I got up early to work on the edits. Today has to be a super productive day because yesterday wasn’t, and we have 5 days left. Everyone is asleep, I got my coffee, I’m all set to work, and, for some inexplicable reason, I have so much feline assistance today. Just so much. I even went and checked to see if the cats were out of food, but no.
I have a deleted scene for you this morning that was cut for the reasons of not being exciting enough. Because this is a story post, the comments will be open for you to discuss. (Otherwise enterprising people will find the pro page on Facebook and send us tell us there what they thought about it. 😛
The darkness came closer, avoiding the laser-narrow line of sunlight on the floor, and hovered on the edge of it, as if deciding if the light was toxic. A big bulbous body rose up, resting on twelve lobster-like chitin legs. Ropy tentacles coiled out, reaching for the light, but never touching, the inside of their pads studded not with suckers, like I expected, but with hundreds of shark hook-like teeth. Its scent rolled over me, a bitter odor touched with algae rot.
Great. Nice move, dad. Here is hoping it was something he dreamt up and put together after reading too much Lovecraft before bed; otherwise, this thing must’ve existed somewhere in the world and that was enough to make me lose sleep for weeks.
I reached out with my magic and grasped the painfully red points of light above me. It was easy, like catching fireflies in my hand, except when I caught fireflies, I never had the urge to crush them and wipe the smear of their fetid magic off my mind.
The tentacled thing stayed where it was, its appendages flexing and sampling the air. It sensed I was there, but it still hadn’t seen me.
Don’t move. Don’t breathe.
I pulled. The lights moved as the vampires from six floors up streamed toward me, climbing over each other in a rush to obey my will.
The monster turned toward me. Its small pig-like eyes narrowed, focusing.
I yanked the horde of vampires to me. They were directly above me. A foot of solid floor separated them from me. I pushed them and felt them rip into the floor.
The monster screeched, dripping slimy spit on the floor.
The tentacle thing charged, scuttling forward on its spiny legs. I dashed around the foyer, zigzagging between the columns. Behind me stone shuddered as the creature rammed into a wall, trying to make a sharp turn.
I leapt over the pile of rubble. A tentacle slapped the nearest column, missing my back by half a foot. I sprinted into the darkness, praying there was only one.
The bloodsuckers were almost through the concrete and rebar. Not fast enough. I needed a few more seconds.
A tentacle swiped at my legs.
I jumped, barely clearing it. Out of time.
I cut across the floor, sprinting to the door. Tentacles slapped all around me. I rammed into the door and flung it open. Sunlight bathed the nightmare behind me. Green and blue swirled on the bulbous sack of its body, reacting to sunlight. It froze, momentarily blind.
Wow. That was some serious ugly.
I pulled Sarrat out.
The two longer tentacles whipped toward me. I ducked left and sliced the ropy stem of the nearest tentacle. The monster screeched. Its tentacles flailed. I stepped between them and danced, cutting and striking.
Ichor flew. A few drops landed on my leather vest and smoked, trying to eat through the reinforced leather. Acid blood. If it exploded for an encore, I’d have to get my dad a bouquet of flowers to commemorate his accomplishment.
The creature shrieked, its bleeding tentacles whipping in a frenzy.
The ceiling above it broke. Vampires drained down through the hole, a flood surging through a narrow spout. I landed them on its bulb, pushed, and they ripped into the creature, tearing into it. Acid flew. The first few bloodsuckers fell, immobile, their faces smoking, but more was coming. I concentrated. Twelve bloodsuckers grabbed the nightmare’s legs and yanked in opposite directions. Flesh and connective tissue tore. The beast crashed to the ground.
I picked up my bags and headed deeper into building, leaving the carnage behind me. They would finish the creature or they wouldn’t. Either way it was no longer a threat.
I wished I could see my father’s face when he saw it. “Sorry I melted your monster. It’s only a little dented. I’m sure the insurance would pay for it.”