Friday, 25 March 2016

If Adventure Comes Your Way - Fragment Twenty-Three

Happy Good Friday everyone! Hope you have a great day, and remember to take the time to remember just how amazing our God is.

So, ready to read about slimy stuff? Yeah, option three was the favourite for most, and personally I didn't think it was too bad myself.

Things are getting darker nowadays. I was looking at my pintrest inspiration board earlier and I noticed how at the beginning it was all pictures of happy days and manors and characters, but it slowly changed to wolves, dark alleyways and gloomy fortresses. But not all is depressing! After all there are nice family reunions and the such. Although that all got left behind when half of you voted for option three...but no matter, it shall be cheerful again soon-ish. 
After all, we are nearing the happily ever after...

Something slimy grabbed my dangling legs, and before I could shout in terror, I was jerked down into the tunnel again.

I opened my mouth to scream but a wet something clamped over my mouth. Struggling to breathe, I jerked away but the thing began dragging me backwards along the tunnel. I kicked my feet, and writhed to escape but it was no use, nothing stopped the steady backward drag.

Finally it stopped and I lurched to the side, scrambling away from my kidnapper. In the darkness I only barely made out the figure of the man, and yet it barely looked humanlike. Long, thin fingers twitched as he squatted in the center of the tunnel, blocking the way back. Dark patches of oozing slime dripped from his shoulders and chest, and the faint light showed wild dark eyes set in a narrow, sunken face.

“W—who are you?” I managed, moving backwards further.

The creature coughed, shifting slightly. “Henry…” his head tipped to one side. ‘Henry was Henry’s name.”

I swallowed at the rough, creaky voice. It didn’t seem possible that it could come from a human.

“For years Henry has been here…no one knows, no one sees…Henry is alone,” he muttered, scratching his stub nose with a finger.

“But…but why are you here?” I asked.

“Henry escaped. Henry was cleverer than the guards, Henry didn’t eat until Henry fitted through the hole. Henry was so very hungry.” The last words were said in a pathetic whine.

I moved backwards again, but froze as a low growl came from my host. “Henry will kill them. Henry will never forgive what they did to Henry. Never!” he hissed loudly. “They wanted to kill Henry, so Henry will kill them before they get a chance.”

He turned his head, glaring around the darkness. “Where can Henry find a weapon? How will Henry hit them hard enough?” he moaned. “Henry mustn’t fail or they will lock Henry back up again. With chains and ropes, but Henry can’t let them.”

With a growl he began shuffling forward, eyes fixed on me. “But Henry must first ask who this is. What were they doing in Henry’s home?”

“I—I’m Louise,” I stammered, pushing myself away from the approaching creature.

“Louise,” he paused. “Henry doesn’t know that word. What does a Louise do?”

“It’s my name,” I replied hastily. Feeling the wall behind my back I risked a glance backwards. The tunnel ended abruptly, a solid rock wall right at my back.

Looking back at Henry I saw his eyes gleaming strangely. “What is Louise trying to do? Henry wants to talk to Louise.”

I frowned, somehow it was lighter than before. But where was the light coming from?

“Louise must sit down and talk to Henry. Tell Henry why Louise was in Henry’s house.” He moved closer still.

I glanced up. The roof ended a few meters ago, and directly upwards was a clear open space, entwined with horizontal beams and pipes. High above, a faint twinkle of light shone.

Standing, I stared back at Henry. “Louise is here with friends. They’re still down that way. Maybe Henry should go find them for Louise,” I tried to speak confidently, keeping the fear from my voice.

Henry cocked his head. “Friends?” He started to turn.

I jumped, grabbing hold of one of the lowest beams, it was slick with slime and my fingers started to slip. With a frantic lunge, I transferred my grip to another pipe just above it. I scrambled up onto the pipe, holding onto another just above it.

A howl echoed up from just below. “Nooo! The Louise tricked Henry!” Then the voice changed to a snarl, “Henry must kill her too.”

I struggled to get up onto the next pipe, my shoes slipping in the damp sludge coating my footing. A clang rang underneath me and I risked a downward glance. The maddened eyes of Henry glared hungrily up at me as his long fingers found another pipe to swing up onto.

Jumping desperately, I swung out of his reach, mounting higher up the metal beams. A half scream tore from my mouth as his grasping fingers brushed my leg.

He growled. “Henry mustn’t give up. Henry must kill the Louise, and then Henry will kill Hacaz,” he stopped. “Is it Hacaz, or Hazcaz? Henry doesn’t remember. Hazcaz sounds better.” Then he shook himself and jumped nimbly onto another pipe snarling menacingly again.

I clambered up the pipes, wildly groping for handholds on the smooth metal, blindly heading up toward the light. The glimmer gradually drew closer, but so did my pursuer, growling and swinging just below. Reaching out I grabbed hold of another bar, wrapping my arms around it, about to scramble up

The slime coated fingers wrapped around my ankle and Henry chuckled, the sound growing gradually louder as it echoed off the walls in reply. “Henry has caught it. Henry caught the Louise,” he grinned in an almost childlike way. “Now Henry can kill it.”

I screamed, kicking back at him in terror. My foot slammed into the center of his face and he blinked up at me in surprise, slowly toppling over backwards. My leg jerked and I scrabbled to stay up. The weight on my leg slipped off and I swung up, looking down.

