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Peter snapped the whip, it cut across TJ's back ripping flesh off. He hit TJ with two more lashes. Robert took the lid off a metal bowl, sitting next to the table. Inside were smouldering yellow coals. Robert placed the knife blade on top of them.
A movement caught Teodor's eye. Steopa had found a way in and stalked his way past the old crates. He drew his sword.
Peter snapped the whip. Each lash came down, TJ screamed. Robert lifted the knife out of the coals. It's blade glowed red.
Teodor waited until Robert turned his back to the door. Teodor opened it, pushing the door a little at a time, so he would not make a sound. Steopa caught Teodor's eye, he lifted his sword. Teodor bared his teeth.
The string of Lithuanian swear words that Steopa yelled, made Peter turn around in surprise. Robert raised his knife. Teodor ran across the floor and tackled Peter, knocking the knife out of his hand.
Peter used the whip on Steopa. Steopa grabbed the barbed end of the whip with his free hand and wrapped it around his wrist pulling Peter closer. Robert punched Teodor. Teodor clamped his jaw around Robert's shoulder, near his neck.
The rusted chain fell to the concrete floor with a loud crash and clanking noise. Teodor rolled Robert over. He saw Amanda bound over to TJ, who laid on the floor next to chain. Peter screamed. Most of Steopa's sword stuck through his back. Steopa twisted it and drew it back out.
Robert grabbed Teodor's mouth. One hand on his upper muzzle, his other on his lower. Teodor tried to shake him off. Robert dug his fingernails into the soft part of his mouth.
“Just like a rabid dog,” Robert said.
Teodor hit Robert across his nose. He let go of Teodor's upper muzzle. Teodor closed his moth, burying his teeth into Robert's other hand. Robert grunted. His mouth clamped shut. Peter's body crumpled to the floor. Steopa stepped over his body and rushed over to Teodor. He raised his sword and swung it.
Robert turned, taking Teodor with him. The sword cut through Teodor's upper arm. Steopa grabbed Robert by the back of his head and brought the point of the sword to his neck.
“You think you are a mage?” Steopa asked.
Robert coughed, because of the sword point. “'course I am. I should have had some steaks.”
“You're too late,” Robert said. “She's coming. I'm the only one that can put her back.”
“The Hag?” Teodor asked.
“She's beautiful isn't she?”
Amanda ran over to him. She clawed at Robert. Teodor had to pull her back.
“Why?” She screamed. “She's killing children.”
“Like I am going to tell you,” Robert said. He chuckled. “There she is.”
Amanda turned her head and raised the corners of her mouth, growling. Steopa threw Robert behind him. Teodor turned.
The shadows darkened along the far wall. They pulled together and started to take a shape of a woman in a black dress. The woman stood taller than Steopa. The Hag opened her mouth and screamed. The sound hurt Teodor's ears.
“I think you have to worry about her now,” Robert said.
Peter rolled over and stood up. His wounds healed. Peter grinned. “She is one mad woman.”
The Hag flew. She screamed and reached for Steopa. He raised his sword up to block her attack. The Hag stopped and changed the direction of her attack. Amanda ran back over to TJ, who had not moved. The Hag swiped her claws at Steopa. He blocked her attack with the sword. Sparks flew off her nails.
Peter walked over to Robert. Teodor watched them, when he could take his eyes of the Hag.
Amanda ran back with the chain in her hands. She swung end around like a flail. She struck the Hag with the end of the chain. The Hag dispersed and reappeared behind Teodor.
She clawed at him. The tips of her fingers ripped his back. Teodor leaped. He landed closer to Peter and Robert. The Hag flew across the concrete.
“There is no child here!” The Hag screamed.
She flowed over Teodor sending a chill down his back. The Hag stood in front of Peter and Robert. “I want my child!”
“After you kill those three,” Peter said.
The Hag glanced over her shoulder. She did not have eyes, but Teodor could feel her studied him. Steopa rushed over.
Teodor stopped him. “Something's up.”
The Hag turned her attention back to Peter and Robert. “They are not my problem. They are yours.”
“You have to do it,” Robert said. “They hunt children too.”
“That's a lie!” Amanda yelled.
The Hag glanced over to Amanda. Her orb-less eyes glanced at TJ's body then Amanda.
“We never hunt children,” Steopa said. “Those two torture them to bring you here, did you know that?”
The Hag hissed.
“Yeah, typical men,” Teodor said.
Amanda shot him a strange look. The Hag screamed. She flung her nails out, they lengthened until they reminded Teodor of sickles. She raised her hand.
Peter dove. Robert did not move fast enough, she split him into four pieces.
Steopa stepped aside to let Peter run pass him. The Hag flew. She caught him and enveloped him in her shadows. The shadows ebbed and flowed. Peter's hand thrust out of them, then he was swallowed again.
The Hag disappeared. Peter's body laid on the floor. His skin turned dark and leathery, like a mummy.
Amanda dropped the chain. “It's over.”
“I hope so,” Steopa said.
“Is TJ...?” Teodor asked.
“He was breathing,” Amanda said.
Steopa closed his eyes. “Very faint heartbeat.”
Amanda changed back to her human form. “Go call someone, I'll try to help.”
Teodor turned to leave. Steopa caught up with him. “The police?”
“No, they are looking for me,” Teodor said. “I'll call Bilge.”