[NorthWorld] Thorgaut Kabbisson: Chapter 29 – Psychic! – Dave Bailey

[NorthWorld] Thorgaut Kabbisson: Chapter 29 – Psychic!

“Abyss Snarer,” Happy said. “How wonderful to see you, dear. Come along with us. We’re going up to check on my babies. Then we are off for a little walk.”

The other spider didn’t reply in a way Thorgaut and Svar could understand. Her front two legs started tapping the ground rapidly in front of her. She puffed up her abdomen at an angle. It looked like they were communicating in spider language whatever that was.

Thorgaut was standing between the two spiders, so he moved off to the side. Abyss Snarer was the exact opposite of Happy Feet. Her head was almost as large as her abdomen. And she had a lot more hair on her body and legs.

The markings seemed to move and undulate rapidly. At first, Thorgaut thought it was a trick of his eyes in the darkness. But as he watched he noticed it happen several more times.

He started to say something, but then decided against it. He didn’t know what might trigger this spider into attacking. The spiders he had observed as a child were extremely fast. They could pounce on their prey from long distances of up to fifty times the length of their body. There was no way he could outrun it.

Anyss Snarer finally stopped drumming and lowered her abdomen. Happy Feet chuckled nervously. “Well, come along, boys. I need to make sure my babies are okay.”

Thorgaut and Svart looked at each other. Svart shook his head slightly. Thorgaut understood what he meant. He didn’t need to be a mind reader to surmise that the boy didn’t trust the spiders either. He sure didn’t want to end up becoming spider snack for the day.

“Well, look, ladies,” Thorgaut spoke up. “I hate to be rude and run off on you like this after just having met and all. It’s getting late though, and I need to find my friends before they get worried about me.”

Thorgaut felt the familiar warm pressure of a mind reader in his head. Only this time it came on suddenly and sharply. He grabbed his head and doubled over to the ground in extreme pain. He could feel the spider roughly sifting through this memories and thoughts. He vomited at her feet, and she let up on his mind to pull back her feet in disgust.

“Get up,” she hissed. “You’re not going anywhere. That was a warning. The next time, I’ll remove your memories permanently.”

“But my friends,” he moaned while still lying on the ground with his head between his hands. “They’re looking for me by now.”

“Oh, get over yourself and your puffed-up ego,” she replied. “It’s been a week since you last saw them. They’re long gone by now on that little ship you came in.”

Thorgaut rolled over and sat up. Svart helped him get up. His legs felt wobbly, and he stood unsteadily. He held onto Svar for support as he took a few shaky steps forward.

They followed Happy Feet back up the tunnel with Abyss Snarer following close behind.

Thorgaut sensed Abyss snarer’s mind but wasn’t sure if his impressions were correct. He got the feeling though that he could tell what she was thinking. It was as if the mind-reading force she used on him had unlocked something in his head. There seemed to be an open connection between their minds.

He sensed that she was impressed by something she had seen his memories. If he had to guess, he would have said that it had to do with the NightWalker biting him. Although he didn’t know why that would impress her so much.

Thorgaut hoped he might be starting to learn how to mind read now. He reached out with his senses towards Svart. He could sense the boy walking beside and slightly behind him. It wasn’t anywhere near strong enough to read the boy’s thoughts though.

He turned his senses towards the other spider. Happy Feet tensed up when Thorgaut probed into her mind. The spider relaxed as soon as she realized what was going on though.

“What are you doing, Thorgaut,” she probed back. Thorgaut could sense her thoughts in his mind even though he knew she wasn’t speaking out loud. It wasn’t as if he was reading her mind. It was more like she was pushing her thoughts into his head.

“I’m not sure,” he replied honestly. “After Abyss Snarer ripped my head open, I feel like I can sense her mind. I was testing how it worked with you and Svart.”

“You’re a fast learner,” she giggled. “She may have opened your mind to some interesting possibilities. At any rate, you’ll have an easier time of learning to read minds if you decided to develop these skills.”

“Why would she be interested in the fact that a NightWalker bit me recently?” he queried.

