☯️ May I have your opinions? 🥺Pretty, pretty, please? ☯️

Hello fellow bloggers, and those who are also authors. 

I FINALLY came up with a blurb for book 2, The Will of the Dark Creator! The book has been FIFTEEN months in the making, so it’s about dam time. This is the rough draft of the blurb. I know it probably needs to be shortened, because it’s a little over 400 words. And the ideal blurb is supposed to be under 400 words, right? Here’s what I concocted so far. Let me know what you think… 

*** 

The alignment of the three moons is a sign of positive changes to come… 

How come the opposite is happening?… 

This second installment picks up where the first book left off, as the fun and festivities continue at the Hecctrossipy Festival—Continent 15’s yearly tradition that celebrates the victory over a legendary evil monster who had the power to manipulate the elements, and create chaos. However, not everyone is having a good time. 

Artheena has been unexpectedly betrayed by her sister, and cruelly used and disposed of by who she thought was the man she was meant to be with. While Mell May basks in her stolen glory, Artheena is left to figure out how to piece back together her shattered world. 

Shortly after the festival ends, she learns that there are far worse problems to worry about than her broken heart. Jyoseppy—the great entity in charge of the negative side of creation—is taking over other lands on Velva Leena with its catastrophic weather, strange and deadly new diseases, and other dark forces of nature. In a world where the majority supports Jumellica—the great entity in charge of the positive side of creation—even the Guardians can’t figure out how and where the dark creator is getting its steadily increasing power. Continent 15 is one of the few remaining safe havens on the planet—but for how much longer? 

An unknown virus is wrecking havoc among the grungol population. Young vervetts are disappearing without a trace, even while safely inside their own homes. Gruesome killings happen deep within the forest, that are too brutal to have been done by a carnivorous animal. Guardians and villagers have to put up a harder and harder fight to drive Jyoseppy’s destructive forces out of Continent 15. 

Jyoseppy’s dark influences also overshadow the lives of Artheena and her close-knit circle of friends and loved ones. 

Mell May returns to Village 3, alone and mentally unstable. Is she suffering through emotional trauma from being used and disposed of too? Or is it possible that there could be a much more disturbing reason behind her short-lived stardom? 

By the end of this second installment, someone will become a cold blooded killer, another will become a prisoner, and another will die.  

The dark creator’s hecctrossipy may be just a storybook myth, but the great entity’s will to take over all creation isn’t. 

🧀💩 Skeevids! Eeeeew! 💩🧀

Hello, blogsters! 

Here is a sample of what I’ve been working on while not blogging, and not being all that social on WordPress. I had posted Chapter 20: TRUDGING THE STORM, of the second book in my series, a few months ago. A huge thanks to all who had read, liked, and commented on those posts. Since then, that chapter has been re-numbered and revised. Being the extreme writing perfectionist I am, it’ll most likely end up getting another revision or ten. 

Are you ready to get grossed out over an extraterrestrial illness? This chapter tells all the gray, rotten cheesy details. This first section tells about Artheena’s traumatic childhood memories from when she had skeevids. 

For those of you who know nothing about my YA/sci-fi & fantasy series, or if you’re someone who just randomly stumbled upon this post, here is a little fill-in for you. 

*** 

This story takes place on a different planet. Artheena is my main character in books 1 and 2. Mell May is her adopted sister, and Willberry is her five-year-old brother. Vervetts are the species of people they are, and Guardians are just a ruling race of vervetts. Jumellica is like a Velva Leenan version of God. A garden feeder is where compost is stored, and sackamuppo is an herbal skin treatment that prevents scars. 

*** 

Here is the first rough draft excerpt of Chapter 24: SKEEVIDS, from HECCTROSSIPY 2 The Will of the Dark creator. Enjoy—but don’t read this before, during, or after a meal. 

***    

Like how human children get chicken pox, vervett children get skeevids, including little Guardians. Artheena and Mell May had gotten skeevids when they were Willberry’s age. 

Mell May got it first, but her case was unusually mild. She had a fever like Artheena did, but her grayish white skeevid bumps were small—no bigger than the average pimple—and she didn’t suffer through the other unbearable symptoms. Her appetite was normal, she was able to get up and move around without being in constant pain, and her recovery was quick. Freakishly quick. The inflamed holes left behind from when all her skeevids popped, barely needed any plugging paste to boost their healing. They seemed to close up on their own, and her skin was almost magically smooth and healthy again. 

Mom and dad and the other grownups they knew gushed about how little Mell May was such an amazing surviver. She escaped death twice, and then Jumellica took exceptional care of her, by healing her skeevids so miraculously. They took this as a sign that the good entity must have something extra special planned for Mell May’s future. This was one of the few and far between times during their childhood, where Artheena felt jealous of her sister.  

Meanwhile, Artheena’s case of skeevids was the most traumatic twelve days of her life. She couldn’t eat or play, or do anything, but lay in bed and suffer, or scream in agony in the bathtub. All the while, the grayish white bumps all over her skin constantly swelled and popped, and then regrew. Skeevids usually form and grow gradually throughout the day, but sometimes Artheena saw them appear as gray circles on her skin, and then swell into round, hard bumps, right before her eyes. It was a total nightmare. The sound skeevids made when they burst was one that would stay in her memory, like a permanent scar. It was a loud popping and splattering sound that, to us,, would sound like someone shooting water balloons with a BB gun. The bigger the skeevid, the louder and more liquidy the pop. Even worse, when skeevids burst, they splatter out a greasy gray fluid that, to us, would smell like rotten cheese. 

Artheena’s fever was so high, it felt as though her body might cook itself to death. Mom tried to cool it down by putting damp wash cloths over her forehead and cheeks, but she could only keep them on Artheena’s skin for a short few moments at a time. The wash cloths weren’t wet enough to make them heavy, but to Artheena’s severely tender, skeevid infected skin, they felt heavier than bricks, making her face feel as though it was being painfully crushed. When mom removed the wash cloths, it barely gave Artheena any relief. Her head and joints ached from the fever, and the skeevid bumps made her skin constantly ache all over. She got quite a few of the largest sized ones, that swell up to the size of Earth’s tennis balls. These always swelled up on one of her limbs, while she was sleeping. Then she’d wake up with her leg or arm in throbbing pain, which didn’t go away until the huge skeevid burst.

