|Supernatural Fiction posted December 12, 2017||Chapters:||-1- 2...|
The time for battle arrives at last, and it's a big one
A chapter in the book Puppy Love and the Storm Above 2A
Coup de Main [Ending A]
The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.
Main story: The latest generation of Guardians and witches come into their own to save their worlds, end them, or start new ones.
Another scream in the night unsettled it, though it was nearly first light.
Yuri had her hands over her face and writhed where she lay.
When her mother couldn’t get the girl to show them what was wrong or stop panicking, her father grabbed her wrists and pinned them to the couch.
Everyone retreated a step or two, either from the smell or gruesome image. Sooyoung, too weak at the time and not knowing that her friend’s injuries ran much deeper than they appeared, had not healed Yuri well. The muscles in the witch’s forehead and temple had melted under her skin. Her skin had started to bubble up too. Some of it had dripped down her face.
Mrs. Hwang was first to react; if Yuri’s eye dissolved completely, then her brain wouldn’t be far behind it. Hovering a hand over the chemical burns, the Guardian sent almost everything she had within her toward Healing the girl.
The group sighed in collective relief when the bubbling stopped and the inflammation started to recede.
The eldest Im sister used that breath only to scream and flail again. Major problem solved, others made themselves known; all of her injuries from her fight with the demon were the same as the one on her face.
Sooyoung saw the boiling scratches on Yuri’s arms and was quick to tear the clothing from her friend’s body to check for more. She tried to heal the small cuts that were rapidly growing but was ordered back to bed by her mother. Guiltily, she obeyed. But her large eyes never left her friend’s disfigured face even to sleep; she lay on the floor beside Yuri.
The intensive Healing effort switched from Mr. Lee to the eldest Im child.
She survived, but just barely.
The subgroups left the cabin at daybreak in reduced numbers. The turmoil of the night hadn’t allowed the Guardians to recover much so they decided to leave the dead weight behind.
Areum bound Mr. Kim’s still-unconscious form. She had Hoon Bless the ropes in spells that would keep him from moving or making a sound even if he did awaken.
Yeong, knowing her husband’s passion for scrubs and feeling herself useless in anything other than care-taking, opted to stay in the makeshift infirmary as well. Yuri particularly needed extra care so the woman devoted herself to that task.
The leaders of the second-generation witches concocted a plan to which most of the able-bodied cabin-group members readily agreed to realize.
Chaerin with Minji Boosting her, put her hands on the floorboards and pumped them once as though giving it CPR chest-compressions. A basement formed before the young pair was directed into it ahead of everyone else to rest again.
Mrs. Hwang carried Mr. Kim down the newly-created steps while Jessica and Yeong moved Sunny, Taeyeon, and Yuri into the basement too.
The four cousins resisted, begging to be allowed to go to the forest.
“They’re still unGuarded!” Sooyoung reasoned yet again.
Jessica and Hyemi hardened against her puppy eyes.
“I already failed Yuri-yah. Please don’t make me fail Hyoyeonie too. I’m meant to protect her; it’s the whole reason that I exist! ...And Yoongie! Juhyun too!” the Guardian turned her plea on Jessica. “Do you really want your cousins near demons with no pr-”
“Alright, fine. But-”
Her mother caved too, cutting in with, “As I said earlier, if you’re one second-”
“I won’t be! Thank you!” Sooyoung lit up the room with her smile and Beams.
Her sister followed her lead.
“Please, Umma? You let Soo go and she’s the youngest! We wanna fight too! We’re fine! We can’t just let-”
“You ‘can’t just let’? You? Who is the mother here, Choi Miyoung?”
“Y-you are, Mommy... but- please! We-”
The woman slumped with a sigh. She, like Areum, was much wearier than she wanted anyone to know. “...Fine.”
“Thank you, Umma.” The small brunette approached her mother slowly, reaching for a hug.
“You will be careful, won’t you, Sweetie? For Mommy?” her mother half-shook, half-squeezed the life out of her daughter.
“Yes, Mommy. ...Unless Jessi’s in danger; she’s really clumsy and accident-prone, you know.”
“Somehow, you are not one to talk, Dear,” Mrs. Hwang spoke over Jessica’s indignant remark.
Before BomDara could plead their own cases, the cabin was rocked by a large blast.
The rescues into the Guild were entirely in vain.
It was only Sulli’s reverse influence, for the hostages’ sakes, that had kept the demons from turning on the Gathering as soon as they entered the Guild. Once the council had started beating the Lees, the Hellions became like barely-restrained piranhas at the blood. The Top Dog stabbing Grandfather Lee was the council’s own death blow; the demons slaughtered the Gathering in a frenzy. Then they went out into the Guild to fulfill their true plan: decimate all Guardians and leave their witches unprotected.
All of the scrubs had been killed where they cowered in the dirt. The rest of the non-governing Guardians had either fled or died by the time the sun rose.
The Top Dog, having chosen to join the demons rather than die, went along with the massacre. He even led the ambush that stopped his most hated enemy as he made his way back to the tunnel.
Woojong Lee stood in front of his charge but was struck down. He did not rise again.
Areum, halfway across the Guild, felt her ex-husband die the second that his life had been snuffed out. She Beamed to him without thought but with her two passengers.
