The massive coils of the Onyx Python looped around Regida’s body. Muscular beyond comprehension, they crushed the young bandit from all sides. Her arm, caught in the serpent’s hook-like teeth, wrenched hard to one side. Regida felt her arm bone snap, but could not draw the breath to scream. A roaring sound filled her ears. All the world was pain.
Then, Sabit was there. Raising her spear high into the air, she thrust down fast and hard. The sharp iron spearpoint bit deep into the black and silver scales of the beast’s head before it glanced off the snake’s thick skull.
Regida’s vision grew dim. She could not breathe. Did she see Sabit’s spear, still emerging from the Python’s head? Was that Sabit’s hand, thrusting a broken arrow into the serpent’s eye?
Reptilian muscles pulsed around Regida as the Python rolled away from Sabit’s furious attack. She drew a thimble-full of air. She had lost sight of Sabit’s lodged spear, vanished somewhere beneath the beast.
The squeezing began again. Regida felt a rib crack. Before her eyes went dim, her last sight was Sabit leaping upon the serpent’s head. She felt a sharp pain in her arm, impossibly far away.
A sudden jolt shook the snake’s body from tongue to tail-tip. The squeezing stopped. Regida fought to breathe. A pile of snake-flesh weighed down upon her, but its crush was nothing next to the deadly embrace of the Python’s coils.
Regida drank in a deep, shuddering lungful of air. She breathed and coughed and breathed once more. One of her arm blazed with agony, the other trapped beneath her torso. Her most desperate kicks were barely tremors beneath the dead beast’s bulk.
Then, the weight was gone. Regida looked up, blinking against the light.
“No one dies today, Regida,” said Sabit.
Wayfarings of Sabit: Bandit Queen is copyright (c) 2017 by Michael S. Miller. All rights reserved. New chapters are posted on Monday and Thursday. You can support this and other stories on Patreon, https://patreon.com/michaelsmiller, or at http://ipressgames.com/fiction/.