by Haunted Sox
entry for 8/21 world weavers championship prompt 6: drama - approx. 522 words
|The landscape was dark, strewn with black rocks covered in places in drifts of ash. Fires smoldered in the wrecks of massive airships. Desolate did not begin to describe the scene. The battle held here must have been massive. Beaoul stepped out into the landscape through the portal at Mira’s side. Mira was the Queen of Darkness, and no doubt the instigator of this massive destruction. An army dressed in dark gray armor stood at attention in front of them. They were all Sanruphruph, a species of shapeshifters genetically engineered and conditioned by Mira for strict obedience.
At the head of the battalion stood Meorgh, Mira’s loyal general, “All resistance has been flattened. May I present the last of the enemy commanders?”
Mira nodded and laughed giddily. Behind her and Beaoul stood a dozen hellhounds like Beaoul. Well, not quite like Beaoul. She was unique, the only female hellhound, and the only one possessed of intelligent self-awareness. The hellhounds milled and snarled intimidating Mira’s army as much as the short string of captives arriving from the rear of the army.
“I assume you now realize, this is my world!” Mira announced. The captives just stared at the ground just as desolate as their once beautiful world. “Now, what to do with you? You should have had the good sense to die in the battle. Now your fate is, less clean. Hellhounds, you may have the captives.”
Beaoul felt the pressure of Mira’s will goading the other hellhounds into attacking only the captives. They quickly closed the distance. The idea of watching the hellhounds tear the captives limb from limb made Beaoul queasy. For the first time in front of Mira, Beaoul found her voice, “Mistress, wouldn’t it be better for the hellhounds to just scratch them? They’ll still die,” Beaoul snarled. The hellhounds stalled in their approach to the prisoners.
Mira turned and stared at her. It was the first time Beaoul had ever seen her mistress truly surprised by anything. Mira raised an eyebrow, “You can talk... not even healing hounds can speak. How long were you going to conceal this from me?”
Beaoul shrunk back, sitting on her haunches. She tucked her tail beneath her. “I wasn’t purposely hiding anything Mistress. I just didn’t feel my speech was clear enough for you to make out, yet.”
“Hmm, I will accept that.” Mira turned back to the other hellhounds, “Minor wounds only, then return to the kennel.”
The other hellhounds howled in objection but obeyed Mira’s command reluctantly. They gave each of the prisoners just minor wounds with their claws and then retreated through the still-open portal. The prisoners seemed to think they had seen mercy, but then the wounds began to fester, eating at the prisoners from the wound outward.
Beaoul reconsidered the idea of seeing them die in a feeding frenzy. They rotted alive, decomposing before they had even collapsed. Humans didn’t hold up well against hellhound wounds, even minor ones. Beaoul had never seen anyone die from hellhound scratches before, and it would be a while before she would be able to stand herself for having suggested it.