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The Creature lunged towards George, all of it’s arms swinging wildly towards the possessed child. George moved backwards, dancing along with every attack aimed at him. Chuck noticed that all the confidence was wiped of his face, and it was replaced with pure concentration. He hadn’t been expecting for Toby’s Creature to appear. Toby stopped screaming and moved forward, almost as if he was in control of the spider shadow.
“It’s going to take more than this to destroy me,” George shouted as he was starting to get backed up to the far wall.
Chuck moved forward, his heart racing, as he wondered if he could free Fiona and the others to help with the fight. His hesitation cost him that option as George jumped up and flipped over the Creature. At the height of his jump, he swiped his arm down towards it, and smoky shadow tendrils streamed from each of his fingers and constricted Toby’s Creature underneath him. The Creature roared in pain as the tendrils got tighter and tighter, its arms flailing about as much as possible. Toby echoed the pain and fell to his knees. Chuck wanted to get closer to make sure he was okay, but he could see George turning to face them.
“You should have taken the offer,” he said, taking slow steps towards Chuck. “Why didn’t you just leave when you had the chance. I don’t want to hurt you, but you’ve left me no choice.”
George held out his hand towards Chuck and more of the smoke tendrils appeared, moving through the air towards him, like flying snakes. Chuck was completely frozen in place, his whole body turning to jelly as he watched his death come towards him. George continued walking towards Chuck, a smile growing on his face.
“Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve killed a human? It’s been at least a hundred and fifty years. At least that long since I last tasted human blood. Since the one you all call Arthur captured me and left me here for you all to practice your spells on. Do you know what that feels like? I can’t die, and all I’ve felt for over a century is pain. You’d probably be right in thinking that it’s gone to my head a little. I was going to take my time with these people, make their deaths last a long time. I was hoping that Arthur would come back and he would be the first to die, but you will have to do.”
The whole time that he was speaking the shadow tendrils were starting to circle around Chuck, closing in on him. George walked past Toby, who was on the floor curled up in agony, and still screaming. George didn’t pay any attention to the boy, he was completely focused on Chuck as the smoke started to constrict him.
The shadow held Chuck tightly. So tightly it hurt. It then started to lift him off the ground and leave him suspended in the air like the others at the side of the room. He could feel the shadows starting to pry open his mouth and spill inside, it was moving inside his eyes, his ears, up his nose, and suffocating him from the inside.
Chuck couldn’t see as Toby started to stand up on wobbly legs and moved towards his captured Creature. George didn’t notice either, as Toby ripped the shadow tendrils away from his friend and set him free. The Creature didn’t make a sound as it stood up and faced George. It leapt through the air and landed just before George, swiping at him with one of its free arms and smacking him against the wall. George bounced off the wall and fell to the floor. He struggled to get up again, but the Creature was faster and smacked him back down the floor. Toby ran across the room, fighting the pain he was feeling running through his body, and ripped at the shadows that were holding Chuck in the air. Chuck fell to the floor with a thud, and started coughing and squirming about. His eyes were filled with water, and it felt to him like somebody had used a razor blade on the inside of his mouth and throat. The Creature stood on its hindlegs and picked up George’s body with two of its front arms and held him up towards the roof, before squeezing hard. George’s face contorted in pain, and then gave up. A black haze started to ooze our of George’s eyes, as if he was crying shadows, and then his body went limp. The shadows moved high to the roof of the room and formed into the shape of a man, that hugged the ceiling as it looked down on the rest of the people. He couldn’t believe that he’d lost George’s body in the fight. The candle light flickered underneath and he hoped that it would go out completely so he could leave the room.
As quickly as he’d freed Chuck, Toby ran over to the side of the room and freed Fiona, ripping the shadows away from her. He threw them behind him and the evaporated into the light. Fiona dropped to the floor and was alert almost instantly. She jumped up, pulled out her knife and held it up towards the shadow person on the ceiling that was trying to get to the door.
“Stop,” she commanded, and it obeyed. “The candles in this room will forever bind you.”
The brightness in the candles grew brighter, and the shadow man groaned and writhed in pain on the ceiling. Fiona noticed that there was a single candle that had been extinguished, and realised that was how he must have been able to take control of George’s body. She flicked her knife towards it and the candle was relit. The shadow man fell from the ceiling, holding its head and silently screaming.
“Quickly, help me free the others it won’t be able to hurt you now. Let’s just get out of here as soon as possible.”
Toby helped Fiona tear away the shadows that were still holding the other prisoners. His Creature had already retreated into the crevices of Toby’s mind.
“Are you able to walk?” Fiona said to Chuck, who was trying to stand up.
Chuck nodded, knowing that he wouldn’t be able to speak for a while and started to move towards the door. His feet felt like stone as he stumbled his way to the exit. His vision pulsated around him. Eventually he reached the door and then he carried on walking through the dimly lit basement hallway until he made it to the stairs leading upwards. His whole body was ready to give up, but he continued. As soon as he made his way back into the entrance foyer of Whistling Academy, it was just too much though, and he collapsed on the floor and everything went dark in his mind.
To Be Continued…
Part Nine is available here: https://ashleymanning.com/2023/02/17/magic-in-london-recovery-part-nine/! Don’t forget to subscribe to never miss a post:
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