Evil Storage

Evil Storage

A Story by George Love
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Mallory and Amelia find the lair of the Gravelings, and young child help as their captive

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Evil Storage
 
Mallory knew she was on the right track. The trail led right up to a small opening in the hillside. Barely large enough for her to squeeze through, they covered the entrance with pine fronds. Amelia checked for an exit on the other side, but found only a small hole at the top of the hill, more than large enough for the Gravelings to escape.
 
For this lair to support them, the Gravelings had to have a storage space large enough to hold their small game for weeks on end. Deep underground, the temperature was cool enough and if they used the preserving gel, their food would last. That is why this site was so perfect for them.
 
Mallory switched on her headlamp and wriggled into the small opening. She had to crawl using her toes to propel her along the very narrow shaft until the lair opened into a larger room. Amelia, much smaller than Mallory, did not have as much trouble getting into the lair, but once in the small room, the two girls took all the space available.
 
They sat very still, listening for the vile creatures but heard nothing except the crackling of a fire. If the Gravelings had a fire in this underground storage area, they had to have a tender in charge of it. Gravelings could not stand in front of a fire for any length of time without risk of death. A tender meant an adult captive or a Goran. Mallory hoped for a human captive. She did not care to face a Goran in this lair. 
 
She motioned for Amelia to check the small rooms to the left of the chamber they landed in while she checked the rooms to the right. Finding nothing in either of the rooms, they proceeded towards the sound of the fire. The closer they got, the less they needed their own lamps. Mallory switched off her headlamp and motioned for Amelia to do so as well. 
 
The local Gravelings suffered great losses after the nomadic Gravelings attacked them for their food stash. With their loose organization, the locals were no match for the human trained nomads. 
 
Amelia pushed up closer to Mallory as they neared the fire. Neither sensed the presence of Gravelings or Goran. No night demons were present in this lair at all. The entire pack had to be out on a foraging mission. Mallory inched forward, almost on all fours now as the ceiling started to close in on them again. Her body ached to stand upright but she kept moving forward until they found the source of the fire.
 
The glow from the fire provided an eerie backlight to the captive tending the fire. She sat in silhouette as she stoked the small fire. She looked about nervously as she took one of the small mammals from the ceiling, striped it of its skin and roasted it on a small spit.
 
“Be very quiet. We don’t want to scare her to death. We don’t know how long they have held her captive. She looks like she’s older than me,” Mallory told Amelia.
 
“How do we go in there without scaring her?” Amelia asked. “She’s more nervous than me, and that’s saying something.”
“Let’s make a small noise, like throw a rock at the wall. She’ll not be as surprised when she sees us,” Mallory suggested.
 
“How about a little music?” Amelia suggested.
 
Before Mallory could object, Amelia turned up the volume on her headset and soft rock music soon wafted through the air. The girl turned towards the opening and got up to investigate. With the music as background, Mallory called out softly to her.
 
“We are here to help you. Don’t be afraid.”
 
“Who, who are you? How did you find me here?” She sat frozen in place, almost paralyzed by fear of discovery.
 
“I’m Mallory, and this is my cousin Amelia,” she said.
 
“You’re the Slayers!” she cried. “Why are you here?”
 
“Looking for a Graveling. It carries a paper we want,” Mallory said. “We only want that paper. If we get that, we leave. You may come with us, or if you are here of your own free will, you may stay.”
 
“I know where the paper is. If I get it for you, will you rescue me from this pit?” she asked.
 
“Will you trust me to rescue you?” Mallory asked.
 
“Yes, I have the paper you want. They keep it in here,” she said. “You can come in. I won’t hurt either of you. I’m Amanda. They took me about two years ago, when I was ten. I guess I shouldn’t have run away.”
 
Mallory and Amelia entered the smoke room and were amazed at the number of small rodents, bats and other small game the Gravelings had captured. Many of the carcasses were fresh, others in various stages of curing and some were mostly skeletons.
 
“They capture a couple of rabbits and squirrels for me. I can’t eat the sick animals they eat, but I tend the fire here and they care for me. They are very disgusting, but I learned to adapt to them.”
 
“What will they do without you?” Amelia asked. “They can’t tend their own fire and cure their meat without you.”
 
“They can cure it the old way. They will adapt and go on just like they did before they took me. I guess I really owe them my life in a way. I was almost dead from cold and exposure. This other winged thing carried me to them and built a fire. They brought me food, I tended the fire and I got better. If we are going to get that paper and get out of here, we need to do it soon.”
 
