(EXCERPT FROM WORK IN PROGRESS, Title TBD)
Tomás de Torquemada had Elizabeth Báthory pinned as he attempted to rip her arm off with the scimitar embedded in her collarbone. The crowd cheered. Zaebos sighed dramatically, not paying the least bit of attention to the fight.
“We could get a huge payout this time!” Sobek said eagerly, eyes on the combatants. “I could finally take Nidaba to Jahannam like I promised.”
Zaebos sighed even more loudly and dramatically. His crocodilian companion Sobek pretended not to hear. He was busy watching Báthory try to break free by stabbing Torquemada in the shin with a Bowie knife. Torquemada barely seemed to notice, shouting something in Spanish that was drowned out by the crowd’s jeering. Frustrated at the lack of sympathy, Zaebos sighed increasingly loudly, soon reaching a pitch that was more of a growl than a sigh.
Sobek finally acknowledged his friend’s misery, rolling his eyes but keeping them in the direction of the fight.
“What is the problem this time?”
“You could at least acknowledge my pain, you know.”
“Just be glad you aren’t Báthory.” The injured woman had broken free of Torquemada, her useless arm dangling at her side. She grabbed a medieval flail and turned on the Grand Inquisitor.
“You know what I mean.”
“She dumped you. Get over it. Succubi are flighty. I don’t know what you were expecting.”
A scream echoed over the crowd. Torquemada had picked up a flamethrower. Half of Báthory’s face was currently alight.
“She was different.”
“You say that every time one of them breaks your heart. When are you going to learn?”
Zaebos pouted as Báthory swung a now flaming flail at Torquemada. Torquemada turned, the blow hitting the flamethrower fuel tanks, causing it to burst violently as the tanks cracked and ignited. Now both combatants were on fire. Jeers from the audience grew louder.
“Why don’t you go see Mother? She could help you.”
“It’s embarrassing!” Zaebos wailed pitifully. His outburst was barely audible over the crowd and the enraged battle cry Báthory emitted as she swung a huge war hammer at her flaming enemy. She missed him by inches. Torquemada was handed a pike, and while his opponent was off balance, he shoved the pike between her eighth and ninth ribs.
“If Báthory wins, I’ll take you out for tea. Maybe that will help.”
“It won’t,” Zaebos said, sticking out his bottom lip and looking as miserable as possible. It was difficult being a tragic hero and having nobody even notice.