a fair bit longer than the previous chapters. That’s because it’s going to be the last for a while, at least when it comes to Whiskey and Maeve.
This is because I will be spending a few months collating these into a more cohesive story. The complete works will the true cannon by the way for all of you like myself that actually care about that.
Once it is done I will find a way for this to be freely available to everyone who would enjoy it so don’t worry about that.
Otherwise, we will be having an intermission between now and the next chapter that will probably be just a bunch of random ramblings of mine and see what sticks.
Thank you all for reading during all those other short gaps, I hope you continue to enjoy as I move forward 🙂