Even the simplest movements were agonizing. She couldn’t sit or stand, or open her mouth to drink and eat without crying out in pain. So much pain made her unable to walk. 

When she needed a bath, mom and dad had to carry her into the bathroom, using a towel like a stretcher. Being carried in their arms felt a hundred times more crushing on her body, than the damp cloths did on her face. She was in too much pain to be able to use the toilet bucket, leaving her with no choice but to pee in the paper shroud that mom and dad kept her wrapped in, while she was in bed. Even worse, her vomiting and diarrhea was beyond her control. This humiliated her more than what a grotesque, rank smelling, skeevid popping, grease dripping mess she was. 

She always loved her bath time, but while sick with skeevids, taking a bath felt like the most brutal torture that could possibly exist. Mom and dad persistently tried to comfort her with reassuring words of Jumellica’s love for her, and how she was going to be all better, any given day. But Artheena was in too much agony to listen to them, and she screamed over all their coddling. The sensation of water on her skin felt both icy cold, and scalding hot at the same time. No matter how gentle mom and dad tried to be, when they wiped Artheena down with a wash cloth, to her, it felt like they were shredding her skin with a giant vegetable peeler. 

Her skin was so sensitive, she couldn’t even ware clothes. The slightest brushing of fabric against her skin felt like being stung by hundreds of insects while getting scratched with razor sharp thorns. 

The only thing that she had to let touch her skin was the coping shrouds. The uncomfortably stiff paper shroud, which was dusted with powdered herbs on the inside, was believed to have good healing benefits. However, the only thing they did was enhance her discomfort. Mom and dad wrapped her up in a new dry, crinkly, gritty shroud, every time they put her back in bed. Between the coping shroud and the rest of her aches and pains, she couldn’t get comfortable. Sleep only came if she cried herself to exhaustion. Or when her energy became so drained from her vomiting and diarrhea, it made her desensitized to the pain. 

The vomit and diarrhea erupted from her body, as though they had minds of their own. She couldn’t understand where it all came from, when her stomach could hardly hold anything down. It didn’t take much to make her queasy. The smells that she smelled every day, like the cool, earthy smell of her house’s stone interior, the aromatic wood and mylo mellow furniture, and the garden scented breezes that came in through the open windows, seemed noxiously overbearing. The poultry broth, nutritional teas, and porridges that her parents fed her tasted and smelled more like they were made from the contents of the garden feeder. Artheena couldn’t help gagging, as she obediently forced down the nourishment her parents carefully spooned into her mouth.

This living hell lasted for seven days. Through it all, the people around her did what they could to keep her distracted from her pain, and cheer her up. Friends, teachers, neighbors, and even some Guardians stopped by the house to deliver positive affirmation cards, and colorful bouquets of sensitive-stomach-friendly paper flowers. Mom read to her, dad entertained her with his stories about his intercontinental piloting great grandparents’ world traveling adventures, and both parents quizzed her on the lessons she was learning in school. When Mell May had fully recovered, she and their friends paid visits to Artheena, whenever they played outside. They talked to her through her open bedroom window. Or they’d sing to her, and tell jokes. A couple times, they made puppets out of their hands, and things they found around the yard, and performed a silly puppet show on Artheena’s outside windowsill. She appreciated everyone’s concern and attentiveness towards her, and did her best to act like she was getting enjoyment out of it. But Artheena was so miserably sick that she honestly wished to be dead. 

On her eighth day of suffering, no more skeevids formed, and all the ones that were there had popped. When she awoken that morning, her fever cooled down and most of her pain had subsided, but her skin was hideously honey-combed with greasy gray holes that were ringed with scaly rashes. She was in hysterically panicked tears, fearing that she was going to be ugly for the rest of her life. This fear got worse every time her parents reapplied the dressing around her skin, and she saw that the disgusting holes hadn’t closed up yet. 

While her skin was healing, she still was sick with a mild fever for another five days, and spent most of that time sleeping. Throughout those five days, mom and dad had to change her dressing, three or more times a day. She had to stand in the bathroom for a long many moments of time, while they carefully unraveled the tightly clinging fabric strips from her body. Then they tediously dug out the used plugging paste from each hole, with their fingernails, and plugged all the holes back up with fresh paste. She was then slathered head to toe with slimy lisp leaf gel, and re-wrapped in more fabric strips. Stay strips is what they are called, because they cling to the skin, and are better at securing medicine in open wounds than regular cloth bandages. When those five days were over, and Artheena was feeling better, she still had to undergo three days of full-body sackamuppo treatments until her skin was back to normal again.

This all happened ten years ago, but when poor Willberry got skeevids, the traumatic memories came back to Artheena as clearly as though they had happened last season. 

*** 

That was only a section. There’s more dialogue and drama in the rest of the chapter, and more of how awful life gets for Artheena and her family. Thank you so much for reading. I’m aiming to get The Will of the Dark Creator ready for beta readers, before the end of summer. 

Love you all! Second excerpt coming up tomorrow!… 

PART 😬😬 of… 🧀💩 Skeevids! Eeeeew! 💩🧀

Hi, again. 

It’s tomorrow! As I promised, here is the second excerpt to Chapter 24: SKEEVIDS from HECCTROSSIPY 2: The Will of the Dark Creator. The plot thickens, and oh, ugh, so does the mess. 

*** 

“What’s wrong with me?” Willberry asked, through frightened tears. 

“You’re sick,” said Burjiss, gently. “You have skeevids, but it’s going to go away soon.” 

“Every little vervett boy and girl gets skeevids,” said Tabatha, in the same gentle tone. “Even mommy and daddy got it when we were little. So did Mell May and Artheena, but we’re all OK now. So you’re going to be OK too.” 

“Just because you guys got it, doesn’t mean I should’ve got it!” cried Willberry. “I’m cold!” 

“Want me to put you’re blanket back over you?” mom offered. 

“No!” Willberry wined. “My blanket hurts! My bed hurts! Everywhere hurts! Why did I have to get skeevids!” He let out a howling cry of misery. 

Artheena’s heart swelled with empathy. In that moment, she felt what he was suffering through, as though she became that sick five-year-old self again. She felt the full-bodied pain of his infected skin, the burning and the aching bone chills of his fever, and the unbearable stinging and scratching sensation he probably felt when his blanket touched his skin. She wanted to hug him and hold him, and reassure him with all the words of comfort she could think up, but of course, that would do more harm than good.    

