The energy exchange of the transformation raged through his entire being and into the small human body. It was delicious. Already he could feel the a new sense of life as he forced his essence into the vessel.
Then, like a fast speeding car being tossed into reverse, he hitched. The energy flow crackled and popped in his head. His breath caught he gasped for more air.
The little body before him, began to seize. The legs shook and quivered up into the midsection causing a tremor up into his hands where he held the head firmly down to the altar. The connection allowed him to search, something he should have done before he started the transference, but he right sense fell victim to his eagerness, his growing weariness and the prospect of rejuvenation so close.
Through the connection, he saw concussion, broken bones, bleeding…injuries substantial enough that the transformation would only exacerbate the problems and make the new vessel a very short -term option, if now viable at all.
“AAAARGH!” He screamed, pulling his hands from the boy’s head and stumbling backwards. “He’s broken!”
Dizzy and gasping at breath, his eyes landed on the Calligar. “HE’S BROKEN!”
He reached out toward the beast from the depths, the one who secured the vessel to begin with and who stood by to protect them both and ensure the transformation was completed. His arm shook as it flexed with power that rippled down to his clenching fist and he released it at the creature who exploded into flame and ash, once mighty and powerful, now pushed back down into the earth by pounding droplets of rain.
He stumbled again with a rage so thick and complete that he saw little else but more fire. He swung an arm backward knocking the altar askew and sending the once to be great host to the ground and back into the mud.
Broken. Human. Filth!
He reached down for the boy with the intent of tearing him into oh, so many parts and pieces. The boy struggled to move, propping himself up onto his elbows in a lackluster effort to crawl away to safety.
He reached down to exact the punishment for being broken when a scream came from the darkness.
In a full-out sprint, Taddy screamed from the moment he pushed away from the side of the house to the moment he leapt at the creature. It was all his brain would allow. It was everything he needed to express.
With the kitchen knife held tight in both hands held high above his head, he jumped and swung the knife down in one fluid motion, catching the red flesh of the beast and sinking the blade deep and to the hilt.
The beast raised his arm and howled as much from shock and surprise as from pain. What is this? And, how dare he?
Breathing hard Taddy, held on to the knife handle for dear life. There was no plan. At least nothing beyond getting Gunther and getting him to safety…whatever that meant.
He felt himself being lifted from the ground and brought to dangle in front of the beast’s eyes.
“What is this?”
“Let him go,” Taddy yelled, strong even though he realized he has started to cry. “Let him go! Leave him alone!”
The beast shook his arm once, then twice before the boy fell free and scurried across the ground to where his friend lay in the mud. He reached over with his hand and plucked the knife from his forearm. He turned it before him to assess the weapon this new boy had come to fight with and found it woefully underwhelming.
“This boy,” the beast said, his voice dark and filled with gravel. “He is your…’friend?'”
Taddy nodded aggressively, while backing closer to Gunther who was still trying to crawl away.
“And you wish to…’save’ him?”
Taddy nodded again, stirring his courage and wiping at his nose with his arm.
“With…this?” The beast flicked the knife at the boy, who scuttled away to avoid being hit as it landed in the dirt at his feet.
The boy looked down at knife. The blade glowed with reflection of the orange light still beaming up from the hole in the earth. It looked so very small. So much smaller than he ever imagined. Slowly he traced his vision up from the knife and into the eyes of the new beast. His heart beat filled his chest as if it too were trying to escape. Slowly the air slipped out of his lungs. His shoulders dropped as his hands clenched into the grass.