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Hell 2012: Part Two

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Eli tackled his sister to the ground a moment before the jaws of the large reptile could close around her. The dragon roared as it's kill disappeared from it's poor vision. It's broken talons pierce the ground in an attempt to stop a collision with a bank across from the speakeasy. But they caught, causing the monster to lose it's balance and hit head first into the ground. The monster's rear and large tail outweigh the head as they flipped over into the bank's front window. A car in the same path is stabbed by spikes lining the monster's spine and back. They stuck inside the old metal, keeping the dragon down long enough for the siblings to recover.

Eli pulled Ellie to her feet and pushed her toward the speakeasy, ''Go! Get inside!'' They stumble over the ripped up concrete slabs and glass. Ellie spotted her pack under a fruit bender's cart pushed into the road. She made a break for it.

''Ellie!'' Eli followed after her. The dragon regain the ground under it's feet and swung the car off it's back. Eli grabbed Ellie's jacket and yanked her to the ground next to a Ford. He held her there as silence fell. The dragon slunk out of the building, trailing blood from it's ruined claws. It's large head heavily turned from right to left, small eyes frantically searched from them. Eli placed a finger to his lips then pointed under the car. Ellie crawled under it to sit on the sidewalk with her back to the car's door.

When Eli was crouched next to her, he looked over his shoulder to watch the dragon through the car's window. It's nostrils were flaring, but without wind it couldn't pick anything up. Eli slumped down.

''What did you think you were doing?'' he whispered harshly. ''You could have gotten eaten. Or worse, Mom would have yelled at me after you'd gotten eaten. Or even worse than that, killed me herself after you were eaten. God, sometimes I wonder if there's something in your head besides air.''

''Like I mentioned before, all about Eli!'' Ellie whispered back. She leaned over to look under the car for a clear view of the road. She was just about to grab the strap of her pack when Eli threw her to the ground. ''My pack.''

''It's a bag, let it go,'' Eli said.

''My book is in there,'' she answered. Ellie touched the scrap on her knee. Her pants were ripped and stained around the bottoms.

''You had, like, four pages done. And I highly doubt that thing is going to eat it,'' her brother said.

''Like you know what that thing would do. Oh, wait, you might. You're just as evil and mean.''

''Oh my God. We're being hunted by a hunger-starved dragon, we're not having this conversation right here,'' Eli told her. ''Drop it.''

''Who made you King George?'' Ellie snapped.

''Oh m- just stop talking. You know what, I'm not talking to you. Discussion over,'' he said, hands on the pistols around his legs. He looked back over the car.

''You can't give me the silent treatment, I did nothing wrong!'' the witch whisper-yelled at him.

''Shh!'' Eli said and slapped a hand over her mouth. Ellie was just about to lick his hand when he jabbed a thumb toward the street. The dragon's tail flickered over the car then. Both slow their breathing.

Eli pulled his hand away and turned toward her. They both watched the monster past the car. It lowered it's head to the ground. Ellie dropped herself close to the sidewalk to see it sniff her bag. Her jaw dropped open as it tore into the pack without warning. Ellie's things scattered all over the road. The dragon sniffed out the dried fish.

''Ellie,'' Eli whispered in a low voice. ''Can you take energy from that thing?''

''Not without it sensing where we are,'' she said and sat up again. ''I've never seen one this bad.''

''That's what worries me,'' he replied. ''I left my knives inside.''

''You can't get it with a gun?'' Ellie wanted to know.

''Not a revolver, bullet's are too slow. They won't build up enough momentum to breach the tough skin, no matter the shape the demons in,'' he said. ''We're just gonna have to figure something out till Mom gets back.''

''Or we could go find her,'' Ellie suggest. ''It's better then staying here.''

''It can't hear like it once did, but it'll defiantly hear us if we run,'' he said. He takes the revolver from his right leg holster and looks at it. ''The most sensitive spot is it's throat. Maybe if I get close enough, I can use the gun to-'' Ellie saw the plan unravel with emotions on his face and placed a hand on his arm to get his attention. She pulled her brows together and shook her head. Plans like fighting the dragon alone were stupid unless you lived to tell the tale.

A gust of wind ruffled their hair. Large drops of saliva fall between the siblings. Eli didn't look from Ellie as he pulled the hammer down on the gun. The click produced a roar from the dragon. Ellie jumped. Eli thrust the gun up, barrel aimed at the jugular. He pulled the trigger. The dragon threw it's head back, letting a high pitched scream escape it's gagging throat. Blood dropped down on their cloths and in their hair. Ellie jumped to her feet and ran to her athame, a black bladed ritual knife. It was the closest thing to her. She could use it to channel energy from the dragon, or herself. She just needed enough magic to use a one spell-word. One word and Eli could get in for the kill shot.

