A Tail’s Misfortune — Chapter Twenty-Seven: One Day; Thrash

Voiced by Amazon Polly

Time slowed in Sora’s eyes, heart pounding as she watched Eric pull his hand from Lori’s chest, sidestepping her descent to the floor.  Revulsion spread across Sora’s abdomen as Eric licked his fingers with a malevolent grin directed at his sister. The time dilation only lasted a moment.

Kari dashed forward, her body changing to her Fenris form; her speed picked up dramatically to her gym encounter.  Her black coat bristled as her flaring orange eyes centered on her brother, glistening teeth bared in a vicious snarl.

Eric’s body instantly covered in dark-brown fur as he half morphed into a Werewolf.  He ran forward to meet his sister and dodged under her snapping jaws, arms wrapping around Kari’s neck, he spun, flipping her over his shoulders and flying into the construction zone.  She slammed against a half-completed concrete wall, smashing through it; she disappeared as loud bangs echoed around the area.

Laughing, Eric shook his head, his voice deepened by his partial transformation.  “I don’t even need to fully change, sister! You’re right, the stability I’ve gained from Aiden; it’s not even a competition.”

Jenny had fallen to her knees and turned Lori over as Mary rushed to help Wendy.  Tears fell down Jenny’s face as she stared into Lori’s deadened eyes. She bent over to wrap her arms around Lori’s body.  The werewolves around the area shifted nervously as they alternated their focus from Lori to Eric and the area Kari was thrown through.

Her ears pricked at the sound of shifting rock and steel.  Kari leaped back through the hole and began to circle Eric, teeth bared, her low growls resonating with the air.  Dust covered her dark fur, but she wasn’t harmed. Her burning eyes centered on her brother with a feral intensity, Sora’s keen emotional perception was overwhelmed by Kari’s intent to kill, absent in her fight at the gym.

Sora’s vision shifted to Aiden as his fingers dug into his lap.  He can’t do anything because of what Eric ordered, but I can’t even sense his frustration with how emotional Kari is right now.  Her focus shifted back to Kari as she dashed forward with her teeth bared.

Eric slipped under her jaws again and grabbed the fur around her neck.  With enormous strength, he flung Kari into a front-flip, smashing her back against the dirt.  Sora braced herself as she felt the shockwave ripple through the ground and Kari’s yelp.

Eric positioned himself under his sister’s head and pulled back on her neck, keeping her pinned.  She struggled against his grip, kicking her legs, whipping her tail, and twisting her body, but Eric wouldn’t let loose.  “Now, now, sister! I think it’s about time you started following my lead. You’re not cut out for leadership until you get…”

Kari rocked forward and then back, catching Eric off guard; they both flew into an inverted somersault.  Eric clung to her back as Kari bolted for a pile of steel beams and slammed her back against the bundle.

Eric’s sharp grunt could be heard throughout the site as the steel beams bent and scattered.  Slightly dazed, Kari stumbled sideward for a moment before advancing on her brother. Teeth coming down on his torso, she shook her head back and forth, jaw working, finally flinging him at the same wall she’d been tossed through.  Shattering the concrete on impact, he crashed through the interior of the first floor.

Kari paced in front of the hole as dust billowed around it, breathing heavily, her air steamed from her jaws.  After a few seconds, she barked viciously, ending in a growl.

Sora’s focus shifted to Aiden as he slammed his fist against his lap, white-faced, but she looked up at her father as he pulled back on her shoulder, slowly inching her toward a break in the circle.  This could be a good chance for us to get away!  Sora spun illusions to make them invisible, energy filling her the entire encounter and imaged decoys where they had stood.  If we can just get to the river, we can wash away our scents.

They both froze as Eric appeared through the dust cloud.  Blood was flowing from several deep cuts across his thin fur but was quickly knitting together.  He cracked his neck and shifting his shoulders around to pop them back into place. His dark eyes darted to Sora and her father.

“What are you idiots doing?  Make sure the Vulpes and her father don’t run!”  He shouted before diving away from another charge by his sister.  Teeth grinding, Eric growled. “Kari, you’re drawing my patience!”  His shirt front was shredded, and Sora was shocked to find light cuts on his skin now as she watched them fully close.

Her father cursed beside her as the Werewolves closed the gap, sniffing the air for them instead of relying on sight.  Sora sighed in frustration and released the illusions, sighing with relief as her energy began building again. So, Eric can somehow see through my illusions—do I not have enough power?  I know I don’t have enough to compel them like I did to Kari’s gang, that makes this a lot more difficult.

Studying the worsening situation, Sora found Aiden watching the fight between Kari and Eric with dread, Devin’s hand on his shoulder.  Devin was watching the fight with a wide grin as Jenny picked up Lori and moved out of the ring to the fence line, a trail of blood displaying her path.  Mary was taking advantage of the distraction to move the unconscious Wendy down an alley, not given orders to keep her nearby.

Eric’s attention was on Kari as she launched another assault, but she was being more cautious now, which kept both on the defensive.  No matter how I look at it, Kari can’t win … unless…  Sora made several illusions of Kari that prowled in a circle around Eric.  Even if he can tell they’re illusions, it might take time and open some opportunities for Kari to strike.  I can do more; these werewolves won’t do anything without Eric’s permission, and they were only told to keep us from escaping.

Rewrapping her father in invisible illusions, Sora took a deep breath of air as her energy began bleeding out of her.  This is reckless, and I don’t know what I can do, but there’s no way out anyway.  I can’t last very long with the energy I have. Not with what I’m about to do!

