“Where’s de Lancre?” asked Maite.
“He’s still in there, mad as hell. I only slowed him down a little. Where’s Blas?” asked Kepa.
Maite grabbed Kepa’s hand and pulled him down the hall. “I stashed him in one of the side rooms so I could come back to help.”
They ran down the hall. “He knows us,” said Kepa.
Buber’s Basque Story is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!
“What?” yelled Maite. “How?”
“I don’t know, but he said something about ‘last time.’”
“I bet it’s the time travel. This is the first time we’ve fought him, but maybe it’s not the first time he fought us.”
As they reached the end of the hall, which forked both left and right, they heard a rumbling sound, almost like a growl, come from behind them. They turned, looking back at where they had just come from, just in time to see the door to the laundry room blast off of its hinges and smash into the opposite wall. They stood there, stunned, as they watched de Lancre, literally floating above the floor, emerge from the room and turn towards them, fury in his eyes. His hands glowed as sparks flew between his fingertips.
“How dare you!” he bellowed, his voice causing the walls to shake as his body floated down the hall towards them. “You insignificant worms! You dare challenge me?”
He raised his hand, the sparks growing more intense. Kepa pushed Maite aside as he himself fell to the floor just as a bolt of electricity shot from de Lancre’s hand and fried the wall behind where Kepa had just stood just seconds before.
“Run!” yelled Kepa as he looked back up at de Lancre. The man’s face was twisted in rage as he approached. Maite ran down the hallway to the left.
“Yes, run!” screamed de Lancre. “Run, so I can hunt you down. So I can sear the flesh from your bones.”
Kepa dove to the right as another bolt of electricity scorched the tiles where he had just been lying. He scrambled to his feet and ran down the right hallway, hoping to draw de Lancre away from where Maite had gone. As he ran, he turned to look down the hall behind him. His heart sank as he saw de Lancre turn toward the left, down the hallway that Maite had disappeared in.
“Madarikatu! Damn it!” cursed Kepa as he turned and ran back the way he had come. He chased de Lancre down the hall and around a bend. As he turned the corner, he saw Maite, maybe thirty feet ahead of de Lancre, push open a door and enter a room. “What is she doing?” he thought, panic filling him. “She’s trapped!”
He pushed himself, running as fast as he could ever remember. His lungs were burning but he was gaining on de Lancre. “Ez!” he screamed as de Lancre burst through the door Kepa had seen Maite enter. A few moments later, he was at the door, dreading what he might find on the other side. As he pushed it open, he saw de Lancre, his back to the door, approaching Maite, who was pressed against the far wall.
“Where is he?” hissed de Lancre. “Where is that Basque bastard? Where is the magic he carries?”
“Hemen naiz!” yelled Blas as he jumped out from behind a partition and flung his suitcase as hard as he could, smashing it into the back of de Lancre’s head. de Lancre’s body crumpled to the floor.