We were outside…I think. There was no sun in the yellow sky, but I saw no walls either. “Where are we?”
But before I could get answer, Tug yelled, “Look out!” and began to run. I glanced back and saw a pack of creatures coming right for us! They looked like a cross between an iguana and an ostrich. Their two large legs could really get them moving fast. I went running after Tug, but those creatures were too fast for us. In seconds, they were on us, the pack engulfing us. They jostled me. They bumped me. They slammed right into me. I was nearly trampled to death. I fell to my knees, but the shadoweater came for me, still standing strong, knocking the creatures down as he went. And soon they were gone and we were still alive. It was a miracle!
“Don’t just sit there,” Tug called. “We have to keep moving!” Tug went running off until he reached a cliff. By the time we caught up to him, he had already produced a rope and swung down. “Tie the Gruesser to the rope and slowly lower her down. When I’ve untied her, you can climb down,” he yelled up.
“Why would we do all of that?” The shadoweater asked before leaping down to where Tug waited with the Sharkwoman still on his back.
“What are you doing?” Tug snapped at him. “She’s in no condition to be jostled around like that!”
“She’s fine,” the shadoweater replied, confidently.
“She better be!” Tug yelled and I wondered when he had started caring so much about the sharkwoman’s well being. He hadn’t been so protective when we were running from those shadow monsters in the Wall. “Hand her over! Let me look at her!”
“We don’t have time for that,” I said having almost climbed all the way down the rope. “We need to get her to the Wizard. He can save her.”
Tug looked upset for some reason. “Fine. Let’s move.” He rushed off down the hill. The shadoweater, however, waited for me to reach the bottom.
When I had, we went after Tug, he had turned the corner around the mountain. He was waiting for us there and waved us on. “Hurry!” But as he started to move, suddenly a pack of poorly put together and mismatched skeletons burst from the ground and started to attack us.
I tried to fight them off but there were just too many. All I could focus on was dodging their attacks. Tug jumped into the fight, but the little guy could only do so much. The shadoweater had no choice, he had to put the Sharkwoman down. She was too heavy. She was really slowing him down. With his hands free, he went after the skeletons and it was… terrifying. The shadoweater smashed the skeletons into pieces. He tore them apart. They never stood a chance.
“The Gruesser!” Tug yelled and ran toward her. “Is she ok?”
“She’s fine,” the shadoweater said, finishing off the last skeleton, smashing its skull with his hand.
“You just left her! You abandoned her! I need to make sure she’s ok.” But as Tug came up to her and placed a hand on her side, she snapped at him!
“Get…your…hands…off…of me!” the Sharkwoman snarled.
I ran toward her, amazed to see her moving on her own, to see her alive. As I came near, her head turned to me and she growled. I stopped and raised my hands, showing her I meant no harm. “It’s me! Wu’s friend!”
“Wu? Is he…?” She suddenly began to change. It was slow and she grunted in pain. Then she was back to ‘normal’, if you could call anything in this dimension normal. “Where am I?” she asked.
“We got out of the Wall,” I told her. “You got hurt by those shadow creatures and then we fell, but now we’re gone from that place and we’re heading to the Wizard to get you better.”
“The Wizard?” The sharkwoman looked around. She tried to get up, but all she could do was move her head. “This isn’t the way to the Wizard.”
“This is on the way,” Tug said, defending himself.
“This is not the way.”
“This is the best that I could do. This is where we could get to from the Wall.”
“Which you led us to.”
“This is along the path. We’re getting there.”
“This is not the way.”
Tug glared at her. “You want to get to the Wizard? Fine! Let’s go to the Wizard!” Tug threw an acorn on the ground. From the acorn grew a portal. Tug hopped right through it.
The Sharkwoman tried to get up, but she was much too weak. The shadoweater walked over to her and the Sharkwoman flinched away from him, baring her teeth. “What are you?”
The shadoweater was not impressed with her display. “I’m Werz.”
“You attacked me!”
“I saved you. You were infected with shadow.”
“He carried you out of the Wall,” I told her. “You can trust him.”
“What makes you think I trust you?”
“You can’t walk,” I told her. “If you want to get better, he’s going to have to carry you.”
The Sharkwoman glared at me, but she didn’t attack Werz the shadoweater as he bent down to pick her up. Werz carried her through the portal and I followed behind them. On the other side, across a deep chasm, was a ominouslooking castle built into the side of a mountain. “The Wizard lives in there?” I asked, not liking the looks of it one bit.
“Yes,” Tug said. “We’re here. Why don’t we go on inside, hmmm?”
to be continued…