Thursday, October 20, 2011
The Master Race by Nomar Knight - for your Halloween reading pleasure
Salvador Ramos carried his six-year-old daughter through the moonlit forest, hoping he could lose the government's elimination squad–Fire Walkers. He needed to cross the border or they'd take his only child.
"Papa, am I going to see Momma again?" She lifted her head off his shoulder.
His heart tightened but he managed to hide his emotions, hoping his wife, Evangelina, made it safely to the other side. He whispered, "Nothing could keep your mother away from you, Crystal."
The cover of trees thinned, providing him with a clear view of an ancient tunnel. The locals called it the Tunnel of Tortured Souls. Tribal leaders had sacrificed many lives to appease the moon god. He froze, gulping saliva down his throat. "Crystal, let's play a game." he trained his stare until she met his gaze.
"I want to walk, papa."
"When we get through the tunnel, but now I need you to close your eyes and no matter what you hear, keep them closed. You promise?"
Crystal said, "Okay."
Salvador saw one of the soldiers slumped over, partially hidden by shrubs. He inched his way in a semicircle formation, careful to become one with his environment. The stench of death reached his keen sense of smell.
He wondered how many of them waited inside. His heart pounded for he knew the Fire Walkers were ruthless. Crystal's warm breath contrasted with a cold breeze humming through the tunnel. Shadows sprung to life by torches, exaggerating their silhouettes as if Quasimoto himself dared to defy the Fire Walkers.
The grunge arched ceiling loomed larger. For the first time, Salvador doubted himself. He almost cursed at the wind for aiding the enemy, but bit his lip. A familiar scent alerted his heightened senses to more death. With every step, his arms became numb. Considering that twenty four hours ago, he was in a wheel chair, a little discomfort was worth the price of freedom.
He stopped. Another dead Fire Walker lay before him. His lifeless eyes accompanied by a frozen state of horror.
Salvador whispered, “We’re almost there, sweetheart.”
Two Fire Walkers jumped in front of his path. One aimed a flamethrower, the other a crossbow. “Hold it! Give us the girl!”
Salvador cupped Crystal’s head to keep her from looking. While earlier he thought the howling wind created a disadvantage, he grinned at how the torch flames made the shadows come alive. Together, the elements provided the perfect cover for their protector.
The flame carrying Fire Walker asked, “What are you smiling at? You’re going to die.”
“Papa, what’s happening?” Crystal shuddered.
The other soldier repeated, “Give us the girl. You don’t want her to be condemned to a life of darkness, do you? Let us save her.”
Salvador gazed behind his enemies. A dark shadow approached at blazing speed.
“Papa, I smell momma.”
Salvador almost felt sorry for the two Fire Walkers. Evangelina struck quick. Fangs penetrating, blood drained.
She wiped her mouth. “Baby!”
The mortal child jumped in her arms, “Momma!”
by Nomar Knight (c) 2010