The In-between – Part 18 of 31

Okay so I’m doing M’s prompts and going to try and do a full month as one long story with no planning. Today it is ‘Forgotten Ruins’.

The instructions are to simply write for ten minutes or so each day and that’s about it. It’s certainly taking me longer than ten minutes but I will keep going with this for as long as I can and see where each days takes this. Either that or Ill stop if no one is reading it because its either too long or too ridiculous.


Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8

Part 9 Part 10 Part 11 Part 12 Part 13 Part 14 Part15 Part16

Part 17

Plumduff strained against her ties as the sisters left and headed away down the stone corridor, two of the curious black creatures taking their place and prowling slowly around where she sat in the middle of the room.

“So what exactly are you then” she asked watching them. They seemed to change form as they moved, and up close they she could now make out that the black mass that made up their form seemed to swirl and move like smoke twisting upwards from a fire into the night sky. They turned to her, eyes burning as she spoke, and one propped it’s from legs on her knees it’s face only inches from Plumduff’s.

“Oh heavens you are a thing indeed aren’t you” she said pulling back as it mirrored her head movements. “Wherever did they find you I wonder?” It’s eyes were like burning suns and up close she realised that in the blackness of their being were feint pinpricks of light. They seemed to be made of the very matter of space itself. Plumduff leaned in towards it and then as if called to heel it leapt down as quickly as it had climbed onto her and continued to pace the room with the other.

She was just about to speak again when there came an almighty crash and shouting from beyond the door. Both creatures set themselves facing it as if ready to pounce.

“Margaret, are you back here?” Came a familiar voice as she kept struggling, the ties cutting into her wrists but not giving even one bit.

“In here” Plumduff shouted. She could have sworn it was O’Rourke. The creatures took a step back as something crashed into the door and it flew open.

“Watch out” Plumduff shouted as the creatures threw themselves through the air crashing into O’Rourke and McCann as they burst into the room.

“Jesus” shouted O’Rourke as all four spilled to the floor.

“Aren’t they beautiful” shouted Plumduff. “I’ve decided to call them ‘shadows’.”

McCann held the black mouth of the shadow back with her sword which was still in the scabbard. “They’re not frigging pets Margaret” she shouted as she got her feet into where it’s stomach would probably be and kicked it off of her and sending it across the room, “this one is trying to eat my bloody face off.”

O’Rourke rose to his feet as the second clung around his next. He spun and threw himself against the wall back first putting the full force of his weight against it and pinning it to the cold stone. It released it’s grip and he grabbed it and hurled it across the room to where the first had got back on al four’s. They waited, ready to pounce but before they had the chance O’Rourke pulled a short stubby pistol from the folds of his robe and let out two shots, each hitting one of the creatures and sending it crashing to the floor.

“That should put pay to them for a while” he said holstering the weapon and pulling out a long bladed bone handled knife which he used to cut Plumduff free. She raced over to the creatures where they lie and as far as she could tell they were still alive.

“They’re okay Margaret” O’Rourke said. “It’s a stunner, use it for bagging runaways.”

“Good, because whatever they are they are special and I want to get them back to office. I’m not sure where the Witches got them but they’re something new and I want to get them catalogued.”

A huge crash and shouting could be heard back down the hall away from the room. O’Rourke pulled his sword from his scabbard and flashed Plumduff and McCann a smile. “Now, shall we get back to your friends, sounds like all hell has been unleashed in there.”

The three ran from the room, Plumduff stopping to close the door and turn the key to secure the shadows inside.

Re-joining Armitage and the rest of the Gadzooks they found themselves cut off from the main entrance pinned down behind a number of fallen bookshelves. The witches Stood at the far side of the room throwing down red and blue blasts from their wands which tore into the makeshift barricades. Sparrow, Jones and Simpson returned fire, poking out their heads precariously and then taking cover again when the witches picked out their positions. A number of Shadows scrambled up the walls in an attempt to out manouver the Gadzooks but Sparrow in particular was a crack shot and he was able to keep them at bay.

My part so far was to mostly hide behind mason who had still not stopped grinning since O’Rourke decided he was not going to wait for the witches one minute longer and instead barged inside and starting destroying everything he could.

“I tried diplomacy” he had insisted, “some people just prefer to learn the hard way.”

As O’Rourke, McCann and Plumduff reappeared I caught their eye and Margaret’s face dropped. She didn’t seem happy to see me.

