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Old 06-05-2021, 03:58 PM   #36
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Idaho Falls
Default Re: Into The Labyrinth - a work of fiction

Part 2

Of the things that he had not seen coming, recently, agreeing to help a Kao’La’a woman who had betrayed him not just one year ago and a walking octopus, among the most evil beings known on this planet, had to take the top spot on Brendun’s list.

And yet, here he was, leading the two women along the sea wall, in the dead of the night, looking for a hidden entrance into the mysterious underground realm known as The Labyrinth.

He would say, “Brendun Mark, you’re getting too old for this,” if it weren’t for the fact that he was only twenty-seven, and hoped he had many, many more years ahead of him. In fact, he often wondered if he didn’t change his ways, soon, if he would actually live long enough to ever be able to say that with any truth.

Brendun lead them on. Tabitha was right behind him, her hand on his belt, not tightly, but there. He could feel it. He remembered her touch. The other one, the one Tabatha had called Alo, was behind Tabitha, and Brendun did not particularly care if that one was keeping up at all. He’d had his share of encounters with others of her kind. The ones he’d met in the past had tried to kill him, every time. They never spoke, but he had heard they were capable of speaking the common tongue, and now he knew it was true. Each time he had met one of her kind in the past it was in combat, and it had been to the death. They fought with a savage grace he knew must be treated with a healthy respect. How or why he so willingly allowed this one to talk him into joining forces with him he couldn’t quite figure out at the moment. Maybe it was magic, a spell, probably, meant to cloud his mind, and make him ignore his own good judgment. Or maybe it was Tabitha. She had a similar, if somewhat more potent effect on him.

“Hold on,” Brendun said in a whisper, and the two women behind him stopped. “This is it. I think, the wall stones here are definitely not right. See, they are larger, older, and probably no one notices the pattern, unless you are clued in to look for it.”

“Can you open the door?” Tabitha asked as her hand tightened on his belt.

“I’m not sure,” Brendun said as he gently fingered one large stone about shoulder height, and then another. “I know a few types of locks that might have been used, and I have a few tools that should do the trick if I find the locking stone. I guess all we can do is try, right? Wish me…”

Brendun’s words were cut off by the swift and sharp grinding sound of the stones in front of him swinging up and away, while the ground beneath his feet dropped to a steep angle. He tried to spin, swing his arms for balance, but Tabitha’s hold on his belt got in the way. He felt himself pitching forward unable to stop.

Brendun was not a light fellow. His weight pulled Tabitha forward, and she screamed.

Alo threw two of her tentacles out and wrapped them around Tabitha’s waist.

Again, Brendun was not a light fellow, and his weight pulled the others forward into the trap he fell into. The three of them fell onto a slick, wet stone surface that angled down and away from the sea wall and carried them underground.

They raced at a breakneck speed along the stone slide, curving for a while to the right, then going up a bit, back down sharply, to the left, and then in a spiral which made their sense of all direction leave them. They tumbled over and over each other, rolled onto their sides, and then back onto their backsides. When they could, they threw their arms up and back for stability, and then collided with each other over and over again until finally they came to a slow stop in a dark chamber deep below the surface.

Brendun decided that the top of his “things not expected list,” needed revision.

It was Alo who got upright the quickest, getting to five of her legs in a swift motion. Her cloak had gotten spun around, so that the hood was tangled in front of her among her belts and pouches.

“Myh swordhs!” She cried out. “I’hhvve droppedeh my swordhs.”

“Well, I think I found one of them,” Brendun hissed as he rolled off his stomach onto his backside and brought his left leg up in his hands. The slim, long blade of one of Alo’s swords had pierced his calf, passing clean through the muscle and the back of his baggy pants.

Tabitha got to her knees and raised a light above her head. She had managed to get a light quickly, Brendun thought, and that didn’t surprise him. The light she held up was a brand, a magical device which shed a good amount of light without creating any smoke.

“That looks bad,” Tabitha said, moving on her knees toward Brendun until she was right next to him.

“Yes, thath is oneh of mineh. Thankh youh,” Alo said and reached for the weapon with one tentacle so quickly that she could not be stopped from pulling the blade free from the wound.

“Eiychee mama,” Brendun cried.

“It’s a bad wound,” Tabitha said, “we’re lucky it missed any arteries, but it is bleeding a lot.” She placed a leather kit on the floor beside her, and unrolled it. The kit was small, but packed with rolls of linen, needles, thread, and small tins of medicinal herbs. Tucked into the very end of the roll were two small, silver vials. “Here,” she said taking out one of the vials and pulling the stopper, “this is nacromoid oil, it should close the wound.” She handed the vial to Brendun and then with a small knife from the kit she cut open a large hole in his pants. Taking the vial back from his hand she pulled the stopper with her teeth and emptied half of the contents, a thick bluish liquid, directly onto the wound. Where some of the liquid contacted the fabric of his pants it turned into a hard crystal-like patch, but when it touched Brendun’s flesh it flowed into the wound seeking the source of the bleeding and sealing the wound without pain.

“Where did that kit come from?” Brendon asked. He knew she was not wearing a back pack, like his.

“It was in my pouch. I thought I might need it if I accidentally hit you with the crossbow earlier.”

“Your pouch?” Brendon’s face scrunched up, “ewwww, that’s gross.”

“What,” Tabitha said calmly. “It’s clean and dry. Why, what do you think is in there?”

“I don’t know. Isn’t that where you…”

“Where I what, Brendun? Where I what? You think I have a joey in there. You? You think I have a joey. You?” Tabitha’s words came in short bursts, her anger growing.

“No, no, I just wasn’t, ahhh, sheesh, please Tabitha don’t make this awkward. I’m sorry,” Brendun said scratching at the back of his neck.

“Ifh youh twoh areh finishededh, weh areh noth aloneh,” Alo said leaning toward Brendun and Tabitha.
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