Willberry’s case of skeevids looked even worse than Artheena’s. His skin bubbled all over with the gruesome, grayish white bumps. Many of them were large enough to bulge like stones beneath his nightshirt. Tennis ball sized skeevids swelled over his knee caps. Clusters of smaller skeevids swelled between the larger ones, making his skin resemble a parasitic insects’ egg sack nursery. His whole neck, from above his collar bones to the bottom of his chin, was completely covered with the bumps, making it too painful to move his head. Skeevids were on his palms and on the soles of his feet. Egg sack clusters of them formed between his fingers and toes. They even formed on his scalp. Artheena couldn’t help feeling sick to her stomach, seeing the round, grayish white bumps slowly swelling up from beneath Willberry’s hair. 

“I know it hurts, and you feel lousy, but every little vervett has to go through it,” said mom, about to pat his head, but quickly stopped herself. “It’s a rough part of the journey of growing up, but it’ll pass very soon.” 

“Do grungol kids get skeevids?” Willberry asked, sniffling. 

“No,” said dad, “But grungols get other sicknesses.” 

The thought of Audry voraciously eating her own coins flashed into Artheena’s mind, and the way she hungrily licked the blood off her hands after she’d accidentally bitten them. 

“That’s not fair!” Willberry shouted through sobs. “Why wasn’t I born a grungol!” 

One of the tennis ball sized skeevids burst with an explosive, POP, startling them all. As much as it hurt to move his head, Willberry couldn’t help look. He screamed in horror at the sight of the gushing gray hole in his knee where the skeevid had been. He scrunched his eyes shut, crying with panic. Burjiss, Tabatha, and Artheena tried to calm him. They tried to get through to him that they were going to take care of him, and he was going to get well, and then once he was all better, the skeevids would never come back. However, he was inconsolable. He cried and screamed over them, like little Artheena did during her baths. 

Willberry knew about skeevids, but he was never exposed to the disturbing illness in real life. Tabatha was pregnant with him, when Artheena and Mell May got it. Some of his classmates went through it, and so did his friend, Snap, but he didn’t see them when they were sick. Snap’s parents were especially strict about not allowing him to have visitors while he had skeevids.   

“I’m sure I still have that old roll of stay strips from when you girls were sick!” said mom, raising her voice over Willberry’s hysterical crying. “But we might need more lisp leaves and ingredients for plugging paste for when he starts getting better!” She looked directly into Willberry’s tear streaming, disfigured face. “You hear that, little hecctrossipy! You’re going to get better, like a strong little monster!” 

“I’ll go get his supplies!” Artheena volunteered. “I hope to Jumellica that the place is open this early! We’re here to save you, Willberry!” Then she hurried out of the room, and made a leap and a short sprint to the front door. 

The rainy early morning air was so cold, it made her cough the moment she bounded onto the wet front walking path. Puddles splashed beneath her, their icy coldness uncomfortably nipping at her bare feet. She broke into a sprint again, once she reached the sticky, wet clay street. It was as putrid as Earth’s swamps outside, from so much waterlogged and rotting vegetation all over the village. Artheena’s beloved gardens were suffering too, but she hung on to the optimistic hope that all her trees and plants would survive and fully recover. The neighborhoods were a rushing blur as gray as the sky, as she sped through them, faster than Earth’s cheetahs. Rain drops pelted at her like icy pebbles, stinging her eyes, and soaking her shirt. 

It wasn’t until she reached the South Section boundary, when she realized that she had been in such a hurry, she forgot to change into daytime clothes before she went out. Artheena laughed this off without a care. It didn’t matter if she looked like a complete weirdo, going to the store in her nightshirt. The rain was getting a little heavier, which meant there was no time to waste, and her poor brother needed his coping shrouds. 

The Children’s Medical Supplies store was a boxy, blueish purple wooden building with a few pieces of colorfully painted, babies’ sized playground equipment on its wooden front porch. Once she saw that the store’s lights were on, she leapt over the porch steps, accidentally knocking down a tiny pink slide as she scrambled through the front door. 

Two orange-collared men greeted her, each carrying a bucket of warm, frothy mange water, ready to wash the wet clay from her feet. As long as it continued raining, this was to be part of the shopping routine. Artheena thought it was kind of nice. 

“I’m so glad this place is open.” she said, smiling and lifting a foot to the orange-collar standing nearer to her. The other orange-collar proceeded to clean the floor where Artheena stepped.

“They’re open all day and night, for the time being,” said the public servant, pulling a wet wash cloth from his bucket, and scrubbing her foot. “Guardians’ new orders. Thank Jumellica too. I don’t know if it’s this bad weather, but a lot of kids are getting sick now. The hospital is getting too crowded with sick people as it is.” 

Artheena shuttered at the thought of when the Guardians admitted the truth about Jyoseppy’s dark forces spreading through the world without explanation. 

“But at least no one has gotten sick enough to die, right?” she said, letting the orange-collar dry off her foot and begin washing the other one. 

“Nope,” he said with a smile. “And by the grace of the good entity, we’ll all make sure it stays that way.” 

“I see you ran out of fresh daytime clothes.” said the other public servant, smiling at her as he finished wiping the floor, and took a seat on a half-empty table of large medicinal roots. 

“She gave the men a look, as though she thought they’d lost their minds. “Oh, come on, you guys. You didn’t here about how new Scientific studies have shown that nightshirts are a more suitable garment for running in cold, wet weather. They allow a better aerodynamic air flow which helps you move faster than if you wore shorts or pants.” Her factual tone was so convincing, the two men pondered over this bit of information for a split moment. “I’m only kidding,” she laughed. “My baby brother came down with skeevids, this morning, and I need to get some coping shrouds, lisp leaves, and extra ingredients for plugging paste. But I was so in a rush to get them that I left the house without paying attention to what I’m waring.” 

“I like it,” said a young man who suddenly appeared in the room. “It’s blue, my favorite color.” He gave Artheena a crooked-toothed, flirty smile. “And it matches your pretty eyes.” He walked over to her, and shook her hand. “Hi, I’m Danknoid. I’m one of the new staff here, and I’ll be more than happy to help you.” 

