Originally Posted by allmywires
Simeone had managed to gather the few uninjured men to lift the elephant; among them was Vigo, the man from Sixpoints, whose face was grey and his eyes never left Mona (I'd re-order this sentence as I read it a little weird). Ricardo waited as they heaved the elephant up and over, and Mona gave a fresh cry of pain, weak and broken like a newborn.
‘Hush, now,’ Simeone said levelly, holding Mona’s injured arm down, dabbing at her forehead with the other hand. Ricardo walked over on uneasy legs, the knife slipping in his sweaty palm.
‘No!’ Vigo said, when (as?) he saw the blade, stepping in between them. ‘You can’t-’
‘I have to,’ Simeone said, as (I'd change the comma to a full stop and delete the 'as') Mona began to writhe and cry, her arm swollen and bloodied, bones protruding from the flesh of her crushed fingers. Ricardo swallowed the bile down and focussed instead on his own pain, his own horror, the shape of the girl and her injury blurred in his crossed vision.
‘Let me do it,’ Vigo insisted, jostling with Ricardo, his eyes wide and wild. ‘I won’t let anyone hurt her.’
Simeone stood up, pushing him back.
‘Do you love her?’
‘I – what kind of a question is that?’
‘Then you won’t be able to,’ Simeone said, gently but firmly, giving him another shove. ‘Now, please, Ricky.’
He knelt down. Simeone had placed Mona’s broken arm on a wooden block, and had tied a heavy leather belt around her upper arm. She was holding Mona around the neck with one arm, the other holding onto the belt. ‘Cut two inches from where the swelling starts,’ she told Ricardo. He pressed the blade against her skin, concentrating on each breath. In, out. Just one movement, then it would be done.
As he was just preparing to slice, Carmela burst through, Safa in tow, cradling his giant desert cat in his arms.
‘Where is she?’ Safa demanded, his face wet with tears, glinting in the firelight. Simeone let out a sigh of frustration.
‘Over there, but please, I am trying to save this girl’s life-’
‘There’s no time,’ Carmela said shortly, tightening up her armour, waving a flaming torch (this sounds a little like she's waving the torch and tightening the armour at the same time... but only a little and I don't mind the sentence). ‘The Orians are coming. I sent Emile and Enzo to search for survivors, but we should really have gone an hour ago. We’ll move slowly, and they’re on horseback.’
‘How far?’ Ricardo asked.
‘They’re just approaching the hill. Come on,’ she ordered, but most stayed put. ‘What are you waiting for?’
‘Do it now!’ Simeone ordered. Ricardo looked at Carmela, and back at Mona, and drew the first cut. The girl screamed. ‘Good,’ she said, holding Mona tighter as she yelled and cried, staying calm as blood rushed up out of the laceration and spilled down Mona’s swollen arm. ‘Right down to the bone, and then around. Gently saw it. Like you’re cutting a ring of steak.’ Ricardo bit the inside of his cheek hard as he sliced through her flesh, more and more blood coming, until he saw the soft pink of bone underneath. Carmela was incensed at the noise Mona was making.
‘They’ll hear us!’ she hissed, drawing her sword. ‘We have to go. Make it quick!’
‘Very good,’ Simeone said again, ignoring Carmela as he sliced down and around, like she had instructed, tendons snapping, muscles rendering. ‘General. Pass him the saw.’
‘The saw?’ Carmela echoed, and Ricardo knew she was tempted to disobey. Instead, after a moment of hesitation she dropped her sword and picked up the instrument lying next to Simeone, thrusting it at Ricardo.
‘Hurry,’ she snapped at him. He placed the saw teeth on the bone, and heard distant voices.
‘Pull the skin back. Cut the bone a couple of inches from the flesh, so I have room to stitch it. Slow and steady,’ came Simeone’s voice. Mona was silent; the pain had overtaken her, and her consciousness had stepped in. The others were already moving, scrambling up and away from the dead bodies, Safa trying to carry Entelemon and Nala at the same time. Ricardo started to saw through the bone, gritting his teeth so hard he thought they might snap, before finally the swollen arm came loose with a heavy thump onto the ground.