As the monster thrashed around in pain, it slashed Ellie across the back with it's swaying tail. She soared through the air, landing backside first on the top of a car. Pain cut through muscles in the teenager's lower back. Ellie cried out, arching her back to put a hand on the sore spot. Her fingers slip through the slash a spike ripped through her jacket and shirt. It barely broke skin. But some dragons had been known for poison coated claws and spikes.

Jayson Roderic remained hidden from sight as the scene unfolded before him on the street below. Eli ran out of bullets and turned to rely on his incredible strength. He pulled an open car door from the metal frame and slammed it across the monster's face, stunning it with such a powerful blow it stumbled and fell on it's side. The brother ducked under the flapping wings and crossed the street swiftly to check his sister.

Roderic glanced down at the black scales the dragon had shed. He picked one up to examine it closely. He determined it was in fact a mortal, just one too far gone to it's curse to regain a human's sense of mind. As he stood with a sigh, he reached around to grip the sword slung over his shoulder. The dragon rolled over, facing the Roads children. Roderic figured his decoy plan had gone as far as it needed to. The dragon was dying. If the two siblings managed to submit it into a hasty retreat, it would surely never see another sunrise.

The horrible beast roared and charged them. Roderic drew his sword and threw it without a second thought. The long sword covered the hundreds of feet between the dragon hunter and his game in less than half a minute. It hit it's mark dead on, stabbing through the center vertebrae down the middle of it's bony back. The nerves connecting the back legs to the brain instantly shut down, crippling the monster. It screamed out in agony and crashed to the ground, crying and scratching into the concrete in twitches of pain. The blade quivered, burning white-hot in the dragon's body.

Roderic calmly stepped over the edge of the building, hitting ground in a few mere seconds. The drop could easily inflict blood-curdling injuries to any normal beings. But Roderic rotates his head once to loosen the tensed muscles in his neck before walking to his dying prey.

Eli felt the threat before he saw it. It was like the air suddenly grew thick with tension when that sword came out of nowhere. He looked at Ellie. She had slid onto the car's hood, hunched over in obvious pain. She hadn't appeared to sense anything, and she was very alert to paranormal energies. Eli kept his eyes open for any sudden movements.

When the nineteen-year-old stepped into view he disregarded Eli and Ellie as if they weren't there. He climbed up the heap of pump fleshy muscles and skin and drew the sword from it's back. The beast screamed again, pulling creaked concrete up with it's little-to-none talons. Ellie lifted her head and watched the newcomer with the same curious expression Eli had. Roderic leaped off the beast and moved around to it's head.

''If you don't have a strong stomach, then I suggest averting your eyes,'' Roderic warned them. He lifted the holy sword high above his head, tip aimed down. The warrior adjusted his fingers once before thrusting the sword clean between the eyes. The monster shuddered and went still, eyes rolling to the back of it's skull. Ellie lowered her eyes to cover them in disgusted. The bone crunching made her stomach flop around.

''Who are you?'' Eli asked the boy. He pulled his sword from the great monster and turned to face the siblings. ''Or, what are you?''

Roderic unfolded a small cloth from his pant's pocket to clean the dark colored blood from his blade. Eli eyed Ellie's athame on the ground a couple feet from him. If this ended in a brawl, Eli would certainly need a plan if he were to defeat a boy who had taken a dragon out with one blow. But still, Ellie seemed perfectly comfortable with the blonde haired boy less than ten feet from them. Eli just couldn't shake the feeling that this boy had a bad sense to him.

''Answer the question,'' Eli said.

Ellie took notice to the sword before Roderic placed it back in it's sheath. The hum of pure power was barely contained by the leather. It was warmth. The very sword was the warmth of great strength. It was untouchable. Ellie could feel the lightness of it, how ancient it's good energy was. She leaped off the car hood, ignoring the pain in her lower back.

''That sword? It's name wouldn't happen to be-'' dare she say it in her lifetime. ''-Excalibur?''

Roderic was interested suddenly. Of the witches and warriors he'd come across, none had ever let the sword's name be spoken from their lips. He'd decided it was their lack of roots barely connecting them to their lineage and magical knowledge. But Ellie recognized the sword almost instantly, like pointing out historical artifacts was second nature to her. He was curious.

''You're the first person to guess right,'' he answered her.

''It wasn't a guess. My mother makes us travel all over to look for books. She taught me all the legends. Even the one about Excalibur and the Lady of the Lake. And I recognized the Pendragon in the hilt's top. And the design in the blade close to the hilt. King Arthur is one of my favorite stories. Mostly because of Merlin, but Arthur was great too. I mean, he did surpass the sword's power-hungry curse,'' Ellie babbled. She wanted to shut her mouth. But to stand in the presence of something so strong in magical power, it just took her breath away. Which eventually got her to stop talking. Even Eli found her lame known-it-all disorder painful.