“Have you got it?” she shouted as a flash or red tore into the wall next to where she had taken cover behind a large piece of fallen masonry.

“Have I got what?”

“The device?”

Plumduff must have seen the confused look on my face. “No, you had it.”

Thought she was still some way away I was pretty convinced she sighed and were a lip reader I would have been more certain that she hadmouthed the words “stupid boy.”

She tried to break cover to scamper over to me but O’Rourke pulled her back just in time and another large section of the building’s outer wall crashed down exactly where she would have been moments later. Through the dust I could make her saying something to them both, and both looked across at me.

“Just stay there” McCann shouted. She really didn’t need to tell me twice, I had exactly zero interest in being anywhere other than out of sight of the witches.

More blasts tore into the shelves and ricocheted into the walls as the witches advanced on out position. Sparrow, Jones and Simpson returned fire but the sisters seem impervious everything they threw at them.

“We need to get out of here” Simpson shouted as a shot ripped right through between myself and Mason. For the first tie he stopped smiling and suddenly looked rather angry, his eyes wide and his nostrils flared.

“You ready to go Mr Armitage?” he asked.

“No, No” I replied. “McCann says to stay here.”

“McCann knows nothing” he shouted and in one movement leapt to his feet and threw himself over the bookshelves straight towards the witches. They had obviously not expected this and both stumbled back at the sight of the rippling bare chested fury bearing down on them. It was just the break we needed and everyone raced back from the barricades and back down the passage which O’Rourke, Plumduff and McCann had just come from.

“Where the dickens are you going” O’Rourke shouted standing up, blasts from the witches just missing his head as they again steadied themselves. Mason was already being overrun by the shadows and they piled on top of him before he could reach the witches. “We never run from a fight.”

McCann dragged him forcefully down the corridor after her reminding him that in fact they did run from a fight, and they did so quite often and that there were by all accounts actually rather good at it.

“We need to get Mason back” Jones said reloading his pistols.

“Afraid that’s out of the question fella, we will deal with that problem later.” O’Rourke replied. Evidently not only were the Gadzooks not afraid to run from a fight but they had no qualms about leaving a man behind either.

“Now get to the end of that corridor” he continued pointing, put a hole through the wall and run like the devil himself is after you back to the courtyard”.

“Where’s Armitage?” Plumduff said looking about panicked. “Where’s the boy.”

Hunkered down behind what was left of the barricade I could hear Mason roaring as he fought with then shadows, and the approaching footsteps of the witches. I looked to where the others had disappeared down the corridor and realised I had left it too late to get out. As I looked back I saw Plumduff peek around the corner and then hastily duck back inside as the stone where her head had previously been was shattered by a well aimed shot from Sadara’s wand.

“Run Margaret” she shouted. “You’re cornered in there, there’s no getting away now.”

They stepped around the barricade and past me. They hadn’t realised I was still there and I was now looking at their backs as they advanced on the Gadzooks and Plumduff. A loud explosion rocked the building and dust billowed from the corridor. I turned to run as they advanced forward thinking that I could maybe make it out of the door as I had the previous time and but tripped as I vaulted the bookshelf and clattered to the floor. Gravita turned as I fell forward and as I lay sprawled on the debris littered the device we had recovered from Periscope spilled from my pocket.

“He has it” she roared and Sadara turned as she unleashed a barrage of brightly coloured shots towards the corridor. With both bearing down I turned onto my back grabbing the device tightly in my hand. Their faces pale and cruel they stooped and lifted me from the floor Sadara holding me to her chest and turning to face where Plumduff now stood looking out at us.

“What’s going on Margaret” O’Rourke shouted as the rest of the Gadzooks bolted through the hole in the wall Taylor had blown.

“The device, I slipped it into the boys pocket last time we were here. I thought he would have realised. Now they have it and they have him.”

“Not much we can do now Margaret, we need to regroup” he replied.

Sadara called to Plumduff. “Not the brightest this one is he Margaret” she teased. “He brought it right back to us, we really could not be more grateful.”

Gravita laughed putting her wand away.

“We’ll be getting off now” Sadara continued. “People to see and places to be and all that.” She waved her wand and a door appeared where they stood and before Margaret could move they disappeared through it and disappeared. Moments later the shadows peeled away from Mason and followed them through.

Plumduff ran forward but before she could get past the barricades it was gone.

 

Part 19