Enchanted Stories: Terror on the Mountain - Part Three
Within hours the storm was over and we were packed and ready to set out. I found something else strange. We were carrying our Battledome weapons. I had the foreman cudgel on my belt that Chloe had left in my room. Taelia gave us the map that was marked with the caves that she believed that they made their headquarters in. I kissed Bluejay and Yanli goodbye and they promised to behave themselves.
As we marched through the snow to our destination, it was all I could do to maintain my professional demeanor. I really don’t like snow. All I wanted to do was go home and huddle up in front of the fire. Finally, we arrived at the opening to the caves. It was a little warmer inside since we were out of the wind and there was no more snow to sink into. It was surprising to see the Ice Caves of fifty years past. It was strange and amazing without all the tourist traps cluttering the various caves.
“Okay,” I said, consulting the map. “If we go down this tunnel and take the first tunnel opening to the right, we should reach the caves that Tae thinks that they are holed up in.”
“What if they aren’t there?” Anita asked.
“Then we keep trying until we find them,” I said. “We’re not going home until these scum are dealt with and Dan has his son back.”
They nodded and off we went. We walked as quietly as possible and Elise took point. Her hearing was truly impressive and she could hear a miamouse breathe in the wall even with all the noise in the house if she tried. We came to the right-hand tunnel and turned down it. It was straight going until it made a sudden left turn. Elise signaled to stop and came back to me.
“Two of them, just around the corner. They’re something big, Grarrls maybe,” Elise reported.
I didn’t think I could get colder than I was, but I was wrong. The thought of facing a pack of Grarrls scared the living daylights out of me. I signaled Daniel to come closer.
“Dan, how many of the bandits are Grarrls?” I asked.
“All of them, and there were at least forty of them when they came to my town and armed to the teeth,” Daniel whispered back.
“Ooh, fun!” I whispered sarcastically.
Elise and I crept to the corner to listen. The guards had started to talk. They were obviously distracted. I signaled Chloe and handed her the cudgel.
“Fast as possible and put them out before they can make any noise, got it?”
She gave me a thumbs up and I returned it. Two seconds later she passed as a blur and then from around the corner there were two thuds. We quickly jumped round the corner and dragged them back out of sight. I tossed Daniel some rope and told him to tie them up and gag them. The girls and I had to set the trap before anyone came to check on the guards. After the trap was laid, Chloe and I sidled along the wall until we came to the main chamber. We could see in. There were about forty Grarrls milling about in the large chamber. In a chair set apart from the other was their leader. A small Gelert boy was sitting on the floor next to him.
I gave Chloe the signal and she raced into the room and jumped up on a table.
“Heya, boys! I found your little hideyhole! Wanna play tag?” Chloe yelled in a loud voice.
She smacked the nearest Grarrl on nose and raced off into a corner and started making faces.
“Get her!” roared their leader.
I raced back into the tunnel, but behind me in the midst of the noise the chase I could hear Chloe’s voice rising out of it goading them on.
“You got me, oh wait, nope!”
“Oopsies, you fall down!”
“Too slow, boys.”
“I’m such a bad bunny, aren’t I?”
Finally she ran to the entrance of the tunnel and called back, “Well, it’s been fun, boys! Anyway, I’ll give your love to the proper authorities!”
“Don’t let her get away!” the leader bellowed and most of Grarrls came racing out.
They reached the middle of the tunnel racing after Chloe and I shouted, “Now!” and pulled hard on the rope in my hands and so did the others. A net dropped down on the Grarrls and we secured it to the floor as they struggled with each other.
Chloe couldn’t resist a parting shot.
“Aw, the bad boys got caught. Oh, and by the way, that net was made by the Snow Faerie. Your puny little knives aren’t gonna cut it. Ha, I’m a punny bunny!”
“Chloe, come on!” I called as we raced down the tunnel into the large cave. There were still four Grarrls and their leader. He was still slumped in his chair.
“In the name of the Terror Mountain police, you are under arrest. Surrender and come quietly or we will make you.”
“Please, let’s get messy.” Chloe chuckled darkly behind me.
I wasn’t sure if she meant it or she was just having fun taunting the Grarrls, but I was pretty sure that we would have to get messy.
The leader sighed in disgust and said, “Oh, please. Crush them.”
