Humming while hanging from a Goyle’s jaw.
There was a rustling in the nearby bushes. Davina stirred briefly from her slumber, rolled over and dropped back into the depths of sleep. There were thuds amongst the undergrowth because something had landed.
The sudden motion catapulted Ghost from his hammock and woke him up. ‘Ouch!’ he muttered when he landed in the sloppy mud. In a hyper-alert state he surveyed the area on all fours. The forest appeared completely different in the darkness. The trees we illuminated by the moonlight and there were numerous semi-transparent webs linking everything. All the while he could feel something watching but the pounding of his heartbeat distracted him.
With a sudden jolt, he saw through the trees but noticed two massive shapes hidden behind the nearby bushes. They weren’t animals either. The carved, solid creatures plodded close to where the hammocks were suspended. Ghost’s body became rigid: his shoulders rose and his breath increased. He searched for an escape but he knew he just couldn’t abandon Davina.
In the darkness two pairs of bright eyes watched him. One pair of eyes was violet, the other pair were amber, and their glow increased as they drew closer. Ghost froze as one of the shapes sniffed the air and located him. The creature was made of warm grey stone. It had two massive fangs and folded bat-like wings on its back. They wouldn’t eat him would they?
Ghost shuffled backwards and attempted to wake Davina by poking her on the shoulder.
‘Davina,’ Ghost whispered urgently.
Davina didn’t stir from her sleep.
‘Davina,’ he said louder and prodded her more intensely. She still didn’t respond.
Ghost waited until the creatures looked the other way and shook her. ‘Davina… wake up now! There’s something out there,’ he whispered, agitated.
Davina sleepily turned over and attempted to bat Ghost away. He turned back slowly to the two large stone creatures. They were now either side of him. There was no chance of escape.
He tapped Davina repetitiously as he stood silently between the two stone creatures not quite knowing what else to do. She kept shrugging him off but he didn’t stop. Finally she opened one eye and saw that as pale as Ghost was – he had just grown ten times paler. ‘What’s the matter Ghost?’
“Erm you need to look either side of me.” Ghost tilted his head right and then left towards his new side-kicks.
With a loud huff, Davina opened both eyes and turned over. She froze mid-motion. Two massive stone creatures that resembled wolves stood either side of Ghost. Their eyes glowed as they appeared to smile at her sudden reaction.
Davina was too shocked to say a word.
‘Burp!’ said one of the Wolfgoyles as a greeting.
Davina glanced up at Ghost, who continued tapping her shoulder.
‘It said hello her name is Wanda… and you can stop that now,’ said Davina, batting Ghost’s arms away. ‘Ghost pull yourself together!’ she growled.
He dropped his arm and walked very slowly backwards, as he did so, he trampled over a warm pile of stones. Ghost reached behind himself and felt a carved, warm shape. That shape made a deep rumbling sound when he made contact. He closed his eyes and hoped the creatures would magically disappear. When he opened his eyes he realised they were surrounded by ten Wolfgoyles. It could just have easily been Grotesques. At least these ones were on his side.
Each of the Goyles made guttural rumbling sounds like a burping engine. Davina took a deep breath and yipped in the Wolfgoyle language. With little nips, burps, pings and barks she said how happy she was to see them. The Goyles lay down on the forest floor and rolled about like playful puppies. They seemed so happy to have found her.
“They’ve been searching for us for days. They were in the cave with us,” she translated for Ghost.
He didn’t respond because he was transfixed by something beyond the Wolfgoyles. The creatures in the forest stirred and frantically called to each other in frightened tones.
A cold gust of wind blasted through the leaves. “Danger!” it whispered.
“Ghost grab your knapsack and climb on a Goyle now!” urged Davina.
Ghost couldn’t move, his muscles had seized up with fear again. The creatures beyond the first layer of trees were hideous and were moving at speed towards them.
Davina grabbed her belongings, barked a couple of times and then howled. The Wolfgoyles accepted her orders, took a run-up towards the clearing, and launched into the air. One of the Wolfgoyles swiftly turned and scooped Ghost up. A moment later he was suspended hundreds of feet in the air from the jaws of a Wolfgoyle. The group flew high into the night sky and headed in the direction of the horizon.
During the moonlit flight Davina couldn’t help but laugh at Ghost and the way he hung like limp meat from the jaws of a Wolfgoyle. From the angle that she viewed him his tiny figure was surrounded by the brightness of the three quarter moon. All that stopped Ghost falling thousands of feet to the ground were stone teeth and a stone jaw. No wonder he was muttering.
‘It’s not real, it’s a dream. I am perfectly fine…I am dreaming,’ Ghost repeated. His hands were firmly fixed in prayer position while his legs dangled helplessly.
The sight of the huge silvery moon against a jet black sky sprinkled with stars was beautiful. Davina rested her head on the neck of the Wolfgoyle she was travelling on and took in the serene scene. After a while curiosity got the better of her so she rummaged through her bag and found a a telescope-like object. She peered in the direction of where they had flown from and amongst the trees she caught a glimpse of something hideous. The cruel vindictive features combined with sharp jutting teeth of the creatures behind them made her feel queasy. Unfortunately they now were aware of her location and were preparing to give chase. That was her first true sight of the enemy. That enemy was intent on her capture followed by world annihilation.