Roar! is Book 4 in the Edge of the Universe series. It’s ready to read and up for pre-order on Amazon.
Here’s what it’s about…
After meeting the clone maker and realizing the trouble the scientist has gotten himself into, Art realizes that he needs to find a good lawyer of his own to create a few legal loopholes of his own and leave himself a way out if Tony plans on using his DNA-splicing technology for something evil.
Tony has been hounding Art to sign the contract even before his time was up and Art has a sneaking suspicion that something is up. He just doesn’t know what it is yet.
Art and Bill find a way to sneak into Blue Wolf’s lair even though LocTech spies are watching them. There they learn about an old enemy Tony once made, known as the Rain Maker, who may be able to help Art create the legal loopholes that he needs.
It has been edited and the latest version has been uploaded for release scheduled on February 1, 2019. If you’re too anxious to wait to read it though, you can get an Advanced Reader Copy by joining my Advanced Reading Crew.
That way you can tell me if you find any mistakes the editing team may have missed. And leave a review to help promote the book when it goes live.
Enjoy and tell me what you think.
Feel free to leave you questions and feedback about Roar! in the comments below.
In the very end, only two violent beings survived. Rikbiel and Ishim.
The two most powerful men in the world had divided the entire world. Well, the entire world as they knew it anyway.
Since the beginning of time, people had chosen a side, bitterly attacking the other. Slaughtering and destroying each other in a desperate bid for what they thought would be world domination and eventually peace for themselves and their loved ones.
But one by one, they all died off. Every. Single. One.
Everyone except Rikbiel and Ishim.
And here they stood, fighting to the bitter end.
Rikbiel came in for the finishing blow. Fast and low. Balled up his fist and felt the energy flow into it. It glowed fiery red as he drove it up and forward into Ishim’s belly floating just above his head.
He felt his fist connect with his opponent. Rikbiel released the all the energy in his body out through his fist. He felt a wave of confidence that victory was assured.
There was no way, Ishim could withstand such power. No one had ever resisted Rikbiel when he released such a massive wave of energy.
He poured his heart and soul into the blow. Rikbiel screamed when he had felt the energy leaving his body, attempting to squeeze just a little bit more out of himself to make sure that he dealt the final blow. To make sure that there was no way, Ishim would survive.
The surge of energy that he released had left him weak and powerless. Rikbiel fell to his knees and struggled to catch his breath.
It came in soft, shallow gasps. Rikbiel could barely lift his head to look over at the spot where he expected to see his opponent’s lifeless body.
But there was nothing there.
Nothing except for the shards of rock and rubble left over from the buildings and vehicles that had managed to survive there deadly struggle for power.
Rikbiel twisted his head from side to side. Slowly scanning the area around him for the enemy he had spent his entire life hating. Waiting for a glimpse of a mangled corpse over which he could gloat and celebrate his victory.
When he had recuperated enough energy, he stood slowly. Legs wobbly from the force of power exerted. The world spun around him, and he lost his balance for a split second. He managed to catch himself though at the last second by staggering forward.
Rikbiel pressed his hands to his head and closed his eyes as he focused on breathing deeply. The fastest way to regenerate energy.
After a few seconds, he opened his eyes and turned around. Once again, scanning the area for a trace of his opponent’s grisly remains. But all he saw were piles of brick and mortar. Twisted metal rods and chunks of torn plastic.
Had he completely obliterated Ishim? Incinerated his flesh, blood, and bones straight back into the atoms of the ether. Was there no gory splatter for him to gloat over. No remains left for him to stomp upon as he sang his final victory chant.
Deep sadness washed over him. Regret at having used so much power. Of not having held himself back.
A sense of emptiness washed over his soul. And a sense of dread crept over his skin.
What would he do with his life, now that he had no more enemies to fight. No challengers left to face.
His entire life had been spent learning to fight and prepare for war against his enemies. Seeking out those who could train him in the secret arts to grow his power.
And now, after he had achieved his greatest desire to prove himself the greatest warrior, the mighty warrior felt empty and hollow.
Rikbiel felt the urge to cry growing and welling up from deep within. His stomach tightened. His chest constricted physically affected his breathing.
Painfully threatening to prevent his body from receiving the life-giving oxygen his cells needed to restore the power they had sacrificed upon his command.
He concentrated his mind to focus his thoughts and bring them back to the present. To remind himself that he was still alive, and that was what mattered. But did it? Especially if no one else was around to admire him and gloat his victory.
His opponent had eliminated every one of his allies. And now, he was alone in this great big empty world.
Out of the corner of his eye, Rikbiel noticed a movement. He whirled excitedly, thinking to have found his opponent. To gloat over him one last time.
But then he stopped himself. Why would he want to kill off an opponent he was sad he had destroyed.
And yet, when he turned to look, there was no one there. Only shards of shattered rock and pebbles and sand all began to rise into the air around him.
Rikbiel looked up and gasped at the sight of his opponent floating silently above him. Two concentric rings of energy surrounded him as he drew in the elements of earth towards himself.
The mighty warrior on the ground took a step back. His jaw went slack, and his eyes roved trying to take in the sight just above him. What? How? Where had he come from?
Rikbiel steeled himself bravely for the coming onslaught. He clenched his fists and attempted to raise a shield. But his energy wasn’t sufficient. His body still trembling in its weakened state. The shield flickered and barely shimmered.
Ishim smiled wickedly from above.
“Wait!” Rikbiel pleaded. “I thought I had destroyed you. I was devastated. I had no idea what to do with my life. Without you, who was I? Without me, who will you be?”
The shards and sand and stone stopped their ascent. Paused in mid-air as Ishim considered his words.
“I just want to prove that I’m the best!” he cried out.
Rikbiel swallowed his pride. It wasn’t about not dying. Only not having to fight to prove himself.
“But you are,” Rikbiel finally managed to get the words out. “You are the best. I gave you my best shot, and it wasn’t enough. You survived. If you eliminate me now, what will that prove? And to whom? There is no one around for you to gloat with and brag to about your victory.”
Ishim didn’t seem entirely convinced.
“But what will we do if we don’t battle to prove ourselves?”
“Whatever we want to. We can travel the world and find other survivors if they exist. We can rebuild the world. And then start again.” Rikbiel said excitedly.
That made Ishim think. The sand and stones began to lower and sink around Rikbiel once more.
“Like a game?” Ishim asked. “With rules, we must abide by.”
“Yes,” Rikbiel replied. “We know we can’t defeat each other. “We must use strategy and pit our minions against each other.”
