I closed my eyes once again, envisioning the shield I held in place around us. Keeping that visual firm in my mind, I pulled up my power, letting it build layer by layer as it spilled out of a well deep within me. The screams of the demons were louder. I felt the shield shudder under their repeated blows. Still, I waited. I needed every demon as close as possible before I struck out at them.
The power continued to build in answer to my call. I felt stretched from within, my skin burning with the strain of holding the energy tight inside. The shield shook around us. Large cracks spiderwebbed across it, the apparent success of their onslaught whipping the demons up into a frenzy. A claw cut through, swiping across my ankle. Moose growled, lunging forward but I pulled him back with my hand tight in his fur. He had to stay next to me.
A hot river of pain flared along the back of my leg, a second demon sneaking a hand through and reaching for me. I held tight, forcing the magic to wait a little longer, promising it would be free soon. Another claw sunk in and I fought against the agony, my body trembling with power. I felt it when the shield finally gave. The energy I’d siphoned into it bounced back and joined with the magic I’d gathered into my core. Moose yelped next to me, his body going rigid under my hand as a scream escaped me. I dropped to my knees, wrapped my arms around him and held on tight.