Artheena smiled at him graciously, mentally reminding herself to not go back to her old snobby ways, by judging Danknoid to be a total dweeb. His curly main of bright yellow-orange hair looked like a giant briar. And his slight build and round, pimply face made him appear no older than thirteen

“You boys go ahead and restock the tea and snacks in the break room,” Danknoid said to the orange collars, as though he owned the place. “I’ll be helping this beautiful lady with her shopping.” 

“Thank you, but you don’t need to,” Artheena said politely. “I know where everything is. I’ve been here before many times.” 

Danknoid looked amused. “No, you do need my help. You not only ran to the store in your nighttime clothes, you forgot to take your shopping tote with you.” 

“Ugh!” Artheena groaned, stomping her foot. “I forgot to bring money too! I can’t believe what a flake I am, this morning.” 

“Don’t worry about it,” said Danknoid, putting a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll be your tote and hold your things for you, and I have hundreds of coins in my coin holder. Just tell me how many you think you need, and your shopping is covered.” 

“Oh, thank Jumellica!” she exclaimed, throwing her arms around him as she mentally thanked the good entity for granting her the fortune of being the girl that all the single guys want. She had always taken her way with men for granted, but for once, she truly needed this power of having above-average beauty for unselfish purposes. 

“My tote is in the store owners’ office. Follow me.” He took her by the arm and lead the way. The office was a tiny room in the back of the store that could barely fit the cluttered, two-person work desk that was crammed within it. Once they were in the office, Danknoid closed the door. A mischievous look flashed across his pimply face. Artheena felt a pang of anxiety, immediately knowing that this boy was up to no good. She backed up against a narrow space of wall, as Danknoid reached under the desk, and pulled out a purple polka dotted leather tote. Then he took out a coin holder that was twice the size of hers. He opened it up to show her that it was filled to the brim with Rewards and Thank Yous. 

“You can have all of this, and buy your brother all the medicine in the entire store if you want.” he said, in a lowered voice. “But on one condition…” He eyed her up and down with a wicked, crooked-toothed grin. 

*** 

Woe! Heck nah! Do I have the indecency to make this book, which is geared for a 14 + audience, get a little juicy??? Check your WordPress reader for tomorrow’s excerpt to find out. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

💘🧧THANK YOU NOTE🧧💘

Thanks to all of you who had read my rough draft excerpts to the second novel in my YA/sci-fi series, HECCTROSSIPY  book 2  The Will of the Dark Creator. Your likes and your feedback means the world, the galaxy, and the universe to me! 

I’ve never been employed. As a person who is both blind, and has confused, haywire sensory perception, it’s been an impossible journey trying to get into the workforce. It’s my dream to one day be able to make a living writing novels and children’s books. Yeah, I know this sounds delusional, knowing how the book business is these days, but I have iron clad faith in God that this dream is possible. 

There was a time when I thought that joining the writing Community would be like throwing myself into an infinite battlefield where competition is fierce, and artistic egos may clash. Boy, was I a big-time ignoramus for making that judgmental assumption! 

We authors and aspiring authors are all aiming for the same dream—to write books, and have them sell. However, those among the writing community are the least ego-clashing group of people I ever got to know. We support each other, rather than compete against one another. The help we give to one another, whether it’s beta reading, feedback, sharing writing knowledge and links to helpful resources, or promoting each other’s books on social media, the writing community represents the good side of humanity. It’s like a positive, brilliant light that outshines the darkness and conflict among the rest of the world. 

I know that I have a long way to go, and hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of hard work and perseverance ahead of me, before my writing career starts heating up. But your willingness to take the time to read and respond to my novel excerpts is like the sparks of hope that could help build things up to a steadily rising smolder. 

Once again… 

Thank you! 

Love you all, post you soon! 

Coming up is another enlightening re-blog of the latest Let’s Get Published post…    

Excerpt 3, the final excerpt of my WIP (The Will of the Dark Creator)

Artheena and dad put Olzenbeth and the lamp down, for a split moment, so they could take off their shirts. They tied the shirt ties around their heads, securing the fronts of the shirts over their mouths and noses. The fabric was soaking wet, and gritty with dirt, which made the shirts feel like an uncomfortably suffocating source of face protection. But it was better than suffocating to death, by breathing in more dirt. Olzenbeth’s shirt was buried beneath her swaddle of vines, but her long stripes of hair blew freely. Artheena grabbed Olzenbeth’s hair, and quickly tied as much of it around her face as she could. Then they got up and started walking again. Their eyes gushed with tears, from all the dirt. The bright lightning helped them see where they were going, but they still had to blink wildly, to keep the tears from blurring their vision. Once their eyes cleared up enough, they ducked into the wind, and forced their legs to run. The wind had grown so powerful, it was like trying to run through mud. Kicking the debris out of their path felt more like shoving aside piles of bricks. Artheena’s lungs felt as scorching hot as the lightning, because they couldn’t perform their natural function of breathing heavily from the exertion, when she had her wet, muddy shirt clinging to her nose and mouth. If it wasn’t for her strong and desperate will to live, and make it back to the house, she would’ve passed out. She and dad kept their minds so focussed on making it past the storm, they paid no attention to how painfully their muscles burned, or how the bright lightning hurt their eyes, or any other tormenting discomfort. More ice cold, hissing columns of Jyoseppy’s spit poured down on them, but they eventually got accustomed to the abuse.  

The hot and cold in balanced winds began to intermingle together, making the vervetts’ skin perspire and get goosebumps, at the same time. The storm’s hellish screams grew to such a deafening, shrill pitch, Artheena feared her eardrums might shatter. 

Torn off pieces of trees, dislodged teppid stone tree garlands, small clay plant pots, and all kinds of other objects flew at them. They did their best to jump and dodge out of the way, but getting out of the path of one large piece of debris often caused them to get pelted by another. Dirt poured over them, like dark rain, constantly blurring their vision with tears, as they ran through whirling gusts of it. 

Artheena worried about Olzenbeth, who wasn’t able to dodge the flying debris. She could tell by the way dad ducked forward and sideways, that he was doing all he could to protect Olzenbeth from getting pelted. Artheena wanted so much to glance over at the vine-bound bundle, but if she so much as turned her head, she might miss the chance to dodge an object that could crack her skull, or impale her ear. They had to stay focussed on looking ahead, and go, go, go. 

Then a bolt of blue lightning, that was brighter than the sun, instantly blinded them. 

“I CAN’T SEE!” dad shouted in Artheena’s ear. 