“You have anything you want to take from here?” Amelia asked. 
“Nothing,” Amanda said. “I think I am ready to go home. It wasn’t that bad, and after living like this for two years, well, home is really nice. That paper is right here. I can see why you want it. This gives them the right to take one of your friends captive and use them for feeding stock. Gross! I’m glad I never witnessed that!”
 
“You are lucky. This pack of Gravelings minds their code. Without this paper, they will continue to follow that code and I don’t have to destroy any of them.”
 
Mallory tucked the paper safely away in her small pack as Amanda led them to her exit from the lair. They climbed to the top of the shaft and exited into a very cool, clear, star filled night. The air was cool enough for them to see their breath and the grass was slightly wet from a light dew. Amanda drew in great gulps of the fresh air as if she had not breathed fresh air in years.
 
“This night air feels so fresh!” she exclaimed. “This is wonderful! It feel so good to be free!”
 
“We aren’t free yet,” Amelia said. “Mallory, we’ve got company. Look, through those trees. Two sets of yellow eyes.”
 
“I got them,” Mallory said.  “Werewolves, in demon form even. They aren’t even trying to hide. Amanda, stay close to us. No matter what, you have to trust me or you will die tonight. Don’t bolt and run or they will kill you, understand?”
 
“I’ll do whatever you say, but I am scared. Those are for real?”
 
“Yes, two werewolves on the hunt for blood,” Amelia said. “They aren’t picky because you are a virgin, they will bite you as fast as they will either one of us.”
 
“I got the one on the right,” Mallory said. “We fight them one on one. We’re stronger than they are, and we have the stunners. Amanda, stay right behind me. Keep your hands in tight and your back to me. If you see another set of eyes, we go to plan B.”
 
“How about two sets of red eyes?” Amanda said.
 
“Mallory, this is bad. Teleport?” Amelia said.
 
“Yes, Amanda, hang on tight to me. Amelia, let’s go.”
 
Mallory teleported them straight to the garden with her smoothest touchdown yet. Gloria was already there waiting to send them safely home once they calmed Amanda and helped her with a good cover story. 
 
 

© 2008 George Love


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It was an interesting story, but is it part of a larger series? As a standalone, I think it could be alot stronger. There's a lot of time spent describing their imaginary world and the creatures that live in it, which makes sense in a longer series, but just by itself it seems like there's too much set up for not enough story. I think you need to pay particular attention to your dialogue. There are alot of time when characters use the full forms of contractions, ex: saying I am, instead of I'm. The little girl's dialogue too, she's supposed to be 12, living for years with some sort of savage creature, (If the heroes can get to her without fighting any guards or anything, why couldn't she just run away?) but she talks like an educated, calm adult. I just can't see a little girl saying she was saved from exposure, or that she had to adapt to something instead of getting used to something. It feels weird. I think the ending should be different too. It seems that if she could just teleport away, why not do that when they saw the werewolves alone to avoid a fight and putting the little girl in danger.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.




Reviews

Ooh, this is a really great story. I found it fascinating and enjoyed it. Great write!!!

Heather

Posted 10 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

It was an interesting story, but is it part of a larger series? As a standalone, I think it could be alot stronger. There's a lot of time spent describing their imaginary world and the creatures that live in it, which makes sense in a longer series, but just by itself it seems like there's too much set up for not enough story. I think you need to pay particular attention to your dialogue. There are alot of time when characters use the full forms of contractions, ex: saying I am, instead of I'm. The little girl's dialogue too, she's supposed to be 12, living for years with some sort of savage creature, (If the heroes can get to her without fighting any guards or anything, why couldn't she just run away?) but she talks like an educated, calm adult. I just can't see a little girl saying she was saved from exposure, or that she had to adapt to something instead of getting used to something. It feels weird. I think the ending should be different too. It seems that if she could just teleport away, why not do that when they saw the werewolves alone to avoid a fight and putting the little girl in danger.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Love the adventures of Mallory. Great work, George.

Posted 11 Years Ago


1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


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Added on February 5, 2008

Author

George Love
George Love

Murfreesboro, TN



About
I am a retired Paramedic with over 20 years of Emergency Medical Services experience. While attending Middle Tennessee State University and Volunteer State College, I majored in Music, English, Preme.. more..

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