Sikal moved to the middle of the alleyway and rocketed off the ground, levitating in the air above me. Menacingly, he swooped down, just barely missing my head with a flaming sword that had materialized out of the air. Ducking, I flattened myself against the cold, damp pavement. Sikal landed on the ground behind me. I extended one leg straight out and pivoted around in a quick circle on my other. Landing on his back, Sikal grunted and then a low growl escaped his throat.
Sikal threw a lightning bolt at me; I swirled around behind me grabbing a mirror and swung back around to reflect the bolt back at the demonlord. During my training, Drew taught me that magical weather forces bounce off of glass surfaces. Just as the lightning bolt reaches him, Sikal levitated into the air like a rocket ship launching. It exploded on the brick wall at the back of the alley and set a couple of wooden crates on fire. From the corner of my eye, I can see Drew rush over and, materializing a bucket of water, put the flames out.
The demonlord laughs and then retaliated by shooting a fireball in my direction. As soon as I felt the heat of the fire, I threw myself on the ground and rolled over to a pile of debris. Rapidly I picked up various pieces of the garbage as the fireball went by and doused them in flames. Launching each piece at Sikal, I felt my hands get burnt a little.
After that attack, Sikal resorted to magic that wasn’t based on nature. He wasn’t using the elements of the Earth to fight this battle anymore. His eyes went black as he summoned a black hole and formed an abyss in the middle of the alleyway. A second image of Sikal appeared behind me and I realized that he’d cloned himself. Before I had a chance to react, the demonlord’s clones pushed me forward and I tried to regain my balance as I teetered back and forth over the edge of the black hole.
“Foul!” I heard behind me.
“Agreed.” Lady Anilesa’s voice sounded like an angel’s from where I was trying to keep my balance.
“Sikal, you know that it’s against the rules to bring a black hole into this dimension during daylight hours, do you not?” Tismen asked the demonlord.
“Right.” Sikal growled as the black hole disappeared from under me. “I forgot that it was daylight out.”
“Carry on.” Tismen commanded from his seat and I sent a silent thank you to both of them.
We continued exchanging attacks in this manner for two hours before I began to tire. Dodging, ducking and jumping Sikal’s flaming sword was beginning to take its toll on my body. My reaction time was declining and my precision was beginning to fail. I began to expect defeat and accept the loss of my own soul. I had given the best I could without the use of magic, I reasoned with myself. No one could blame me for not being able to defeat a powerful demonlord.
I was in the middle of a jack rabbit attack when I felt the sword slice into my skin followed by an extreme heat and the smell of burning flesh. I had been wounded right along my stomach and I felt ready to pass out. As I let out a piercing scream, Sikal released the laugh of a devil.
“What made you think that you could defeat a demonlord without magic? Was it him? Did he also tell you that he lost his soul once? Or that he isn’t mortal anymore? Why would you trust something like that?” He taunted me, pointing the sword in the direction of Drew.
A small red dot appeared in the middle of Drew’s forehead and slowly, I realeased that the flaming sword was now nothing more than a teacher’s laser pointer. Seizing the only opening I’d seen the entire battle, I lunged my entire body at Sikal, managed to grasp an arm and trip him forward onto the pavement. As crimson blood splattered the surrounding brick, the gravel pavement, and Sikal’s black trenchcoat, I stood over the demonlord’s head and pulled his arm backwards until it lay parallel with his body. The sounds of bones cracking and Sikal screaming were followed by an uproar of applause and Drew’s voice shouting, “Now!” What followed next I only know from the reports of Tismen and Lady Anilesa and from my all too hazy memories.
Of course, at first I thought I was hallucinating. My second thought was that I had died. Sadly, when I thought I was dead, I was relieved. I said to myself, “At least this way, Sikal won’t get your soul and you died fighting for the honor of all those who had fallen before you.” When I realized I wasn’t dead, I was slightly disappointed because I assumed I had lost the battle and that the demonlord was the proud new owner of my soul.
I vaguely remember seeing the people that I had met over the past two months. They started appearing out of no where. Some came down over the sides of the surrounding apartment buildings; a couple appeared out of thin air; others crawled out from around the debris; and a few just walked into the alleyway like they had been waiting out by the street for some signal. It felt weird seeing Andrew, Michelle, Sandra, Freddie, Timothy and Paula at the battle. When Katie showed up, my nausea got worse because I began to worry about her safety. I tried to scream out to the others that she was just a little girl and shouldn’t have to be subjected to this kind of violence, but no one could hear me. The only thing coming from my mouth was blood.
Anthromagic by Crystal and Pamela MacLean is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.