“NEITHER CAN I!” she shouted back. Through the roaring screams of wind, they could barely make out the vowels and consonance of each other’s words. 

The two pitches of thunder were followed by a third and higher pitch. To us, it would sound like the trumpeting of angry elephants over amplified radio static. Artheena felt her scalp tingle, and her hair writhe, as the air grew more electrically charged. The smell of metal and ozone seeped through her face covering, like a direct death threat. “Juummeelllliiccaa hheellpp!” she cried out in pure terror, her cry reduced to just an inaudible vibration through her sodden shirt. There was no possible way they were going to live through this.   

“Go here”“Go here.”“Go here.” said the nearby plants and trees, kindly offering to guide Artheena to the house. Thankfully, the wind and thunder didn’t drown out her telepathic inner hearing.. 

“THE GARDENS WILL GUIDE US!” she shouted in dad’s ear, and then pulled him in the direction that the gardens lead her. Unfortunately, she had to leave Mell May’s lamp behind, in order to follow their lead. She quickly shoved the lamp beneath a cluster of dense shrubs, and had to just have faith that it wouldn’t get lost in the chaos, in case Mell May wanted it back. 

 “Go here.”“Go here.”“Go here.”… With her freed hand, Artheena felt for each plant and tree, as they spoke, following their trail. The plants’ and trees’ calmness made her feel a little confident that they could make it out of the storm, but not confident enough. “Please, Jumellica, let us live through this! Please, Jumellica, let us live through this! Please, Jumellica! Please, Jumellica! Please!” she could only feel herself crying out loud, as she followed her garden friends’ lead, trembling all over. She thought that the hallucination of the skullvick attacking Mell May was the scariest experience in her life, but that seemed like a blissful thought projection Fantasy, compared to this. 

As the plants and trees guided her, they told her when to duck down from the path of a thrown object, or which direction to jump out of its way. “GET DOWN!… LEFT!… RIGHT!… BACK AWAY!… DOWN!…” she strained to scream in dad’s ear, which was awfully difficult, when she just wanted to scream in fear. Despite her friends’ guidance, no longer being able to see what the storm was throwing at them made this living nightmare all the more petrifying. 

Through the deafening wind and three monstrous pitches of thunder, Artheena could faintly hear the crashing and banging of even larger objects being thrown. Bigger plant pots with plants in them, stone statuettes, and unfamiliar feeling pieces of furniture were dropped in the trudging vervetts’ path. Artheena screamed in horrified grief, forgetting to help dad dodge from debris for a moment, when her foot collided with a furry leg and fluffy tail of a small animal that lay smashed beneath a statuette. She could only hope to Jumellica that it wasn’t one of her friends. She had to not worry about it and pull herself together, and continue helping dad. Or else his and Olzenbeth’s brains would be smashed next.     

“Good-bye, Artheena! I love you!” called out an ancient tree, from further out in the yard. The tree was a few hundred years old, and had lived through a thousand or so summer storms. Now too brittled with age, it gave way to the merciless wind. Loud snapping and popping—much like the sound of Earth’s gunshots—pierced through the wind and thunder, as the storm tore Artheena’s dear old tree friend apart. Grief stabbed through her already-pain-wracked chest, but there was no time to cry.  

“I CAN SEE AGAIN! HA HA!” Burjiss rejoiced in his daughter’s ear. “WE’RE ALMOST TO THE DECK!” 

“DAD! KEEP YOUR EYES CLOSED!” said Artheena. “YOU DON’T WANT TO BE BLINDED BY BLUE LIGHTNING AGAIN!” Intensely bright purple flashes behind her closed eyelids, let Artheena know that her vision had returned too. 

They both jumped and shouted with joy, when their feet bumped into the edge of the pool deck. However, there were no plants on or around the deck, to guide them across it. They opened their eyes, just a crack, and ran across it as fast as the wind would allow them. Through her slits of vision, Artheena could see that the deck barely glowed underneath so much dirt and debris. The swimming pool was even more of a mess, looking more like an over-sized mound of yard compost. 

Before they reached the back door, three columns of Jyoseppy’s spit—one after another—crashed over them, like a frigid waterfall. All three of them screamed from the coldness. But then they were glad that the powerful blasts of rain washed away most of the dirt and debris off of them, before they came into the house. 

“We’re home! We made it!” Artheena shouted, rejoicingly, as they burst through the back door. 

“Praise Jumellica!” shouted dad, They jumped up and down, whooping and dancing. Burjiss tossed the bundle of Olzenbeth into the air, and caught her, before setting her down against the wall. 

Tabatha and Willberry bounded into the kitchen, clapping and cheering until the four of them came together in a group hug. 

Once in the house, Artheena realized that her hearing was a little off. Everything sounded a little muffled, like they were under water, but she wasn’t bothered by this. She was just so ecstatic to be alive, and hugging her parents and brother again. Surviving through that storm was the best miracle she could ever ask for. There was no better place in the world than being safely back home with her family. The kitchen’s bright lighting and clean smell seemed more warm and welcoming than ever, as though its comforting qualities were enhanced by Jumellica’s love. 

Artheena felt no reason to complain, if her hearing impairment might be permanent. She was thankful that she could still here her loved ones’ happy voices—and Willberry’s rude outburst of roaring laughter, when he noticed poor Olzenbeth.

Thank you so much for reading the 3 excerpts of chapter 20❤️ Hopefully book 2 will be out this summer. Love you all! Post you soon!

Excerpt 2, from my WIP (The Will of the Dark Creator)

“Olzenbeth! You idiot!” Artheena shouted, as she and dad hurried after her, franticly kicking obstacles aside, but they couldn’t keep up. Olzenbeth’s Guardian-like long legs made her a faster sprinter, and a higher leaper. She practically flew over garden paths, and gardens. Running and leaping in every which direction, like a disoriented insect. “ADNICK! ADNICK! ADNICK!” she kept screaming, wildly waving the lamp around. Burjiss and Artheena had no better choice, but to go against their own safety precautions, and leap through the gardens after her. No matter how loudly and persistently they called after her, she ignored them. She didn’t want to listen to reason or common sense, and she most certainly wasn’t going to wait for them to catch up with her. The wind started picking up again, but Olzenbeth moved through it, like lightning. Several times, they came close to catching up with her, but she leapt away before Burjiss or Artheena could grab her by the shell. 

