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Old 06-05-2021, 10:13 PM   #38
Terquem
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Idaho Falls
Default Re: Into The Labyrinth - a work of fiction

Part 4

“Wait for what?” Tabitha whispered.

Brendun swung his legs around and pulled his knees under him. He flexed his foot back and forth to stretch his wounded calf a bit to feel if it was steady enough to support him. Tabitha still had her hands on him and he took her hands in his own and moved them away. “There is something that is not right,” Brendun said. “There is something I need to understand. Alo, why are you afraid?” Brendun asked.

The octopus woman swayed side to side, and Brendun could see she was taking in as much as her eyes could see.

“Ihhhveeeh nhevverhhh donnnnh thisahhh befrrrr,” her words came out fast and slurred almost in one long incomprehensible sound.

“What?” Brendun and Tabitha said at the same time.

“Alo, slow down, speak clearly and precisely,” Tabitha said as she picked up the brand she had placed on the ground.

“Yes, we need to understand you if we are going to get out of this together,” Brendun said. He then turned his head a little, keeping one eye on the small monsters in the shadows that he could see while wondering where the others Alo could see might be. With his head turned, he said out of the corner of his mouth, “Tabitha, where’s your crossbow? How many bolts did you bring?"

“Eight,” Tabitha answered, “And it’s about six feet away to my left. I could scramble over to it, but it might be broken. I didn’t have a lot of money, even after Alo paid me. It’s not the best of its type.”

“Well, I hope,” Brendun began to say, but couldn’t finish as Alo lowered her head and brought her face close and in between Brendun and Tabitha. There was an awkward moment of silence as Brendun and Tabitha waited for her to say something incomprehensible.

She once again proved that if she tried, she could speak as clear as anyone.

Alo spoke each word slowly making sure to pause a moment between each word, “I said, I have never done this before.”

Tabitha’s eyes grew large, and Brendun dropped his chin.

“You know,” Brendun said as he struggled to get to his feet, favoring his leg, and drawing his sword as he stood, “I was really hoping that wasn’t what I thought you said.”

Without a warning Brendun ran at the three that were to the right and behind Alo. Tabitha rolled away as he moved, tucking the brand in close to her, causing the cavern to grow dim. Alo rose up, turned in place on four of her tentacles while another drew a long fat dagger from a belt around her body, and lowered her head.

Two of the small monsters moved left, away from Brendon, while the third moved toward him. The small creature was bringing back the strange spiked weapon with both hands, but Brendun’s sword was straight out and ready, and in one clean thrust he ran the small thing trough.

The sound of small flat feet slapping on the wet floor came from several directions as Tabitha dropped the brand beside the crossbow, examined it quickly, and then went to work cocking it with a lever built into the side of the handle. She stood and drew a bolt from a pouch on her side and then felt a sting on her right leg. One of the creatures had struck her with something. The blow was not hard, but she knew it penetrated her skin.

Alo moved just a short distance backward, as the two monsters that ran around Brendun came toward her from the left, and another two came at her from the right. Her strange slip, slide, and waving movement seemed to confuse the monsters and not a single one of them managed to land a blow on her as they closed in around her.
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