As he rolled immediately back onto his knees, he seized the scythe and leaped up to reengage. There was no need. Conomorg’s left-hand talons were still embedded in his foe’s throat. With his right foot, Conomorg simultaneously shoved his toe-talons into the enemy’s chest and shoved him backwards, pulling out all the talons at the same time.
Feeling a sudden surge of triumph, Johann was about to exult in their success. The war cry stuck in his throat when he heard the scream of his wife.
“Heidi!” he roared, shocked at what he saw. “What are you doing?”
Heidi Skulstad was no wallflower, introverted farmer’s wife. It is what attracted Johann to her in the first place. Generous and kind to a fault, she was also assertive and forthright. She was confident and held her own with all the merchants they interacted with for their farm. As he’d always said of her, “She’s as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside.” Naturally brave, she could sometimes be almost as rash as her husband. This was one of those times.
“I should have known better than to leave her to keep her head down! What was I thinking? Svarte!” he yelled, sprinting towards his house, unaware whether his gargoyle friends were coming to assist.
Heidi was jumping awkwardly as the squat gargoyle swung wildly at her with both hands. What separated them was the length of the pitchfork Johann had given her minutes earlier. The long tines glinted yellow from nearby flames behind the gargoyle’s upper chest. She’d pierced him through and now held him at bay with the length of the fork’s handle, waiting for him to fall. But the creature wasn’t going down.
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