Glad you could join us for the next crowded episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…
A crash of lightning followed the shape into the bower. Miranda lay senseless beneath the invading mass of muscle and rage.
Colored spots before Elliot’s eyes throbbed in rhythm with his pounding head. He gritted his teeth against the agony in his side. Thinking only of shielding his daughter, he sank into cold, black emptiness. Cassandra’s voice called to him from far, far away.
“Elliot!” Her cry surged and expanded to a scream of desperate cramping lost in the thunder’s drumming.
The beast’s voice rumbled its own thunder. “Where is General’s Assassin?”
Arturo winced as he moved to stand between the Prince and the invader. Clark followed him.
Blazing orange eyes sought the child out. Arturo whispered, “Hide.”
Tail up, Clark faced the creature. “No.” He waited till its eyes met his, then he sprinted forward.
The monster squinted and tilted its head. It raised one fist like a club, exposing its pale belly.
Clark ran for the opening. The fist arced down. Half an instant before it smashed into the ground, the little Stinger zagged sideways, stabbed its other hand, and stood, tail raised, between his mother and the beast.
A squeal of pain escaped the fanged maw as it whipped its swelling hand to its mouth to lick the pitted wound. Arturo strained to rise into the air and propel himself forward. When its forked tongue emerged, Arturo stung it and fell to the floor.
Its eyes streaming, the beast bellowed and thrashed and stomped. The wasp scrambled to protect the Princess, but the creature scooped him up with its tusks and flung him over its head. Shaking the water from its eyes, it reached for Cassandra.
“No Assassin,” it growled, “I take you.”
Another shape skidded into the Bower. “No, you won’t.” Trevor, one arm hanging limp, sprang feet first at the hulk, knocking it onto its back. The Knight jumped on its chest and swung his marauder fang, missing when the beast rolled over to pin him down.
Another flash glared around the new silhouette in the doorway, thunder exploding on top of them.
“Hey, git offa ’im before I hafta hurt youse.”
The creature swiveled its head toward Barry, its lips curled back to show its fangs and deformed tongue. “You next,” it sneered, lowering its mouth to Trevor’s neck.
Knight Barry leaped onto its back, slashing at its throat and pulling it off Trevor onto the floor. In silence, they watched it convulse to an end.
Moaning, Princess Cassandra asked, “How is Elliot? Is Cyrus back yet?”
Arturo pulled himself up to stagger back to the Prince. Feeling his pulse, he said, “He’s still alive, your Elegance, but weaker than he was.” He began searching the area. “Where’s the baby?”
Patting his mother’s face, Clark called over his shoulder, “Uncle Elliot hid her — she’s right inside his shell. Mama? What’s wrong with my mama? She won’t wake up.”
Cassandra’s voice tightened around her panic. “She said there’s another baby.”
To be continued. . .