Chapter 6 – Crumplestiltskin
“As I said,” the hooded man said once again. “I really wouldn’t recommend you do that.”
His words only made the stubborn boy even more defiant as Jakob wrapped his hands around Hanna’s on the handle to avoid touching the burning blade. He gave a hard tug up. But of course, the saber was still glued to Hanna’s hand. Jakob’s hand slipped up to the hilt, where he yelped in pain when it got close to the blade again.
He must have jerked away faster because the boy didn’t seem to be in as much pain as previously. Jakob swiveled back and grabbed the handle below Hanna’s fist firmly with one hand. Then the boy slid a few fingers just above the top of her fist so that he wasn’t touching the hilt of the saber.
This time, instead of trying to pull the weapon up out of her hand, Jakob pulled the saber toward him. And, of course, he could not yank it free. The other boys quickly gathered around him, as if to help him. Jakob strained to tear the saber from Hanna. Several of the other boys reached around him to pull on his arms. His brother even wrapped their arms around Jakob’s chest to get a solid grip on him and help pull.
Unfortunately for one of Jakob’s friends, his hand slipped from someone’s sweaty arm. His hand slid up to the blade, where he singed his palms and forearm. He hopped off, hollering and jumping around, shaking his hands.
Hanna did everything to let go. She strained against them, but they weren’t strong enough to pull it from her. One by one they let go. Finally, it was just Jakob and his brother pulling on Hanna. Jakob lost his grip on the handle of the saber and both boys went flying backward onto the ground.
Jokull rolled out from under his brother and ran at Hanna. He rolled his shoulder down and hit her in the midsection. She pulled back, but didn’t have time to dodge or duck. She took a direct hit. It forced her back a step, but that was the extent of her damage. Jokull grunted and looked at her in surprise while he rubbed his sore shoulder.
Then he came in for another attack. He wrapped his arms around her midsection and tried to shove her back to the ground. But she stood solidly in place. Jokull grunted as he pushed and pulled to rock Hanna off her feet.
The boy stood up, panting. He brushed his hands off on his shirt and then moved around her with his fists up as if he were going to punch her. She pointed the saber in the direction of his throat and pushed the tip closer to him. Jokull flinched away from the blade, but continued to circle her. Finally, he threw his arms down and sighed in frustration.
He and Jakob looked at each other. Then, as if on cue, they both charged Hanna from opposite sides. They pushed and strained, but Hanna just stood there. To her, it felt as if they weren’t applying any pressure at all. She quickly tired of them standing with their arms wrapped around her, so she placed the saber lightly on the backs of their necks. The brothers screamed at the searing pain and let go of her immediately.
Hanna looked over at the hooded man, who continued to watch her. She seemed to sense the hint of a smile at the corner of his lips. She started to ask him a question, but before she could get it out of her mouth, Jokull charged the hooded man. He swirled his cloak and lifted them up into the air.
Jokull charged straight through him as if the man were air. He ran straight into the center of the rune cubes. And that’s where everything went wrong. Even though Hanna couldn’t see anything between the stones, Jokull’s body crumpled.
Read Chapter 7 – Ixa >>>