The Guild – Chapter 5 – Kaitlyn

Another installment for Kaitlyn!

 

The heavy metal door slams shut behind me. The sound echoes through the building with a certain finality. I spin on my heel and pound my hands against the cold, rusted metal. I desperately reach for a handle, but it’s gone. There are two little square indents where it looks like it used to be.

“Hello, Kat.”

My heart skips. He was waiting for us… “Andrei! Get out of here!” I scream at the door. Can he hear me? “Andr-”

My face and chest slams into the door. I cry out involuntarily. Metal to the face hurts. Logan digs his elbow into my back between my shoulders.

“So nice of you to drop in,” I feel his warm breath on my ear. “It looks like you brought a present for me too. I really must thank you.”

“He won’t be your pawn.” I growl through grit teeth.

Logan snickers, “Sure, it may take some convincing, but I’m sure he’ll see things my way. I’m very convincing, as I’m sure you know.”

I stomp my heel into his foot and he stumbles back. I flip over and hold my palms out, “I’ll give you one more chance, Logan. Stop all this craziness, and come home.” I whisper, almost begging.

The blond tips his head, frowning, “Home? That place is no home.” He reaches up to tuck hair behind my ear,  “You of all people know that.”

I shake my head, “The Guild is our home. Whatever you’ve been told, they’re lies!”

He crosses his arms and sighs, “Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn, Kaitlyn… When have I ever led you astray?”

I hesitate. I can’t think of an argument. He was always there, helping me… but still. My lip quivers, “This time you’re wrong… This is wrong.”

The back of his hand swipes across my face. My cheek burns, and my eyes start to sting. His bright blue eyes glare wildly down at me, “Wake up, Kat! This is the future! Why should we be forced to hide, and let these lesser beings run the show?! Just one of us is worth a dozen of them!”

“No…” I whimper. How did the boy I grew up with turn into such a monster? How could I have let this happen?

Logan’s face twists with anger like I’ve never seen before, “You will see things my way, Kaitlyn! I’ll make sure of it!”

He lunges toward me. I throw my hands up in instinct. They spark, but it fizzles. I can’t breathe. That’s never happened before. It’s always stronger when I’m scared.

Logan chuckles, and then laughs loudly. “Oh, innocent little Kat. Did you think I’d be here, if I didn’t have that pesky habit of yours under control?”

I stare at my palms, shaking violently. I will the flames to come, but there’s nothing. The power stops short. Even with the enchanted gloves, I can still conjure flames with some effort. “It’s not possible…”

“Oh, but it is.” Logan smiles. It sends a shiver down my spine. “You see, the Master is much stronger than any of those so called ‘Guardians.’ He’s quite eager to meet you.”

I clench my fists. Damn it. I don’t even have Rhoan. I really screwed myself this time. Stupid Logan. I don’t care what he says, I’m not going to see that lunatic. Instead, I punch him square in the gut. He doesn’t see it coming, and doubles over with a groan. I punch him in the jaw and he falls back.

“Cheap shot, Kat.” He complains, rubbing his jaw as he lays on the floor. “I had hoped to settle this peacefully…” I sighs.

The shadows move. Uh oh. Six different creatures step into the dim light, filtering in through dirty windows. Each one looks like a mishmash of random animal parts. Just looking at them makes my stomach churn. I try not the think about how they were made… Woops. Too late.

I move to step back, but I’m met with that stupid door. My odds are not looking good… I briefly consider the idea of surrender, but something tells me Andrei wasn’t smart enough to run. Not to mention the other kidnapped students. Rhoan will think of something, I hope.

Logan gets up and retreats to the back of the empty room. Being that I have no weapon, and apparently no magic, I opt for a strategy of evasion. I roll between their legs, duck under punches, and try to maneuver so that they hit each other. It doesn’t take long before I’m drenched in sweat and gasping for breath. Gotta keep moving.

My lungs burn and my body screams, exhausted. I can’t keep up my speed. Claws catch on my arm, on my leg, on my hair. The floor starts to get slippery with smears of blood. I blink away the sweat dripping into my eyes. I’m sure I look like a raccoon, with eyeliner running down my face.

The ceiling erupts, debris showers the room and someone screams, a wordless battle cry. I scramble out of the way as the monsters stumble blindly. As the dust settles, one of the creatures is down, sword sticking up out of its head. Andrei stands proudly on top of it, covered head to toe in a fine powder of dust.

“Sorry for the hold up,” He yanks the sword out, “Did you start the party without me?” He winks at me. I tip my head, in a silent question. Does it look like I’m having fun? He back-flips off the creature and lands on the floor near me. He falters slightly, favoring the leg he cut earlier. I guess it’s still sore. He glances down at me and frowns, “You really should reconsider the eyeliner.”

On second thought, I don’t feel so bad that his leg still hurts. “Is this really the time to question my fashion sense?”

“You’re right. I should have mentioned it earlier.” His smile twitches up at the side. “By the way… I found the kids. They’re out.” He hisses, “Don’t let Logan know, though.”

I glare at the man standing across the room, watching us with mild curiosity. He looks quite pleased with himself. The monsters seem to be waiting for his command.

“I don’t think he cares anymore.” I mutter bitterly.

“Still a leg up, I’d say.” He studies the monsters. “Let’s take these out. You go left, I’ll go right.”

I wipe my face with my sleeves, hoping to get most of the black off. “I can’t.”

“Why not?” His head snaps back.

I pout, feeling my pride kick in, “Do you think they’d still be alive if I could do anything?”

“Sorry, Andrei, was it?” Logan calls over, “Just a little handicap I threw in. Didn’t want this to be too boring.”

