They were nothing but shadows with quilled edges and glowing eyes.
No soft spots.
“Four against one.” He scoffed. “I’ve had worst odds stacked against me.”
The flames flickered out, leaving them in the dark again. Their glowing eyes – the only lights.
Until they closed their eyes.
Then, they dove in for the attack.
He let out a yell as their quills pricked and stabbed him.
He slashed at them with the letter opener.
Most of his slashes were misses.
Others were not.
The tang of old potatoes fouled up the air as they bled. Yet, they kept coming at him. Stabbing and lashing at him. Shooting quills into him.
He was tired and warm and exhausted.
But he kept fighting back.
Until only one was left standing.
It backed away from him and opened its eyes.
Ambrose knelt in a hurting hunch, breathing hard and shivering. Quills stuck out all over his back and arms.
He tightened his grip on the letter opener. “Come on.” He looked up at the creature. “What are you waiting for? Attack me. I’m ready for you.”
“Are you, Ambrosssse Sssssmith?”
He clenched his teeth and struggled to hold back a scream.
“Ambrose.” Elsie knelt before him. Heaven’s glow shined around her.
Tears fell from his eyes. “Elsie.”
He made a sound that was half a moan and half a cry.
“What do you think?” A Bossman 550 appeared in her arms. “Shall I kill you?”
He laughed. It wasn’t a happy sound. “You aren’t her. You aren’t. Elsie would never waste time with questions. If she wanted to kill me, she’d kill me. She would never, EVER give me a choice.” He lunged forward and stabbed it with the letter opener.
Elsie’s features peeled away, revealing the creature with the glowing eyes. It blinked in surprise, before falling dead.
Ambrose sat back on his feet and howled out all of his pain and grief.