Chapter 53 - The Devil's Claw

Chapter 53 - The Devil's Claw

A Chapter by thuaners

Narteb opened his eyes.

He was lying in a grassy clearing.

“So you’ve finally woken up,” said an unfamiliar girl’s voice.

Narteb looked and saw a girl sitting next to him.  It was the girl from the beach.  She had long black hair and a cute face.  He also noticed that her ankles were chained together, making it almost impossible for her to run.

“You should have left when you had the chance,” whispered the girl.  “Didn’t you notice me shaking my head at you?”

“I did,” said Narteb, “But I wanted to see if you needed any help.”

The girl looked at him and didn’t say anything.

“I’m Narteb,” he said, “What’s your name?”

“Bethany,” she said, “Listen, you are in great danger.  The old man from before is Zvoras the Wild.  He is practicing a deadly technique called the Devil’s Claw.  He needs people to test it on, and that is why he has captured you.  If he does the move on you, you will die on the spot.”

Narteb did not like the sound of that.  He looked down and had a peek at his chest underneath his tunic and could clearly see a red hand print on his skin.  His chest still ached.

“That’s nothing compared to what the Devil’s Claw will-” began Bethany, but she stopped short.

Someone was coming.

“Ah!”

An old man, the very same who had struck Narteb, came out from the trees behind them.

“So our guest has finally awoken!  I have been dying to meet you again.  Although it will not be me that will be doing the dying.”

Zvoras stepped right up to Narteb and commenced a series of rapid movements with his arms and body.  Then he recoiled and drew his arms back, fingers clawed, ready to strike.

“Stop!” said Bethany, “What are you doing?  You’re just going to go straight to the Devil’s Claw?  What if you do it wrong?  It’ll be a waste to just half kill the boy.  We waited eight weeks for someone to come.  You should practice on some trees first.”

“You have a point, girl,” said Zvoras, stroking his chin, “It would be a waste to incorrectly on him.  I will practice on these trees first.”

And he turned and walked over to some nearby trees and began striking them.

“You need to escape now,” whispered Bethany, “It’s your only chance.”

“Come with me,” said Narteb, “You are a prisoner here too.”

“Yes,” said Bethany, “Alas I cannot run with these,” She pointed at the iron shackles around her ankles.  “Don’t worry about me.  Zvoras needs me alive to lure other people, he won’t let me die.”

“Where is the key to unlock the chains?” said Narteb.

“He threw it away after he put them on me,” said Bethany.

Narteb decided then and there that he would either rescue Bethany or he would die trying.

“Narteb,” said Bethany, “Do you know that girl?”

Narteb looked up to where Bethany was pointing.  Perched on a tree branch nearby was Skaife!  Narteb was so glad to see her!  She was holding what looked like a net in her hands.  When she saw Narteb looking up she raised the net and pointed at Zvoras, who was still busy punching trees.  Narteb felt like he understood she had in mind.

“That’s Skaife,” said Narteb, “She is with me.  When she throws the net on the old guy, you jump on my shoulders and I piggyback you to the shore we came from.  Which direction is that?”

“It’s that way,” said Bethany, pointing to the east, “But forget about me.  You can run much faster without me.”

“I’ve already decided,” said Narteb, “I will rescue you now or I will die trying.  Be ready to jump on my back.”

Bethany could sense his determination and nodded.  The two of them waited in silence.  After some time they heard a cry from Zvoras.

“Ouch!  D****t! A splinter!” the old man cried, inspecting his palm, “Well that’s enough warm up now.  It’s Devil Claw time, methinks!”  He began to walk towards them and was quite distracted as he was busy taking out the splinter.

Skaife was ready with the net and as soon as Zvoras walked underneath the branch she was on, she dropped the net and it draped over the old man, entangling him.

Skaife jumped down and landed gently as a cat and then ran over pinned Zvoras down.

Narteb crouched down and Bethany jumped on his back.  He got up and started to dash towards the beach.  Very soon afterwards, he heard someone running behind them.

“This way, Narteb,” said a familiar female voice.

Thankfully, the person running after them had been Skaife!  She veered to the right and Narteb followed.  They ran through the trees and Narteb learned it was much harder running whilst piggybacking someone!

Eventually they reached the shore.  It was a different part of the beach than where they had first arrived.

Narteb saw why Skaife had led them this way.  A little boat was upturned and tied to a wooden post on the sand.

“I see!” he said, “A getaway vehicle!”

“It’s Zvoras’s fishing boat!” said Bethany.

“His fishing net sure came in handy!” laughed Skaife.

Narteb put Bethany down and she got into the boat as Narteb and Skaife pushed it into the water, before getting in themselves.

Narteb grabbed the oars and began rowing the boat as hard as he could.  He kept looking back at the island, half expecting the old man to appear any second and start chasing them, but thankfully he was nowhere to be seen.

“What is that?!” said Bethany.

Narteb and Skaife looked over and saw a giant sea creature coming towards them.

“That,” said Narteb, “Is our ride.”

“You guys are cool,” said Bethany, her eyes sparkling, a mixture of fear and delight.



© 2018 thuaners


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Added on September 19, 2018
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Passion of the Liger


Author

thuaners
thuaners

Australia



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Currently writing a fantasy adventure story online (called 'Passion of the Liger' :) ). hope you enjoy reading it ^^ more..

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A Chapter by thuaners