Terra Vonnel and the Skulls of Aries – Chapter 3
Persuading the Dead
Terra’s heart began to race. Anticipation fueled by excitement coursed through her veins. This is it, she told herself. This is finally it. She had found the remaining Skull of Aries.
Terra advanced on the box, holstering the Diablo and lowering the Vanquisher as she knelt to one knee. With one hand, she reached for the small silver latch and slowly lifted the lid. Her gaze fell to the contents, but to her surprise there was nothing there; the box appeared empty. She quickly raised the Vanquisher, shining its vivid blue flame into the opening of the small box, but there was still no sign of the silver skull, with its telltale horns and emerald eyes.
She could feel the rage beginning to boil inside. There was only one place the skull could be now, she thought: with Dragos.
Then, out of the corner of her eye, she saw something move, a shadow, somewhere behind her.
Terra spun quickly to see a flash of silver gleaming in the darkness as a sword came crashing down. Without even thinking, Terra raised the Vanquisher just in time. An explosion of blue sparks burst into the air as the sword came into contact with the Vanquisher. The grinding sound of metal against metal rang out; blades locked as they both tried to gain ground on one another. Terra gradually pushed herself up onto her feet, retrieved the Diablo from her holster, and fired a single round into the vampire’s face.
The vampire screamed in agony, dropping his sword and taking a step backwards. Terra quickly advanced, slashing at his sword arm, which flew from his body onto the floor. The vampire screamed again but struck back with its remaining arm. Before Terra could react, the vampire had grabbed hold of her throat, lifting her from her feet into the air.
Terra gasped for air, dropping the Diablo to the floor. The vampire was quick and extremely strong, and she barely had time to react. Taking only seconds to regain her composure, Terra swung the Vanquisher upwards. In a bright flash of light, the blue flame severed the vampire’s other arm.
Terra fell to the floor, landing on her back with the severed arm still attached to her throat. As the vampire staggered backwards, she rolled to the right, ripping the lifeless arm from her throat and slashing at the vampire’s legs. The blue flame streaked through the darkness, severing both of his legs.
The vampire stood motionless for a brief second before toppling over onto the cold wooden floor. Terra scrambled to her feet as the beast howled in agony. She stood above the limbless creature, watching his bleeding nubs flap aimlessly.
As he rolled from side to side Terra approached and shoved her boot to his throat. His one remaining eye, shrouded in a mess of blood and flesh, widened as he choked from the applied pressure.
“Where is Count Dragos?” she demanded.
When the vampire finally spoke she could not hear him due to the fighting that ensued outside the cabin. She slowly released the pressure as his garbled, blood-filled words came spewing out.
“I don’t know what you speak of,” the vampire said, gasping for air as he choked and gagged on his own blood.
She slowly moved the Vanquisher’s tip to his chest. The blue flame illuminated his ashen, bloodstained skin, and his violet eye danced with the flicker of the flame.
“Well then you won’t be needing this,” she said, gradually pressing the tip of the Vanquisher into his chest just above his heart. Wisps of smoke sifted through his clothes. A sizzling sound resonated around the room as the smell of burnt flesh filled the air.
He cowered as the pain surged through his body. As she felt his body throb beneath her boot the Sea Vixen smiled ever so slightly.
“AAAAhhh, he is below, down in the hull… amongst the cannons… AAAhhh…”
Her smile grew wider. One step closer, she thought. “You see? That wasn’t so hard. Where is the Skull of Aries?” she asked sternly, pushing the blade deeper into his chest.
“AAAAhhh… I don’t know, I don’t know!” he screamed. “He did not speak of the treasure. I don’t know, I tell you!”
Terra feigned a frown, tightened her grip on the handle of the Vanquisher, and said, “That is unfortunate… for you!”
She jabbed the Vanquisher deep into the vampire’s heart. Blue flames erupted around his body as he exploded into a cloud of ash.
Terra turned, wasting no time, and peered back through the doorway. There were at least six vampires left and only three of her men.
She needed to even the odds, and there was only one way to do that, she thought: Sea Ghouls. Not only were they excellent row men, but they were outstanding fighters as well. Impervious to pain and with a talent for feasting on the dead, the Sea Ghouls were extremely useful assets when in battle. Since they were fighting vampires, which were of the living dead, the odds were considerably in their favor.
Terra reached inside her shirt, grasped the Amulet of Demons, and uttered the incantation. The command she spoke was in Arabic. She had summonsed three of the Sea Ghouls to feast upon the vampires.
Like obedient dogs, the Sea Ghouls engaged the enemy within seconds. Leaping across the bows of both the Aspen and the Mont Delia, the Sea Ghouls attacked with swords drawn and a desire to feed. With the vampires distracted and her men safe, she quickly made her way to the hull below.
**I will post one Chapter each week, so this may take a while. If you just can’t wait, you can buy (Just 2.99) the complete book at Amazon.
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