“Whoever wins, gets to choose his prize. The other must do his bidding for a time, while we recoup our losses and start another round.” Ishim replied gleefully.
“Yes, we shall play many rounds,” Rikbiel grinned maliciously. “There is no sense trying to destroy each other to prove anything. We must use our wits.”
“Good. I like the sound of this game.” Ishim replied. “I always thought you were more powerful than I. I barely survived that last blast because of a trick I had up my sleeve. But it almost took me out. However, I do think I am smarter than you. A challenge of the wits may well favor me in the next rounds.”
Ishim floated down slowly from the air to land beside Rikbiel. He reached out a shaky hand. His body covered in bruises. Blood oozing from his nose and ears. Even coloring his saliva when he opened his mouth to speak.
Rikbiel smiled. “Not shabby. Not shabby at all there, old chap. You put up a good fight.”
“And you are a worthy opponent,” Ishim spoke weakly trying to regain his energy as well.
“Well, I say we call it a day and each go his own way. After we recuperate, we shall meet again here to define the rules of the next round.”
“Agreed,” Ishim said with a grin.
Rikbiel reached out his hand first this time to seal the deal and not let Ishim take the initiative.
They both took their separate paths back home, or to whatever remained of it. He looked back once to observe Ishim looking back at him.
Rikbiel raised his hand in a wave. Not quite sure why he was doing so to an ancient, mortal enemy. He turned to continue walking and shrugged it off.
The battle was over. A truce been called. But there would be other rounds. More challenges and conflicts to be faced. And next time he would be ready.
Rikbiel tripped on something and slammed into the ground. He twisted around to see what had tripped him up. A pile of sand and rock still floated there lightly. He realized that this was Ishim’s doing.
He stood back up and shook his fist. Ishim just laughed as he let the rocks and sand slip back down. Rikbiel heard the soft patter as they hit the ground.
Rikbiel continued walking again. Only this time he didn’t look back. He kept his eyes and ears peeled for another attack. But none came, and he continued home without incident to nurse his battle wounds and wounded pride.
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Hey! Just finishing up with the final touches on a new story. It should be up soon on Amazon. Advanced Reader Copies are available for sponsors on Patreon. Let me know what you think when you read it.
If you die in the Nevada desert, you may just live to tell the tale.
When a semi jackknifes in the Nevada desert just outside of Area 51, a young orphan girl dies in the accident. However, she doesn’t stay dead because someone or something else has other plans for her and brings her back to life. But when the man responsible for the accident shows up with his creepy bosses, Swallow must do whatever it takes to save mankind from certain extinction by putting a stop to the alien forces that drive him by using her newfound alien powers from the alien soul that resurrected her and now possesses her.
When Swallow’s parents die, she runs away from her foster home, back to the Nevada desert where she grew up just outside of Area 51. After observing a series of strange explosions in the night, Swallow gets caught up in the drama of a young family caught in the path of a runaway Iron Knight semi chased by evil forces who want the alien cargo. The truck destroys everyone in its path and evil men kill off any remaining survivors.
Something in that cargo though won’t let Swallow stay dead and brings her back to life. Little by little, she discovers strange and unusual powers that she possesses to help herself and those she loves.
However, those same evil beings who caused her accident, want what is inside of her, and will stop at nothing to get it. Can Swallow stay alive long enough to protect those she loves before they remove her power and destroy her along with it?
Questions, comments, or feedback? Talk to me in the comments.
When the city of Myxol is burned to the ground by the rebel slaves who once served his family, Elijolf struggles to avoid getting caught while saving his friends with the help of a strange old man. But when an ex-slave holds Kadlin hostage and the slaves call up Chilyrium the Dragon Master out from the caves, Elijolf must do whatever it takes to fight off the rebels and avoid being burned to a crisp while he opens a portal to save his friends. Read The Fall of Myxol & Rise of Chilyrium now >>
Update: May 24, 2018 – I recently had a new cover created for this book, that looks much nicer.
“Halldora!” Thorgaut shouted with glee.
He jumped up and ran over to her. He grabbed her in his arms and spun her around genuinely glad to see her.
“I thought I’d never find you again,” he said after putting her down. “You cloaked your place good.”
She blushed at his enthusiasm at seeing her and beamed with pride over his compliments.
“Well, it’s a trick I learned from an old friend,” she replied. “It seems you’ve picked up a few skills yourself since I last saw you.”
“Not because I went looking for them,” he said. “That’s for sure. I got waylaid along the way over and over again.”
He noticed a flicker of worry briefly cross her face as she frowned. She caught herself though and smiled him right after.
“What is it?” he asked. “And where is Vriobrum?”
“Vriobrum can’t walk very fast and would have held me back,” she said with a laugh. “I came running as soon as I sensed your presence. Besides, someone has to stay back and keep an eye on the house. There are a lot of creepy guys running around in the woods these days.”
Thorgaut chuckled and then turned serious. “Speaking of creepy guys, have you seen three of my friends who are out there looking for me?” he asked.
Halldora grinned sheepishly. “I have,” she said. “Would you like them back?”
“What did you do to them?” he demanded with a scowl. A sudden realization of what Halldora could have done hit him, and a look of horror crossed his face.
“You didn’t,” he said. “No!”
“What?” she asked mischievously.
“You didn’t turn them into shufflers to join your undead army. Did you?”
She laughed over that one and punched him in the arm.
“Of course not, silly.” she managed to say once she stopped laughing. “You seem to think I’m an evil person. I’m not like those wicked, old witches from the fairy tales your mother used to tell you when you were a child.”
Thorgaut breathed a sigh of relief. “So, what did you do to Liut and his companions?” he asked. “And yes, I want my friends back.”
They started walking back to the rest of the group who were still eating by the fire. Halldora took his arm with one hand and hitched up her blue dress with the other.
“Not the best outfit for a walk in the woods, but I left in a hurry,” she said. “Anyway, your crazy friends tracked you to my home. You were gone of course. They thought I had eaten you or used you to perform some evil ritual. Then they saw Vriobrum and tried to kill him.”
“So, what evil spell did you cast on them?” Thorgaut asked. “Did you turn them into disgusting-looking toads. They’ll live in the lake until a charming princess comes along to kiss them.”
Halldora smiled and wrinkled her nose. “Yuck,” she said. “I hate toads. So, no! That would be too cruel. I put them to sleep until I could find you and prove that I hadn’t done anything to you.”
“Well, then let’s go get them,” he said.
“Relax,” she said. “They’ll wake up and be here shortly.”
