[NorthWorld] Thorgaut Kabbisson: Chapter 30 – Run! – Dave Bailey

[NorthWorld] Thorgaut Kabbisson: Chapter 30 – Run!

“How do you know that?” Happy Feet asked directly in his thoughts.

“Because I can feel everything she’s thinking,” Thorgaut pushed back. “She doesn’t seem to know what I’m doing yet.”

“She opened a direct connection when she rammed into your head back there,” Happy Feet said. “She locked it open so she could sift through your thoughts without expending a lot of her own energy. She didn’t assume you would be able to use the connection yourself. She won’t catch on as long as you don’t try to push anything at her.”

Thorgaut made small talk with Svart and Happy Feet as they continued walking. He could sense Abyss Snarer getting ready to attack. So, he kept on streaming the impressions he was getting from her directly to Happy Feet.

He didn’t know if what he was doing was working on her. But he tried his best to keep Happy Feet in the loop. Her spider senses were probably more in tune with Abyss Snarer than his. Thorgaut hoped Happy Feet understood the impressions and could interpret them.

“I’m not going to lead her to my nest,” Happy Feet informed him. “I don’t trust her. If she kills me, she’ll eat my eggs out of pure spite. Do you see that ledge over there?”

Thorgaut started to nod and answer out loud but caught himself quickly. He pretended to be remembering a song his mother had taught him as a child. He started humming and snapping his fingers.

“That’s where I hid and cloaked my eggs,” she continued unphased. You and Svart should run and hide there while she and I are fighting. As long as she doesn’t see you go behind the rocks, you should be safe. There’s a small opening where I hid the eggs. Hide in there till it’s safe. I made sure to mute the scent around that area before I left earlier. So, it should keep Abyss Snarer from sniffing you out.”

Thorgaut added some extra lines to his mother’s song so Happy Feet would know he had understood her.

“I’m gonna listen to my Momma. Run to safety from the Nokken.”

“What’s a Nockken?” Svart asked.

Thorgaut chuckled and shook his head. “It’s the evilest creature in the world. It hides in lakes and rivers waiting to grab little children who don’t come when called. My mother terrified me with stories of it as a child.”

By this time, they had gone up a hill and around a curve. The rocky ledge Happy Feet had mentioned was no longer visible behind them. Thorgaut sensed that it was almost showtime.

He reached out to try and connect with Svart once more so he could warn the boy to prepare for what was about to happen. He projected his thoughts at Svart but didn’t sense the boy was aware of what he was doing.

They came out of a tunnel and into a large cavernous chamber. Happy Feet stopped and jumped into the air spinning around midair to face Abyss Snarer.

“Well, here we are,” she chuckled nervously and pointed to the side with one of her feet. “Why don’t you boys go sit over there while I climb up and check on my eggs.”

Thorgaut was only too happy to oblige. He wanted to get out from between the spiders. Happy Feet’s jump seemed to have thrown off Abyss Snarer’s plan.

Happy Feet ran over to the side of the cave climbed up the wall to the roof. The spider scurried across to the other side and stopped behind some stalactites as if checking on her eggs.

Abyss Spider positioned herself for attack when Happy Feet came back down the cave wall. Thorgaut fired off a warning thought to keep Happy Feet from coming back that way. She turned to the side at the last minute and came down on the other side of the tunnel entrance. She approached warily keeping a careful eye on Abyss Snarer.

“Well, let’s get a move on it. Time’s a wasting. I gotta get you to your friends and then get back to my babies.”

“Why don’t you let me take these two to their friends,” Abyss Snarer said. “You stay here and take care of your babies. Surely, they’re more important than these two humans who would just as soon kill your babies as look at them.”

Happy Feet tapped her feet rapidly while shifting her weight back and forth in place. “Well, thank you Abyss Snarer for your very generous offer. But you and I both know that you won’t let them leave.”

“What do you care?” Abyss Snarer hissed. “There just humans. You know what they do to our kind.”

“Maybe it’s time to change things?” she replied. “One good deed begets another. We can start a chain of events that will change our future relationships.”

“Bah! You don’t believe that malarkey. Do you?” Abyss Snarer spat out. “Are you willing to die for them.”

“Yes, and I do believe it,” Happy Feet replied. “You know about my visions. I’ve seen the path they tread. They both play a key role in coming events that will affect us all. You’ve heard the whispers and rumors of the undead activity.”

Abyss Snarer snickered, “Of course I hear them. I’m not deaf. Although, unlike you, I prefer to use my rationality and sense of better judgment. I choose not to believe everything I hear.”

“It’s best to prepare yourself,” Happy Feet said. “I’ve seen the future, and it’s not going to be pleasant.”

Abyss Snarer rolled all eight of her eyes. “Oh, please. Don’t be so melodramatic. We live in a cave. Let the humans and dwarves and elves fight it out. ”

“For the sake of my offspring, I wish we were safe in the caves.” Happy replied glumly. “But we’ll be the first race affected. The undead use these tunnels to move around. We’ll be the first species that they will transform. They’ll use our skills and abilities to fight their battles.”

“We can build webs to keep them out,” Abyss Snarer said.

Happy Feet shook her head with a look of despair. “Spiders will take the brunt of the blame for the attacks on humans. Men will flood these tunnels seeking revenge and to end the threat. They will come with fire and burn us out. No spider is safe.”

“All the more reason to kill this one. The NightWalkers have already bitten this human on the neck.” Abyss Spider said pointing a hairy leg in Thorgaut’s direction. “Or we can at least wrap him up in a web so he can’t cause us trouble.”

Thorgaut stood off to the side watching their interaction. The showdown between the spiders was tense. Both were nervous and upset. The new Viking telepath didn’t feel he should connect with their minds. Any interference on his part could set them off.

“Things are about to get ugly,” Thorgaut leaned over and muttered to Svart. “Stay alert and get ready to run. Happy Feet already told me where to go. So, just follow my lead when the time comes.”

Svart looked up at him with fear in his eyes. Thorgaut felt sorry for him and laid a hand on his shoulder.

“Okay, you win.” Abyss Snarer said lowering her front legs and abdomen. “I’ll take your word for it. We’ll let these two tasty morsels go and hope for the best in the future. What do you see in my future?”

“Death,” Happy Feet screamed as she leaped into the air straight at the other spider. Abyss Snarer was quick on her feet in spite of her large size. She jumped and twisted her body mid-air. She defended the attack and grappled Happy Feet with her own swift counterattack.

The spiders fell to the ground hissing and fighting. Happy Feet was on top due to the force of her leap. But Abyss Snarer immediately flipped her over.

Thorgaut didn’t stick around to see who would win. He grabbed Svart by the forearm and gave a firm tug. He ran back down the tunnel towards the rocky ledge that Happy Feet had pointed out to him earlier.

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