Suddenly Thomas screamed! I spun around to see him looking frantically across the meadow. Wild howls and screams reverberated across the meadow. The monsters had passed the invisible wall somehow and were storming at us, with big steps and deadly speed. I looked back at her and screamed: ‘Help!!’ She was still standing in the same position. She did not move or flinch, her palms still pointing upwards and her eyes gazed up into the sky.
I turned around to see the beasts coming ever closer. I realized it had to be me, by myself to take action now. She had done her part, she trusted I would do mine. I slowly moved forward and grabbed the hilt of the sword, pulling it slowly out of the ground. As soon as I held it firmly in my hand, a shockwave surged through my body and I fell to my knees, unable to control that wave of energy, screaming in shock and pain. My body convulsed, yet my fingers gripped the hilt ever stronger, my control over them having disappeared. I slowly, but surely started to manage to get a hold of that energy, pure willpower and panic forcing my mind to become the dam that would slow down this river of light and energy and turning it slowly into a gentle river that would water the banks of my personality and make me use this energy like a farmer would use water to grow his crops. I lifted myself up and I was gone.
The person that I had been, the insecure self of mine having disappeared and self-awareness and total level-headedness was as strong in me as a boulder in the sea would allow the waves of the ocean to crush against it and emerge strong and unchanged every time the surge came to rest. And it was more than that, the sword was no strange tool anymore. It had become part of me. It had united with me, like lovers would unite in the moment of climax. I let the sword spin through my hands, its hilt moving as safely and securely through my hands, as a goat would know the pathways through the rocky hills were it was born. Its blade was dancing through the air, like an artist on a stage, its blade whirling wildly. Thomas was studying me, his face full of wonder. My display had obviously dazzled him so much, that even the beasts and their angry roars were no longer in his mind. Yet they were approaching. They were almost upon us. I faced them, no fear in my heart, only determination to deal with them and break the deadly power they thought they had. The first one arrived, its cruel eyes eager to cut me to pieces. Its long arms and vicious claws extended and it came upon me. I used his wild, uncontrolled speed to duck and quickly step sideways just before it could grab me. I extended one leg. The creature tripped over it and crashed to the ground, its arms flailing wildly. Before it could get up, the second one was attacking. I blocked its blow with the sword, ignoring his scream, when its arm was cut off by the shining blade, like a Samurai sword would cut through a tomato. I buried my right foot deeply into its hairy stomach and when it fell to its knees, blood sloshing from its arm, I drove the blade between its neck and shoulder, forcing the sword downwards violently. I removed it, and the beast collapsed like a doll cut from its strings. The first one had come back to its feet and attacked, its anger at experiencing my resistance to its efforts had turned into blind and murderous rage. Its uncontrolled fury was its weakness. I ran towards it and crashed into it with the full force of my left shoulder. Surprise on its face, it fell rearwards and landed on its back.
My shoulder was aching and numb, but I paid no heed to it. I brought the sword down in an arch-like blow and it cut into its large, hairy chest, brushing bones and flesh aside as easily as an unbound river would cut through land. Gurgles and roars of pain came from its mouth as life quickly left its body. It lay still after a few moments, its once so wild eyes staring into nothingness. I spun around when Thomas shrieked in pain as one of the monsters sliced through the skin of his chest with its long knife-like claws. He fell to the ground, his clothes and skin turning red as blood oozed from the open wounds. The beast prepared for the kill as it opened its mouth, willing to consume human flesh. It all happened like in slow-motion. There was no sound, no thinking and, above all, no fear as I looked upwards from the corners of my eyes.
I saw ‘her’, finally having brought her eyes down on the wild mayhem below her. She studied me with interest and intent. A certain type of amusement, mixed with pride, clearly visibly on her handsome face. Before the monster could finish its deadly job, I threw she sword towards it. Its blade turning and spinning wildly through the air, like the wings of a dutch windmill during a heavy storm. My aim was true. The impact was so powerful that the horrible head of the bear-human-ape evaporated in red spray as the shining blade sliced through its skull.
