Tuesday, January 21, 2014

At death's door

Ch’Voga, weak and nauseated, drifted in and out of reality.  His bonds were so tight he could not feel his arms and legs and to make matters worse, his Monotooth, the one who had captured him, had drained off some blood before the battle, making him light-headed.  He had no idea where he was, it was far too dark but he thought it to be one of the Legion trailers.

The door slid open letting in a shaft of sunlight.  A figure in a long coat stood silhouetted in the doorway.  Jacques?  No.  As it moved forward, Ch’Voga could make out long, floppy ears, thick glasses and an army uniform underneath.  He knew this one.  It was so hard to remember… Corporal… Basset!  Yes.  Nice fellow.  Nervous.  Superstitious.  He had listened intently to Ch’Voga but had only been looking for new practices which might bring him luck.  He wanted desperately to survive this place and go home and marry some girl there and he thought if he just had the right talisman…

Ch’Voga’s monotooth reached down from the top of a cabinet and put an end to all of Cpl. Basset’s hopes with a pierced eye and a long drink.  Ch’Voga clamped his own eyes shut, the only part of his body he had control over.  Still he heard a whimper and a rapid tapping as the Corporal’s body convulsed.  Sometimes it was worse not to see.  Slowly the tapping stilled and the ‘tooth released him.  He fell in the opening, a heap of limbs and rags.  Ch’Voga said a prayer for him and found he had enough moisture for tears but whether for the Corporal or for himself, he knew not.

Some time later a second Monotooth bound in through the open door and over the corpse.  It looked wounded and strangely, did not hide in the many shadows but lingered in the shaft of daylight.  Ch’Voga watched, confused and fearful and soon he heard a voice outside.

“Corporal!  Corporal, can you hear me?  Aw damn.  I think they got Basset.  No, not in the command trailer.  We can’t risk it.  We’ll have to clear them out by hand.”  By..?  No!  Ch’Voga wanted to scream, it’s a trap!  They’re waiting for you!  A boot crunched outside.  A shadow moved into the doorway, it was Sergeant Macomber.  The Monotooth above the cabinet readied itself.  Ch’Voga’s raised heartbeat pounded at the sides of his eyes, he tried to wiggle free of his bonds, to scream, anything and only succeeded in bringing the black-out that much sooner.

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