After last night’s search, Artheena could understand what Olzenbeth must be going through, but she really wanted to punch her. Not only was her refusal to cooperate infuriating, she had no regards for Artheena’s and dad’s lives. And here they were, trying to help her. Burjiss was just about to grab the side of Olzenbeth’s shell, when she made a sudden sprint in the opposite direction, and disappeared completely. 

“Curse of Jyoseppy!” shouted Artheena, kicking some rocks and thrown produce across the garden path. “I can’t believe that girl! All she cares about is Adnick, without giving a second thought about leaving us to fend for ourselves, in near-pitch-dark, deadly weather!” 

“Where the heck did she go?!” said dad, exasperated. They stopped walking, and strained their eyes to see around the yard. They couldn’t see her, or hear her. The shrill wails of the accelerating winds drowned out her frantic calls. Artheena’s intuition told her to look towards the direction of the house. She couldn’t see the house, but she knew which garden they were standing beside, by the emanations of the trees and plants individual living energies. They were back in the front yard again, but only ten garden paths from the front door. The moment Artheena looked towards the house, she caught a brief glimpse of the lamp hovering a little ways above where the roof would be. Then the light disappeared.  

“She leapt onto the roof, dad!” said Artheena.. 

“You got to be kidding me!” said dad, getting angry again. “She’s crazy!” 

“I think she used it as a short cut to get to the back yard!” said Artheena.

They sprinted for the house, pushing through the wind with all their strength. The moment they leapt onto the roof, they got struck by a narrow column of ice cold, pounding rain, which made them nearly lose their footing. Jyoseppy’s spit, is what this type of rain is called. The shock of its coldness made Artheena have a hard time breathing, for a few moments. She gasped and coughed, as they struggled to run across the roof. Both were shivering violently, which made them unable to sprint or leap. A few gusts of warm wind blew over them, but they were too sopping wet with Jyoseppy’s spit for the temperature change to relieve some of their discomfort. Just as they were about to reach the other side of the roof, another column of Jyoseppy’s spit blasted down on them. Artheena screamed in pain, as it did. The rain was so cold, it felt like it had serrated edges that sawed into her skin. 

Without thinking, the two vervetts instinctively clung onto each other, in a tight hug, as their trembling bodies tried to recover from the icy blast. They stood like that for a moment or two, before it registered to them that they were wasting time. 

“WE HAVE TO GET MOVING!” Burjiss strained to raise his voice through chattering teeth. 

“LET’S SEE IF WE… IF WE  COULD…” Artheena had a harder time trying to raise her voice through her chattering teeth, when her breathing passages felt partially paralyzed from the cold. “IF WE COULD… SEE THE BEAM OF… THE BEAM OF HER LAMP FROM… FROM UP HERE… THEN MAYBE… MAYBE…” 

“GOOD IDEA!” said dad, not needing his poor daughter to finish what she was trying to say. 

Still huddled close together, they turned their heads toward the back yard below, and scanned the dimly lit gardens. 

“THERE SHE IS!” Artheena exclaimed, now able to catch her breath. She pointed at a wispy beam of white light that shone from within a cluster of vegetable trees. 

IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE SHE’S MOVING!” said Burjiss. “SHE MIGHT BE HURT!” 

“Serves her right.” Artheena couldn’t help thinking, as they jumped down from the roof, and started for the vegetable trees. As they did, a few more columns of Jyoseppy’s spit came down in other parts of the yard. They looked like black hecctropes reaching down from the darkness, and their sound wasn’t like that of heavy rain. It was a loud hiss, like venom from a thousand skullvick eyes. Artheena was reminded of the liquid hecctrossipy in her nightmare. 

Thankfully, their run to the vegetable trees warmed them up enough to take away their shivers. They spotted Olzenbeth sitting on the ground, vigorously massaging her foot. The lamp was propped up against a large tree root beside her. She called out to them, once she saw them coming, but her words sounded like incomprehensible mumbling beneath the loudening wind. 

It was getting so difficult to hear one another, Artheena and dad had to bend toward her, and almost yell in her face. 

“ARE YOU OK?!” said Artheena. 

“WHAT HAPPENED?!” Demanded Burjiss.

“I HURT MY ANKLE!” said Olzenbeth. “BUT IT’S NOT BROKEN! I TRIPPED OVER A ROCK, AND LANDED ON A TREE ROOT, BUT I CAN STILL WALK! I THINK IT’S JUST A LITTLE SPRAINED!” She picked up the lamp, and carefully got up, using a tree to keep her balance. 

“FROM NOW ON, JUST STAY WITH US!” Artheena ordered. She still wanted to punch Olzenbeth. Or chew her out for running off on them. But that would have to wait until they were safely back in the house, or in the under-village—if they could make it out of the storm alive. 

The winds began shifting in different temperatures, as they linked arms again, and headed out of the vegetable trees. It went from cold to warm to being as hot as an open oven, and then it was lukewarm, and back to being cold again. More columns of Jyoseppy’s spit hissed down from the thrashing, black clouds. Things were about to get deadly. A flash of white lightning lit up the yard, brighter than afternoon daylight. Then a low rumble of thunder shook the sky and ground with such power, it felt like the sound could shatter both elements. This thunder was followed by another rumble of thunder, that was a little higher in pitch, and it crackled loudly with scorching electricity.

“WE NEED TO GET TO THE UNDER-VILLAGE!” Burjiss urged.. 

Another flash of lightning allowed them to spot where the nearest patch of grass was, that had enough space for all three of them to summon grungols. 

“OVER HERE!” ordered Artheena, pulling them in its direction.

“I’M NOT GOING TO THE UNDER-VILLAGE!” Olzenbeth protested through another world-quaking rumble of thunder. “WE HAVEN’T FOUND ADNICK!” 

“IS ADNICK A WELL EDUCATED BOY?!” asked dad. 

“OF COURSE HE IS!” she answered. 

“WELL, THEN HE SHOULD KNOW HOW TO DO THE EMERGENCY GRUNGOL CALL, HIMSELF!” said Burjiss. 

“BUT HE CAN’T CALL ON A GRUNGOL, IF HE’S LYING UNCONSCIOUS, SOMEWHERE!” Olzenbeth stubbornly argued. 

“BUT WE’LL HAVE EVEN LESS OF A CHANCE AT FINDING HIM, IF WE’RE ALL DEAD!” argued dad. 

