Excerpt from Zumia (unedited)
Tuyen is small, less than five feet tall and of Vietnamese decent. Grady and Xaria are her mates. Tuyen and Grady are from present day Earth. They are in a village of primitives having a celebration feast around a central fire. Women in this village are treated like property, slaves. Bltomos one of the large warriors, has just shoved a young girl away because she spilled on him while trying to refill his drink. Tuyen is confronting him. Ptolemy is the village chief.
“Go little woman. Run back to your mate before I hurt you. It’s only because you’re guests of our chief that I have not shown you what a woman’s place really is. Go hide behind your mate. I’m sure I could beat him easily. He doesn’t look so tuff and he sure doesn’t know how to control his women.” Bltomos blustered.
“I don’t need a man to fight for me. Grady could best you easily, but I fight my own battles. It’s me, the little woman standing before you, who challenges you. Don’t get up Bltomos I know you for the coward you are.”
No doubt racking her mind to come up with the worst insult possible that Bltomos would understand she continued. “You’re less than worm-shit. You can only pick on small children. I’ll only say this once. Leave the children alone and shut-the-fuck-up or I’ll come back over here and kick your ugly fucking ass. You’re a waste of time, a waste of the sperm that created you, fucking coward.” Tuyen spun on her heel and turned her back to Bltomos, adding even more insult.
Only he and Xaria understood the smile on her face and the wink she gave them. Tuyen knew damn well, what was going to happen next. In fact, he was sure she was counting on it.
“Oh shit, get ready Xaria babe. I’m afraid that Tuyen’s going to get into a fight with Bltomos,” he whispered to Xaria in English.
“I sense that too and I’m ready,” she answered. Pressed against his, he felt her leg tense as she readied herself to spring to her feet. He glanced down and saw Xaria release the holster strap securing her pistol.
The insult to his manhood was the last straw. Just as Tuyen had intended, it goaded Bltomos into action. He saw Bltomos glare daggers at Tuyen’s back. A bellow of rage tumbled from him, and he leaped to his feet. He charged at Tuyen’s back. “I will beat you senseless little woman,” he roared.
Bltomos closed the distance until he was directly behind her. Reaching back at the last moment, she grabbed one of his hands and flipped him over her back using his own forward motion as leverage.
He landed sprawled face up on the ground in front of her with a look of dazed confusion on his face. Doubtless, he couldn’t understand what had just happened. Breathing loudly and heavily to regain the wind that had been knocked out of him, he scrambled to his feet. He charged her again, this time from the front. Tuyen stood waiting calmly. At the last possible second, her hands flashed forward and grabbed him at the wrist. She spun and flipped him over her back. Again, he landed heavily in front of her on his backside and hard enough to send up puffs of dust. Dazed and confused, Bltomos scrambled to his feet. Twice more he charged her with the same result each time.
“Is that the best you can do Bltomos? You’re a pathetic excuse for a warrior. You can’t even win against a little girl.” Tuyen taunted.
So far, Bltomos had not been able to land one blow of his powerful fists on her. She was making him look like a fool. Several of the warriors in the circle started to laugh at him.
Pausing for a moment to catch his breath, he growled at them. “You don’t understand. This woman is like a wizard. First, she is there and then she is not.”
Jeers met his explanation.
Tuyen faced him going into a crouch. He charged again. Just before he got to her, Bltomos reached down and grabbed a handful of sand. He threw this in Tuyen’s eyes.
Snapping her eyes closed, she was almost in time, but not quite. Bltomos wrapped his bear like arms around her, lifted her from her feet and crushed her against him. From what Grady had seen of Bltomos, he was certain, the man intended to break her back.
He started to get to his feet with the intention of putting a bullet between the monsters eyes and from the corner of his eye saw Xaria doing the same. Before either of them could rise, Tuyen took matters in her own hands once more.
All three of them knew that if Bltomos was able to use his superior strength and weight against her, she would lose, badly. Raising one of her moccasin covered feet, she raked it down the length of his skin and at the same time her knuckles doubled. Forcefully she jabbed both fists into his ribs while she butted her head into his face. Howling in pain, he let her drop and then she stomped on his sandaled foot.
Again, Bltomos bellowed in rage and pain. He pushed her away slightly. Holding her by the hair with one hand, he formed a fist with the other. Drawing back his fist, he prepared to deliver a sledgehammer blow to the side of her face.
Tuyen brought up her knee sharply, connecting it with devastating effect, to his groin almost lifting him off the ground.
Bltomos forgot about hitting her. His breath whooshed out. The fist vanished into a hand that cupped protectively over his sex.
Tuyen was not finished yet. As Bltomos bent forward in pain, she grabbed his hair and pulled his face downward. It met with her knee that was coming up very sharply. There was a sickening crunch and then Bltomos was falling backwards. His nose was pushed to one side and blood started to gush from it. He spat out several broken teeth from his mouth. Tuyen turned her back on him again, and started to walk away, flicking one of his broken teeth from the cut on her leg.
The circled warriors stared, first at Bltomos, and then at Tuyen in stunned silence. With a roar of pure hatred and rage, Bltomos scrambled to his feet. He drew his knife and hobbled toward Tuyen’s back intent on stabbing her. Tuyen had not loosened the knife or the pistol strapped to her waist during the entire fight. She did not do so now.
Ptolemy jumped to his feet at the same time Grady did. Ptolemy yelled,“No. Bltomos stop.”
“Tuyen, knife,” Grady yelled.
In a heartbeat he saw the grin of victory vanish from Tuyen’s face. The appearance that replaced it was not that of a frightened woman. Her eyes narrowed but not before he saw their expression hardened, became ice cold. It was the grim look of an extremely deadly predator.
Just before Bltomos stabbed her in the back, Tuyen shifted to the side. With both hands, she grabbed his knife hand. There was no way she could stop the powerful swing but she didn’t intend to do so. Her hands just forced his arm to complete the arc and inertia it had started. Her back was no longer there to stop it but his belly was. She danced back out of range, couched and ready for another attack.
Bltomos stood for a moment in disbelief. His hand loosened its grip around the handle of the knife. His knife…the one that was buried to the hilt in his own sternum. The long blade had not only pierced his belly and sternum, the tip of it had evidently plunged into his heart. He looked up a Tuyen, confusion and shock written all over his bleeding face. His knees wobbled and then crumpled beneath him. He stood on them for a moment and then fell to the side. With a final twitch, Bltomos died.