Expelling her air in a rush, she dashed toward Eric, making her illusions attack.  He hesitated for a moment, and so did Kari. Tail whipping behind her, Sora’s hair bristled, red electricity shot down its length.  Twisting on her toes, she flipped in the air and sent the red bolt shooting toward Eric. The bolt hit him square in the back; he tensed as all his muscles locked.  

Her tail whipped again in the air with red and yellow flames.  Landing with her left foot, she skipped forward again with a twist.  The combustion surged toward Eric and lit across his back. The force sent him flying into Kari’s gaping mouth as she followed her lead, jaws clamping around his torso.  Sprinting as fast as she could, Sora extended her claws and stabbed at Eric’s back.

Sora’s eyes popped open with astonishment.  “Uh-oh.” Her claws didn’t even penetrate the first layer of skin.  She danced away as Eric growled savagely, pounding the bottom of his fist against Kari’s nose.  Yelping, Kari dropped him, backing away, head lowered with both paws covering her muzzle.

Laughing nervously, Sora mumbled, “Can’t blame a girl for trying.”

Slowly getting to his feet, Eric shook himself out with a long puff of air, gashes across his body healing.  Shaking his head, he pressed his hands against his face and let out a loud seething growl; he turned her way, yellow irises glowed.  “That—electrifying attempt is going to cost you your life, here and now, Vul…” Kari’s bulk slammed against her brother’s body, sending him soaring twenty meters into a bulldozer.

Sora’s brow lifted, and she shielded her eyes as she watched her brother shakily get to his feet, the high-pitched sound of his impact still resonating.  “Homerun, Kari! I think that’s a record human punt—or is it a wolf punt?” Kari snarled, but her eyes showed appreciation.

Humming thoughtfully, Sora said, “The lightning really seems to do the trick!  I’ll be the spark, and you be the hammer?” she offered, grinning at Kari as she grunted her agreement.

Eric had gotten to his feet and bore his teeth in their direction.  “Kari, you’re breaking my heart. Working with a lowly Vulpes? I need to retrain you!”

Letting a smirk slide across her lips, Sora whipped her tail around, electricity dancing across her bristled fur.  “Losing your cool, wolfboy? Did little sis give you another boo-boo? I can kiss it better!”

Expression screwing up with contempt, Eric ran toward her; he was a little faster than her.  Giggling to infuriate him, Sora led him back and right as he neared; she waited for him to get a meter away before shooting another bolt, it struck, locking his muscles.

Sora did a swift backbend as Kari’s head rammed against Eric’s back, sending him flying over her.  Doing a back-walkover, Sora hopped on her tippy-toes as the sound of distorting steel echoing around the area.  She turned to find a portion of the building collapse, steel and concrete falling on Eric as dust billowed around him.

Turning back to Kari, Sora whistled.  “Remind me to never take a head-butt straight on!  What’s your skull…” She cut off as a great cacophony erupted from the devastation inside the building, and her tail bristled with danger.

She jumped into an aerial twist as a steel beam shot from the dust cloud, missing her by a foot.  The large metal shaft broke through the fence line and crashed across the ground to strike the side of a wall.  Turning her attention back to the cloud, she swallowed. Can he really take abuse like this?

Her attention shifted as her father grabbed her arm and began pulling her to the side.  “It’s time to go Sora! We need to get out of…” They stopped as seven werewolves closed around them.  Sora’s tail lit with flames, and she formed it into a circle around them to blind their vision. Making a quick decision, she grabbed her dad’s other arm and forced him over her shoulders.  Kicking off the ground, she hoped she could make it onto the nearby building.

As she left the fire, her eyes widened with shock as Eric appeared in front of her, fully transformed into a werewolf.  His palm struck her side, sending her slamming back into the construction site, her father flying off her shoulders, they both tumbled across the ground.  Coughing and holding her throbbing side, Sora tried to regain her bearings. Looking up, her breath caught as her hair pricked with danger. Eric was right over her, his claws aiming for her head.  Kari smashed into him as his claws reached inches from her eyes. Devin booing from beside Aiden. Kari saved my life…

Falling over the dirt, Eric righted himself and launched for Kari.  He let himself get bitten in the arm, as he grabbed her neck-fur with its other hand.  Ripping his arm free from her jaws, blood-flecked across the ground, but with his left hand, he pushed under her chest, using colossal force to send her spinning into the air.  She crashed through the third, fourth, and fifth stories of the half-finished building, finally stopping against the sixth’s ceiling.

Sora could only watch in astonishment as Eric leaped to the sixth floor and darted in.  Moments later another explosion of sound resonated, and Kari slammed onto the dirt floor, bouncing across the earth like a rag doll, small clumps of dirt spraying around her.  She stopped by striking the opposite building, the wall crumbling under the force to partially cover her.

Reflexively swallowing, Sora watched in terror as the only visible parts of Kari turned from a wolf back into a human, bricks shifting as the area displaced; she wasn’t moving.  Stiffening as she heard a loud howl pierce the air and Eric jumped back down to ground level; Devin’s claps echoed across the ensuing silence, Eric’s yellow-eyes glaring at her. Am I fast enough to keep my distance?  I don’t think I am.

A Tail's Misfortune — Chapter Twenty-Six: One Day; Tension Breaks
A Tail's Misfortune — Chapter Twenty-Eight: Happy Birthday; Disbelief