(A Work in Progress)
For #LineByLineTime: The Good Guys Win
Everybody swung around as one old woman cried out. People screamed, pots were dropped, and everybody ran, except the pregnant girl, still sitting by the fire, and the old man, who gripped his staff in shaking hands and stepped in front of the teens.
Four horsemen stared back at them. One pointed toward the deer carcass as he chattered excitedly in Spanish to his companions. They nodded, their mouths open and their eyes wide as they looked at the four teenagers.
Nita didn’t take her eyes off them as her hands slid to her knives still hidden in her jeans. “Apparently they’re upset we caught a deer. Sounds like we did a big no-no. They also think we look way too much like their bosses. I’d assume that means they’re the bad guys.”
“Not to mention the way the locals ran off screaming. Wonder if these are some of the guys who were here before?” Harper scratched his chin. “Maybe we should go hide somewhere, too?”
Minji stood straight, then marched, shoulders back, to stand beside the old man. “I will not leave Dark Moon Rising and Singing Water to them. They are brave, but helpless.”
“Maybe I can scare them,” Luthor growled, and flexed his arms, waving the bloody knife in his hand.
Harper shuffled backward. “I’ll just stand behind the tree, shall I? I wouldn’t want any of you to trip over me…” He trailed off as he reached the tree and darted around to crouch behind it.
“All of you shut up and let me talk to them and stay out of my way. I just killed a deer and four rabbits. These guys are no challenge.” Nita’s hands were in her pockets now.
Minji sniffed. “There is a large difference between hunting animals for food and killing a human,” she began.
Suddenly all four horsemen drew sabers and charged, screaming and waving their weapons. Before the others could move to escape or defend themselves, there was a knife in the throat of the foremost. He toppled sideways off his confused horse, who stopped charging and turned in circles, dragging its rider.
Another knife appeared in the middle of the second rider’s torso. He dropped his saber and clutched at the knife, his mouth open and his eyes wide. His horse also stopped charging to step nervously side to side as the rider swayed and fell back across the horse’s rump before the horse’s movements made him slide to the ground, his feet slipping out of the stirrups.
Before Nita could aim at the other two riders, Minji snatched the staff from the old man and screamed at the one coming at them. She swung her staff at the man’s sword arm. There was a loud crack and the blade dropped to the ground beside her. Her attacker yelled and clutched his arm as it flopped loosely, the bones in it moving in different directions halfway between the elbow and wrist. Minji spun on one foot as the horse and rider moved past her.
Her momentum slid the staff through her hands until she held the end of it. She swung it like a bat at the back of the man’s head. There was a sound like a melon dropping on pavement, and the rider flipped forward, falling past the horse’s shoulder. The horse shied, kicking at the fallen rider as his body landed at the horse’s feet.
The fourth rider spun his horse and started to race away out of the clearing. Before he made it to the trees, the old woman their host had called Burning Wind ran out in front of them. She waved a blanket and shouted as the horse almost reached her. The horse squealed and reared. Its rider fought to bring him back down, sawing at the reins and shouting. But the horse reared up again as the old lady snapped the blanket at its nose and screamed.
Unbalanced, the rider yanked at the reins again trying to pull himself up, and the horse rolled backward and landed on the rider. The rider’s legs spasmed, then went limp. The horse rolled back and forth a few times before he got his feet under him and stood up, leaving the man on the ground. The man did not move.