Friday, August 17, 2007

The Return to the Story (13)

This is the return to the story after a 1.5 year gap, which was facilitated by Matt, thank you very much

The skeleton man called again and the horses whinnied nerviously. Already their sound was being absorbed by the mists that swallowed the world around them. The beast turned now toward the sound, its twin trunks sniffing the air in opposite directions. Samantha urged Tanya and Billy onto the thin, rocky bridge. The opposite edge of the chasm was just visible.

The bridge was wide enough to form a tight single-file line. Tanya was first, arms held out to keep her balance. Bill followed, his mind split between watching the path and thinking of a way to escape this realm. Sam brought up the rear, glancing every few steps back at the beast. It was still occupied, scenting the air furiously. Its long whip-like tail swished absently through the air, coming dangerously close to the small party.

Samantha heard a crumbling of rock and a scream. She turned to see Tanya tipping to the side as loose rock fell away below them. Bill grabbed her just in time, but almost went over himself. Samantha edged over to the two and the ground began to shake. They then heard the eerie giggle. They froze on the bridge and looked back as one.

The monstrosity had turned back toward them and it was leaning over the edge, reaching out with its trunks. It couldn’t quite reach, and the creature took a tentative step out onto the rock. All three felt the bridge shudder slightly. The trunks swung at them again, reaching desperately.

“Go now,” Samantha thundered.

They scrambled toward the other side. The beast inched out a little farther and slammed a clawed paw onto the rock. Large chunks broke away from the bottom of the bridge and fell into the abyss.

Tanya stumbled to the opposite side and fell, panting heavily. The beast moved farther still onto the bridge, uncertainty fighting hunger. Bill practically fell on top of Tanya. Samantha stopped at the base of the bridge and turned. She fought back her fear and growing tiredness and concentrated on the few lines of luck that drifted though the barren landscape. She found what she wanted and pulled hard with her will, bending it to the point of breaking. The line held, but the bridge didn’t, and the beast realized, too late, that it was going to fall.

It shrieked like a frightened child and tumbled into nothingness. The sound of its cry echoed off the canyon walls and lingered long after its creator. Samantha turned and fell in a heap.

“That was too close,” she said. “We need a way out of here.”

“And fast,” Tanya agreed, now sitting up.

Bill said nothing. He sat still, staring into the mist, deep in concentration. Slowly, realization dawned on his face. He turned to them, excited now.

“I think I’ve figured it out,’ he said.

“Figured what out,” Samantha asked.

“How to get home.”
8-17-06 1:57 p.m.-2:37 p.m.

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