He felt her tense up at that information. It was fast and subtle though. He wouldn’t have even noticed if he hadn’t been concentrating all his attention on her at that very moment.

“I didn’t realize you had been bitten by a NightWalker, but then I didn’t raid your mind like she did. That is an interesting fact though.”

They all walked in silence for a bit. Thorgaut continued to shift his attention between the two spiders. It was easy for him to connect with Abyss Snarer. There seemed to be an open connection between them that had been opened. It allowed him direct access into her head without alerting her to his presence.

He continued having difficulty connecting with Happy Feet’s mind though. It took him several attempts each time and always felt a bit clumsy. He felt like he was poking around in the dark trying to get into Happy Feet’s head. But it was the exact opposite with the other spider. He knew where Abyss Snarer was at all times without even having to turn around to look at her.

Svart continued to prove to be a tougher challenge. He never could actually break through into the boy’s head or read his thoughts. He concluded that it was because Svart wasn’t a mind reader like the spiders were. So, it would naturally prove laborious for him to connect with the boy.

The whole idea of connecting with other minds and learning to read thoughts was exciting. It would prove to be an invaluable ability if Thorgaut could develop it further. Especially if he could push scary thoughts into the mind of enemies that he faced on the battlefield. He could shove horrid visions directly into their head to scare them. He could terrorize them before the fighting even began.

Thorgaut snickered at the thought of them fleeing before the battle even started. The look on his friends’ faces would be priceless. His reputation as Thorgaut the Dreadful would grow.

“Thorgaut’s enemies flee before he ever even draws his sword,” they would shout.

“What’s so funny?” Svart asked when he noticed the grin on Thorgaut’s face. He tried to push the images in his mind into the boy’s head, but it still felt like a clumsy attempt.

“He can’t sense minds connecting with him like you can,” Happy Feet replied in his head. “He never felt me probing through his thoughts like you did. You seem to be somewhat of a natural at the mind games. You already had an open mind.”

“You could be right! I have to admit that my mind is a little more open to strange things now than it was a week ago.” he fired back.

“It could have something to do with the fact that I’ve fought shufflers, undead wolves, and crazy people with black eyes these past few days.” he shot at her with a tone of irony.

“And now I’m carrying on a conversation in my head with a giant underground spider that wants to feed me to her babies.”

Happy Feet giggled and looked back at him. “Oh, c’mon. I wouldn’t do that to poor Svart. On second thought, I could do that to you though, since you pose a mind-reading threat to my kind.”

“And here I thought you had a thing for me,” Thorgaut groaned and rolled his eyes in mock despair at her betrayal of him. “I’m jealous and will have to find a way to throw him to Abyss Snarer when the time comes.”

“Don’t say that,” she hushed him. “It may come to that. She doesn’t seem to have the best of intentions.

“What’s going on? What are you talking about?” Abyss Snarer demanded to know after hearing their giggles and groans.

“Nothing,” Thorgaut said. “I stepped on a rock with my sore foot.”

He felt Abyss Snarer reach out to probe his mind and read his thoughts. Thorgaut immediately pulled back and shoved some random memories of the wolf attack.

The spider recoiled and pulled back in disgust at the images of the wolf leaping and tearing at him.

Thorgaut probed right back into her mind and picked up some images of her thoughts. He reeled with shock at the realization of what Abyss Snarer was planning to do.

He immediately reached out to Happy Feet. It took him a few attempts to get the spider’s attention and connect with her mind. He pushed the images from Abyss Snarer’s head into hers.

“Be careful,” Thorgaut alerted her. “Abyss Snarer is going to jump you as soon we get to your eggs, and then kill Svart and me.”

Dave Bailey

Dave Bailey started writing short stories when he lived in Brazil to help his students learn English. Now, he lives in Florida again where he continues to write fun and inspiring sci-fi and fantasy fiction stories. You can read his weekly short stories here on his blog. Make sure to join his advanced reading crew so you know when new stories become available >>> https://davebailey.me/go/crew