Thorgaut shook his head. He was still trying to wrap his mind around all these crazy events and strange people he had met here in these woods. He had only been here a week, but he would miss this place once he headed home with his friends.
He introduced Halldora to Svart, Katla, and Ariana. She seemed extremely excited to meet the spider. She said she had heard a lot about them and always wanted to meet one.
Ariana seemed nervous around her. Thorgaut probed her to find out what it was, but she wouldn’t tell him. He perceived that Katla was jealous. She politely offered Halldora some of their soup and chatted with her about the weather. But after Halldora turned to talk with Svart, Katla scowled at Thorgaut and gave him a dirty look.
Thorgaut shrugged his shoulders and pretended to look confused. But he didn’t need to use his mind-reading skills to figure out what was wrong. He had sensed that Katla had a crush on him for quite some time. She never came right out and mentioned it, but he had a gut feeling about it.
They had a little fling when they were younger. Thorgaut kissed her once and thought she was the love of his life. And then she told him that he wasn’t her type. It had devastated him because soon after that she had started hanging out with his best friend, Liut. Later, Liut had broken things off with her.
After that, things were awkward between the three of them. They each went their separate way for a while. But over the past two summers, they had gone on several raiding parties together. During that time they had all patched up their friendship. They had all gotten along great after that.
Over the past few months though, Thorgaut had a gut feeling that the Katla was hoping to be more than friends. He sensed that she regretted having rejected his advances. But it was too late. Thorgaut had long gotten over his feeling for her.
He didn’t want to put himself back in that situation. And he didn’t want to complicate his friendship with either Katla or Liut. Besides, there were plenty of other women in the world that he could choose. No need to get all bent out of shape over Katla.
So, he found her attitude towards Halldora moderately humorous under the current circumstances. He tried not to smile or show it though when she looked at him. Katla was a charming girl and a good friend. No need to blow things all out of proportion over nothing. Besides, Halldora had blown him off, and there was no reason for Katla to be jealous of her.
Thorgaut asked Katla for another bowl of soup. He ate a little more slowly this time and relished the delicious flavors in each bite. Katla was a great cook. She blushed and smiled when he complimented her. But then she scowled right after when she saw Halldora.
He knew she was dying to ask what had gone on between them, but ignored her unspoken questions. He kept shoveling spoon after spoon of the delicious food in his mouth. He didn’t know if the food was really that delicious or if it seemed that way because of his heightened sense of awareness. Maybe it was due to his extreme hunger after all these adventures. He didn’t pause to overthink things too much though. He just sat back and enjoyed the meal with his friends.
A little while later, he heard more footsteps coming through the woods. He motioned everyone to be quiet. He heard Liut’s voice first. He jumped up and grinned as they came into view.
“Welcome back boys,” he shouted out. “What took you all so long to get back?”
Liut grinned and strode toward him. They greeted each other with a typical Jorundarfell forearm handshake. Then Thorgaut gave him a big hug. He didn’t think he would ever see his friends again.
Thorgaut greeted Bior and Grimar. They all turned towards the rest of the group and noticed Halldora sitting beside Svart. Bior and Liut jumped backward and pulled their swords out.
“It’s that witch woman!” Liut shouted.
Grimar charged forward running headlong straight toward the surprised woman. Before he got to her though, she waved her hand and wiggled her fingers. He fell at her feet as though dead.
“Silly men,” she said. “I told you that I didn’t do anything to Thorgaut.”
Thorgaut put out his hand on his Liut and Bior’s arms.
“It’s okay,” he reassured them. “Halldora is a friend.”
They looked at him like he was off his rocker, but obeyed by putting their swords back in their sheaths.
Katla held out a bowl of soup for each of them which they accepted. The men sat down on the other side of the fire from Halldora so they could keep a wary eye on her as they ate.
Grimar was so concentrated on Halldora that he didn’t even notice Ariana was a spider. Grimar started to sit on her as if she was a log. The spiderling hopped back, and the man fell on the ground. He tried to hold his bowl of soup up during the fall, but it poured out all over him.
Liut saw Ariana the giant spiderling and threw his bowl in her face before grabbing his sword. “Spider!” he screamed at the top of his lungs. “Look out, a spider!”
He looked wildly around at everyone. They continued sitting calmly as if this were a typical everyday occurrence. Liut didn’t understand why no one did anything. They seemed more surprised to hear him scream like a little girl than to see the spider in their midst.
“Don’t you guys see it?” he asked in a shaky voice.
Halldora started laughing first. Everyone else followed along right after. They roared at the hilarious scene that had played out in front of them. Svart rolled on the ground holding his stomach.
Thorgaut found it funny as well but tried not to show it too much. He wiped a tear of laughter from his eye and snorted his laughs as he introduced Ariana.
The spiderling didn’t seem to find the situation funny at all though. Ariana scurried off to the other side of the fire beside Halldora. The spider put as much space between herself and the screaming man as she could.
Halldora woke Bior from his sleeping spell, and Katla gave the men all another bowl of soup. They told him about the spider though before he saw her so there wouldn’t be any more surprises.
It took awhile for Thorgaut to give them a brief rundown what he had been through over the past few days. He glossed over the craziest parts. He focused on meeting Halldora and being attacked by the wolves in the woods. He told them a condensed version of escaping the strangers in Svart’s house and their trip down the cave.
He didn’t mention anything about undead wolves or the NightWalkers though. He also didn’t tell them about his run-in with Abyss Snarer. He portrayed the spiders as friendly like Happy Feet and her children.
Thorgaut didn’t want them knowing about him being bitten by the undead. They’d tie him up and wait for him to turn as Arnulfr had done. And he definitely didn’t want them knowing about his new mental and healing powers.
Liut, Bior, and Grimar all thought they had only been gone a day. They had left the day after Thorgaut when he didn’t return. That would have been the day Thorgaut got caught in the snare. They had tracked him to the campground where the shufflers attacked him. From there, they had trailed him into Halldora’s meadow.
Halldora put them under a sleeping spell when they attacked Vriobrum. Then she left them there while Thorgaut recuperated at Arnulfr’s house. She had located his presence when he had regained consciousness that night. She told him that she had planned to pick him up the next day. But she lost him when he entered the cave to escape the men with the strange device.
She told him that the strange men were undead bounty hunters trying to make a name for themselves. They had been in the area for the past several months. They were the main reason she had cloaked her section of the woods. Halldora had set up the shield to keep their device from locating her shufflers.
