I definitely was feeling like I got stuck with the B team. Our team dynamic wasn’t exactly filling me with much confidence as we started walking down the beach. I glanced back at the retreating sheriff and his two deputies and I wished I could’ve gone with them. Instead I was stuck with Domoban Rosef the well-pierced cobbler and Crag, the deputy he couldn’t get along with. This was going to go well.
Surprisingly we weren’t immediately attacked by any crazed beasts or giant monsters. There weren’t any traps around to harm us. Domoban and Crag even got along. If ‘got along’ could mean ‘stayed quiet and didn’t interact with each other’.
Even more shocking, it seemed as if we had managed to reach the other side of the island without incident, not one thing tried to kill us. We didn’t find Gnomenasher either, so it wasn’t all good news. Plus, the others hadn’t arrived. “Maybe we’re not there yet,” Domoban said.
“It is hard to be sure,” Crag agreed. “It’s not as if there’s any real way to tell besides eyeballing it. Just to be sure, we should keep going.”
So we kept going, but no matter how far we went there was still no sign of them. “We must’ve crossed halfway by now,” I said.
“We might not have,” Crag said.
“Maybe the sheriff found Gnomenasher and decided to circle back?” Domoban suggested.
“Without sending someone to tell us?” I asked. “I doubt it.”
“Yeah,” Crag agreed. “The Sheriff wouldn’t do that.”
“Maybe they got held up?” I offered hearing the worry in Crag’s voice.
“Held up by what?” Domoban asked.
“I’m just saying, I’m sure they’re fine. That we shouldn’t worry.”
“Who’s worrying?” He replied making it very clear that the answer to that question was him.
“I am,” Crag said, starting to walk quickly down the beach. “We should keep going. They might need us.”
“Need us? Need us to what?”
“Save them! What else do you think? They could be in trouble and they might need us to save them!”
Domoban looked around as if he might find someone besides just the three of us. “Us? Save them? How would we manage to do that?”
“We’re trolls, Domoban. We do what we have to when we have to save the people we care about. That’s what we do.”
“Yeah, but we’re just us. They had the Sheriff. We have a little wee man. I don’t know what could’ve stopped the Sheriff that we could beat.”
“What happened to the Domoban that rushed foolhardily into the forest trying to save all the rest of us?”
“But those were just little things.”
“You didn’t know that when you ran in.”
“I guess,” Domoban admitted. “But you guys were in trouble, I heard you screaming.”
“And they could be in trouble now. It’s time to go rushing in foolhardily and save them, Domoban. Do you think you can do that?”
The cobbler nodded. “Yeah. I think I can.”
“Then let’s go do it!”
Crag and Domoban began to ran down the shoreline and I did my best to keep up. It was not easy. Not only did they have much longer strides than I did, but their feet also kicked up a lot of sand. I had to cover my face as I ran. When the sand eventually stopped hitting my face, I opened my eyes expecting to see I had caught up to them or that they had stopped. Instead, it turned out I had fallen way behind. I tried to run faster so I could catch up, but that was pointless. They were just too fast for me.
“Hey!” I yelled. “Wait for me!”
After a few minutes of yelling, they finally heard me and came to stop. “What are you doing back there?” Crag yelled back. “Hurry up! We need to get going. If the Sheriff is in danger, we can’t waste time with you screwing around.”
“Screwing around?” I huffed. “You’re twice my…”
But that was as far as I got because that was when I noticed something coming up behind them. “Twice our what?” Crag asked.
“Look out! Behind you!” I yelled, but I was too late. Tendrils reached out to them, wrapping around them. Crag and Domoban screamed as they were pulled backwards.
I tried to run faster to save them, but I was already at a sprint and quickly nearing exhaustion. The trolls fought against the tendrils as best they could, but they couldn’t stop from being pulled down backwards toward a large gaping hole. They tried to grab a hold of something, but all they came away with was sand. I dove to reach them, but I was too late. All I managed to catch was a face full of sand. They were gone, pulled down into the pit.
I couldn’t save them. I was too slow.
to be continued…