And then the Sharkwoman took her big shark mouth and bit into Hera’s abdomen, her teeth sliding against Hera’s ribs. Hera screamed in pain as she began slamming her fist into the Sharkwoman’s face, but the Sharkwoman wouldn’t let go. So, Hera reached into Sharkwoman’s mouth and physically pulled her jaws apart. Dislodged, Hera pushed the Sharkwoman away, then raised her bloody hands, looked down at her cut up stomach, and growled. “Now, I will hurt you.”
“No,” Lu said, having risen from the ground and snuck up behind Hera, touching her on the back. “You will not.”
Hera said nothing. She did not move. Lu walked around her as if she were a chair in the way. Hera remained absolutely frozen. But as he approached the Sharkwoman, Lu collapsed. The Sharkwoman moved quickly to catch him as he fell. “Beloved!”
“I’m ok,” he groaned. “I just…that spell…it took a lot out of me.”
I heard something hit the ground off to my right. I turned to look. The General’s head was lying on the ground. Without Lu Wu awake to focus on it the glowing disk had vanished. But what would happen to the General’s head? Without the magical disc supporting his head or a body to to attach to, would he die? And if he didn’t, then what? Would the General’s body, if no one picked him up, just lie there forever? That seemed a horrible fate even for someone as despicable as Zlodeyskiy.
But it seemed as if that fate was not to be because as I watched the skin around his neck began to bubble. It looked as if something was beginning to sprout from his neck! They grew longer and longer until spider-like legs had formed underneath his disembodied head and he rose up off of the ground. “What was that you said about how experience always beats power? I bet you’re wishing you had a little extra power right now, aren’t you, Lu Wu?”
The General skittered on his new legs toward Lu, but the Sharkwoman stepped inbetween them. “You will not harm my beloved!” Her mouth grew larger as her sharkiness became more exaggerated. “I am all the extra power he needs!”
“You want to be a shark?” the General said. “Then I will make you into a real shark.”
The Sharkwoman let out a pained gasp as her arms started to shrink and her legs began to lengthen. Her arms shrunk and flattened until they were just fins! Her legs began to grow together. Her feet twisted until they had formed a tail! She had been forced to transform into a shark, but it didn’t seem like she had just returned to her regular shark form. For one, she seemed smaller. And two, she seemed completely unable to breath. “Shayu!” I yelled, but she was flopping about so I couldn’t get close to her. But it didn’t seem like she was able to hear me.
“Aw, look at the poor little fishy,” the General mocked.
“Get away from her!” Lu said, as he crawled toward the Sharkwoman.
“Come on, Mr. Experience,” the General said. “Save the day. Save your true love. Show me what you can do against my power!”
Lu Wu reached out toward the Sharkwoman. I was worried she was going to squash him with her flopping, but the instant he touched her she stopped moving completely. Lu Wu collapsed besides her a second later.
The General laughed. “And now there is just you. What can you do to me, Mr. Quantum man, that the great sorcerer could not?” Zlodeyskiy began to change. His spider legs began to grow larger, thicker. His face began to take on a more bestial nature. His mouth stretched and his teeth grew longer, sharper. His eyes glowed red. “I have become more, better, stronger. There is nothing that will stop me!”
“You’re not going to win,” I told him.
“Oh, yes? And who is going to stop me? You?”
“Yes. If I have to, I will.”
“Ah! The great American hero! The Quantum Man! Celebrated in all the papers! The Great and Wonderful, Frank Clay! Or whoever the hell you are. You do so like to pretend to be other people. Who do you want to be this time? Perhaps a superhero?”
“I don’t pretend to be anyone. I am Frank Clay and I will stop you.”
“You are ‘Frank Clay’,” Zlodeyskiy mocked. “You also claimed to be my wife. Is that who you want to be? Do you want to be Fran Zlodeyskiy? Do you want to be my wife? I can make you my wife.”
“I was your…” But I couldn’t get any further before my entire body was hit with a wave of pain. Every part of my body hurt, every atom. I screamed in agony as Zlodeyskiy laughed.
When the pain stopped, he said, “Now, you are my wife.”
to be continued…