Thorgaut was happy to have completed his crazy journey through Knulkforrest. It had been a freaky adventure, but he had come out stronger than ever. His new abilities were an added bonus. And on top of that, he had discovered a new appreciation for life and was ready to embrace his destiny. He knew his purpose was to rule over Jorundarfell and be a good leader for his people.
Thorgaut urged Halldora to return with them to Jorundarfell, but she declined. They both knew that she wouldn’t be welcome there. He knew the people of the town would try to burn her at stake.
He tried to feel Halldora out about creating an undead army for him, but she refused. He made it sound like he was joking about a crazy idea that came to him in a dream. But she immediately shot the idea down saying it was dangerous and risky.
Halldora hinted that there was an extremely terrifying threat behind his idea which left him intrigued. He could sense the fear lacing her words and wanted to ask why that was. But Katla came barging in with some silly excuse to interrupt him. Thorgaut didn’t get a chance to talk with her alone again after that.
“It’s already dark,” Halldora said. “I shouldn’t have left Vriobrum alone. He’ll come out looking for me.”
She gave Thorgaut a long hug and bid everyone farewell. Then she disappeared into the woods. Thorgaut watched the woods swallow her up. He sat on a stump by the fire looking into the darkness long after she was gone. Svart and Katla went off to sleep. Ariana had gone into the woods to find something to eat.
Thorgaut talked with Liut for a while before heading to his spot to get some sleep himself. Liut and Bior offered to keep watch in the night since they had just woken up from a week-long nap.
The next morning the group woke up early and ate a quick breakfast that Katla had prepared for them. It was a strange mix of roots she had discovered while they were gone. She cooked it up with some rabbits Ariana had caught for them in the night.
And then they were off. The small group traveled back down the river the way they had come. They made for an odd group. Five adults, one boy, and two large spiderlings. Ariana had invited her sister who had also joined them as they were leaving.
Thorgaut was finally headed home. It had been a marvelous journey. The adventure of a lifetime that he would never forget. Only he didn’t realize that for him, it was only just beginning.
Thorgaut walked down the tunnels. He followed the maps in his head that Happy Feet had left him. He probed out mentally for Ariana. He didn’t sense her presence. Either she was too far away, or she was cloaking her mind.
He debated whether to head back to his friends or try to locate Halldora. In the end, he decided to find his friends first. It was important to reassure them that he was okay. That way they wouldn’t be searching for him. Also, he knew he might not even find Halldora’s meadow. It was well cloaked, and Thorgaut didn’t know if he could locate it even with his recent, mental powers.
His trip to the cave entrance was uneventful. He saw many new, fascinating species of animals. Strange and exotic creatures that he never knew existed.
He sensed the presence of a few giant spiders probing out at him. He didn’t want to end up as spider bait or have to fight them. So, he mentally slapped them and shredded at their minds painfully to scare them off. He projected an enormous, ferocious version of himself down the rest of the tunnel.
Not one of the spiders attempted to mess with him after that. They didn’t even expose themselves as he walked through their caverns. The spiders pressed back into their webs weaved in dark corners. Others pushed themselves farther down their crevices trying to avoid his mind probes. He chuckled as they strived to make themselves smaller and less detectable
Thorgaut also sensed the presence of weird creatures that he didn’t recognize. He couldn’t tell if they were human or animal. Some seemed to be a cross between the two. Others were wholly different and foreign to his senses.
The Viking didn’t stop to discover who or what they were. He was curious, and someday he knew it would be fun coming back to explore further. But for now, he was anxious to get home.
There was one interesting thing he came across. It was a plant species with a certain amount of intelligence. They actually seemed to be able to communicate with him at an elementary level. He approached them warily as he probed for danger.
The plants didn’t seem to be a threat nor think of him to be one. Thorgaut noticed that it seemed to exude an aura of healing intelligence. They actually seemed to be offering their services to him if needed.
Thorgaut knew his body had fully healed itself of everything he had been through and experienced. So, he politely declined and thanked them for their gracious offer. He quickened his pace after that. He knew he was arriving at the cave entrance.
As he exited the cave, he could see the river a short distance away. It was late afternoon, and the sun was low on the horizon behind him. It took his eyes a minute to adjust to the sunlight.
“Sunlight!” he thought. “It felt so good to be out in the open and breathe fresh air once again. He inhaled deeply, paying attention to each and every scent that assailed his senses.
An awareness of Ariana’s presence pressed into his mind. She greeted him excitedly as she popped out of the forest. She scampered over in his direction.
“Hey there,” he greeted her back. “I see you made it safely. How is Svart?”
“He’s doing well,” she replied. “He snapped out of Abyss Snarer’s control soon after we entered the tunnel. What happened after I left you?”
The spiderling probed his mind for a mental image. He played out a brief vision of the spider jumping at him. Then showed Ariana a scene of him stabbing Abyss Snarer in the forehead with the fang. And finally, a view of himself ripping off the giant spider’s head.
“Wow! Nice job,” she muttered admiringly. He could tell her level of respect increased immediately. He thought he even sensed a bit of fear tinge her emotions as she realized how fast and powerful he had become.
He held back the images of Abyss Snarer biting him and wrapping his body in her thread. He felt it was unnecessary. And frankly, the Viking warrior felt a bit miffed at having been caught off guard like that.
He also didn’t want to reveal the extent of his healing powers. The less Ariana knew about his healing capabilities, the better. She might share it in the collective mental web. They might use that kind of knowledge against him someday. Besides, keeping it a secret could come in quite handy at some point.
“How did my friends react when they saw you?” he asked.
He imagined the look of shock on their faces when they saw the spiderling and chuckled to himself. Even though Ariana was small for her kind, Ariana was still much significantly bigger than any spider the humans had ever seen.
“To say I surprised the girl would be an understatement,” she replied. “She screamed and climbed a tree as soon as she saw me.”
Ariana suppressed a giggle as she pushed a mental image into Thorgaut’s mind. He could see Katla hanging onto the branches and screaming hysterically. They both chuckled at the thought but stopped when they saw her coming through the trees. It was hard to keep a straight face as he reviewed the scene in his head.
“Thorgaut!” Katla screamed in delight. “You’re alive, and you’re back!”
The pretty girl raced in Thorgaut’s direction. Her wild, red hair streamed in the wind. Katla threw her arms around Thorgaut when she reached him. She squeezed him tightly for a long time. She finally let go and wiped a tear from her eye.
“It’s good to see you too, Katla,” he said brushing his hand against her cheek to wipe away another tear.