While she was keeping the rabid Top Dog from turning his knife on her or any of the others in her group, Mr. and Mrs. Im used the same spell on him that Hyoyeon had used to Disable her parents.
His face contorted in fury and then fear. “No!” He hurled his knife at the couple.
Blood from two generations dripped from it as it gunned for more, but Areum Deflected it effortlessly. She focused instead on getting the three witches out of the Guild while the demons gleefully devoured her ex-husband’s remains and tore the defenseless Top Dog limb from limb.
The Ims’ transportation potions took them back to the portal.
Areum followed with Mrs. Kim but unwanted passengers horned in on her Beams and drained the Guardian to the brink of her strength.
Two young girls, taken by surprise at the sudden influx of demons, got hit by blistering acid from the first Hellions to materialize in the clearing. Their hair, skin, muscle, bone, and brain matter dissolved in seconds. Juhyun and Hyoyeon fell to the forest floor with their arms wrapped around each other.
The witch-mothers came through the perforation just as their children lost their lives and threw themselves at the demons that had committed the murders. Mrs. Im lit them up before they could do much more than grin in triumph.
The demons were too strong and did not burn right away, however, and their king wore on a rare amulet protected him from all witches’ powers.
Insane with grief, the Pyrokinetic woman lit herself on fire as well to release all the power that she held within her being. Mrs. Kim saw it happen but did not let go of the demon whose back she had jumped on. She gripped it tighter, holding onto the bracelet that Taeyeon had returned to her, and too was immolated. They formed part of the meteor shot toward the cabin.
The evil king guided the blaze’s path and followed it.
Mrs. Hwang, wedged under rubble, did not move.
Bom crawled over to her aunt to check her pulse and sighed when she found one. She then eased the woman into the basement to be caught by her little maknaes and said the chant over the trapdoor to hide it completely while their hands were full. Her body provided an extra means of protection as she succumbed to the darkness pressing her consciousness out of her head.
The last thing she saw through the thickening smoke, the last thing she wanted to see, was her sister.
Dara stared back at her without blinking.
Numb, shaking, Mr. Im yanked Yoona to himself. Since she was too shocked to do much on her own, he used his Tele-materialization to bring the second group of talismans into his hands instead.
The demons still inside the portal incinerated as it closed.
There was no way in or out now for anyone now. It was kill or be killed.
Minji screamed in mindless anguish, as did Chaerin.
No one opened the trapdoor though so they couldn’t get out through it; Chaerin was too weak to Beam anymore. The only blessing from their entrapment was that no smoke could get in either.
Yeong held both of her daughters close.
Three demons remained behind their king to finish off the portal-protectors.
Yoona charged at them, shaking with a sudden fury that ignited her being. She tried to throw herself onto them as her mother had done, but Mr. Choi and Mrs. Park tossed potions at the demons and vanquished them before she could get herself killed too.
Her father grabbed her face and called her name many times. Unable to get through to her, he dug his fingernails into Sooyoung’s shoulder. “Take her some place safe,” he begged the Guardian. “She needs you.” He shook the youngest Choi as well.
“Soo, listen to Daddy. There’s nothing more either of you can do here, and Areum is nearly dead. Take them and go,” her own father spoke gently but firmly to her.
Beautiful eyes unfocused, Sooyoung nodded through her tremors. She Beamed out with her love and neighbor to the basement.
Mrs. Park mournfully called forth branches and undergrowth to envelop HyoHyun’s bodies, hiding them. She, her brother, and Mr. Im then made a break for the cabin.
Grinning, the demon king advanced on Jessica as she ran out of options.
“I’m fine!” the witch screamed at Tiffany though she was clearly cornered. Distress not for herself radiated from her being. “Don’t you f-”
The monster used her distraction to backhand her so hard that she was lifted off of her feet to hang in the air and then collapse to the floor.
A shrieked “Jessi!” rung in her ears in chorus with the rest of the things clanging and vibrating in her head. Lungs burning from the inside for a second time in her life, she saw a black, blurry shape move over her. It blocked out the sun but held something bright over its head in both hands that seemed to replace the sun anyway.
Another white light seared her eyes before she could react.
A second blur lunged straight for the demon’s throat, making a low sound from its own. A pink bubble burst from it just before the second moon was smashed over its back.
The Shield and fireball disappeared.
Shadows shifting back and forth, the blur swung with it and came into focus. It did not let go even when it got clawed because it could not reform its Shield fast enough.
“Steph!” Jessica screamed, staggering to her feet unsteadily. Just as the demon threw the bleeding Dalmatian aside, his necklace going with it, the witch sent a blistering bolt of electricity into his gory throat and blew him up. Her left hand then shot out and caught Tiffany in a gust. “I told you not to!” she cried as she held her Guardian in a death grip.
“C-couldn’t help it, Jessi!” The younger girl tried to laugh but could not breathe for the pain or stranglehold around her body. She went limp in her charge’s arms.
Jessica, not about to lose people in the smoke again, used her Wind power to cast the cabin’s roof aside and absorb the foul air into a mini-tornado. Then she caused it to rain.
Unable to hide or retreat, the remaining demons were struck with potion and lightning; Mr. Choi, Mrs. Park, and Jessica. The battle was over.
But there would be no celebration.
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