The Shredder shoved its claws toward my gut. I twisted away at the last second, but I didn’t get as far as I wanted. My stomach brushed across the demon’s thick, mutilated arm. The smell of sulfur and sour rot almost choked me. I tried to cut it with my hatchet, but the Shredder yanked its arm away. Before I could react, its elbow slammed into the side of my head.
Stars exploded behind my eyes. I felt like I’d been hit with a brick. I landed hard on the ground, rolling to catch my fall. The Shredder stabbed down with its claws, forcing me to wrench my body to the side so I didn’t get skewered. I swung around in a crouch, drawing another silver knife from inside my jacket so I was doubly armed. I got to my feet and backed up, my head still pounding from the hit. My sight was semi-blurred, which made dodging and ducking the Shredder’s claws much more of a challenge.
Then I backed up too far. My spine hit a metal beam. I panicked for half a second, giving the Shredder a chance to swing its claws at my face. I ducked and twisted behind the post. Metal screeched as the bony claws sliced across it. I took cover behind the post and hurled my silver throwing knife into the Shredder’s eye.
Its head rocked back and it roared in fury. One of its hands went for the weapon. It curled its hand around the blessed weapon, bellowing its rage as the silver burned it. I could hear flesh sizzling, but at least it was distracted. I kept away from its good eye, hoping it wouldn’t be able to sense me before I found a way to kill it. I’d faced this kind of demon before, but the fight hadn’t gone well for me that time.
Holding my hatchet tightly, I crept behind the Shredder and slashed the blade along its heavily scarred back. The Shredder cringed and stumbled forward a step, still gripping my knife. It screamed when it ripped my knife from its eye, then swung its arms back at me. The claws narrowly missed my chest, but I still kept away from its good eye. I darted around its back and lashed out again, the hatchet blade catching it in the back of the knee.
Thick, oily blood splattered onto my jeans and combat boots. The demon didn’t buckle like I hoped. Instead, it twisted sharply, and finally saw me with its uninjured eye. Its lips peeled back in a nasty snarl, and I knew I was in trouble.
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