“We thought you were gone for good and that we never see you again,” she said swallowing a sob. She grabbed Thorgaut again and held on. He hugged her back now that she didn’t have his arms pinned to his sides.
“Where’s everyone else?” he asked.
“They’re out looking for you,” she replied. “Liut, Grimar, and Bior left a week ago to track you down. I haven’t seen them since.”
Thorgaut’s heart froze in his face paled.
“What is it?” Katla asked. “What happened to them? What happened you all this time?”
Thorgaut shook his head and shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t know,” he replied. “There are a lot of dangerous things out here in these woods. Anything could have happened to them. We need to find them though.”
He mentally asked Ariana if she could still tap into the collective mind.
“Of course,” she replied. “You want me have the spider scan the caves.”
“Yes,” he answered. “Have they seen any humans wandering around in there.”
“No,” she said. “But I have asked a few to head back up to the entrance underneath Svart’s house. They were already heading in that direction anyway.”
The three of them walked back towards the camp where they met up with Svart. Thorgaut was happy to see the boy safe and sound. He gave the blond-haired lad a big hug. Svart seemed pleased to see him as well.
“What a crazy adventure. Huh?” Thorgaut said.
Svart laughed and rolled his eyes. “You can say that again!”
Ariana tapped into his awareness. She let him know that the spiders had arrived at the entrance to the boy’s house. They hadn’t seen or sensed the presence of any humans in the cave. The spiders had even entered and scanned the house. But Thorgaut could see that everything was in place just like he had left it.
Thorgaut mentally ran back over the path he had taken to arrive at Halldora’s meadow. He knew that he had circled around and come back in this direction. Knulkforrest couldn’t be that far away. If knew its exact location he could cut straight through the trees and get there quickly. But there was a good chance of him getting lost again. He assumed that was what had happened to his friends.
As he traced his route, there was an area of his memory that seemed to be blanked out. Thorgaut figured that was where Halldora was cloaking her home. He tried probing around that zone mentally, but was fuzzy and out of focus. He could almost sense Halldora’s presence. He quit examining and analyzing those thoughts after a few minutes though. He felt angry at himself for not being able to pin the location down.
He felt frustrated because his senses didn’t function at a great distance. If he could pick out Halldora’s presence, he knew she must be close. Even though it was barely perceptible, he could still sense her. He sat down on the log and considered his options.
Katla had busied herself over the fire. She had been stirring something in a pot, and it smelled terrific. Soon she was serving the humans large bowls of soup. She offered Ariana a bowl who declined with a funny look on her face. But she tried to be gracious and thanked her for the kind offer.
Thorgaut could see the questioning look in Katla’s eyes. He knew she was dying to ask him what had happened and how he had met the spider. But he wasn’t in the mood to tell her the whole story right now. So he smiled and kept shoveling the delicious warm food in his mouth.
He scraped the last of the stew from the bottom of his bowl and smacked his lips. His sensitive hearing detected footsteps coming through the woods. They were soft and barely perceptible. He couldn’t tell who it was, but there was a faint scent drifting in the breeze that seemed familiar.
The Viking put his bowl down. He turned in the direction the steps were coming from. He motioned for everyone to be silent and put out his hand to take Katla’s sword. Everyone froze and watched him in silence.
He gasped has dark figure stepped out of the woods and came into view.
“Going to kill an old friend who comes to visit you, Thorgaut?” a quiet voice said lilting softly over his name.
Thorgaut was already a little distance away. He considered making a run for the tunnel. He might make it if the spider was still weak. The Viking warrior decided against it though.
He had seen how far the spiders could jump in the earlier fight. And he knew Abyss Snarer could close the distance between them in a single bound if she was feeling back to normal. He would rather face her head on and have a fighting chance, then have her tackle him from behind. He didn’t want her sinking her fangs into his back as she had earlier.
Abyss Snarer was anxiously tapping her feet and moving sideways. She lowered her head and raised her abdomen. He circled to put a stalagmite between him and the spider hoping that it would block her jump.
“I’m leaving and going back to my home,” he said. “I don’t plan on coming back and won’t ever bother you again. So don’t attack me and I won’t hurt you.”
“Silly human,” she hissed. “Humans will never accept you for who you’ve become. You are one of us now. You may as well stay here in the cave with me.”
Thorgaut started backing away toward the tunnel. He tried to keep the stalagmite between him and the spider as much as possible.
“Are you scared yet?” she asked.
The man shook his head. He honestly didn’t feel afraid of her because she had already tried to kill him and failed. He also knew what she was capable of doing and knew he could put up the good fight. The only thing he had to do was avoid her fangs. And yet he still wanted to avoid the conflict.
“Not necessarily,” he replied. “But my mama always taught me to be nice and play fair. She told me to live and let live as much as possible because death never did anyone any good.”
“Your mother wouldn’t make a good spider,” she replied. “We have to kill to eat and survive.”
Thorgaut shrugged. He knew the spider was trying to goad him into a fight, but he wasn’t in the mood. He just wanted to get back to his friends. He was so close to reaching them after having come this far.
The giant spider kept edging closer in his direction, and he kept backing up. Abyss Snarer tried to fake him out like she was going to jump, but he didn’t flinch. The warrior was ready for her attack and waiting for her to make a mistake.
He had been actively probing her mind the entire time. So, he knew there was little chance she would actually jump straight at him. He hadn’t been able to activate an open connection yet to perceive exactly what she was thinking. But he had enough of a read on her to sense her feelings and intentions.
Thorgaut did know that she didn’t plan on letting him leave the cavern. She would pick a fight soon. So, he bided his time, analyzed his options, and prepared for an attack of his own.
She was eyeing an area of the cavern roof behind him. He sensed that was where she wanted to jump to begin her attack. He didn’t know yet exactly what she would do after that. So, he stopped moving to stall for time. She paused as well.
“I guess we are in a deadlock,” he said. “We’re both now undead creatures who are gonna fight in this cavern for all eternity.”
Abyss Snarer chuckled. “You should be proud of yourself, Thorgaut,” she said. “You’ll go down in history as a myth and legend. Don’t worry though. I will make sure to tell everyone I kill down here about you before I eat them.”
Thorgaut started backing up again. This time he edged off to the side to avoid the area of the roof that she was watching. She realized that he had caught on to her plan, and took the leap.
It was amazing to watch. With an increased clarity of vision, Thorgaut could make out the twitches in her muscles. He could see all the subtle details in the movement of her body. He didn’t move an inch though. He followed her only with his eyes while admiring what she could do.
