Two Against One (Excerpt)

Chapter 2

The nerve! Sorry, thinking aloud. I am Dusk, leader of the attack force of my Bengal tiger tribe. The Shapuraki have been trying to enslave us again and again for the past few weeks. So we decided to attack. I stabilized an attack force. The group of huts that was the Shapuraki homes were easy to find in the mangrove swamps of Bangladesh and India. I’ve heard rumors that the Shapuraki have their own religion with a god of death called Hoosee; if that is true, then he is about to have a lot of decisions to make.

Anahru was in charge of possible escape routes, but something told me we wouldn’t need them. He leaped at the huts, tore them down, and killed the occupants. We worked our way toward the center, where the leader’s extremely, big, fancy, and expertly carved hut lay. We barged through the door and searched the inside for the leader. No sign of him. Then one troop suggested we search the palace and the courthouse, which was a great suggestion, but he wasn’t there!

We were scouring his house again when a major discovered a secret trapdoor under his bed. It was hard to find because one of the Shapuraki had painted over it. Ten of us, including me, slipped into it and found a square room, ten feet by ten feet, with a card table in the middle. The ceiling was five feet high. I didn’t examine the room any further, because the table had four chairs, and in the chairs were the Shapuraki leader, and the three village chiefs!

Before they could react, I sprang onto the leader, and the other nine took the chiefs. The chiefs were the first to go. Anaru pawed the first one’s head to the ground and a troop clawed at his throat, killing him instantly. Five other troops converged on another’s chest, and the last two took the remaining one’s head.

The Shapuraki leader pulled out a spear, though he held it feebly. He “ran” toward me with his spear pointed at my face. I stepped to the side, and he rammed into the wall. I pounced on him, sinking my claws into the small gap between his ribs, puncturing his heart, and he was taken by Hoosee. We evacuated the village and went home, leaving the remains of a smoldering, lifeless, village that was once on fire.

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