Chapter 2 Page 6

A low guttural growl came from the Ophelia monster. It was a deep warning sound, and she was staring right at the place Ellie was hiding. Directly above Ellie, an answering growl sounded. The investigator turned to see a massive shadow looming over her.

The creature standing over Ellie was immense. The reptilian muscular body rippled with power, and a smoldering wisp of smoke rose from a long crocodile snout. It opened a mouth gleaming with sharp teeth and growled at her. The creature spread daggered claws, reaching for Ellie with a clear intent to dig those sharp points into her flesh.

The investigator screamed, pulling her revolver from her jacket pocket. It took a few seconds for her to switch the safety, and then she fired a single shot point-blank into the chest of the creature. The bullet did nothing, and the creature opened a wide maw. Ellie was certain her end was approaching.

“Duck, sexy lady.”

A teal blur shot passed the wreckage of the car where Ellie had hidden unsuccessfully. She curled into a ball, protecting herself from the battle. Ophelia knocked the lizard creature to the ground, pounding it with powerful punches. She squealed gleefully with each blow. Even naked, she was a force to be reckoned with.

Ellie darted to the far side of the wreckage, careful to keep herself clear of the action. The part of her brain that couldn’t believe what was going on shut down and the part of her brain that wanted her to survive took over. The brawl crashed into the car, sending it screeching a few inches toward her. The lizard monster whipped his tail around, wrapping it around Ophelia’s neck. It pulled her back, strangling her. With an irate flip, he sent her hurtling across the parking lot, and crashing into a factory fence. Then the lizard creature turned burning eyes to Ellie.

She dashed away from the wreckage, searching for cover. Her breath was ragged, and her heartbeat loudly in her ears. Even if she hid, her pulse would be sure to give her away. Behind her, the earth erupted into flame, barely missing her, and scorching the ground where she was just seconds before. The blast sent chunks of concrete flying in all directions.

“Dragon,” the thought had unmistakably come from Ophelia.

Ellie dashed past the van, using it as a shield to protect her from the oncoming blast. It only protected her for a moment, however, as the van burst into flame with another fiery blast. Ellie saw two options since she would never be able to make it to her car before she was incinerated.

She could run for the fence, and try to climb it, but the chance of her making it over before the dragon caught her was slim. The only chance she had was if she could make it to the bar without getting caught in another blast. She judged the distance and dashed as fast as her legs would carry her.

Ellie ran with all her might, but it wasn’t enough. The dragon loomed beside her, pulling in a deep breath that would release fire on her, burning her to a crisp. Suddenly, a naked teal demon dodged in front of her, blocking the fire breathing monster from view.

“Oh no you don’t,” thought Ophelia, coming between the dragon and its prey. She threw her hands, just as the blast hit them. Waves of energy formed from her outstretched hands, creating a shield from the vicious blast.

“Run,” Ophelia said aloud to Ellie, and the investigator hurried to obey her.

Ellie covered the rest of the distance between the bar and the van just as the vehicle exploded. It sent a wave of heat against her, scorching her. She threw herself through the doorway before the heat could completely engulf her. Closing the door behind herself was impossible. She had broken the jam in her haste to escape the explosion.


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