6. Hellhounds

6. Hellhounds

A Chapter by Lynaelee

The three volunteers fall to their knees and begin attacking the food in their hands viciously. One of the men eats his own finger and I gasp. My eyes cannot get any bigger. I push the pan towards him and refuse to reach in again. My hunger has dissipated. "Where are they?" Kern growls as he taps the ground with his foot again. The ground shakes and I cry out in shock. Kern chuckles and pulls me closer as he reaches into the pot in my lap again. Suddenly, the ground in front of us opens up. I raise my hands to my mouth and let the pot fall to the ground. All three men attack it, but my gaze lingers on gaping hole just beyond them; not one other person seems to be bothered or surprised by this. 
"Where are who?" I whisper.

"The sun has set. It's time my pets came out to play," Kern replies as he traces his nose up my jaw. I shiver and try to pull away from him, looking over my shoulder. He turns my head back to hole as a bony, elongated, ashen white limb emerges. My eyes widen and I start to tremble. Kern kisses my neck. The limb climbs further out and a hideous creature stands there. My breathing hitches and his red eyes look right at me. This creature is scrawny with a small body frame, but taller than an upright man. It's limbs come out at odd angles and are longer and are not portionable to the body. Four legs; that is the only resemblance to a dog it has. Another creature climbs out and looks nearly identical to the first one; the only difference that I can spot is the positioning of their limbs. Their ribs and spines are prominent, but nothing compared to their flat heads, torn ears, and sharp teeth. The snout doesn't come out, but the mouth opens widely - enough for it to takeover their whole head. The thing that surprises me the most is that not one of them have fur, only skin that shows their bones. There is no muscle structure at all. I tremble and let a tear fall. "You have nothing to fear, princess," Kern whispers as the creatures walks towards us and three more pop out. "This one first," he demands as he kicks Arthur over. "Ready for the show of a lifetime?" I shake my head as the long claws rips across Arthur's back; he doesn't even notice as he continues to eat my food off the ground, collecting dirt and grass too. I notice he is missing the tips of his fingers as well and his blood continues to glow. All five creatures slash at him. I lean forward and throw up. Kern pulls me back.

"Make it stop," I beg.

"No way, princess. He was supposed to bring you to me. He tried to make up for it when you weren't where he said you should be. Yet all he brings me is a tattered shawl. He failed. This is his reward," Kern states as we watch the creatures rip an arm, a foot, and the head off of Arthur. I shake my head and weep. "My dogs need to eat too; they've been starving," Kern whispers. I watch I horror as the animals devour the body -bones and all- then move on towards the other two. I throw up again. Kern makes me stand up and pushes me out towards the middle of the blood stained grass in front of me when those two bodies have been devoured too. I close my eyes, shake uncontrollably, and weep. The hellhounds walk around me. I can feel them sniffing me. I can feel their surprisingly cold skin brush me. I can hear their claws scratch against the ground and hear their unusual growls. I step back, trying to get away from them and my hand is grabbed. "They don't attack unless ordered to," Kern murmurs as he strokes my jaw, pulling me into him. I open my eyes and meet his gaze. He gestures behind me. I look and lean into him more. The hole the hellhounds climbed out of was a step or two behind me; I can't see the bottom. Kern lifts my chin and kisses me roughly and as deeply as he can. I push away in horror and disgust; there was no desire or passion in that kiss like my mother told me about when she kissed my father. I never knew a kiss could feel so hollow. 

"I am not yours," I cry as my foot slips and I start to go down the hole. Kern smirks and pulls me up to him again.

