Dragon Fire Episode 39

Keeping low to the cavern floor, torch held high, Atol crept along as Terrin raised his sword and followed close behind.
“Is this a place of hives hanging from the chamber ceiling?”
“I hope not, young prince,” Atol said as he passed the flame of his torch to those along the cavern walls.
Terrin did not wish to be called prince. He could not remember much of his past, but he knew he did not have the heart of a prince.
As Terrin once again checked the ceiling, the cavern suddenly dipped and turned to the right. Reaching out for the wall to steady himself, he heard a chittering noise from somewhere deep in the cave.
“Is that one of the hornet creatures?” Terrin asked, taking a step backwards.
“No. That is Olon. He warns us of something ahead,” Atol said.
The cave leveled out and when Atol reached up to light another of the wall torches, he saw that the next one was a good distance away. As they made their way down the long stretch of cavern toward the torch, Terrin glanced back for a moment then stopped.
“What is wrong?” Atol asked, turning back.
“My eyes trick me,” Terrin said staring into the shadows.
“What did you see, young prince?” Atol asked.
“That section of wall seemed to move,” Terrin pointed.
“It is possible,” Atol assured him as he reached up and lit the wall torch. “But whatever is in the dark, if it wanted to attack, it would have done so by now. Whoever is hiding in this cave knows we are here.”
Tightly gripping the hilt of his sword, Terrin’s eyes darted anxiously as he watched the shadows.
Moving along the passage, they turned into a large room. The wind whistled and moaned as it passed through cracks in the rock. On the floor at the entrance to the room lay the twisted body of what was once a man. Atol cautiously moved up to him and bent down to take a closer look.
“What happened to him?” Terrin asked.
Atol nudged the body then turned the head from side to side.
“Something ate him from the inside out,” Atol answered.
“What would do that?” Terrin asked in horror.
Just then a large pale spider crawled out of the man’s gaping mouth and hissed at Atol when he brushed it away.
“Spiders it would seem,” Atol replied.
Terrin watched as the pale cream creature scurried under a nearby rock.
“I hate spiders,” he shuddered.
“There is nothing more we can do for him,” Atol said, rising to his feet.
“Come along,” he motioned as he headed for another passage at the back of the room. “We must find whoever has done this before they kill again.”
Following behind, Terrin carefully watched for spiders. On the wall to his right, he spotted a lizard like creature, its black bulging eyes fixed on him. The skin of its eight-foot body blended in with the rocks of the cavern wall, but Terrin saw the eyes glistening in the torchlight.
“What is that?” he exclaimed.
Just as Atol turned to look, the creature dove at Terrin. His sword clattered to the cavern floor as he reached out with both hands and caught its legs, holding it just inches from his face. The creature snapped its jaws, struggling against Terrin’s hold. When it hissed, two more lizard creatures appeared, one just behind Atol and the other near the edge of the tunnel. At the lizard’s attack, Atol lashed out with his tail and caught the creature’s throat, twisting its body and pulling it down. He seized its tail, pinning its chest to the ground, and pinned its jaws shut with his right foot. The creature at the tunnel’s edge rushed toward Atol but Olon leapt up from the dirt, grabbing the creature in his jaw and pulling it under.
“Their jaws are quite powerful,” Atol warned. “Do not let it bite you.”
Struggling against the creature, Terrin felt the heat rising within him.
As he directed it through his hands, he realized that this time he was angry not afraid. Suddenly the creature shot backwards out of Terrin’s grip and violently exploded against the cavern wall.
Atol still struggled with the creature as it writhed on the cave floor, trying to free itself.
“Do you need my help?” Terrin asked, picking up his sword.
“No, young prince,” Atol said with a grunt as he snapped its neck. “I have won this battle.”
The creature’s skin turned to a muddy brown as its body went limp.
“We must hurry. These attacks were a trap to slow us down,” Atol said.
Terrin quickly followed Atol down the tunnel until it opened up to a great room. Light poured in through a large opening in the rock overhead.
“Welcome,” a hulking man greeted as Terrin and Atol came to a sudden stop. “It is a pleasure to meet those who are dead yet still walk.”
The giant of a man slowly raised his ax. At his feet lay the dead whose blood dripped from its iron blade.
“We could not decide who would kill you, but at last, I won the victory,” he said with a booming laugh.
Just then lizards filled the cavern walls as they dropped their camouflage and moved into the light. Somewhere from deep within the cave came a howl that shook the walls, tearing the rocks loose and sending them flying across the chamber floor.

Published in: on June 14, 2013 at 3:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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