December 23rd, 2012 | Published in Haventon Chronicles
Anna knew she should be panicked by the feeling of Ragnar’s knife against her neck but somehow instead an unnatural calm was sliding over her. She didn’t think she could panic if she wanted to. Not that she wanted to, she needed a clear head to get out of this. Though even with the unnatural calm it was hard to concentrate because her her hands suddenly felt like the bones were about to tear through her skin. She risked a glance at them but could see nothing wrong.
He would be rescuers had frozen at his threat to her and if they hesitated until sunset he’d have the upper hand and she would never escape if that happened. Her mind raced through various options but she could think of but none of them were likely to get him to move the knife even momentarily.
“Let the girl go, Ragnar,” the blonde vampire said. “Killing her won’t stop us killing you.”
“Like not killing her will stop you killing me either, Leisa,” he snarled. “You’ve been trying to kill me for centuries.”
“Don’t worry about me!” Anna blurted, taking advantage of the fact that he could not silence her without either releasing her or moving the knife. “He’s trying to stall until sunset and I’d rather be dead than turned by-” She broke off with a gasp as Ragnar pressed the knife harder against her throat drawing a drop of blood. Her heart skipped thinking she’d pushed him too far but the eerie calm soon reasserted itself and for some reason her the tearing pain in her hands increased.
“Hush, dear Anna,” he said. “Or I’ll slice your vocal cords to do it.”
Anna didn’t say anything. She’d said enough for them to know how she felt anyway. She scanned her would-be rescuers again and saw that Tanya was staring at her hands. She looked down at them again and only that unnatural calm stopped her screaming. The skin on her hands was twisting and bubbling as the bones shifted beneath it in a most unnatural way. What the hell was going on?
Ragnar suddenly jerked her sideways, snapping her chains in the process. “Move!” He started edging sideways towards the stairs, back still against the wall. “We’re leaving now.” He edged around the corner and started backing up the stairs. “Don’t follow us if you value Anna’s life.”
Anna considered struggling but that would probably just make him knock her out again and she needed to be conscious if she was to find an opportunity to escape. He’d have to relax his grip to get into the car if she seemed compliant maybe he wouldn’t knock her out and she’d have a chance.
He dragged her across the ruined kitchen, out through the back door and into the tree overgrown garden. After a moment she heard him swearing and twisting her head she saw a car with slashed tyres, except they looked more like they’d been torn out by claws than slashed with a knife.
“They must have a car of their own nearby. We’ll take that.” he began to push her back towards the road, but his grip on her had loosened somewhat and he gave a shudder as if he was afraid.
It wasn’t much of a chance but it might be her only one. She struck back with her elbows and dropped down and broke free, surprised by how slowly he reacted. Yes, he was injured and yes it was daylight but surely his reflexes should be faster than this? She span around and struck at his stomach with her hand. Then froze as blood erupted from where she had hit him. She looked down and saw that her hands had ceased their strange flux and sprouted fur and claws.
“T-that can’t be!” Ragnar stared at her in horror then lunged at her with the blade. She ducked under it easily and swiped at him again, ripping his stomach open. He shrieked and she thought he would attack again but then he looked past her, swore again and stumbled away into the trees. She looked around to see her would be rescuers gathered behind her.
She looked down at her hands, which were slowly returning to normal, then back at them. “What is going on?” she asked before fainting.