– “IN HEL” –
Hel stumbled into the kitchen of her apartment. She somehow managed to make her way over to the sink and turn the tap on, full force. She leaned over, started weakly scrubbing at her arms. It was useless.
There so much blood, not just hers. She cupped her trembling hands under the tap, dipped her head to suck in mouthful after mouthful of the chlorine-heavy water.
She eased back, shrugging off her jacket. Besides the blood, there was a scorched hole through the front. The wound had already started to heal but the flesh there was still tender. Her trembling hand went to her stomach. The skin under her hand glowed briefly. Too briefly.
“That’s enough!” Hel hissed at the one within. “We’ll both die at this rate.”
The attack had been swift and she could just kick herself for getting caught off guard like that. Before she knew it, she’d been surrounded. There’d been five of them–the monstrous, howling things.
Hard to tell what exactly they were. Likely common fauna had been corrupted and deformed into giant, snarling beasts. Rusty as Hel was, her self-protection spells hadn’t been strong enough to repel all of them.
While distracted, she’d stupidly left herself open to a full frontal assault from the witch controlling the creatures. Barraged with the transubstantiation of ill-will pumping poison right down into the marrow, Hel had barely escaped alive.
She was alive, she knew, thanks only to the one within. She’d somehow managed to drag herself home but she was still far from out of the woods. Her bones still hummed from the witch’s blood spell, the wicked poison twisting away through her body like a snake.
Deep inside, from the very depths of her being, a different kind of heat ebbed and strained. It was a desperate sort will and it fought to purge the agony and malice invading her cells. As it healed her ravaged body, that gentle energy grew weaker and colder by the second.
“That’s enough! You have to stop.” she feebly urged. “Please, just sleep.” Those whispered words became a mantra as darkness descended. “Sleep now. Just… sleep.”