14. The Flipping of the Switch (part 3)

          Like a dead man returned to life, his sculpted limbs were shocked into motion. The heartless someone had flipped the switch yet again, changing him from bad to worse. Grabbing at his shirt, the captain began to shake uncontrollably. Short, shallow, panicky gasps escaped his lips as he clutched his chest with his human hand. Hataru didn't know what to do as he sunk to the floor in a crumpled mess. His metallic claws dug into the soft wooden floor, slicing through it like knives through a tenderized steak. Levi writhed spastically, as if possessed by a vile creature, and nothing would scar the princess more ─  not even the loss of both her parents in the same day ─  than his blood-curdling screams, the sound of pure agony, worse than any screaming mandrake could produce, though slightly less lethal. She stood frozen, barely breathing, watching him roll around the floor, his eyes shut tight, tugging at the deep colored shirt, and gasping for breath between screams.

          Finally, during the short moment while he could open his eyes, his glazed gaze fell upon her frightened form. Even through the pain, he had enough of a thought process to form a simple sentence, "Get out." The slurred words tumbled from his mouth, illegible to Hataru's frightened, deaf ears. Again, he whispered his unheard message, yet she still did not respond. With unexplained fury, he staggered up to his feet like a drunkard and took a large step toward Hataru. "Get out!" he bellowed, roughly pushing her towards the door. His large hands were as cold as ice while his eyes burned with rage and pain.

          "Captain Levi! What are you doing? Are you okay Captain Levi, stop!" A reaction was finally shaken out of the princess, but much to her dismay the pirate did not appeal to her wishes but continued to push her back. "What's wrong with you? Stop, Captain that hurts..."

          "I said 'Get out!' and I mean get out! GO! Get away from me!" his voice was as strong and firm as a brick wall. He meant business, and to clarify his point further he shoved the poor girl back out of the room with all of his might. She stood in the doorway, locking her legs in place with her shoulders set back and her chin held high, shaking her head, defiant, not wanting to be pushed out any further. Tears formed in the wells of her sparkling eyes, but she dare not let them fall. Never in her life had she been treated like this by someone whom she trusted! What had happened to the golden-hearted man that she had met only a few days ago? With the last of his temper-filled breath he screamed at her, "Scram! Get out of here! GO!" and then collapsed to the floor once again with a crashing thud. There he lay, sprawled out like a dead dog

          "Captain? Captain!" Hataru squealed like a cornered hog, about to head off to the slaughter. Her body flew to his side, whooshing out the warm yellow candlelight as she passed, replacing the sunny yellows with shadowy blues. Darkness crowded the room with its overpowering presence, and with the Dark came the Cold. Icy fingers slid over the girl's nightgown, robbing her of any remaining warmth. Chills ran down her spine, raising up small bumps of her flesh, like the skin of a freshly plucked goose. Gentle as a cherub, Hataru leaned over slowly, and set her dainty hand on the collapsed man's stationary back. That was a big mistake.

The End

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