Summoning Monsters

Medusa aimed at her target, some nameless local girl bound to the wall of a barn. The girl was beautiful, and seeing her had caused the gorgon to fly into a rage.

She ordered some of the nameless soldiers to bring the girl to her, and they obeyed immediately, anxious to be away from her.

Several arrows already protruded from the wall, dangerously close to the girl’s head and torso.

Medusa was pleased her aim had not faltered in this strange land. She really didn’t understand much about it, but she really didn’t care. As long as there were beautiful women and sailors to hunt, she didn’t care where she was.

Fraulein Medusa!” called out a nameless soldier from somewhere in the shadows.

She considered shooting him for interrupting her entertainment, but decided against it; she expected he had been ordered to find her, and perhaps even tell her they were ready to depart for the land called Norway.

“Yes?” she said.

Herr Necrosis wishes to speak with you,” he said.

“Very well,” she said. “Tell him I will be along shortly.”

Ja, Fraulein,” he said, and she heard him scurrying away.

She returned her attention to the girl and loosed four arrows with mind-boggling speed. Each one struck one of the girl’s limbs, and by the time the girl’s mind had registered the pain from the first arrow, the fourth had already struck.

Medusa shouldered her bow and slithered towards the girl, who was now wailing in agony.

“Hush, child,” she said. “I can end your pain. All you need to do is open your eyes.”

The girl kept her eyes shut.

“Open them,” Medusa said, annoyed at the girl’s defiance. “Open them or I will let my children have their way with you. I can assure you their venom is quite painful.”

Several strands of her hair hissed eagerly and lunged for the girl, but they were just out of range; however, they were close enough for their tongues to flick against the girl.

After a moment, the girl’s shoulders slumped as she accepted her fate. She lifted her head and opened her eyes.

In a moment, she was turned to stone, her expression one of horror.

For a moment, Medusa knew happiness as she beheld the look on the girl; it was the one most often worn by her victims when she petrified them, and she had yet to tire of it.

She slithered back a few steps, then lashed out with her tail, smashing the girl to pieces and ensuring she would never return to life.

She looked down on the remains for a moment then slithered to the necromancer.

*****

The Horseman was in a nearby stable, brushing the mane of his horse. Given their natures, there was no need for it, but it was a habit he had gotten into during life, and it was something not easily let go of, even in death.

He was feared as an indiscriminate slayer of men, women, and children, but he was also a soldier, and good soldiers always maintained their equipment. Every day, he fed and watered the horse, as well as looking it over for any injuries, before taking it out for a ride and then a brush down afterward.

Herr Horseman?” a voice called out.

He turned to see a young soldier of his homeland standing before him. Of course, without a head, he did not actually see or hear, but he had been compensated for their loss in other ways.

Herr Necrosis has called for you,” the soldier said.

The Horseman bowed slightly in acknowledgment, then mounted his horse and rode towards the train that held the necromancer.

Much had changed since his lifetime, and he didn’t fully understand all of the advances, but he really didn’t need to; there would always be a need for men like him.

He put his horse in its own car. It did not like being put away—like him, it was a creature of war—but it understood the need for doing so. It truly was a magnificent creature, even without its abilities.

He thought back to the day he had acquired it. He had been at a stable, looking for a mount to replace the one he had lost, and he was drawn to it.

He paid the price demanded without even bothering to haggle, and the horse had quickly shown he had made the right choice. It reacted to his commands without hesitation, and the commotion of war did not startle it as so many of its brethren.

He had been pleased to see it returned with him after losing his head.

*****

As he stepped out of the car, he met the snake woman.

“Well met, Horseman,” she said. “Shall we see Necrosis together?”

He bowed slightly, and they went to the car holding the necromancer.

“You wanted to speak with us?” she asked him.

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