Thomas looked at me, pain, relief and gratitude written on his pale face. I raced toward the sword, lying next to the monster’s carcass. I could not reach it before yet another beast was grabbing my shoulders with powerful strength, drawing blood where its claws cut deeply into flesh. It opened its huge mouth and the stench of its breath was in my nose. Before it could bite my throat, I brought my head forward like a sledgehammer, my forehead coming down on its beast-like nose and the sound of breaking bone filled me with satisfaction. It howled in pain and released my shoulders. I managed to take up the sword and bury the blade in its side. It went through its insides, facing no resistance as it sliced through the soft flesh. The monster released a bloodcurdling scream and fell to the ground. It was dead instantly, almost human disbelief the last expression on its non-human face.
I stood there, looking down on this beast from a horror story while my own breathing was the only sound I was aware of. I slowly lifted my head and looked at ‘her’. She smiled ever so knowingly and acclaim and delight turned her exquisite face into a radiant display of pure beauty. Thomas moaned in pain and I hesitantly took my eyes off her and kneeled down next to him to inspect his injuries. He had taken a nasty blow and the flow of blood was increasing instead of slowing down. I started to seriously worry. He would not survive that, if he did not receive some kind of help.
‘Man, it’s so painful’ he said, while tears of desperation started to form in the corners of his eyes.
‘I won’t let you die, man’, I replied. ’We gonna get you back to the bus. There must be some kind of first aid box or something. Just try to relax, the more you panic the worse it will get’.
I knew that it was almost impossible to get him back. Even if I was able to build some kind of stretcher, it would not be good enough. The beast had inflicted injuries on him that no bandage or ice spray could fix. I turned my head as I heard a slow rumble behind me. I looked at the throne, to see some type of staircase slowly growing out of it, almost as if a human arm would grow out of a body. She slowly took those stops that had come into existence out of nowhere. She glided towards us, her moves so graceful and queen-like that even Thomas seemed to be thrilled by it, despite his wounds. She slowly stood next to Thomas, looking down on him. She lowered herself elegantly to kneel next to him. Her fragile, long fingers slowly touched his chest. His body convulsed as the area around her hands started to glow in bright red, as if embers were falling on dry grass. I did not know what she was doing, yet I trusted her to not hurt him. I knew she would not, so I settled down, to sit cross-legged, next to them, the sword across my legs. Suddenly his mouth opened, and black smoke was rising from it, as if it was a chimney. His back moved upwards until he reached an arch-like position. His legs shaking and trembling while she had her eyes closed and slowly massaged his chest. When it seemed that all of that black smoke had left its body, she slowly took her hands off him and he collapsed, breathing heavily, while sweating hard. I stood up to inspect him and deep inside I had already known what I would find. All the cuts had disappeared. His chest looked as if it had never been touched by anything at all. There were no hair, no creases, no marks, almost as if he had been a new-born baby. She slowly got up as well and turned towards me. She looked deep into my eyes, and I looked back. I fell into those eyes, like a sailorman falling from a ship to be consumed by the darkness of the ocean. I did not try to swim. I allowed myself to be consumed by those dark waters that were her eyes and I clung to those waves as if they could hold me above the surface. She slowly moved her lips towards mine and the softness of her mouth started to lock with my hungry heart. We kissed intensively, passionately and without hesitation. I drank this experience into me like a thirsty man walking the dry land of the Sahara. All thought and all reality left my mind and body. Where I stood and where I was became meaningless. The weirdness of that day, the fact that I was covered with the blood of non-human monsters was just as unimportant as the presence of sunlight in this dark forest.
Suddenly I felt the same what Thomas must have felt. A raw, cleansing energy flooded my body and soul and I was forced to leave the sweet promise of her lips behind me. My head bent backwards as I felt the smoke rising from inside me and leaving my mouth and with it all weariness and injury went as well. When it ceased, I slowly lowered my head and felt like I had just slept for 10 hours in her arms, while she had gently been stroking through my hair. She smiled at me, fully aware of I how I felt. She let go of me and slowly took a step backwards.