''Yeah, this is great that you finally have someone to, you know, buddy up with. But I want to know who this person is,'' Eli stepped in. Roderic and Eli make tense eye contact. ''Who are you?''

Roderic spoke to Ellie, ''my name is Jayson Roderic.''

''Roderic? Roderic?'' Ellie muttered, trying to figure out where she'd heard the name before. But nothing came to mind. ''You must be a descendent of Uther Pendragon then. Or Arthur I mean. No blood of a different kind can touch that sword without the purest of intentions for it's usage.''

''If you say so, uh . . . '' Roderic answered.

''Ellie,'' the youngest Roads child answer. She'd learned at a very young age to keep her personal birth rights at a blood-related-need-to-know-bases. Names meant everything to a witch. It was their virtue, their very power core. And one knowing the full name of a witch had an ace in the hole, whether the witches strength was high or not. ''And this is my older brother, Eli.''

Roderic met the older boy's hazel eyes again. When the sun hit them just at the right angle, they turned a dark shape of jade. It made the boy's facial features appear experienced, though Roderic had questioned the depth of the Circe Fighter's battle knowledge. The eldest Roads had been ill prepared in his scuffle with the dragon and barely kept his sister alive. Roderic knew these were tough times for witches, especially since the Earth was producing less and less life energy to just keep it spinning. Thought Roderic wasn't fond of witches, fond being the operative word, he didn't want to see a good one suffering a war she's never fought in.

But he couldn't worry now, or stick around long enough to learn anything more than their names. He was here for a reason. The trail was running cold again, and faster than it had last time. Roderic glanced around till his eyes fell on the broken dragon claws. He walked over to them, kneeling by each one till he found one worth using.

''Witch, might I ask you a favor?'' Roderic asked Ellie. The knight's oblivious behavior to Eli was making him angrier whenever he spoke. ''There's another monster in the city, one even deadlier than the one you just faced. I was wondering if you could maybe create a charm I could use. Sort of like a magical hunting hound, only without the dog.''

''I don't know, charms like that take days depending on what you need. And even good ones are created during the right moon phases. When do you need it finished?'' Ellie questioned.

''As soon as possible. This dragons master won't be here much longer now. I'll know when it moves, but won't have the ability to track it without something linking me to it. Can you track power sources with a similar power source?'' Roderic asked.

''It's a long shot, maybe even a shot in the dark. But I guess I could try. My mom might be the better choice thought,'' Ellie suggested.

''And where is she now?'' the knight questioned.

''And who is it asking my services?'' As if on cue, a woman with honey hair and matching eyes appeared as if she knew she heard her name being spoken from another room in a house. The Roads siblings knew the extent of their mother's incredible abilities. She could appear when she wanted and even communicate with Ellie and Eli in their heads when she felt the need to. But even they jumped at the sound of her chilling voice. Her hour-glass feature was robed with belts, thin chains around her neck and an extra coat over a black silk vest and gray cotton dress. The strong scent of her was impossible to miss. It was rosemary, and spring water.

Eliza Roads had been accompanied with her hell hound since the age of thirteen, four years younger than Ellie, who was still awaiting the arrival of her familiar. Hallyne, as Eliza named the dog, appeared in the shadows in the disguise of a human dog. The Doberman, slick with black hair and lean ligaments, trained his abnormally big brown eyes on Roderic. He was as tensed as Eli felt. Hallyne didn't trust anyone outside the family.

Excalibur shook on Roderic's back, warning him that the dog wasn't as it dressed. But Roderic knew what was under the mask. He'd killed hell hounds before, and Hallyne knew that. Roderic curled his fingers into fist, but refuse to let the ugly beast see his uneasiness. Hell hounds had the annoying ability to disappear in the direct path of light when in their true forms, man produced or not. They were quick and bigger than they appeared. Strong too. They were surely a fight to keep your head in. One wrong move and it was dog chow.

But Hallyne stayed with Eliza in the shadows. The woman lowered her head, to lock eyes with Roderic.

''Your name,'' she repeated, her voice slipping over her lips like cold water. All three of them felt a shiver, though it was eighty degrees out.

''Jayson Roderic,'' he answered her. Eliza knew the name as if it were her own, but never heard of any Jayson. Roderic's stomach tensed. Maybe even Circe Witches were as dark as their counterparts. The only Circes he'd come across were dead ones. Eliza looked as venomous as a viper, but Roderic sensed it was only for the well-being of her children. Any stranger could be a dangerous one, no matter how appealing they came across as.





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