He rushed off and all we could do was try to follow. Tug leapt about like a grasshopper on speed. I couldn’t keep up. The Sharkwoman grabbed me because I was slowing her down. She rushed off chasing after him, but just when she started to catch up the floor roots began to thrash at us. The Sharkwoman dodged them easily enough. Tug even easier. But then we heard the growl.
And then the shadows moved.
A monster jumped from the shadow. Or…no. The shadow was the monster! It was a monster of shadows! The Sharkwoman had to dodge so quickly I fell from her grip. She caught me with one hand, but the shadows moved in on us! The Sharkwoman dropped me as she morphed into a giant shark. “Run!” she snarled, her word barely understandable.
I ran with all the speed I could muster as the shadow monsters emerged from everywhere. I ran wildly, only thinking of escape, but then the Sharkwoman let out a pained scream that brought me to a standstill. I watched as the shadow monsters surrounded her, tearing at her skin. I had to help her!
I ran to one of the writhing roots and snapped off its end. I hurled the root at the monsters, momentarily earning me their full attention. In that short break, the Sharkwoman shrunk back to her smaller more humanish form. The Sharkwoman swam toward me and together we ran from the shadow monsters, but they were close behind us!
We barely got thirty feet before the Sharkwoman suddenly collapsed. I could see her wounds, deep blackish cuts, but I had no time to tend to them the shadow creatures were coming upon us quickly. I threw her onto my shoulder and began to ran. She was heavy and my body was only so strong, but I wasn’t going to be caught. I couldn’t!
But despite my determination, her weight knocked me off balance. I stumbled and tried to keep on my feet, but instead I went tumbling into a pile of roots. The shadow monsters came closer and closer. I tried to get up, but as I rose I heard the roots snap beneath my feet. I didn’t dare look up. I didn’t want to see the monsters coming upon us. I could only move as fast as I could move, so I focused all my attention on the Sharkwoman. She wasn’t moving, so I would have to pick her up. I started to lift her, but she was so heavy. I heard the roots snap and crack beneath us. Just when I thought I might be able to hold her and get away, the roots gave away and we began to fall down a deep hole!
We plummeted, further and further down. We fell further than I thought we had climbed up the stairs. It was much too far. And tt was not a smooth fall. It was a windy path. We were bounced back and forth off of roots and stones and who knew what else. And then with a hard thud it came to end. We were at the bottom with no way to get back up to where we had been and very little desire to do so. At least down here, the shadows weren’t trying to kill us.
My body was hurting, but I slowly climbed to my feet. I looked down at the Sharkwoman. “Hey,” I said, but she didn’t say anything back. She didn’t even move. I tapped her on the shoulder, then when that did nothing I shook her. “Hey! Get up!” Sadly, I came to the conclusion that the Sharkwoman was not going to be getting up.
I checked her wounds. They were many and deep. The cuts were dark and oozing. Was that how sharkpeople bled? Or was this just as bad as it looked?
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much I could do for her. My clothes were in such tatters that if I tried to make bandages I’d be completely naked. And even then I would have barely even managed to start to cover up her many wounds. I needed to find another way to help her. One that could actually be of help. I looked around and saw that we were on a small island. An island meant water! If there was water, I could clean her wounds!
I rushed to the beach, but before I stepped in I saw a root sitting in the water, smoking. That was not water! Whatever it was, it seemed to be acidic. I obviously couldn’t use that to clean the Sharkwoman’s wounds. And now I had a new problem, how was I going to get us out of here? The Sharkwoman could probably have flown us out of here, but she was out cold. I couldn’t jump back to the hole above us, it was too high, and there was acid all around us. She was dying. It was only a matter of time until I joined her.
The only thing at hand were the broken roots that had fallen with me. Perhaps I could make something with them? A boat? A ladder? I picked up a small root and went to see how quickly the acid would eat through it. That was when I noticed the acid was eating the island. I grabbed a root and tried to use it to see how deep the acid was, but as I started to lean over the island began to lean as well!
I jumped back. The island rocked back into place. How could it rock? It couldn’t be attached to anything for it to be able to do that. We weren’t trapped on an island, we were on a boat! A quickly dissolving boat, but a boat nonetheless. That meant we could move! I grabbed one of the larger roots and began paddling. I aimed for what I thought was a shore when I noticed bubbles starting to rise from the acid.
At first I thought they were from my rowing, I hoped that they were, but the bubbles were too far away and they were getting larger. It was almost as if there was something underneath coming up to the surface. I tried to row faster, but I was only on one side so I was careful not to start us spinning in a circle. Plus, I didn’t want to splash myself.
The bubbles came faster and grew larger. I saw the shadow coming up from the bottom. It was coming up and coming up fast! And then it burst onto the surface. It looked like a massive cabbage, a massive cabbage with very large teeth!
to be continued…