"Careful, princess. I would hate to lose you like that. My pets have been tracking you, but they never fully got your scent. Since you were inside the mountain and not actually on it, everything makes sense now. It also explains why they kept venturing up instead of searching down below where you were last sighted. Not even the earth can muffle your scent any more. Only one of them needs it for all of them to know it. Now five have it," he warns as he pushes me into the hole. Before I can scream, I am grabbed by my skirt by two hellhounds coming up. My head bounces against the wall and I yelp pathetically. The hellhounds gather me in their arms like they are carrying a child. I can hear my skirt rip. I reach for anything to hold onto. The hellhounds snarl and make their way up the hole with me, bouncing me along the way. Their bony limbs are uncomfortable and cold. Their mouths tear up my skirt  and the backside of my dress more. The ground scratches my back and loose earth surrounds me as they drag me all the way out. I tremble and shake on the ground as they pace around me. Kern walks over to me and hoists me up. He traces my temple, then fingers the holes in the back of my dress and grins. "I'm sure you'll have a lovely bruise later. And these clothes have taken on a wonderful new look. Consider that your only warning, princess. Don't run away from me. My pets will be on you faster than you can blink and they bring you back in pieces if they have to. They have a really hard time not drawing blood or eating whatever they touch. I won't stop them next time." He takes out a knife and slices a vertical line in my dress, revealing the delicate curves of my bosom slightly. I cover it up and pant in fright. Then he slices the skirt of my dress from my hip all the way down. He grabs my leg and pulls me into him, rubbing up and down my thigh. My arms are trapped against his chest. He smiles at me maliciously as his hand covers my buttocks and he moves the dress aside so he can stroke the bare skin. "Mhmm! You're a delicacy, a pure slice of heaven. These curves are soft and scrumptious. Like what you see, men?" The crowd cheers and whistles. I meet Kern's gaze again as a tear slides down my cheek. He grins and leans in, pressing his lips on mine again, this time with less aggression and force. He licks my lips and pulls back as he finally releases my leg. "These men will enjoy tasting you and putting their hands on you. Sadly, I don't. When I have access to experience that desire, it will be too late. My men, however, are not resticted by a stone heart and can still feel lust. You can help with that."

"No, thank you. What do you really want from me?" I whisper.

"Your bleeding heart," he replies in a matter-of-fact tone as he guides me towards the middle of camp. Then he turns and leads me towards the mountain side. He taps the ground again and more holes start to fill the area. "I was just offering you a slice of the good life. A final temptation before you die. I didn't realize you would be so willing to turn it down. No loss. I can taste a thousand women soon enough. Look around. You can't escape. The best thing about this position is that I only have to guard three sides to my camp. Take a good look around, princess. Nobody will harm you here. Not tonight anyways. If you want to live through the night, stay in this tent," Kern insists as he shoves me inside. "You're fair game to creatures of the night and the stirrings in the pants of these men if you leave," he warns as I curl up in a ball in the middle of the tent. I don't want to find out if his warning holds any truth. A corner of the tent remains open and I can see outside. "Find the glowing partner. Ludwig. No. Louis. Do not show him any mercy. Bring me his head. Search 100 yards or so beyond the perimeters for the cats that are stalking her too. Kill them if you want. This tent is off limits. If she leaves, bring her back to me alive. Limbless if necessary. Sleep well, princess. You will have two meals with me tomorrow," Kern threatens as I watch his feet retreat. Lanky limbs follow as they crawl out from those holes. The hellhounds yip and snarl. I bury my head in my knees as I weep, seeing the faces if those men as they were eaten alive again. 

"No," I cry softly as I lean over and throw up again. "This can't be how it ends." Feet shuffling towards me startle me and I back all the way up.

"Princess, it's Miguel. I am here with three men to guard you tonight. I have water and something for you to read to help pass your time. Will you please open the tent flap? You're not leaving if you just stick your hand out. The stipulation is if you step out."

"Set it inside the tent. I'm not approaching the entry way at all," I reply wearily.

"As you wish, m'lady," he remarks. He kneels down, puts his hands through the opening holding all the things he said he had for me, and pushes them as far into the tent as he can. "I'll see you at breakfast, princess. I'd be happy to fetch anything you wish to cook. Just me, I promise."

"I don't want to see anyone," I whisper.

"Of course, m'lady. Good night," comes his soft reply. After trying to sleep, and not being able to, I make my way over to the reading material and water. I peek outside. No fires have been lit, not even for a torch. I can't see much, but I hear the sand grind under the feet as people walk by. I don't hear any talking. The moon provides little light, but nothing inside my tent. 

