Placing and pressing the palm of her enormous hand against Cat’s torn face, Maude, still in the form of a Goddess, quietly uttered words from another time and place. The deep, horrific cut slowly began heal, as did her ruptured eye.
“I’m so sorry Cat,” apologised Maude quietly, “whilst I can fix the cut there will be scarring. Sadly you will never have sight from that eye again, however, the eye itself has regained its form, but, again the scarring has rendered it useless. My powers can only do so much.”
The relief from the intense pain Cat was suffering was palpable. Returned to her human form, Cat lay naked on the grass beside the railway tracks. The livid pink scar of the deep knife wound stood proudly against her peaches and cream complexion. Running from the centre of her hair-line, the newly formed repair stretched across her still damaged eye, over her cheek, ending roughly five centimetres beyond the lower aspect of her jaw. Had it been deeper at the lower end point, how close to having had carotid artery opened was apparent to all.
Sardine rose groggily from the ground beside her, only to flop back down onto her left side. Remaining there for a full minute before successfully raising herself once more.
“When I am finished with Black fucking Annis…………………….” growlled Cat, only to be abruptly cut off mid sentence by the sound of Bast screaming.
Appearing like a pair of thrashing wraiths, Bast and Black Annis fought on the ground not two metres from Maude. Slashing and punching and gouging at each other, time flitting away, then returning the present of the others, each time slightly more injured than the time before. Remaining for mere seconds, the pair vanished again, flitting away to a time unknown within The Now. On every return, the violence of their combined actions was no less intense than when the first vanished, Bast obviously clinging to Black Annis by the kukri she had stabbed remorselessly through her shoulder, refusing to let her escape, and once more the pair disappeared. This went on for what seemed like a lifetime to the observer, yet would have occured over nought more than a few minutes.
“Maude! Have you still got your knife?” yelled the still nude Cat.
In answer, Maude drew the large, heavy bladed, inwardly curved kukri – a knife that was originally designed to remove the heads of cattle – from the belt around her waist.
“When they return, I’ll grab the bitch, and you stab her. Leave the knife in her, and don’t let go. Once you’ve done that, I’ll try to knock the scurvy slag out.”
As if heard across the ether, Bast and Black Annis reappeared at the end of Cats sentence. Cat diving into the battle, catching their adversary around the legs, pinning her to the ground. Maude leapt forward, and stabbed Black Annis hard through her waist, pinning her through her pelvis to the ground beneath her. Cat jumped to her feet leaving Maude attached to Black Annis by her knife. She, delivered a withering straight right to the point of Black Annis’s chin, snapping her head back, denting the grass beneath her head. Pulling her fist back, she repeated the process. After the fourth blow her jaw broke, folding in on itself. With that, Black Annis slumped unconscious in the arms of Bast, Cat gave Black Annis two more for good measure, then stood panting, shaking her fingers out, reducing the pain in her fist. Blood trickled from her split knuckles, down her fingers, leaving ruby drops against the green grass.
Realising that Black Annis was no longer capable of time slipping for the moment, Bast let go, falling to the ground panting. Face splattered with her own blood, and that of Black Annis, her chest rising and falling hard, dragging in breath after sweet breath of glorious air. Maude still gripped the kukri impaling Black Annis, the thought of letting go an abhorrence to her.
Moving quickly away, Cat’s shapeless green dress reformed covering her naked form. Her boots following suit, returning to her feet, and then she ran, straight back to the battered old beetle.
Opening the car door, she dove into the driver’s seat, and turned the key. The vehicle after a number of attempts, refused to start, the lights having drained the battery. Cursing, she jumped back out, and ran back to the others.
“The bloody car won’t start.” she half yelled at Maude. “The scurvy bloody battery is as flat as Jean d’Arc’s chest! Maude, have you got any tricks up your Goddess sleeve?”
“As a matter of fact I do.” was the reply. “Come and keep hold of the knife, and I’ll sort it.”
Swapping positions, Maude strode quickly back to the car, reefed the door open, excitedly turning the key.
“Christ on a scurvy bike! I’ve broken the key in the pox ridden ignition!” cursed Maude.
With Cat looking back past the train at Maude still seated in the car, her head bent forward leaning on the steering wheel, she said. “You are fucking kidding me! What the bloody hell are we going to now if we can’t get the car going? Do you know how to hot wire it?”
As Maude slowly shook her head back at Cat, Black Annis groaned unheard, the blood of her wounds pooling on her cloak beneath her.
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