Strawberry Arcs

She spun again, her braids strawberry arcs against the sky.

They'd been wrapped around her neck - out of the way, but they always worked themselves loose.

They'd balked when she'd killed the first one, but not enough to run. She'd warned them when they'd started this, that if they wanted to fight a Sanguinem and live, they should have chosen Catherine, but the significance of that was lost on them. They were too far from the cities - they'd have no idea who or what Catherine was.

Their weapons were crude - sharpened metal wrapped with dingy strips of cloth, but they reminded her of her focus. A preferred weapon lost at the end of a previous life.

She was sloppier than she remembered – but such things were relative, and she was still much faster than they could react. She'd never been interested in the suffering like Rebecca, and to their credit, they'd targeted her not because she was Aegis, but because she seemed vulnerable. It was a distinction that held a strange sort of value.

Flash made them bright in her mind's eye. It let her feel their clothes, the dirt on their boots - so much more than just honeying the brown of her eyes, it made her better. A fight or flight response, honed to favor the fight.

Swirls of strawberry and spurting crimson, she took their weapons from them, and each brutal return removed another from play.

She was looking only for Threshold here. It wasn’t their fault the others had left her by the vehicles. There wasn’t supposed to be anyone else.

They should have run when she’d told them.