It’s Wicked Wednesday so I thought I’d share a scene from “The Seers’ War Part One – The Weaving of the Web” featuring the anthropophagi, a kind of evil fairy! Enjoy!

Remains rested in pools of blood sprawled across the stone floor an inch deep. Gore and viscera hung from the walls. Even the ceiling was splashed with red. The other end of the corridor was blocked by two appalling figures. Headless humanoids, their eyes rested on their shoulders, staring blankly at the priestess. Completely naked, their bare chests revealed long vertical mouths from collarbone to sternum, lined with vicious teeth dripping saliva.

“Anthropophagi,” she whispered in disgust. The headless cannibals were never known to eat anyone unless they were hungry, but she was in no position to find out whether or not they were at the moment.

The two creatures rushed down the corridor, snapping their jaws and uttering unearthly yowls.

Morgan’s first instinct was to retreat. Spinning around with every intention of running like mad, she found the way barred by a lattice of thorned vines forcing them to fight the anthropophagi. Axel charged forward with his waraxe to catch the nearest fae in the leg. The creature slowed with a scream of anger and pain but continued its attack.

“Aim for the groin!”

All three men looked at Morgan like she’d lost her mind.

“Their brains are located near their reproductive organs” she explained.

Axel made to engage his opponent again, Josse moving to block it from reaching her while Iefan went after the other. Blocking his sword with its forearm, it grabbed him by the throat and slammed him into the bloody wall of the corridor. Morgan drew on her power but before she could release it a sharp blow across her back sent her sprawling across the floor. Rolling over, she had no chance to get up before she found herself pinned under an anthropophagi straddling her waist. The sensations of sharp stone cutting into her back and blood seeping through her clothes aside, the monster’s breath was horrendous, making her wage an internal war to keep from vomiting as she struggled to focus.

The creature screamed and she looked down to see the tip of a bastard sword carving upward between its legs. Holding the fae by the shoulder, Josse drove his blade all the way through until a half fell on either side of her. Taking his hand, she let him pull her to her feet.

A third anthropophagi had appeared from a side tunnel and was quickly closing the distance.

“This way!” Iefan shouted, ducking into a side passage.

Morgan and Axel followed him with Josse bringing up the rear. Together they sprinted down the passageway, fighting to keep their balance on the slick, gore covered floor. The creature gave chase and it became readily apparent they were not going to outrun it.
“Isn’t there something you can do, my lady?” Axel panted, his short legs pumping to keep up with the others.

“If you mean my power…” Morgan gasped for breath, holding her skirts to keep from tripping. “Not in these narrow tunnels. They’ll act like a flue and we’ll all go up in flames.”

Running along the passageway, they slid down a sudden incline and met yet another anthropophagi coming in the opposite direction. Morgan’s vision came back to her in flashes. Pushing between the men, she took the lead and turned to the only direction left open to them. A ragged, narrow passage that branched off from the main corridor, it was really no more than a fissure in the stone.

“This way! Quickly!”

Shoving Axel and Iefan in after his mistress, Josse barely dodged the heavy, clawed fist of one of the fae as it smashed into the wall behind his head. Seeing their prey escape, the pair of anthropophagi took to striking the fissure with their fists, each impact taking chunks from the stone wall and bringing shards and dust down from the ceiling.

~ Excerpt from “The Seers’ War Part One – The Weaving of the Web” copyright AJ Culpepper 2014
~ Image courtesy of  Artist unknown


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