Henry fell, dark, mad eyes never leaving mine, his hands still clutching my shoe. Then the darkness swallowed him.

I swallowed, my breath coming in short gasps. I was safe, no one wanted to kill me anymore. I closed my eyes, resting my head on a nearby pipe, taking long, smooth breaths to calm myself.

After a long while I stood, numb from the fear of moments before, barely noticing the deep slime under my one bare foot. The glimmer of light was now a clear square, only a little way above. I climbed up the ladder of pipes, reaching the light finally.

I squinted in the brightness after the gloom of the tunnel, frowning up through a large grid – not unlike the one in the dungeon – into a still room. At that moment a whistling figure strode into view, an apron splattered in blood covering his torso and his hands smeared red. I cringed backward, moving deeper into the darkness.

The man moved out of sight and returned a second later, carrying a massive leg of raw meat. With an audible sigh I realised he was only a butcher. As he disappeared again I grabbed the metal grating, searching for a latch of some kind with my fingers.

My search was met with four bolts, one for each corner. I started working on the first, my cold, wet fingers only a little less stiff than the bolts themselves. I pushed my fingers through the grid, holding one side of the bold, while I turned the other. Whenever the butcher returned I stopped, hunching over in the dark lest he see.

When the last bolt came loose at last, I pressed up on the grid carefully, wincing as it ground against the floor. Pushing it to the side I stood precariously on the pipe, squeezing my shoulders through the gap. It was larger than the ones in the dungeon but only barely. I wriggled out, breathing a sigh of relief to be in the open once more.

Sliding the grid back down over the hole, I stood. The cheerful whistling of the butcher came from behind a large rack of sliced meat, in the other direction lay two doors. I crept over to them, careful to keep the meat rack between me and the butcher.

One door was ajar and I peeked through, grimacing at the strong smell of blood. I pulled back from the sight of large hunks of dead cow and other creatures. Clearly that wasn’t the door I wanted.

I turned to the other door quickly, eager to get out. My movement was too rapid and my foot slipped on a stream of blood, sending me to the floor. The whistling stopped abruptly. I froze, knowing that the butcher would have heard the sound. Picking myself up, I grabbed the door handle, jerking it open and dashing out. I dived into the next door I saw, closing it as fast as I could.

Through the crack I saw the butcher half step out the door and look up and down the hall. He shrugged, turning back. I heard the sound of his whistle once more. I closed my eyes for a moment, tension draining from my body.

When I looked up again I saw a narrow stairway just ahead, twisting to the side within a few meters. I stepped off the landing onto the first step, something about the plain, nondescript appearance of the stairs told me that it was used only by servants.

Making my way down I met with only a few servants, and with these I managed to duck out of sight before they noticed the girl smeared with blood and slime. Eventually I emerged into a large room, empty but for a snoring squire, slumped in a chair.

I snuck past him, opening the door softly. Outside was the courtyard, a wide open space enclosed in the dark, looming walls. Stepping out, I clicked the door shut behind me. I slid along the wall toward the stream, keeping to the shadows. Where Maree and the others were I had no way of discovering, but Maree could plan an escape better than I could. I shrugged it off, they’d be fine.

I reached the stream and stopped, noticing a commotion on the walls. Soldiers were streaming down the stairs, rushing toward the main castle entrance, just twenty paces to my left. I ducked down, hiding in the shadows.

The men reached the gates with drawn swords and arrows on their bows. I frowned, trying to catch a glimpse through them to who they were after. The sinking feeling in my stomach persisted and I narrowed my eyes, urgently hoping to prove it wrong.

In a few moments the soldiers stopped, forming a large ring. As one man shifted his feet slightly I saw through the ranks to the center. Three figures stood there, Maree trying to shelter her brother and sister from every direction.

Elianna stepped away, facing the soldiers. “Ye go awey,” she shouted furiously. “I’m noot gonna let ye take her away agin.”

One of the men pointed his drawn bow at her. “You stay right where you are missy.”


1. I stepped forward from the shadows. “Get away from my friends,” I growled in a low but carrying voice.

2. The large doors of the castle swung open sluggishly, as if everything had been slowed down. A tall, broad figure stepped out, wearing full armour and an imperious smile.

3. Loud shouts started up on the walls again and I turned in spite of myself. My eyes widened at what I saw.


I do hope you enjoyed this fragment, have fun with voting! I'll be doing another post on Monday hopefully, so be sure to check back for that.

Fare Thee Well!


  1. 3..... is it... maybe... they could come to the rescue....

    1. He he he, maybe they could...and maybe they couldn't. :p

  2. Afraid I can't help but go option three.

    1. No need to be afraid, perhaps help is on the way...

  3. Replies
    1. Ooh, yes, I thought someone, at least, would like that one. :)

  4. Hard choice! I like them all but since I have to choose only one I'll go for option 2.
    Henry decidedly reminds me of Gollum! They both make my skin crawl but I have a sneaking suspicion that Henry may help the adventurers escape yet...

    1. Hmm, yeah I dunno. I can't decide if he died or not. And I was rather having difficulties making Henry not talk completely Gollum-ish! :D

  5. Three votes for 3 I think (as in I can't decide). The fragments are great I just want to keep going each time.

    1. Ah yes, hope you don't mind the cliffhangers too much. :P


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