For the A to Z challenge, I present Murder Most Fowl, an unedited serial story from the unpublished Cera Chronicles. Please excuse the grammar mistakes. This hasn’t been critiqued yet. If you’re just diving into this story, you may want to start with part A.
Flashes of blue and yellow light sparked from the bent barrel. A whirring added to the ticking sound. Molly screamed a muffled exclamation.
An arrow struck the glowing ray-gun and shot it from my hand. It exploded in a brilliant display of incandescent light and pelted the ground with liquefied metal.
An eerie cackle howled on the wind, and a second arrow split the dirt between the masked man’s feet. The masked man whipped his remaining gun in the direction and fired.
The manic laughter intensified. A figure leapt from behind a rock. It stood about as tall as my thigh with dark skin painted in a flurry of contrasting colors. A carved wooden mask covered the top half of his face, and stretched as high over his head as he was tall. The top right corner smoldered with rising wisps of black smoke. He brandished filed dagger-like teeth in a grimace. Or maybe it was a grin.
The masked man grunted. “What is th—”
The cackling figure lifted a wooden tube. A blow dart struck the masked man’s neck. He tumbled forward and fell into an undignified sprawl.
“That,” I said, “is a pygmy.” To be precise, my pygmy, Fues.
Fues prodded the masked man with the tip of a hunting knife. “Who he?”
“Don’t know.” I bent and shoved the unconscious man onto his side. When I reached for the mask across his eyes, his hand shot up and grabbed my wrist. Had he woken up? Nothing else about him moved. I dropped him back on his face and shook his grip free. His hand flopped to his side like a de-boned jellyfish. “Did you make him one of those necro-whatsits-slave thingies?”
“No. Different dart.” Fues scrutinized me. “Why I must rescue you? Why you no find me?”
“Hey, give me a break! I’ve been shot, electrocuted, run over, and some bird took off with one of my heels.” I sniffed. Was something burning?
“Too bad. Good shoes.” The corner of his wooden mask glowed orange, on the point of combustion.
I licked my fingers and extinguished the ember. “Do you know where the others are?”
He shook his head. “Only me.”
Molly wormed her way forward. “Mmmphm mmph mmph!”
Oh yeah. I’d been rescuing her, hadn’t I? “Hold your ostriches. I’m coming.” I knelt next to her and untied her gag. “You—”
Thanks for reading! If you want to start at the beginning, find it here. Don’t forget to visit other bloggers participating in the A to Z Challenge.