Bracey the Talonted twisted in the air like a Snowbird fighter jet, avoiding the fae’s swirling, pointed limbs, and I held myself close to her feathers with four paws.
We watched Yonya tear through my beloved woods. What have we unleashed on the world? If I don’t kill her…
Down through the leafless tree branches, Nathan climbed off of the bear, Celina Weirguard, and mounted the deer. Yonya was not far behind, and we looked down to see Celina and the fae engaged in battle.
The fight with Celina had given the deer and Nathan a good head start, and now the scranch dust had completely taken effect, so Yonya was actually running on the ground, rather than hovering above it. Still, she was fast and moved through the forest like it was a field of grass.
Darren reached the truck before Yonya reached them. Guy pulled Nathan off the deer and put him in the passenger seat. Yonya burst out of the forest into the snowy road. Seeing the child in the truck, she screamed again, so loud it made snow shudder down from tree branches.
The truck jolted into motion, kicking snow backward as the tires struggled for purchase. But it wasn’t soon enough. Yonya reached with three arms and held the sides of the truck, and heaved herself into the truck bed. This was bad—the plan was to get Nathan safely away so we could kill Yonya without him around. Now Yonya was on the getaway truck. Merde!
Guy must have felt her get on, because he turned the truck sharply. They went sideways and slid across the snowy road, throwing the fae from the truck bed into a ditch. Yonya, dazed and snow-covered, started to stand up.
But the door opened, and Guy stepped out of his truck. With a shotgun.
As Yonya’s giant, armoured body rose from the ditch, Guy leveled the gun at her chest and fired. I’d never heard anything so loud in my life—I actually felt Bracey’s feathers shudder in the wake of the sound. Pieces of Yonya’s shell shattered into the snow around her. She fell back into the ditch, making a low, gurgling sound. Guy stepped forward and fired again.
Bracey flew close. “Get back in the truck! Get Nathan out of here!”
Guy nodded and took his gun and self back to the truck.
I steeled my will. “Go!”
Bracey pumped her wings, bringing us low over Yonya’s body.
Un, deux, trois! And I leapt from the owl’s back.
I dropped through the winter air, my cloak flapping behind me. I think I was so small that Yonya didn’t even see me. With the power of the enchanted pine nut coursing through my spirit, I landed on her back and held tight. The shotgun blasts had put many little holes in her, and her green blood dripped into the snow, but some of it dripped upward into the sky. She was rising again, her head tracking the truck pulling away. I could see Nathan’s terrified, crying face in the window. Poor kid. The faeries will never stop plaguing him if I didn’t end this now.
I landed on her. Taking pawholds on the bumps on her crustacean-like shell, I scampered up her back toward the base of her head. I held tight with my left paw and drew Grassblade with my right. My muscles shimmered with power from the enchanted pine nut I’d eaten, and my sword vibrated with power in my hands, hungry for fae flesh.
“The Micean Council sentences you to death!” was my war squeak.
Yonya heard me, and was just turning her head when I thrust my enchanted sword deep into her neck.
There was a sound like the clearest chime ringing, and Grassblade warmed in my hands as it destroyed the fae from the inside out. Yonya shuddered, screaming as her limbs began to fall off of her into the snowy ditch. Her body started to fall apart beneath me, and I reached my paw up to Bracey.
The owl swooped down and snatched me up into her talons. I’d never thought I’d be so grateful to be in the clutches of an owl. As Bracey gained altitude, I watched Yonya’s body disintegrate into the snow. I could hear parts of her flesh sizzle off of Grassblade.
“You did it! Well done, agent Pixiedrowner!”
I put Grassblade in my belt as Bracey flew in a few slow circles. The fae’s body turned to a smoldering pile of dark magic, then sublimated completely in eldritch green smoke.
But my mind was elsewhere. “Fly back! We need to help Dichall!”