He knew Abyss Snarer was trying to fake him out again. As soon as she landed on the stalagmite, she would push off in his direction and attack him from the side. He watched her legs reaching out for the edges and then begin to push off again.
The instant she committed herself to the leap in his direction, Thorgaut jumped back and to the side. The spider realized she wasn’t going to reach him. Abyss Snarer stretched out her legs as far as they would go in his direction, but she couldn’t quite make it. She landed right where the human had been standing an instant before.
One of her front paws was close enough for him to grab with his right hand. He held it firm and smashed down on it with his other forearm. Like Happy Feet, her skin wasn’t as hard as it looked. It snapped under the crushing blow. Green spider goo squirted across his arms and hands. She screamed in pain and fury.
The spider hobbled backward on her other seven legs to get away from him. But she wasn’t fast enough. Thorgaut was already in her face. He stabbed ‘Terror,’ the fang in his right hand, straight down into the middle of her forehead. She screamed in hissed in his face spraying spider spittle and venom at the human.
Abyss Snarer laughed and waited for him to fall over paralyzed once again. But the poison didn’t faze him in the slightest, because his body had already built up an immunity to its effect.
The spider had stepped in close to spit in his face. But Abyss Snarer was still wobbly and backed away too slowly. Her body hadn’t had the time to heal fully like Thorgaut’s.
He reached out to grab her other front leg with his left hand. He grasped it firmly and held on for a moment as he wiped his eyes clean with the other. Then he brought his right forearm down hard and crushed through her other leg.
Thorgaut reached out and grabbed the fang still protruding from her forehead. It slid out exposing her brains. The spider clutched her head with mangled paws. She tried to back away. Thorgaut slashed the fang across her eyes before she could get away. He completely blinded her two large eyes up front and the three smaller ones to the right.
The giant spider stumbled backward and tried to turn so she could see him with the eyes on her left side. But Thorgaut moved along with her staying to the right. She screeched and jumped in his direction, feeling for him with her six good legs. He ducked to avoid them and stepped in to meet her swollen underbelly.
The fierce warrior drove the fang deep into her soft gut. It was still gorged with all that she had sucked out of his body. The Viking pulled the prong up. It tore through the flesh across her abdomen. Before he could pull it back out though, her weight came crashing down on top of him.
Thorgaut fell to the ground with her weight on top of him. He struggled to get out from under her massive body. He managed to roll out and stay away from her flailing legs. He stood up and realized that Terror, the fang, was still stuck underneath her.
He pulled the other fang out of his pocket and considered stabbing her with it for good measure. He didn’t want to use it though because Happy Feet and given it to him for a reason. It wouldn’t be wise to waste it unnecessarily on this enemy. Thorgaut watched Abyss Snarer to see what she would do.
She lay on the ground and moaned pitifully. Her legs pushed uselessly against the ground. Thorgaut knew that her body would heal itself given enough time as he had. Somehow being bitten by the undead gave them almost unlimited healing power. He realized that this ability must be what made the undead unable to die.
Thorgaut walked around to her left side to look into the three good eyes. She hissed when he came into view. She pushed a leg in his direction, but he kicked it out of the way. He stomped on it the second time she tried. The spider screamed and cursed him. But she gave up trying to push him back.
The man knelt down in front of her probing her mind softly. He could see the desire for revenge burning in her eyes. He continued to poke around until he felt a soft spot in her mental barrier. He forced it open and savagely pushed himself deep into her thoughts. He could sense her mental processes tearing like she had done to him earlier when they first met.
“I’ll chase you down to the ends of the earth and rip your head off,” she growled at him.
She projected a mental image of traveling through the caves to Jorundarfell. He could see that she find him and kill everyone he loved. She even threatened to drag the other spiders of her race in an all-out war against humankind.
Thorgaut stood up and took a step closer. He placed both hands on the sides of the spider’s head and pressed his foot against her shoulder. He gave a hard twist to the left and yanked back with all his might. Her neck snapped, and the spider’s head tore off in his powerful hands.
“Heal that,” Thorgaut said as he held the head up before his eyes.
The warrior locked the spider’s cranium in place under his left arm. He ignored the green blood and goo dripping down his side. He grabbed one of her fangs and gave it a hard yank. It popped right out of her jaw. He did the same to the other fang as well.
Thorgaut now had three giant fangs. And the new ones were almost twice as long as Happy Feet’s. He tossed Abyss Snarer’s head back down on the ground in front of her.
“Thank you for your generous contribution to my war!” he said and walked away.
Thorgaut came to and jerked awake with a start. It felt like he had been asleep for days. He lay still trying to remember where he was or what was going on. His head felt heavy and fuzzy. He vaguely remembered meeting and interacting with spiders in a cave.
His eyes felt heavy, as he tried to open them. Everything seemed out of focus and wavering. He noticed several large black spheres floating around in front of him. As they came into focus, he could see that they stayed fixed in relation to each other.
Thorgaut started to make sense of what he was seeing. Then the man realized where he was. He was still in the same cave with the Abyss Snarer. The black spheres were her eyes. They looked like the NightWalker’s eyes. She must have transformed after she bit into him.
Her fangs were still in his abdomen. Had he passed out and come to a few minutes later? Or had he been out for several days, and she was still feeding off him?
Abyss Snarer removed her fangs from his body as she lifted her head. She smacked her lips and shifted position. Her swollen underbelly brushed against his knees.
“What a meal!” She exclaimed. “Normally, it would take a prey twice the size to fill me up like that. The last time I felt this full was when that mammoth got lost in these caves and fell into my trap.”
She poked Thorgaut with her front leg and muttered something about him not having shrunk. The spider raised her legs to step over him but didn’t get them up high enough. Abyss Snarer was still weak and wobbly. She tripped, and half fell to the side.
Her hind legs landed on Thorgaut with a thud. He could feel them moving as she tried to lift them off. His sense of feeling seemed to have returned, so he attempted to wiggle his fingers and toes. They worked.
Thorgaut tried to move his arms and legs, but they were still firmly wrapped in the silvery thread. Abyss Snarer had stood up and noticed his movements. She rubbed her two front feet in glee.
“Well, well, well, my little friend,” she said. “Being undead has made you quite the prize. I’ve eaten all I can from you, and you’re as fat and sassy as ever. I could string you up and the feast on you forever without ever having to hunt again for another meal.”
Thorgaut grimaced as he struggled against the thread she had wrapped them in. But it was no use. They were too dense and wrapped too tight. He wouldn’t be able to wiggle loose very easily. He finally gave up and stopped struggling. He remembered the pain and suffering she had put him through before passing out. The more he thought about it, the angrier he became.
