Everything Grandpa had taught me over a thousand years earlier came flooding back. Images of the old man and the Condius Cepa vividly alive in my mind. I was thankful for that.
The tiny woman with the horrific cloak has fought with a power and speed that is utterly terrifying. Her attacks have an intensity I have never experienced either in The Then or The Now. So fast is Black Annis that I battled without thought, without emotion, but with long buried body memory of tactics and moves hammered into me by rote, and the hardest knocks of life.
I was astounded initially, after felling the blonde headed Black Annis with a well placed, close range shotgun blast. The solid round to the head did no more than tear her ear! But moreso, that she grinned. Actually grinned at me, and then leapt at me! Worse, not only did the second blast merely slow her, but the wee psychopath was able to turn and run. Her torso filled with lead shot!
After trailing her, sprinting down the corridor of the train behind her, as we were leaping from car to car, it dawned on me as she leapt over Maude. Black Annis had not just ambushed Maude, a seriously formidable Goddess in her own right, but grievously wounded her. And then she had stopped Cat nearly dead in her tracks! Slicing her face apart with a terrible blow from a kitchen knife! The only one that seemed to have any success was Sardine. Even then it was fleeting, with Sardine being rendered unconscious almost instantly.
And then, unbelievably, I actually caught her and ran her through with a kukri. And she still had managed to flit! Shot, impaled, ear half blown away and nose all but chewed off by Sardine! And Black Annis could still time slip! Worse, she is still fighting, and the only weapon she has is a bloody filleting knife! Every lock, she breaks. Every punch she takes as if no more than a gentle slap on the cheek! She is gouging and clawing and biting and I don’t even know when I am! I flit back to the train, and she whips me away again and again and again! Yet, I still manage to hold the big knife in her shoulder, but it seems to have no effect on her! But I can still timeslip, yet I can’t believe I am able while I fight. I’m even getting the time right the majority of times.
She will not tire, she will not give in! She is hurt, and I am beginning to tire. I pray it doesn’t show, because with that knowledge she will take all from me, and I will have nothing. No life. No life!
Now, I am faltering, I am failing! I am lost, I am a losing breath, I am seeing spots. I am tasting bile, I am still fighting with all I have……………
We have stopped flitting.
She has stopped fighting.
She has stopped fighting?
Cat is grabbing her around the legs.
Maude is stabbing her through the hip.
Cat is punching her, hard. Repeatedly.
Her jaw has collapsed.
Now she is sleeping.
I am not sure if I am going to vomit, or cry, or both.
I shut my eyes.
I am done.
I am done.
The night is taking me,
I have just fought the devil,
And may Death take her back to Hell.
Nick Cave and Jack the Ripper lurk behind the tentacles above.
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