The squire’s elbow punched through the stained glass. Jonas gasped in pain. The glass was nearly an inch thick, and the lead that lined the panes had little give. He jabbed his steel blade in the small hole and worked it forward and back. The pounding rain did not slow, its roar almost masking the approaching dead.
A skeletal hand entered his field of vision and ripped him away from the broken window. The sword hung limply from the hole.
The green eyes of the once-man shone sickly with light. A bit of flesh still clung to its lower jaw, a gray flower. In a frenzy, Jonas grabbed the thing by its rib cage and lifted. The squire felt his shoulders pop in dismay as he flung the skeleton back. Panic fueled, he turned back to the window and worked frantically at the sword. He continued to saw as he heard the skeleton begin to pick itself up.
The central lead line gave with a pop. The bottom third of the window gave way, showering Jonas in a rainbow of glass. Without hesitation, he flung the sword inside and pulled himself up onto the window sill. The opening was small.Damnably small, the thought skated across his mind.
The bleeding youth pulled himself through the opening, gasping with exertion. He felt his cloak rip, caught on the narrow opening. His shoulders burned. Half in and half out, his eyes widened in shock. A bony hand curled around his leg, almost delicately.
Jonas kicked with animal fervor. The skeleton’s grip slid, then fell away. Bile rising, the battered squire tore a runnel of flesh from his right hip — the thick glass cut deeply. He tumbled forward onto the stone floor, landing squarely on his shoulder. Without pausing, he scrambled away from the shattered window and pressed his back against something wooden. A pew.
His heart beat once – echoing like a drum beat in his ear. Then the pain.