Andrei looks between us, confused. “So… You can’t use your fire?” I shake my head. “Crap… Okay. We can still do this. We’ll just share Rhoan.”

“Whoa, there.” Rhoan warns.

“Shut up.” I snap. This is no time for his dirty humor.

“I’ll take one out, then I’ll toss him to you, and vice-versa. Okay?”

I nod. It’s not like I have a better plan. Honestly, I didn’t have a plan to begin with.

Andrei dashes across the room, faster than I can see. The monsters start to move again. The blur of the boy appears behind one on the left. It stumbles and falls to one knee with a gurgling cry. Andrei hops over the alligator tail as it swats at him, and tosses the blade over its head. It spins in the air so that the handle faces me.

I barely manage to catch it, flowing with its momentum, and slash the throat of the one to my right. Blood sprays across my face, as if I could look any worse anyway. I slice off a leg so it falls over to bleed to death. Then, still in one fluid movement, I finish the spin to launch Rhoan back to Andrei.

He lops the head off the one in front of him, and disembowels a second. Two more. I catch the sword and charge the one closest to me. I’m not as nimble as I normally would be, exhaustion taking its toll. As I leap up to hit it from above, it catches me by the neck in it’s bear claw. Undeterred, I stab it through the shoulder, into where I assume it’s heart should be. It thrashes. I lose my grip on Rhoan as I slam into the wall.

The beast howls. The bear arm tumbles away from the creature’s body. My vision is a little blurry, or is that just ‘cause he’s moving too fast? I don’t know anymore. Everything hurts. The wall is cold. It feels nice.

The last of the beasties falls over. Some of them are still twitching. Slow clapping from the other end of the room. Logan looks over the mess with a smile. What the hell is he thinking?

“Well done.” Logan praises, “The Master will be so pleased to have you on board!”

“Like hell he will!” Andrei sneerss, charging at him.

“Another time, perhaps.” Purplish-black energy swirls around behind Logan, it swallows him, and he’s gone  in the blink of an eye.

Andrei screams wordlessly. I hit my head on the wall. All that for nothing. Back to square one…

“No! Where’d he go?!” Andrei stomps across the room, stepping over bodies. “You didn’t say he could teleport! That would have been nice to know.”

“He can’t.” I snap defensively, “That wasn’t him. I’d bet it was that Master person he was referring to.”

“Agreed.” Rhoan adds, shifting into the form of the fox. He licks the back of my bloody hand, and looks up at me with concerned eyes.

“And you knew he was involved with him? And didn’t tell me? You have to tell me everything if we’re going to be partners! The plan could have been better knowing that he could teleport!” Andrei rants, out of breath and drenched in sweat.

“I didn’t know!” I yell, and immediately feel embarrassed. I don’t like yelling. “Contrary to what you might think, I don’t have all the answers. I told you everything I knew. I’m sorry.”

The boy throws his hands up and turns away. I watch him walk in circles, stretching his limbs while also examining the bodies. I don’t blame him for being upset, but how was I supposed to know he would get away?

“Kat?” Rhoan paws at my leg. I turn my head to look down. “Are you alright?”

I heave a sigh and go back to watching the angry boy. “He cut me off from my magic.” I state, not sure I believe it, in hindsight. “All my life, I’ve lived in fear of the fire… but now… Now that someone can take it away, I’ve never been so scared.”

Rhoan climbs onto my lap and curls up. I welcome the warmth. “Perhaps we should return to the Guild and seek guidance?”

“We can’t just leave them here, with Logan still around.” I disagree.

“Then don’t leave them here.” His head perks up, “What’s that smell?”

I glance around, “You mean, aside from the dead things?” I scoff, but then I get a whiff. It burns my eyes and my nose, all the way down my throat. “Oh, god! What the hell?” I cough, covering my mouth and nose.

Andrei reappears in front of me, “Don’t breathe it in, cover your face! There’s a door just over there.” He points to where Logan had been. I try to hold my breath. “Come on, get up!” He urges.

I push against the wall to support myself, but my legs aren’t having it. My knees buckle and I slide back down. “Damn it.” I cough.

“Hold onto me.” Andrei instructs. He puts my arm over his shoulders, and slides his arm around my waist. I push the knots in my stomach to the back of my mind and focus on not tripping over my own feet.

“This way,” Rhoan yells. A little yellow thing flies around up ahead. My eyes sting like crazy, and everything is a blur.

Finally, we’re flooded with sunlight and crisp cold air. Andrei stops and crouches down. I let myself fall over and roll onto my back. The fresh air helps to clear the effects of the acidic gas. I pull the inside of the collar of my shirt up to wipe my eyes so I can see again. It comes away black and bloody. I wonder if I look like a monster myself, covered in blood and eyeliner. I drape my arm over my eyes to block the sun and wait for my heart to stop racing.

“Are you okay, Kaitlyn? Rhoan?” Andrei asks. I hold up a thumbs up. He chuckles, “Well, I don’t know about you, but I could use a coffee.”

 

By Krystyna Yates

Kiki's Tales

    The heavy metal door slams shut behind me. The sound echoes through the building with a certain finality. I spin on my heel and pound my hands against the cold, rusted metal. I desperately reach for a handle, but it’s gone. There are two little square indents where it looks like it used to be.

    “Hello, Kat.”

    My heart skips. He was waiting for us… “Andrei! Get out of here!” I scream at the door. Can he hear me? “Andr-”

    My face and chest slams into the door. I cry out involuntarily. Metal to the face hurts. Logan digs his elbow into my back between my shoulders.

    “So nice of you to drop in,” I feel his warm breath on my ear. “It looks like you brought a present for me too. I really must thank you.”

    “He…

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