Not one, not ten, but a hundred parts in! can you believe that? You should, it says so right up there in the title. (previous)
Looking around, Warren saw a few people in the crowd nod. He lifted his leg and slipped a hand into his boot, awkwardly scratching his ankle.
‘I don’t think!’ Mitchell yelled. Warren flinched. ‘I don’t think you’re in a position here to draw a weapon on me.’
Mitchell had noticed. The crowd was starting to notice. Warren had procured a small knife from his boot and hidden it in his sleeve. The look in his eyes had changed, too. They were no longer the eyes of a man who had everything on the line. They were the eyes of someone who had given up on sane solutions. The eyes in front of a brain in a state of panic. The eyes you see in people who feel they have nothing to lose.
Warren lunged forward. The crowd gasped. Mitchell barely sidestepped the jab, but didn’t retaliate. ‘Really?’ he asked while grabbing Warren’s arm right before he pulled it back. ‘Do you really want to fight this?’ He let his face take the brunt of a punch he saw coming two seconds earlier. ‘Well.’ He sniffed, tasted some blood in the back of his mouth, and kneed Warren in the stomach. ‘Let’s take this outside.’ He picked the coughing enemy up from the floor and threw him out the Bastion’s door, sending him tumbling down the front steps.
Everyone inside the guild followed them outside and gathered in a circle around the two duelists. It wasn’t the spectacle that drew them to the fight. Though most didn’t realize it, they instinctively knew something important was going down.
No time was wasted on mockery as Warren came in for a second attempt at a stab. It was uncoordinated and weak. Mitchell used this to counter, dodging it to the side, and slapping the palm of his hand onto Warren’s face. His fingernails dug into the side of his opponent’s head, but it wasn’t an attempt at crushing it. Mitchell’s second hand soon completed the sandwich, just to hold the meat in place.
Warren let out muffled screams as he tried to free himself from Mitchell’s grasp. He couldn’t. People started noticing the slight glow on Mitchell’s face and knew what was going on.
His hand swiftly pulled away from the face. It sounded like a bandage being pulled off. Warren dropped to the ground, screaming in pain. His face had irregular, burn-like marks all over it. In some places, the skin seemed to have been removed, the wounds bleeding slightly.
‘Get the fuck out of here.’ Mitchell mumbled. He couldn’t top the agonized cries. ‘Get the fuck out of here!’ he yelled.
Warren cowered, crawled a short distance, picked himself up and fled Whelhaven.
‘Holy shit.’ Roy was the first to step forward. He grabbed Mitchell by the shoulder and shook him. ‘That was fucked up!’ The shaking stopped. ‘Fucked up, but also really badass!’
Mitchell brushed an arm across his face, wiping away a few small tears. ‘Thanks,’ he laughed. ‘But you stood by and watched it happen. Pretty fucked up too!’ As the adrenaline rush faded away, relief and exhilaration washed over him. But he wasn’t done yet.
‘Sorry… for making a scene.’ he spoke to the crowd. Some people were visibly shaking by what they had witnessed. Others didn’t seem to care and were just curious what was coming next. ‘I’d be honored…’ He stopped, shook his head, and started over. ‘It’d be really cool if you all are okay with me running the Bastion from here on out.’ He grinned as he continued. ‘I mean, since previous management is on a leave of absence and all.’ No audible laughter from the crowd. Not that he expected any. ‘Some more transparency wouldn’t hurt, and maybe we can make things more fun for everyone?’
Nigel made his way through the crowd. ‘Ain’t super sure what’s haps here, but Mitch, you’s a cool guy. Make that shot!’
Mitchell received a pat on the back from Roy, who was still standing next to him. ‘I think everyone knows you’re a good guy. And what bad can come from having someone like you in charge?’
A murmur spread through the crowd and quickly escalated into an uproar. Before Mitchell realized it, all the people around him were applauding. He smiled.
‘Next round’s on the house then!’
And that’s how our hero’s story comes to a close. Thank you for reading the hundredth, final part of Caves. (Also check out the author’s review if you’re interested!