I couldn't move as I watched Edgar pick himself up off the ground. His glasses were skewed, and he fixed them while giving me to most pitiful look I'd ever seen.
“Amber, I swear, I didn't—"
“Edgar, what have you done?" I screamed. I and grabbed me mom's shoulder and began to back away.
“I didn't!" I insisted. His skin was pale, and his eyes were red, like he'd been crying the entire time he'd been in Hendricks' car. “He knew I was going to be there, and he caught me! I swear, I…"
“The poor boy was lost in the middle of the big city," Hendricks gloated, looking immensely proud of himself. “I took it upon myself to bring him back to his friends."
Ed reached up to rub a bump on the side of his head. His little suit jacket was missing one of its sleeves, and I couldn't see his scepter anywhere on him. Had he really betrayed us to Hendricks? Did the little twerp even have the guts to do something like that?
“Enough of this," Hendricks spoke up again. “Amber, I kept my end of the agreement. Your mother is free, so it's time to go."
I took my eyes off of Edgar to glare at him. “I'm not going anywhere with you!"
Hendricks sighed dramatically, and then tapped his cane on the ground again. His shadow grew, stretching across the parking lot until it covered me. Suddenly, I wasn't able to move.
“Amber!" my mom screamed, and she stepped forward to help me. Hendricks swung his cane, and, even though he was nowhere near her, she fell to the ground with a grunt of pain.
“I may be a demon," he said, strolling casually over to me, “but I keep my promises. Now it's time to keep yours."
Victor's voice rang out across the parking lot, and suddenly he appeared in front of us. He swung his scepter in a wide arc, its red gem glowing, and Hendricks barely managed to lean out of the way before it struck his head. Victor followed it up with a second attack, which Hendricks also dodged, and then held his wand out and shot a bolt of red energy at him. Hendricks lashed out with his cane, evaporating the magic, and when he did I felt his shadow's grip on me loosen. It was just a little bit, nowhere near enough for me to escape, but it was still noticeable.
“Don't worry, Amber, we'll get you out of here." I looked, and saw Dex appear out of nowhere too. He stayed farther back than Victor, and shot three bolts of yellow energy. Hendricks whirled around, his coat billowing, and deflected those attacks as well. While he had his back turned, Victor came at him, raising his wand to stab him with its sharp jewel. Without even turning, Hendricks thrust his leg out behind him, kicking Victor in the stomach, and then spun around to slam his cane into the side of his head. Victor stumbled backwards, dazed, and while he was distracted Hendricks turned back towards Dex. He held out his cane, and what looked like black lightning shot from the tip. Dex raised his scepter just in time to block it, but it still threw him off his feet. He flew backwards through the air until he struck a streetlight, and then fell to the ground, unconscious.
While all this was going on, I could feel the shadow's grip on me growing weaker and weaker. If they could distract him just a little bit more, maybe I could break free and escape. Victor came at him again and swung his scepter. Hendricks parried the attack with his cane, but Victor moved with the demon's momentum, using it to lead himself into a new attack. He spun around, trying to strike Hendricks from the other side, but Hendricks blocked that as well. Then, with a movement that was almost casual, he swung his cane down and knocked Victor's feet out from under him. Victor fell to the ground, but swung his legs around to kick Hendricks in the gut— which, of course, he just stepped away from.
“Where's Mr. Wrogan?" I asked. If anyone here was a match for a demon, it would be him.
“Wrogan has his own problems to take care of," Hendricks answered, rapping Victor on the head again when he tried to get up.
Just as he said that, something came barreling out of the trees at the edge of the parking lot. Two things, actually, and both of them were huge. One was Mr. Wrogan, wrestling with what looked like a hyena the size of a grizzly bear. He was carrying a hammer bigger than I was, and he slammed it into the monster's side. The hyena-thing barely stumbled from the impact, and then lunged at him. Under its size and weight, even Mr. Wrogan couldn't keep his footing, and it pinned him to the ground.
“Good girl, Becky," Hendricks called, tauntingly. “Just keep him there for a bit." He turned and walked to where I was being held. I struggled, desperately trying to break free, but his magic still had too strong a hold on me. “This has been fun, Amber, and I always appreciate the chance to punish these fools, but I have other business to attend to. Let's go."
With that, he grabbed me by my hand, and threw me into the car like I only weighed as much as a doll. I hit the driver's side door, and the world spun around me for a second. I quickly got my bearings, though, and looked out the door to see Hendricks about to climb into the car with me. When he had one foot in the door, Victor appeared behind him once again.
“You're not getting away this time!" he shouted, swinging his wand. Hendricks barely glanced at him before he swung his cane, knocking Victor's weapon out of his hand.
“You humans just don't know when to quit," he said, and landed three quick blows on Victor. One on his leg, one on his chest, and one on his neck. Victor crumpled to the ground with a moan, and Hendricks sat down next to me, slamming the door. “Drive, Octopus!"
“Yeah, Boss!" the little man up front cackled. “Go, go, go!"
The car lurched into motion, quickly picking up speed as it swung around and made for the road again. The engine was still eerily silent. I sat in my seat, my skin as cold as ice as I looked at the demon— my new captor.
“You may want to buckle up," he said, examining his nails. “The Octopus likes to run people over when he drives."
“Boss!" the Octopus screeched from the front seat. “Behind us!"
Hendricks turned around in his seat to look out the back window.
“Oh, for the love of God," he groaned. “Lose him, Octopus!"
I craned my head around to look as well, and what I saw reignited a small spark of hope that I might actually get out of this mess alive.
Victor was coming after us, and he was riding a shopping cart.
NEXT TIME: Looks like Victor's not giving up just yet… Okay guys, seriously, you have to be here for next week's chapter. I'm proud of just all my stories, but this may just be the coolest scene I've ever written. High speed chase between Hendricks' ghost limo and Victor's shopping cart. Chaos ensues! Woohoo!