“No use struggling, Sonny,” she said. “You’re in Abyss Snarer’s trap, and there is no getting loose for you.”
She giggled and plucked on a thread as if to show him how tight it was. The spider moved off to the side a little way. She laid down and complained about her stomach being too full to relax.
Thorgaut continued to move his hands and wiggle his fingers through the thread. They were too thick and too tight though. He looked at the spider, but couldn’t tell if she had fallen asleep because her eyes were still wide and black. He didn’t even know if spiders could close their eyes, so he wasn’t sure if that was a way to tell if she had fallen asleep.
The rising and falling of her abdomen had slowed down considerably though. The shifting patterns on her sides had also stopped changing shape. Thorgaut had noticed that the more excited she became, the faster they moved around.
Thorgaut remembered the fangs in his pocket and tried to move his right hand up to reach ‘Terror.’ It was impossible though because his arm was wrapped too tight against his body.
He tried moving his left hand, but he was laying on top of it. So he rocked his body back and forth. He managed to roll over onto his other side.
He didn’t like being in that position because he could no longer keep an eye on the spider. But he was able to move his hand up and reach his pocket. Thorgaut managed to grip the edge of the other fang he had called ‘Chelicerae.’
His hands still felt a little numb from the effects of the poison in his body. But he managed to work it out of his pocket. It took him several minutes, but he was finally successful. He rolled back over far enough to keep the spider in his sights. Abyss Snarer hadn’t moved an inch.
Thorgaut wrapped his hand around the top edge of the fang. He was careful not to poke himself with the point at the other end. He twisted the point up towards the threads and scratched at them to tear them apart. He kept working up and down in a slow and steady motion. He took great care to scratch himself with it.
After a few minutes, he noticed that he could move his hand more freely. He continued plucking at the threads with a sharp point of the fang. A little longer and he felt his hand come entirely out of the thread blanket that surrounded him. It was such a relief to feel a soft, fresh breeze blowing across his sweaty fist.
He twisted the fang around so that the point was up at an angle. The man kept plucking at the threads above his wrist until he was able to move his entire forearm. Once he was able to bend his arm at the elbow, he reached across to start plucking at the threads around his other hand.
Thorgaut had worked part way through the threads. He could feel his other hand moving a little more freely when he lost his grip on the fang. It fell out of his hand and on to the rocky cavern floor. He swore at himself for his clumsiness and mentally kicked his own keister for having dropped it.
The fang made a sharp clinking sound when it hit the ground. Abyss Snarer stirred in her slumber and lifted her head towards his direction. He lay perfectly still without blinking. She put her head back down and twisted into a more comfortable position back in the other direction.
The Viking way or breathed a sigh of relief and rolled back over away from the spider. He reached out his hand, feeling around on the ground for the fang. He couldn’t find it, so he pulled back to spot it with his eyes. He saw where it was and then rolled his body back in the direction to detect it with his fingers. This time he grasped it and hung on to it even more carefully than before.
A little bit longer and his other arm was free too. He was able to reach into his other pocket and pull out the fang with his right hand. He continued working with both fangs until his upper body was completely free of the thread. And after that, it was a simple matter of tearing away the strands around his legs.
Thorgaut had never felt so happy to be able to move in his life. He felt like he had died and resurrected. As if someone had given him a new opportunity at life. He swore that he would make the most of it. He would go back home and be the best king he could ever be for his family and people. No more wasting time in his life.
He wiggled and moved every part of his body and excitement. He didn’t feel any aftereffects from the poison. There was no pain in any part of his body. It had completely healed itself. It was a marvelous realization.
Thorgaut stood up easily. He looked down at his hands and arms. He scanned his body down to his feet. Everything seemed healthy and he felt great. No, he felt better than great. He felt better than he’d ever felt in his entire life.
He took a moment to scan through his other senses. His hearing was impeccable. He could hear the whispers of a rat brushing against the rock on the far side of the cavern. He detected the flutter of a moth’s wings as it flew through the air behind him. His nose picked up this musky scent of the spider. He could tell exactly where she was without even looking at her.
His vision was as sharp as ever. He could see subtle differences in the texture of the cavern walls. His eyesight could even pick up the faint glimmer of what looked like gold specks on the far side of the cave.
Even his taste buds seemed well honed. He could pick out the subtle flavor of the enzymes the spider had released in his body. He could distinguish it from the venom that had paralyzed him before that.
Thorgaut stretched his strained and weary muscles, careful not to make any noise. It felt great to be able to move again. He kept a wary eye on abyss snarer as he tiptoed to the cavern entrance Ariana had taken Svart through earlier.
But as he slipped past the spider, one of the joints in his knees popped making a loud cracking sound. Abyss Snarer stirred and breathed out a loud sigh. She turned her head in his direction and jumped to her feet when she saw him walking.
“Where do you think you’re going?” she demanded in a loud, angry voice.
The first book in the NorthWorld series is complete. Read and follow Thorgaut Kabbisson, the Viking prince on his adventure through the Knulkforrest of Northworld.
If a Viking doesn’t fear death and actually embraces it, what would a Viking fear?
While exploring the vast lands of Northworld, a viking prince is separated from his friends in Knulkforrest.
He is attacked by undead shufflers and meets a witch in the woods who can help him create an undead army for his future conquests.
Thorgaut gets caught in a snare and attacked by a pack of weird wolves.
He is rescued by a hunter with dubious intentions, but comes under attack by a group of NightWalkers before he can figure out what they are.
The survivors flee into caves ruled by giant spiders and must stay alive no matter what the cost.
Along the way back to finding his friends he picks up several new useful but unrequested abilities.
Thorgaut heir to the hall of Jorundarfell, must do whatever it takes to return home alive.
Read Thorgaut Kabbisson of Northworld: Lost In The Spider Caves of Knulkforrest (Northworld Fantasy Saga 1) here on the blog >>
Abyss Snarer’s teeth pierced through Thorgaut’s skin and sunk deep into his flesh. The pain was excruciating. He tried to move and get away from Abyss Snarer. But she had pinned his arms to his sides in her tight grasp.
Thorgaut screamed in agony as the poison coursed through his veins. The spider’s terrible venom burned through every cell tissue in his body. He knew he shouldn’t scream. It would void his entrance into Valhalla.
He hated himself for it. It was embarrassing for a Viking warrior of his status to scream like that. But he couldn’t help it. The sound welled up and tore out from deep within his being as if coming straight from the depth of his soul.