"Guards? Hello?"

"Yes, princess," a gravelly voice replies.

"I appreciate being given things to pass the time. Can I have a candle to read by though? The light would stay contained in my tent," I try to barter.

"No fires. That is the rule," comes his gruff reply. I sigh and pull my knees to my chest as I hear somebody take off running. Several moments later, the running returns.

"Princess," a breathy voice remarks softly.

"I'm still here," I murmur. The tent flap opens and a sealed glass is pushed in with several lightening bugs.

"Your light, ma'am. It's not much, but it helps me when the nights get long. As your guard, I don't need them tonight. I'll catch more later if needed," the breathy voices states.

"Thank you," I whisper with a smile and pick it up. I hold it next to the reading material. A prophesy, everything that is known about hellhounds, and a map. These are things that I shouldn't see; I know this. So why would Miguel give them to me? I don't want to know the reasoning behind it, but I eagerly read what was given to me. After a quick look over everything, I reread the prophesy several times, trying to break it down and fully understand it.

With eyes of the field,
And hands that feed.
Freedom can be siezed
By the one revealed.
A traveler from afar, indeed.
One month is all you will need
To find them and complete the deed.
When the blood moon is perceived
Their heart must be squeezed.
You will be bound no more; guaranteed. 
Without them, your last will be breathed.
Their heart must bleed.
Down to the last drop, so it is decreed. 
At the highest of the blood moon, proceed.
Drink the crimson river with great speed,
For only one hour undenied
On the traveler you must feed. 
Do this and you will succeed.

Eyes of the field wouldn't necessarily make me think of my own green eyes, but I bake and make everything with my hands; its all edible. I'm sure I didnt help myself with how I acted at supper time either. I traveled from a long way. I lower my head and weep. My death awaits, my blood must fall, and I cannot fight my way out. I must be the one they truly were looking for. I don't know how my heart would be squeezed, but I figured it wouldn't be any different than when I made fresh orange juice, and it would br drank.

After throwing up yet again, I gargle some of the water and spit it out. I cover my sickness with dirt so the smell isn't so overwhelming and take a small sip of water. I gather my reading materials and move to the far corner; I want to be as far away from the hellhounds and those men as possible. Once I'm settled down, I look at the knowledge of hellhounds again. It's full of information, but a few things stick out: they can only be on the earth at night, they are flammable, and cannot see - they rely on the sense of smell to get around. Kern is connected to them mentally and can give directions without having to verbalize it; he only did so for my behalf and to scare me more, I conclude. I look at the map again, but I have never been able to tell up from down on those, so I lose interest quickly in it. As I use the opposite back corner to relieve myself, I hear another shrill whistle like the one from last night and look up in fright. 

I complete my business, stand up, slowly move towards the entrance and notice the the sky is gray, like the first light of day is going to appear. I watch as one by one the hellhounds jump into the earth pits. After about the tenth one or so, the ground rumbles and becomes whole again. I move back and pick up my reading material; that information is not on the fact sheet. I purse my lips and try to focus as I hear indistinct shouting. Three more complete readings, and I am still at a loss as to why Miguel gave me these papers or how I'm really supposed to use this information to avoid being killed. A soft grunt grabs my attention. I clutch my papers to my chest and try to peer through the opening, but I can't see anything. Another grunt and someone falls in front of my tent. I let out a soft gasp and watch in horror as a hand reaches in and opens the flap. In my fright, I knock over my fireflies, breaking the glass they were stored in; they escape and surround me. A foot steps in and I'm left speechless.

© 2017 Lynaelee

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Added on August 3, 2017
Last Updated on September 3, 2017



Sometimes I feel like I need an outlet to express myself. I have never been good with verbal communication, but I have always found an out in writing. I hurt. I bleed. I make mistakes. I cry. Yes,.. more..

If only If only

A Book by Lynaelee

1. *Prologue* 1. *Prologue*

A Chapter by Lynaelee