An even brighter flash of lightening blazed over the yard, as dad and artheena dropped on their stomachs, onto the clear patch of grass. Olzenbeth however, still refused to cooperate. “I’M NOT GOING! I CAN’T GIVE UP ON HIM!” Then she tried to run away again, but Artheena went after her. 

She and Burjiss would’ve been better off just letting her go, and looking out for their own survival, but Artheena was still in shock over Jo Joga’s death. She didn’t want anyone else to die, if she could help it.  

Luckily, Olzenbeth’s sprained ankle slowed down her running, and prevented her from being able to leap. Artheena quickly grabbed Olzenbeth by her good foot, and knocked her down onto a garden path, flat on her face. In a mean sense, it felt good to slam her to the ground. Olzenbeth was being such a stubborn thorn-in-the-foot. The fall made her drop Mell May’s lamp. The force of the winds sent it bouncing and rolling to the other side of the garden path. “Thank you, Jumellica.” Artheena thought, when the lamp shined on a nearby Clinging Poccoleelee plant. Sincerely apologizing to the plant, she yanked off one of its long, bristly vines, and bound Olzenbeth’s legs. “WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME?!” Olzenbeth shrieked with rage. Artheena could tell she was crying, by the way her body shook. “YOU REALLY HURT ME! I’M GOING TO REPORT THIS TO THE GUARDIANS!” She wriggled her body, and flailed her arms, as Artheena grabbed another clinging vine. 

“I’M SAVING YOUR LIFE!” Artheena screamed in her ear. Olzenbeth angrily butted her in the face with the back of her head. 

“NEED HELP?!” asked dad, who had stayed behind Artheena, the whole time. She nodded and pointed to the Poccoleelee. He immediately got to work, pulling off vines, and helping his daughter hold Olzenbeth’s struggling arms behind her shell, and bind them. She stubbornly kept fighting, despite how it only made the vines cling to her even tighter. She bucked and thrashed her body this way and that, and swung her bondaged legs at Burjiss and Artheena. Fear and adrenaline allowed them to move fast, like the speeding winds as they pulled off more vines, and wrapped them around Olzenbeth.

The Poccoleelee vines constricted around her until she gave up the struggle, and cried with frustration and defeat. Artheena and dad picked her up and carried her, like a giant swaddled baby. 

Because she was bondaged, Olzenbeth wouldn’t have been able to get into burrowing position on a grungol’s back, so seeking refuge in the under-village was no longer an option. They were just going to have to have faith that they would make it to the house. Father and daughter linked arms more tightly than before. Artheena carried the lamp in her other arm, and Burjiss’s other arm carried Olzenbeth. 

They barely walked a few steps, when a sweltering wind kicked up a thick cloud of debris that rose from the ground and crashed over them, like a dirt tidal wave. They fell backwards onto the teppid stone, coughing and choking. 

“Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.” 

Final rough draft excerpt from HECCTROSSIPY book 2–Chapter 20, arriving tomorrow🌩

Ladies and gentlemen! Please welcome to the WordPress Reader, and to ALL of cyberspace… My WIP!!!

Hey, blogazoids! 

Here, I proudly show off my WIP for the second instalment of my HECCTROSSIPY series, which, I know a good majority of you are not familiar with… 

…yet. 

This chapter is nearer to the end of HECCTROSSIPY book 2 The Will of the Dark Creator, but I chose this one to let you have a sneak peak at, because it doesn’t mention anything about past events in book 1 that would be spoilers to those who haven’t read it yet. Also, this is one of the chapters I had the most fun writing, so I hope it’s just as fun for you to read. This is only the rough draft version. If it’s full of punctuation and sentence structure mistakes, I guarantee it won’t look like this for the final copy.   

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NOTE: This story takes place on a different planet called Velva Leena. Chapter 20: TRUDGING THE STORM is much too long to be a blog post itself, at 5,075 words. So I divided it into three excerpts. 

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Before you read, here is a short list of brief story facts to help you not feel totally lost. 

1. Burjiss is Artheena’s dad, and Tabatha is Artheena’s mom. So Burjiss and dad, and Tabatha and mom are the same people. 

2. Olzenbeth is a minor character who made a brief appearance in book 1. 

3. Jumellica is kind of like the Velva Leenan version of God, and Jyoseppy is kind of like their version of Satan. (Their beliefs are explained in book 1) 

4. Vervetts, grungols, and Guardians are the three types of people who inhabit this planet. (also explained in book 1) 

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Chapter 20: TRUDGING THE STORM (excerpt 1)

Burjiss and Olzenbeth were linked on either side of Artheena. Since she already had the lamp, she took the job of holding it. Fighting against the winds, they headed down the front walking path, and turned down the garden path nearest to the house. 

Just stepping out beneath the summer storm’s black sky and aggressive winds, made Artheena feel so small and vulnerable. As though she was a mere ant who could get crushed and swallowed up in the violence and darkness, at any moment. The wind was bone-chillingly cold, but then a gust of warmth blew over them, like the breath of a monstrous creature. Artheena’s pulse quickened as her fear rose. Imbalanced winds were a sign that this storm was about to raise some detrimental havoc. 

“Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.” she mentally pleaded, trying her hardest to be brave and selfless for the sake of the missing child. 

She couldn’t believe they were on another search again. Like with Last night’s search, she shined the lamp slowly, from side to side, making sure its beam was aimed thoroughly into the darkness of the gardens’ crowded plants and trees. All while the three of them tried their best to call out Adnick’s name over the howls and shrieks of the wind. 

Artheena tried hard not to cry, as she was calling him. She was outside in an approaching summer storm, in her nightmare. Now here it was, happening in real life. Her worst fear came true, at last. However, Artheena never would’ve imagine that she’d face this fear willingly. It took all of her inner strength to not just shove the lamp in dad’s hand, and run away back to the safety of the house. It was also hard for her to not hate Adnick, at the moment. Why couldn’t that stupid boy have just waited until after the storm was over, to check on his stupid swillgie trees? 

“Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.” 