Thorgaut prayed for the sweet relief of death, but it didn’t arrive. Even the easing of unconsciousness evaded him. He felt every single bit of pain the spider inflicted into his body. He moaned in agony and cursed the day he was born. He cursed the day his mother bore him. The moment he took his first breath. Wishing he had died before ever coming into existence.
The spider seemed to take great pleasure in his suffering. Abyss Snarer didn’t immediately remove her fangs from his back. Abyss Snarer left them in even long after the venom stopped flowing. Eventually, he felt her withdraw her prongs as they ripped and tore back out through his flesh.
The burning continued to flow through his body in waves. Thorgaut screamed until he was hoarse and his voice gave out. When he could no longer yell, he lay silent in the Abyss Snarer’s grasp and waited for death.
It seemed like the searing waves tore him apart within for hours. The pain gradually subsided, and a relieving numbness swept out from the core of his body. It slowly spread to his extremities, and finally, the pain disappeared completely.
Thorgaut felt the paralysis took hold of his body. Not that he was able to move much anyways in Abyss Snarer’s grasp. Eventually, he could no longer even wiggle his fingers or his nose.
Once he stopped struggling, Abyss Snarer dropped him roughly to the floor. Thorgaut felt a dull thud but no pain as his body hit the hard, rocky ground. He tried to move his body but was unable. He tried to speak, but no sound came out. He desperately tried to scream, but his lips wouldn’t even twitch.
Abyss Snarer grabbed him roughly with her front feet. She shoved him around to wrap him in her thick, silvery thread. It was ironic. Thorgaut couldn’t move anyway because he was paralyzed. Now, the Viking warrior definitely couldn’t because he was so tightly bound.
“Very nice,” the spider said. “Now to drag you down to my layer.”
Abyss Snarer grabbed hold of the web with her fangs to pull Thorgaut up off the ground. She used her two front legs to balance him in place. The human was heavier than she expected, and she stumbled forward in her weakened state.
The spider set Thorgaut back down on the ground and paused to catch her breath. He could see that she was still weak and shaking from the effect of the poison of the hatchlings in her body. He would’ve grinned if he could have moved his lips.
Abyss Snarer scowled at him as if she was trying to figure out what to do. He no longer had the open connection directly into her mind, but he could still sense her emotions.
“Having trouble there?” he fired out mentally in her direction. “Let me give you a hand. Oh, right! I can’t move either of them.”
“Shut up!” she shot back. “As soon as I feast on your flesh, I’ll regain my strength.”
“Oh, nice! Are you inviting me over for dinner?” he asked. “How kind of you, but unfortunately I’ll have to decline. I have other plans for tonight.”
The spider chuckled at that one. “Good one, Thorgaut. If I didn’t have to eat you, I’d keep you around to humor me.”
Thorgaut desperately tried to wiggle his fingers or toes. But he still couldn’t move any part of his body. The spider half-dragged and half-rolled his him over to the side of the cave. She leaned the human up against the wall.
Abyss Snarer maneuvered around him trying to find a convenient place to sink her teeth into his body. But it wasn’t a very suitable position for her because of the way her fangs folded out. She needed to maneuver his body beneath hers so that she could press her teeth down into him.
Thorgaut looked on helplessly as she dragged him back across the cave to a pile of rocks. She tossed him over the top and left his head dangling over the edge. It would’ve been a painful position if he had been able to feel anything.
“You know this is a dumb idea. Right?” Thorgaut asked. “If you bite me, you’re probably going to die. And if you don’t, at the very least you will become a slow, undead shuffler.”
“You and your scary mind games,” she said with a snort. “I don’t remember seeing you get bit by a shuffler when I sifted through your memories. I only saw you get bit by a wolf and a NightWalker.”
“And a spider to boot,” he added.
Thorgaut tried to think of something intelligent to say to stall for time. He hoped that Ariana would come back and save him. Or Svart maybe. But he knew that was a long shot.
“It’s okay,” Abyss Snarer replied. ” I’ll take my chances. I prefer to be a slow, undead, shuffling spider than to be a dead spider killed by a bunch of hatchlings. At least I get to live a little longer. Call it my survival instincts kicking into gear.”
Thorgaut tried to think of a smart comeback. Something to keep Abyss Snarer talking, but his mind drew a total blank. He knew it was pointless. Why delay the inevitable? He might as well go ahead and get it over. Let her finish him off and put him out of his misery.
He braced himself in preparation. This time he was ready. He wouldn’t scream or moan. The warrior didn’t want to do anything to give her the satisfaction of gloating over his suffering.
The image of his mother’s face floated in front of his eyes. He remembered sitting in her lap and listening to her sing. All the times she came into his room at night and sat with him until he was fast asleep. The stories she told him were all there in his memory. He never forgot one. Those were some of his most precious memories.
Abyss Snarer loomed over him. She smirked in his face while watching his expression for the slightest glimpse of fear. Thorgaut ignored her. He wasn’t even there. He was back in Jorundarfell surrounded by his siblings at his mother’s feet.
The old spider figured he was under the influence of her poison. She shrugged and moved around to a better spot. She shifted into position, stepping over him. He could see her soft underbelly. Her face about level with his chest.
Thogaut could look directly into her eyes. She was so close that he could make out the individual whiskers on her face in intense detail. Not even the spider venom could take away his robust, new senses.
A musky scent wafted off of her. Thorgaut could hear her jaws grinding and her stomach growling at the thought of her next meal.
Thorgaut watched as she probed around his belly for a soft place to inject her spider enzymes. She drew back her head for the strike. He watched her fangs sink into his stomach. He thought he could feel the location where she bit down on his abdomen. He wasn’t sure though. It didn’t hurt, and it may have been a trick of the mind based on what he was seeing.
Her cheeks pulsed as she released her enzymes into his body. She drooled as waited for her digestive juices to flow through his body in preparation for her next meal. She grinned at him when she realized he was still watching her.
Thorgatut didn’t feel much of any of it though. The entire situation felt so strange and surreal. He felt like he was merely a detached observer in someone else’s nightmare.
He realized he felt no anger or hatred for the spider. He didn’t even view Abyss Snarer as an enemy. She was a creature struggling to survive like himself or anyone else.
Sure, he would have killed her without giving it a second thought if he had the chance to save himself. But there wasn’t anything he could do under the circumstances.
Thorgaut felt a wave of weakness flow over him. He closed his eyes and leaned his head back in resignation. Mercifully, the darkness took over. He drifted off into a deep and dreamless sleep.