As my head swung back, I watched the screwdriver twist in his hand. He’d hit me with the handle and relief rained down. I wasn’t about to feel the delayed effect of a puncture to my chest. There was still a chance despite the pain, which was strong enough to force the breath from my lungs, to hamper my fists as they balled. I swung out my left arm, moving to block a second blow. His grip was poor and the tool went spiralling under the bed as my arm swung wide against his.
Smashing my right fist against his cheek, he reacted with only the slightest flinch, barely showing the pain searing up through my fist had been of any worth. A second blow and his hand was up at my head, clubbing my temple again and again with a speed I had no hope to match. With each strike I felt the weight of my fist lighten, the edge of my vision blacking, forming a circle like a Photoshop filter. The blows kept coming and so did mine, albeit slower. He was angling me to his side with his body while I fought to find a soft spot on his skull. His aim went wide, catching the back of my head. My legs gave way and I rolled to the side, blackness fell all around, but I still felt the floor rise to jar against my back.
My eyes were open, but I hadn’t missed time. He was rising to his feet, his face bloodier than I remembered inflicting. His features screwed up with rage, anger pouring in my direction, but rather than coming straight at me, he turned. I followed his eyes to the short guy on his back, him and Cassie were each holding the crowbar with both their hands, each trying to turn in the opposite direction, to twist away out of the other’s grip. The skinhead had moved, twisted around and was launching himself away at pace. He was going for the baseball bat laying on the bed.
My eyes dropped to the floor and I saw the screwdriver nestled in the thick pile of the carpet underneath. I rolled, barrelling my way with my arms tucked up in vain, but still with every rotation, every twist, the darkness closed in around my dizzying vision. Stopping only as I hit his feet, I reached out, but before I could make contact under the bed, a size ten boot smashed my legs together just below the knee. My hands reeled back and I rolled away, a vision of Cassie still locked in battle cycled passed my view. Hitting the wall, I once again stopped and saw the skinhead with the handle of the bat in both hands, the wood raised high above his head, one foot going in front of the other in my direction.
I tried to scrabble to my feet, but the new pain in my knee just left me laying. Time was up. He was close enough and the swing of the bat was committed. Instead of lunging forward, trying to get as close to him as I could, I pushed up tight to the wall. The bat swung, catching just the edge of my coat. I grabbed for the rounded end as he was pulling it back, trying to raise it high and he inadvertently helped me to my feet, but not for long. My left knee collapsed and I fell, pushing off the wall with my good leg, my arms grabbing around his waist, sending myself forward, him back, the bat hitting him square in the face as he hit the floor. He lay still for a moment, his eyes fluttering open and closed. I knew it would be just for a moment and saw the screwdriver glinting under the bed.
With one last thrust, and using all my energy, knowing if this didn’t work I would be spent, would be wide open for him to do his worst, my finger connected with the handle, the tip of my index touching the wooden end, edging it slowly closer. I flinched a look and saw him rolling at my side. My fingers clutched around the handle and I lunged the screwdriver down, only able to aim in his last known direction. Before the driver connected, I saw the bat raised above my head, but the screwdriver fell from my grip. The bat swung down, hitting my shoulder with little force. Blood sprayed from his neck and I saw the crowbar embedded deep as he fell forward, showering me in his warmth.
His full, dead weight landed on my chest, leaving only my head uncovered to see Cassie behind him, her eyes wide, not able to hide the shock of what she’d just done. I was powerless to help as the short guy picked up a glass perfume bottle from the mirrored dresser, smashing it against her head, sending her sprawling, blooded to the floor.
His eyes too fixed in awe as he looked around the room, at his pal who couldn’t be saved, at the crowbar as he pulled it from the neck dripping with blood, at me as he drew the crowbar high, at Cassie as he swung it down towards my face.
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Reading out of sequence? Why? Here’s Chapter One