She screamed. Every cell of her body burned, as if he’d poured a vat of hot oil over her. She blacked out for a second but the need to protect Hugh made her push back the dark. The pain was excruciating –her insides were boiling. With another cry, she collapsed on the ground. She could hear Ramsay’s footsteps getting closer. Desperate, she raised her hands, visualized a dust devil, and muttered, “Air. Push at my enemy. Earth. Rise and blind him.” She hit her hand with her fist then flung it open toward Ramsay.
A whirlwind rose between them. She heard him yell and watched the dust devil she’d imagined—about three feet wide and eight feet high—advance on him. It was almost opaque from the debris it had picked up. He threw his hands up to protect his eyes and backed away.
Her body still burned. The dust wouldn’t hold Ramsay very long. She crawled as fast as she could to Hugh, who was still out. She couldn’t see tell if he was breathing.
Behind her, silence fell. It gave her a bad feeling. As quickly as she could she grabbed Hugh under the arms, then pulled and dragged him toward the front porch, head bowed with the effort. She wasn’t sure how she was going to make it up the stairs—he was heavy and she was in serious pain.
“Cute,” Ramsay said. He began advancing again.
At the last minute, she remembered her personal shield and raised it. Another blast slammed into her, cutting her air, but this time it didn’t hurt. Good thing, she thought, because a second dose of Ramsay’s boiling oil treatment would have finished her. She kept dragging Hugh, trying to keep her shield up at the same time. Added to the pain, her muscles had begun to shake. She was close to collapse.
“I want you gone,” she said through clenched teeth.
Ramsay chuckled. He walked a step closer. “Sorry, little girl. Your trick won’t work on me twice.”
He threw his hand up and power slammed into her shield again. Her brain was sluggish with fatigue; her eyes were becoming blurry.
“Why do you bother with him? He’s dead.” Another step.
Then it came to her. He used heat. Maybe she could use cold. “Air and Water,” she muttered very fast under her breath, “form a cage of ice around my enemy.” She dropped her shield on the last word. She let go of one of Hugh’s shoulders, struck her open palm, then made an arc in the air, and threw the spell at Ramsay.
At the same time, he flung another wave of power, but she could see it coming and dodged most of it. It caught her on the shoulder, and she moaned in pain. The burn was twice as bad this time. She closed her eyes and tried to put up her shield. Deep inside her, energy sparked, then fizzled. She was out of juice.
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