Strangers: Fireman


The heat was like a blast from Hell.

I was clearing deadfall on one of the larger islands in Blood Lake, an island situated close to the border with the Hollow. When the hot air washed over me, I was in mid-swing, the ax raised high.

The blast surprised me, coming down from the sky the way it did, and when I looked up, I was in for a greater shock.

A paratrooper was descending from the air above the Hollow, and he was on a course to land on the island I was currently occupying. I’d not heard an airplane, and I more than suspected the stranger’s original descent was not my particular version of Cross.

Nearly everyone in this world deserves a moment of consideration.

That being said, this individual was not from my world, and strangers from the Hollow leave much to be desired.

I didn’t waste any time getting to where he landed, and I’m glad I didn’t.

He was in the act of cutting away his parachute when I reached him and saw the curious garb he was clad in. His face, protected behind a wire shield, became a mask of disgust and rage. He shouted to me and demanded to know where he was.

I told him, and he didn’t like my answer.

He opened his mouth, and a torrent of fire shot out, narrowly missing me.

I’m not a fan of fire. It is, without a doubt, one of the few things which can cause me real harm.

And so, I confess, I was more than a trifle mad.

I didn’t go for the Colts, though they were in their holsters. Instead, I advanced on the man, ducking as he fired his draconic flames. When he realized I could out-maneuver him, an expression of panic flitted across his face. His movements became jerky and nervous; he fumbled as he tried to free himself from his tangled lines.

He didn’t succeed.

I took his right arm off with a single blow of the ax, the blade cutting through the joint and showering me with blood. He screamed and expelled what would be the last of his flames.

My second blow was not as clean as the first, and it left his other arm hanging by tendons.

I was not tidy in my killing, and he knew how angry I was.

#horror #monsters #supernatural #death

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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