Racing forward, Keriam swung the stick at the animal's rear leg, aiming for its joint. The resounding crack traveled all the way to her shoulder. She gaped at the broken stick in her hands as the animal shrieked. The leg she'd struck bent at an impossible angle.
It pivoted, dragging its damaged leg, to face her. A blast of sulfur-scented breath exploded over her as it screamed in pain and fury. The sight of several rows of conical teeth and a mouth large enough to swallow her head staggered her as she clutched the broken branch.
With a roar, Eric bounded to his feet. He brought his sword around in a hacking cut, slicing the creature's other rear leg neatly in half.
Every instinct screamed at her to run but Keriam stood rooted to the spot as the creature thundered forward, dragging its rear end. Even on two legs, it was incredibly fast!
At the last second, she rammed the broken stick into its mouth and leaped sideways as it raced past. Orange blood streamed a gory trail from its severed limb. It wheeled around, obviously intent on charging again. Eric jumped between the creature and Keriam, drawing the maddened beast away from her.
In a fit of cunning, the creature darted toward the man but pivoted and charged toward Keriam. She choked on a scream, scrambling back. Eric executed another incredible leap and landed on the thing's wide shoulders. With a fierce battle cry, he drove the sword into the base of its neck. The animal howled, reared and thrashed wildly. Eric lost his powerful grip and flew through the air.
Keriam's scream followed the dull sound of his body hitting a tree.
Heartstone Available in Trade Paperback and E-Formats from Mundania Press