The finger of God loomed in the distance. The huge mountain of rock jutted high in the air. Some had said that the rock had formed overnight in a time when the people had first gone astray. They said that it was a reminder that some day God would return and retake the land. A group of religious fanatics made yearly journeys to the rock and would scale the edifice to the very top.
Samantha had always wondered about the rock formation and how it had formed. She wondered if the stories were true about the group that worshiped there. She also wondered about the idea of God. He had never been there for her.
“Where are we going?” Samantha asked.
The blonde man turned toward her as their horses raced on. He pointed at the finger and said, “That way.”
“We will find supplies there and then we will head north.”
“Why north? I thought there was only wasteland that way.”
“There is…” he said. “…but when we get through it, we will meet my people.”
The group reached the base of the finger and dismounted. Samantha’s legs ached from the long ride. It had been a long time since she had ridden a horse or been outside of the arena for that matter. She walked up to the rock and put her hand to it. The stone surface was smooth and cool to the touch.
She pulled her hand back quickly from the rock and held it with her other. She looked at the rock. What was that? She thought she had felt something. It was almost like she had touched flesh.
The blonde walked up to her and held out his hand. “My name is Kyle.” He pointed at the other man who was dark skinned. His head was shaved bald and he had a thin black beard that ran along the curve of his chin. “This is Simeon.”
Simeon nodded and then went back to tightening the belts on the horse’s saddle.
Samantha grasped Kyle’s hand and said, “Hi, I’m Samantha, but you can call me Sam.”
Kyle grinned. “It’s nice to meet you. We had best get going before they catch up.”
Kyle turned and walked around the base of the rock.
Samantha looked up the rock formation and saw that up a ways metal pins were stuck into the side of the rock. They had eye hooks in them that were as round as her wrist. “Is it true that people actually scale this rock?”
Kyle followed her gaze up. “Yes, they do. They hook thick metal cables through the pins and then to several horses. They then hook the other end to a basket and pull people to the top.”
Samantha whistled as she looked to the top. “You wouldn’t catch me up in the air that high.”
Kyle laughed. “Someday, maybe.”
They circled around the base of the finger until they came to a crack in the side. Simeon walked into the crack and returned quickly with several bags. He tied them to the three horses and then went back in, returning again with several water skins. He handed two to Samantha and two to Kyle leaving two for him.
“Thanks,” Samantha said.
Simeon nodded and then mounted his horse.
“I’ve been thinking. I need to go back to my family’s place.” Samantha said. She didn’t want to look into those blue eyes, worrying that she would see disapproval.
Kyle stopped mounting and walked to Samantha.
She instinctively reached for a knife in her belt pulling it quickly from its sheath.
Kyle held up his hands and backed up. “Whoa. I’m not going to hurt you.”
Samantha blushed slightly but continued to hold the knife. “I need to go to my family’s place.”
Kyle put his hand to his chin for a moment then looked back at Simeon. “Do we have time?”
“Okay, but we need to hurry. We don’t have a lot of time,” Kyle said.
“What do you mean not a lot of time?” Samantha asked.
“We need to be back to my people soon. They have been waiting for me and will be worrying about me.”
“You can go on without me. I can pay you for the supplies and horse.”
Kyle laughed. “With what?”
Samantha pulled the knife back. “Or I can just take them.”
Kyle’s smile faded. “Samantha, don’t misunderstand me. I am your friend and at this time your only friend. We are here to help you.”
“Why? Who are you?”
Kyle held up his hand and looked past her. He knelt to the ground and put his ear to the ground.
Samantha felt a small tremor in the ground and she turned. She couldn’t see anything but a huge dust cloud coming their way.
Kyle jumped to his feet and pulled his bow from his back. He notched an arrow and looked at the dust storm. “Ready yourself. We will not be able to outrun them.”
Simeon pulled two scimitars from their scabbards tied to his back. He buttoned his black vest and pulled a pair of goggles over his eyes. Turning his horse with his knees he faced the oncoming storm.
Samantha pulled another knife from her belt looked at the dust. She could now hear a roar and her legs were vibrating even more. Within a few minutes she could see the cause of the dust.
The vehicle that was speeding toward them had a large grate connected to the front of it and a smoke stack out the top. The driver had a black leather cap on with goggles covering his eyes.
Twang. Kyle released the arrow. The arrow penetrated the front windshield causing it to crack. The driver held steady though and continued on toward them. A barrel appeared out the passenger window.
Kyle jerked as the bullet smashed into his left arm.
Samantha felt the small ball graze her side and the warm blood begin to run down.
Samantha thought of the ice knife and released it. It flew toward the car turning to ice as it went. When it hit the metal grate it exploded and tiny shards went everywhere.
The car swerved right, then left, then it flipped and tumbled to a stop.
Simeon kicked his horse and sped toward the dust cloud. Kyle dropped the bow and pulled a rapier from his side and followed.
The door to the car flew open and several men jumped out. They wore black leather armor and held broad swords.
In the front a man wearing a black top hat held a pistol and long sword. The arm that held the long sword had metal coils running around it. The coils emitted a soft red light. He aimed at Simeon and fired.
Simeon dropped one of his scimitars but continued on. His black horse barreled into one of the men and he slashed downward striking the man across the back of his shoulder.
The man went down and another swung in toward Simeon.
Simeon easily deflected the blow and turned his own blade to hit the man across the arm.
Kyle had reached the group and Samantha was closing in. She threw another ice dagger. The dagger sank into the man’s shoulder.
The man began to scream as he clawed at the knife that was turning his arm to ice.
Kyle blocked an incoming sword and circled around behind the man.
The black stallion fell.
Simeon rolled away from the horse and was back on his feet with one fluid motion. His eyes went red and he roared as he charged the top hat man. He slashed at an unfortunate man that got in his way. The scimitar ripped through the man’s leather armor causing a thin line of blood to appear. Simeon grabbed the man by the back of the head and then smashed his forehead into his nose.
The man backed up holding his hands to his face. He tripped over another fallen and fell to the blood covered ground.
Samantha saw the top hat man aiming for another shot. She thought of an ice wall in front of him. Ice erupted up from the ground in front of the man.
Bang. The bullet went only halfway through the wall.
Simeon circled the wall and the man swung his long sword at him. There was a loud clang as the two swords collided.
Kyle cut down another man and ran to the ice barrier, Samantha was right behind him. They rounded just in time to see the top hat man hit Simeon across the chest with the red coils.
Samantha could smell burning flesh and leather as the coils flashed bright red.
Simeon screamed out and fell to the ground.
The top hat man looked at the two newcomers. “All I want is the girl and you two can leave in peace.” He held the pistol level with Kyle’s head.
Samantha held her last knife in her hand and looked at Kyle.
“You are outnumbered. We can take you,” Kyle said.
The man just smiled and shrugged. “Maybe, but you will not live to see it happen. This is your last chance give me the girl and leave in peace. Fight for her and you will be hunted forever.”
Simeon jumped at the man.
The man turned the gun and fired.
Samantha flung the knife.
The knife sunk deep into the man’s bare chest and Kyle swung with all his might but the man brought his metal arm up in time to deflect the blow.
Simeon lay lifeless on the cracked ground, blood pooling around him.
Samantha grabbed dust from the ground and flung it toward the man. The dust hit the man and he flew several feet back and landed with a thud.
Kyle jumped toward the man, catching him off guard. He thrust his sword into his side.
“You will be hunted forever now. You have chosen your side,” the man gurgled before his body finally went limp.
Kyle rested on the blade that was in the man and looked uncertainly at Samantha.