Chapter 2: History.. Page 16

Posted: August 1, 2007 in Good Reads

Chapter 1: Page 1, Page 2, Page 3, Page 4, Page 5, Page 6, Page 7, Page 8, Page 9
Chapter 2: Page 10, Page 11, Page 12, Page 13, Page 14, Page15

Suddenly, Max jumped back. To their amazement, the pole remained in the air, seemingly held by an invisible hand through the doorway. Then it thudded to the ground, as if expelled.

‘Jello-beast!’ Max yelled, before retreating to their position.

‘What?’ Paplo and Wykka said, even as they readied their axes.

‘There’s a jello-beast behind the door,’ Max informed them.

‘I don’t see a damned thing,’ Paplo said, his eyes focusing on the doorway.

‘It’s transparent,’ explained Eladred.

‘It was waiting behind the door for you to walk into it, Paplo,’ Max said. ‘If you did, it would have engulfed you with its jelly-like-body – that’s how it eats, by the way.’

‘Put away those axes,’ Eladred told the youths. ‘They would only sink into the monster’s body if you hacked at it, doing little harm, but would lose you your weapons.’

‘How do we kill it, then?’ Paplo asked, feeling a cold shiver down his spine, upon reliasing his near brush with death.

‘We can’t,’ Max replied. ‘The jello-beast cannot be destroyed by any weapon that we now here possess.’

‘Then we’re screwed,’ Paplo said, ‘How do we fight something that we can’t see and can’t hurt with anything we have?’

‘Not necessarily,’ said Eladred, grinning.

Max said, ‘You see, the deadliness of a jello-beast lies in its near invisibility. Unsuspecting victims would walk right into it, to their deaths. Any of his companions who try to pull him out would likely face a similar fate – the creature secrets a toxin that causes temporary paralysis.’

‘Then how…?’ queried Paplo.

Eladred said, ‘The jello-beast hasn’t much of a brain to show – as you’ll see, or rather, not see – and moves only a little faster than a snail.’

‘So… we trick it?’ Paplo said.

‘Nothing so complicated,’ Max said. ‘Although jello-beasts are popular tunnel guardians, they don’t really understand their function – they’re more like mindless traps. This one is obviously not a very big one – which is why they built the door. It is to accommodate the creature’s smaller dimensions; so that there would be no way around it, if were to go forward.’

‘I see – were lure it out?’ ventured Paplo.

‘Already, it comes,’ Eladred said.

As they watched, the faint outline of a jelly-like creature poured out of the door. Its quivering form was somewhat cubic, as it inched towards them.

‘The creature has no eyes, but it’s sensitive to vibrations – such as our heartbeats,’ Max said, ‘It is hungry. Come, follow me.’

They retreated slowly, drawing the jello-beast out to an especially wide point in the tunnel.

‘All right, everyone stand to one side,’ Max instructed.

The jello-beast followed them to the side.

‘On a count to three, we all run along the other side, pass the thing,’ Max said. ‘One, two… Three!’

They zipped pass the ungainly ooze, through the door. Max closed the door with a gloved hand.

‘There, now it can’t come after us,’ Max said.

‘What if we need to go through there in a hurry, afterwards?’ Wykka asked.

‘Pray that we don’t have to!’


                                                                to be continued…


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