Welcome to the next installment of Master of the Drunken Fist.
Just after mid-day, all hell broke loose. It was worse than anything Mike had ever experienced in his life, and it seemed to only be getting worse. All the stories of the Sponsers were true, in part. They were actually tame compared to what they really, truly were.
Elam led the brothers over another hill that had nothing exceptional about it at all, or gave away what was about to happen. As they reached the summit and about to descend the other side, Jed caught sight of movement off ahead of them. Thinking it was just an animal of some sort, they wound their way down the path, lined by trees as far as one could see on both sides. At the bottom, they crossed a stream where they filled water skins and refreshed themselves before packing up.
Suddenly, they attacked. Sinister, black shades with fiery red eyes surrounded them. Their eyes, not just red, but actual flames burning amid black, lifeless faces, brought terror to Mike. Fear coursed through him like never before. They shrieked a horrible sound freezing the brothers as though in a trance. It was deafening. They wore robes of the blackest material and their skin, or what Mike guessed was their skin, was like charred flesh. It was all black and somewhat ashy. There was an instant coldness in the air as the Sponsers surrounded them. There were six of the ghastly creatures, all shrieking and flames and blackness.
Jed, the largest of the brothers was no match for the size of the creatures. They dwarfed him. The mid-day sun did nothing to ease the terror of the shrieking Sponsers. Mike could only guess what it was like to face these things in the middle of the night, because at this moment, there was nothing he ever faced or saw in a movie that would compare to them. He prepared for death as that seemed the only outcome of this encounter. It had to be.
Two of the brothers, Gabe and Noah, pulled out their long hunting knives for protection, though to Mike it seemed like they were inadequate for the Sponsers. They tried to muster the courage to attack, but they were too late. One of the Sponsers gave out a shrill cry of death and attacked them viciously. It dug its long black nails into Gabe and blood flew high in the air. The creature laughed…it actually cackled, as it tore away at Gabe’s face. Screams of the Sponser joined the screams coming from Gabe as it ravaged him. The whole scene was surreal. Mike felt as though he was caught in some horrible movie that he couldn’t escape. The black creature destroyed Gabe in a matter of seconds, leaving a hollowed out chest and skull on the ground. At one point, Noah tried to attack it with his knife on it’s back, but it just reached out with one of it’s hands and caught his arm, twisting it, breaking it with a loud audible crack. He screamed as it grabbed his neck and snapped it, all without ever stopping it’s attack on Gabe.
One of the brothers, Elijah the voice in his head told him as he watched, turned to run away, but was soon enveloped by black robes. Blood flew in the air, misting the creature and the ground a dark crimson color. Death came quickly for him.
Mike noticed the flames growing brighter with each shriek of the creatures. The flames seemed to leap out of their skulls, almost touching the brothers as they mauled them.
Three remaining creatures stood vigil to the rest of the brothers and Mike, just daring them to try and run. Of course, none of them did. They witnessed the brutality the Sponsers inflicted on the the others and were not ready to join the massacre. In truth, Mike couldn’t run if he wanted to. His feet seemed locked to the ground. Just then, he broke from the daze and reached behind his back and pulled a hatchett from his sack. Where did that come from? I didn’t even know that was there! The formality didn’t matter at that moment, since he now had something to defend himself with.
With blind confidence, he started after the closest Sponser, the one attacking Elijah, and swung down hard into it’s skull. The hatchett found it’s mark and split the black skull wide open. It’s scream of pain was powerfully loud. The other Sponsers stopped in their madness turning their attention to Mike. He pulled back and hacked at the creature several more times, trying to make sure it would not get up from it’s wound, before stopping to face the rest of the Sponsers.
Their flame eyes grew brighter though being near them, you could feel a real chill in the air. He could feel the fire, the hate, coming straight for him through those flame eyes. Fear shook him, but adrenaline fueled him more. He held the hatchet in his hands, threatening to attack, when the creatures each grabbed a brother and with a loud shrill, faded into nothing. The last sound to be heard was the screams of the five brothers as the Sponsers stole away with their prey.
Silence overcame them. Mike looked around and there seemed to be blood everywhere. He looked at the blood soaked bodies laying half mutilated on the ground and counted what he thought were five bodies. The only brothers still alive were Abe and Elam. All the rest were dead or taken for who knows what by the Sponsers. It took a long time before any of them could speak.
“What…who…why…” Mike tried to say something but couldn’t. He shuttered at the sight in front of him. It was horrible and the smell of fresh death overwhelmed him.
“The Sponsers,” Abe began, “knew we’d be here. Them damn things sprung us a trap. They knew,” was all he could manage before breaking down sobbing at the loss of his brothers. Elam was no better. He fell to the ground moaning loudly about the horror in front of him. It seemed Mike was the only one not crying or moaning. Hell, he was alive and that was more than what he could say about most of the brothers. He dropped to his knees, in a pool of dark blood from the Sponser, and the next thing he remembered, he was in the void. The bright, blinding light surrounded him and he fell fast, spinning into nothing.
Thanks for reading! Please leave a comment below. Come back tomorrow for chapter 7 of Master of the Drunken Fist. Click here for the Table of Contents and links for the chapters.