The four remaining Grarrls pulled out massive clubs and chuckled darkly.
I groaned in annoyance and said, “Have some fun, Clo.”
They came at us, but we had all taken some kind of fighting training so it wasn’t really that hard to beat them. Once they were all knocked out, Chloe tossed them into a pile and sat on them and grinned widely at me. She was really enjoying this a little too much.
I turned my attention back to the leader and said, “Well, you’ve run out of lackeys. What are you going to do now? How about surrender?”
He laughed and stood up and I mentally groaned. He was nine feet tall, full of muscles, and brandished a battle-staff that was taller than I was.
“Silly, little do-gooders, you see, you’ve tired yourself out battling my underlings and now you are no match for me.”
Chloe hopped off the Grarrl pile and said, “You’re all talk. I can take you.”
Before I could stop her, she raced off at him. His reflexes were faster and he whacked her hard enough to send her sliding into the far wall. Princess couldn’t take this and raced at him, horn pointed. He turned and swept her feet out from under her. Princess quickly put her head down and dug her horn into the floor, turning her body suddenly and swept her into him, knocking him down. I raced to her side and not a moment too soon. Princess was struggling to get to her feet and the Grarrl already was on his. He was bringing down his staff upon her and I slid between them and raised my cudgel and caught his staff on it. My hands and my arms all the way up to my shoulders promptly went numb and I never knew where I found the strength to catch that blow, let alone toss him off as I did a second later.
That surprised him enough to make him take a step backward and at that moment Anita’s whip wrapped around his waist and Elise divebombed him. He was over on his back, but it would only be for a moment and I was beginning to despair. This guy was impossibly strong, especially with Chloe out of the game. Princess unleashed an attack from her Scroll of Moon Light. He didn’t seem to feel it at all or Elise’s next attack from her from her Light Faerie Staff. He rose laughing at our attempts. Anita snagged him around the ankle and pulled him down again. He rose to one knee and then promptly fell on his face. Chloe stood behind him, her clubs still partially raised. I didn’t think Chloe would have the strength to get up and do that after her vicious collision with the wall.
Chloe kicked him in the side and yelled, “No one trips my sister, jerk!”
I laughed with relief and started to tie him up. I then checked Chloe and Princess for injuries. Nothing was broken and I was sure that they would be fine in a few days.
“Are you okay, Kristy?” Elise asked.
“I don’t know,” I replied. “I still haven’t gotten feeling back in my hands yet. I’m not looking forward to when I do.”
She peeled my gloves off and we found that my hands had turned deep purple. I just put my gloves back on and yelled, “Daniel, it’s safe now!”
Anita had picked up the small boy and was reassuring him that everything was all right when Daniel ran into the chamber. The little boy screamed happily and jumped out of Anita’s arms and raced to his father. I smiled as I watched the reunion. After a minute I said, “Come on, let’s get back to Tae. She can send someone down to deal with these losers.”
The bandits were quickly picked up and taken to Happy Valley for incarceration and Taelia took on the job of sorting the stolen treasure and returning it to their proper owners. Daniel quickly identified what was taken from Blanc Town and we volunteered to accompany him back with it.
It was worth the three-day journey to see the gratitude of people when we brought their things back. They were much happier to see Daniel and his son return safely. They threw another party to celebrate and we were the guests of honor.
I left the party at four a.m. and went to my room at the inn. I lay there, fully awake still, and wondered if we were ever going to get back home. This story was surprisingly real and I was beginning to wonder if it was a story. Suddenly I was too tired to think about it anymore, so I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
When I awoke, I was not in the bed at the inn. I looked around and realized that I was sitting in the rocking chair by the fire in my living room. I was home. All around me, my pets were beginning to wake up. I looked down at my hands and saw that they were fine, not a trace of the bruise remained.
I looked at my pets and almost all at the same time we all said, “I had the strangest dream!”
“So we all dreamed about the end of the story?” I asked.
I opened the book and flipped to the part that the book ended. This time the book continued. I flipped through the story and found that it was exactly like what happened.
“Bizarre,” I said as I stood and locked it in the glass cabinet. “Let’s leave this alone.”
The four older girls nodded. We all sat in silence, all thinking about what had just happened. I couldn’t believe that had really just happened, and yet, even then I knew that this was not the ending, but the very beginning.
The End... or is it?