Episode VII: Ranch Dance (2) Pt.3

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Out the front door Cabil rushed out, fully garbed, partially ready to take on anything; his exhaustion slowed his pace, the realization that no one was outside now dawning on him. He could have sworn that kid said something about late night workers in the field, but the area stood vacant. Veering to the backhouse, he noticed the door slightly ajar, but before he could motion towards suspicion, the geezer crept out of the ranch house.

"Berk? Berk is that you?" He shuffled down the porch adjusting his cap over his silver short cut, his milk-hazel eyes reading Cabil.

"Waller, you should go back ins—"


A crunching bloody splatter slapped Cabil's stunned face. The mangled decapitated head of his former employer wedged between a set of fangs, and he couldn't do anything but stare back at it. Cabil fell stupor, this abrupt mutilation struck him mere inches away from his frozen person. The old man gasped for air, his dry chapped lips shuddering as the de-crowned body collapsed before them. Premolars in his temple burrowed down, spurting his eyeballs out of their crushed sockets. The behemoth snapped his jowl shut, a satisfying grunt escaping his flat nares as Cabil tensed with an overwhelming intimidation.

The colossal hunched back with piercing ridges down its vertebrae, a black steel layered coat, and sharp coiled horns on the top sides of its reptilian head and bottom jaws. This was something Cabil had never seen before. He was accustomed to this level of brutality, but not this type of Dessarian; a metallic, quad-eyed, thirty-foot towering forest dweller.

"I told him to stay in tonight. The old man was never a good listener." The unmasking of Graice's true self was no surprise to Cabil as she emerged from the back house, blood plastered on her apron. "Don't you touch him, Junior; you're goin' to need a new father since you so kindly disposed of the prune. Saved me the trouble." She grinned, licking the red off her fingertips.

Cabil drew arms, cautiously on the defensive, stepping back from the demon. "Can't help but feel out of place in this family reunion."

"Now, don't be shy, Berk; I'll take mighty good care of ya," the grey woman promised with darkness in her voice. "I know this is all very confusin', so allow me to explain: Junior here is my son; together we've lived in our beloved Herith for decades, and occasionally, I'll travel through the outskirts for fresh meat. 'Cause you see, we both need the nutritious, delicious vitality of man to survive; but Junior was cursed with this inconceivable body and cannot transport his soul into another vessel. I, on the other hand, can. This body has long lost its luster, and I've a-been huntin' for a beautiful, strong, young Gathian gal to impose upon! Junior here has incredible strength, in exchange for his... offensive appearance. And where do you step in, well, that's rather self-explanatory. I've lost my interest in that codger, but he did love me so. I had my reasons for keepin' my son at bay; as you can see, my little boy don't play nice."

"Sorry, but I'm not interested in playing daddy to a demon," he replied in a snicker, "and I'm definitely not interested in fucking one." In a compound burst, the flames of his powers vented up his fists, the behemoth quick to circle him.

"Oh, we got a feisty one!" She smiled, an air of arrogance wafting over her face. A finger stroked her chin. "That's unfortunate. If you don't reconsider, Junior here won't have any reason to keepin' you alive."

"The feeling is mutual."

"Stubborn boy. Well, if you insist, sic' em!"

A shrill battle cry followed absolute absurdity! What a wicked speed for one his size; Cabil instantly found himself in the crushing clutch of Junior, his corroding breath basking his face. With the composition of his sheath clear up close, the classed warrior confirmed it an alloy of metals. What a great way to make matters worse; a rare resistance to his pyrogenic powers. Cabil had an approach for this worst-case scenario, but he needed a demanding amount of urja.

"Guess I'll have to give into the challenge!" Cabil declared, a scorching inferno engulfing him in white intrinsic energy. The burst pushed the demon away, his talons already thawing. Given the chance, Cabil made a savage attack, cleaving the behemoth's chest with rapid fierce punches mid-flight. Delivering wave after wave of heat, Junior anchored his ground, absorbing shock after shock, until the blows became slower and less impactful. Cabil neglected his intelligence, and truthfully, underestimated his opponent for the common brute type demon. As his chest cleaved open to vulnerable flesh, Junior swung Cabil by his leg, tossing him into terrain.

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