Black clouds writhed and whirled, like a violent ocean made of Jyoseppy’s evil. The bioluminescent plant lives among the gardens were intelligent enough to know that this darkness wasn’t nighttime. So they didn’t release their glow. The thrashing trees and plants in the gardens looked like hordes of shadowy monsters dancing in celebration over the evil entity’s wrath.  By now, it was almost afternoon, but not having the sun come out prevented the solar powered teppid stone from getting reactivated. The garden paths, and all the teppid stone yard ornaments glowed with less than half the brightness that they did, last night. The dirt, mulch, and leaves that were blown all over the yard, dulled the light even more. If the three vervetts didn’t have Mell May’s lamp with them, they’d be almost surrounded by total darkness.    “Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.” Artheena kept thinking, as her heart raced like a Hecctrossipy Festival stampede. 

Another thing that made summer storms the most terrifying, was how unpredictable they were. Sometimes they progressed at a slow and steady rate. Other times they would strengthen gradually, but then, like an explosion, they’d become violent and deadly within a few short moments. Fear heightened Artheena’s senses, making her as alert as a prey animal who knows it’s being stalked. She kept her eyes on where they were going, and where she was shining the lamp, but she couldn’t help glancing towards the sky, every other blink. Paranoid that, at any moment, a bolt of blue lightning might strike the yard, and set it on fire. Or the wind might suddenly grow to twice its speed, and throw a tree, which they might not see flying towards them, in the dark. Or the thunder might come back and start rising in pitch, and the electrically charged air would smell like metal and ozone. A smell that Artheena deeply despised, because to her, it was the smell of death. NO animal or plant life is safe, once the thunder starts rising in different pitches. 

AAAAD-NICK!!” Burjiss and Artheena called out in unison, at the tops of their voices. The wind was getting too loud for individual voices to carry over it. Three voices in unison would’ve enhanced the volume of their call, even better, but Olzenbeth was too distressed to bother with team work. 

“ADNICK! ADNICK! ADNICK!” she frantically screamed. Her shrill pitch almost blending in with the shrillness of the winds. 

They had searched all through the front yard, and found no sign of Adnick. On a normal day, the distance between the edge of the front yard nearest to the street, and the house’s front door was just a vervetts’ short sprint, or a few dozen high leaps away. While trudging through this summer storm, Artheena felt like her house might as well have been on a different continent. She wanted to go home, more than anything. Her heart ached to be back in the cozy, brightly lit kitchen, helping with the breakfast dishes. Or doing puzzles with mom and Willberry, in Willberry’s room. Or relaxing in her own cozy room, and enjoying her new books and goodie baskets. Such longing made her call out Adnick’s name, with louder desperation. Her voice rang out through the wind, getting her hopes up that the boy would hear her, if he was even out there.     

As they carefully turned down a path that lead into the yard to the right side of the house, the storm’s shrieks and howls became louder screams of hellish rage. Sounding as though Jyoseppy was getting angry at the three of them, for daring to challenge it. Larger objects were thrown onto the teppid stone paths, like heavy branches, fruits and vegetables, and garden rocks. They had to stop walking, every few steps, to kick obstacles aside.  Gusts of dirt, leaves, and other yard debris flew at them, like swarms of stinging insects. 

Artheena wished they could just stop now, and whistle for some grungols to take them down to the under-village, and have faith that Adnick had already made it there. All children of Continent 15—vervetts, grungols, and Guardians—are taught the most important, basic skills for surviving through dangerous situations, before the age of ten. Adnick would no longer be considered a defenseless child. 

“Please, Jumellica, let us live through this. Please, Jumellica, let us live through this.”  

Dirt flew into their mouths, when they called Adnick, making them cough and choke. A small piece of bark that was as jagged as a shard of glass, slammed into the back of Artheena’s throat, and came dangerously close to going down her wind pipe. When she coughed it up, she tasted a little bit of blood, and couldn’t stop herself from gagging. 

“ARE YOU GOING TO BE OK, ARTHEENA?!” Burjiss could barely shout over the wind. 

“I’LL BE FINE!” Artheena shouted back. “I JUST GOT A PIECE OF TREE BARK STUCK IN MY MOUTH, FOR A SPLIT MOMENT!” 

“YOU WANT ME TO TAKE THE LAMP?!” dad offered. 

“PLEASE DO!” Artheena answered, coughing on more dirt. Maneuvering the bulky lamp against the wind, made her arms burn, and her hands get stiff and spastic. As Burjiss unlooped his arm from Artheena’s, and took the lamp, the wind suddenly slowed down. Its volume lowered to a shushing whisper, revealing that Olzenbeth had stopped calling Adnick’s name, and was now crying.  

“don’t give up hope, Olzenbeth,” said Artheena. “We still have three more areas of our yard to search through. So there’s still a chance that we’ll find him.” 

“I AM GIVING UP HOPE, IF WE DON’T START MOVING A LITTLE FASTER!” screamed Olzenbeth, sounding on the verge of a nervous breakdown. “We’re going about this too slow!”

“Olzenbeth,” dad said, firmly, stopping and turning towards her. “We had to slow down our pace, so we won’t get hurt. The storm keeps throwing things in our way.” 

“Golly gee, you think I didn’t notice that?!” Olzenbeth cried. “We don’t have to walk down each and every garden path, you know! We could leap across the gardens!” She was so on-edge, Artheena could feel her trembling. 

“Be reasonable!” said Burjiss, losing patience. “We’re trying to help you! Leaping across the gardens won’t do us any good, once the wind picks up again! You should know better than that! One powerful wind would knock us all flat on our shells! Probably enough to put us in the hospital!” 

Olzenbeth let out a scream of frustration and despair, before bursting into sobs. 

“Olzenbeth,” Artheena said, calmly. “I’m sorry, but my dad is right. If the wind could get powerful enough to throw a big tree, we vervetts wouldn’t be that much heavier than dead leaves to it. If we got caught in a violent enough gust of wind, while leaping around, it would not only knock us to the ground, it would do some serious damage. These gardens have thorn bushes and jagged rocks, and trees with sharp spikes on their bark, and all kinds of stuff you wouldn’t want to be slammed into at full force. It could happen. You know how unpredictable these storms can get.” 

“Aside from that, if we rush things along too much, we could end up walking right past him without even knowing it,” said dad, sounding calm too. “It’s dark as a ground worms’ nest out here, and your uncle is a small boy. We could easily miss sight of him. I know you wish there was a better way to go about this, and so do me and Artheena. We’ll move it along as much as we can, but we have to keep our own safety in…” Before he could finish his sentence, Olzenbeth leapt at Burjiss, yanked the lamp from his grasp, and sprinted away.

To be continued tomorrow…