Tado tossed the dead warrior into the pit and whirled on Poutassa. A mind-numbing explosion shook the hilltop, enveloping Ontarra, Poutassa, and Tado in a billowing cloud of gray smoke.
The fighting halted as wind swirled the smoke away. Ontarra and Poutassa were flat on their backs. Poutassa pushed up onto his elbows, wild eyes staring at his shattered leg, dark blood pooling where his right knee had been.
Sounia lowered the big pistol, black smudges on her cheek and chin; a deadly look in her eyes. Poutassa yowled. Eyes blazing, he spat a stream of archaic phrases at Sounia. Mothers covered the ears of their children. The ancient words were indecipherable, but the malignant tone left no doubt that a curse was in the air.
Sounia stepped over him, bent down and squinted her eyes, uncertain if this horrid creature really was Poutassa. She scrutinized the scars, the thin lips spouting hatred and foamy spittle. She looked past the grime and tattoos into the bottomless eyes. Sounia’s chin bobbed twice. She gripped the pistol barrel in both hands, and drove the butt into his temple. “Shut Up!” Poutassa’a head thumped to the ground and the tirade ended.