“Don’t worry, Fitz. These boys, for they are boys, won’t be any trouble to anyone today. If fact, they might learn something about being a man.” He tipped his hat to them, “Go on and leave before you get hurt, children. Run along and play somewhere else.” The innkeeper’s son blanched. He clearly wasn’t used to dealing with defiance. “Yer talkin’ brave words, pretty man. Regretful words…” They each readied their clubs and spread out to surround him. “Course not, but I will defend myself if I need to.” He turned his back on them, “Sit a bit Fitz, enjoy your drink and rest your bones.” Fitz did sit and uncorked a small bottle of cheap brandy with a shaky hand. He took a sip to calm himself.
The outraged tuffs weren’t used to being spoken down to, but they often resorted to using physicality to get their way. They rushed him at the same time after a slight nod from the Innkeeper’s boy. Their clubs thudded together where he had just been.
Raddox was suddenly behind them. In the next moment, he pulled the leader’s feet out from under him. He landed face down in the sand. The other two turned toward him. Raddox gripped their wrists and twisted them painfully backwards, forced them upwards, then wrenched them downwards. The end result was a pair of dislocated shoulders. They dropped their makeshift batons in pain and cradled their limp arms.
The leader tried to stand, spitting sand, but Raddox delivered a stomp between his shoulders, forcing him back into the ground. He then spun in place and knocked the legs out from under the other two. They landed hard on their injured shoulders. The larger blacked out from pain. The smaller vomited, writhing in agony.
The dirty faced leader whipped his weapon around blindly and missed Raddox’s ankle by a few inches. He fought to gain his feet and was allowed to stand. He let the young man attack, easily dodging each. Raddox barely seemed to move but was always a few inches from danger.
After a change of tact and thrust of the nail spiked club, Raddox ripped it loose and caught the boy’s elbow. He used his other hand for leverage and shoved hard. The joint turned backwards. There was a sick pop. Raddox’s heavy boot met his ribs with several audible cracks. He kicked out, while twisting his body over the boy’s arm, and a satisfying crunch let him know the shoulder was tearing free of its socket. Raddox regained his feet and flipped the limp limb over the boy’s other shoulder giving him a stern boot to the rear for good measure. The Innkeeper’s son fell to the ground and sucked desperately at the air like a fish out of water. Finally, he regained enough air to begin crying.
“You need to learn how to respect your elders.” Raddox knelt over him, inches from his face. The innkeeper’s son stared into an infinite void. Something in that gaze made him go silent. His eyes were glassy and distant.
Fitz stood without Raddox noticing, something he wouldn’t have believed possible. When he gripped Raddox’s shoulder, the face that turned to him was a wide smile with far too many teeth. His crimson eyes flashed. Fitz recoiled at the sight and tripped over his own hammer, “Yer… Yer a monstah!” He gasped aloud.
Raddox had not planned this, but he was revealed for what he was, “Yes. Many have called me that. I’m a monster…” The smaller thug who had managed to gain his feet at some point, used his good hand to point and scream, “Monstah! Monstah!” Raddox turned to him. Fitz began to run in the opposite direction. “You’re a useless man child who is all alone. What is your plan now?” The boy looked at his friends, then desperately toward old man Fitz. He lost his nerve and ran toward the town as best he could while holding his broken arm painfully against his chest.
Raddox was suddenly ahead of him with a smile that all teeth. The boy skidded in place before turning to flee a different direction, but the monster was here too. He fell blankly to his knees with his head down, ready to accept his fate. “You will apologize to Fitz. Neither you or your friends will ever bother him or anyone else ever again, am I understood?” The boy nodded, sobbing. He looked into those alien eyes, then fainted. He pissed his pants and the odor soured the sea air.
Raddox turned to Fitz only to find the man had dropped his brandy, after chugging half, and was already a few dozen yards down the coastline. He sighed. He should have expected such a reaction. He couldn’t let Old Fitz tell the town. There’d undoubtedly be a few who believed him and would want answers. Word travels fast in small places.
It took only a few seconds to catch Fitz. His supernatural speed made the task an easy one. In another blink, he snatched the man’s wrist in one hand and neck in the other. He applied only a small amount of pressure to each, not wishing to harm the pleasant fellow, but knowing he must prevent any further alarm. He bit the left wrist just below the thumb, where the radial artery pulsed. He drank carefully.
He was now in total control.