The witch lay in the burning wreckage, shock setting into his body as he looked around. His arms screamed with pain as his magicks stitched them back together, but he couldn’t feel it past the haze that had settled over his mind.

A shift came through the rubble, pieces being pushed aside by an invisible force as an entourage approached. A woman clad in impossibly bright hues of yellow and orange, slippered feet not quite touching the ground as she walked, came into his vision, along with half a dozen guardsmen. Humans, clad in modern armor but holding swords with glowing enchantments etched in them. Witchhunters.

“I think this suits you,” the rival knelt over him, a sickening smile drawn across her face. “Incapacitated, on the ground, my magicks filling your veins. It won’t be long now, will it? It’ll be over even faster, if you’d just command yours leave…”

He wanted to reply, to spit in her face and tell her how he’d have his revenge. But the truth was, he couldn’t do it, even if his jaw wasn’t offset from the attack. He’d never fought another witch before, never really fought a human… he couldn’t do it. He wanted to thrash against the wall of shock keeping him from forcing his body to do his will, to use its magicks to overcome the physical impairments of his injuries, but he wasn’t strong enough. He couldn’t be strong enough.

His head lolled over to the side, looking past the rubble, to another body, crumbled further away. Blood seeping out of it as it lay still, the faintest hint of breath still coming from it. None of them had gone to investigate her… why not? Did they think she wasn’t a threat?

“Really though, Amber, I don’t have all day.” The rival took out a knife, plunging it straight into his chest and through his heart, eliciting a scream and thrash as the witchhunters moved to hold his limbs down. “Say your final prayer, kiss the void for me, and give me your fucking magicks.”

The pain gave him the clarity he so desperately needed. Doing something as precise as this, at a time like this, was risky, but she already had the correct sigils drawn on her…

He screamed an enchantment, words blurring together through blood and pain. The actual pronunciation, the words themselves, were irrelevant; only his intent, only his focus, mattered now. Droplets of raw mana spilled from his wounds, but instead of gravitating to his captor, they began to flow towards the other near-corpse in the room.

The rival watched this with confusion, dipping a finger into the stream and recoiling as the magicks rejected their would-be mistress. Too late, she looked across the room, looking at the body with uncertainty, until she realized what was happening.

The body rose, slowly, magicks slowly working their way up and into fresh wounds, puddles of porcelain forming where they entered. Nails turned to obsidian talons as new life entered its eyes, a cruel smile overcoming it as the witchhunters looked up at it in equal confusion.

The resulting scene was over quick, from the witch’s perspective. Screams, the sound of flesh being rendered, and splashes of blood landing on him, all while his own magicks repelled the knife from his body and began to stitch up the mortal wound in his chest.

When it was done, the newly-birthed doll knelt beside him, laying the corpse of his wouldbe killer beside him and placing her still hand on his chest, mana dripping from it and into his own reservoir. It began the unceremonious work of scavenging the ruins, collecting their most precious items as the sounds of sirens became audible in the far distance. By the time the first ambulances arrived, the scene the paramedics found was a tidy one; bodies lined up next to each other, swords laying atop the chests of the witch hunters, the rival atop a blanket with her hat covering her face. The doll, on its knees with its Miss’ head resting in its lap, a packed bag of luggage next to it, a small figure poking out from it, witnessing the scene before it.

“Amber?” The doll asked quietly, the witch stirring slightly. “It’s going be okay Am… Miss…”






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