The welcome sight of Gargantuan.
Monte felt the pounding of a waterfall ahead. ‘So Davina is it true that the Gargantuans are visiting the outside world once more?’
‘Yes, what have you heard?’
Monte slowed down, ‘My Mrs says there’s a trouble a-brewing. She felt it in her waters. Now she’s nervous about allowing the litter to sniff the surface. The other ladies in the mole community have been mentioning volcanoes icing over… You know what that means don’t you? All the animals know it…. They’re clearing the area and moving to the ancient safe havens.’
Davina frowned, ‘What do they know?’
‘Unlike the humans, we keep the old myths alive. Each generation passes the story to the next. Of course each animal likes to think they are the heroes,’ he said thoughtfully.
‘Monte what is the story?’ asked Davina.
Monte slowed down and twitched his nose. There were rumblings pounding through the earth. ‘Davina, we don’t have much time now. They are coming. I can feel it.’
‘Just quickly tell me what you know… Please.’
‘There is girl child from inside the earth who comes to the outside to save her father. In doing so, there is a knock on effect as the opponent grows in power. There is a boy child from the outer world who has an entwined destiny with a girl child from the inner world… and…’
The rumbling grew louder; the mole broke the surface and sniffed the air. ‘Davina I advise you to hurry. I’ll make a decoy tunnel while you push that bed through the waterfall.’
‘You won’t even be safe there, I think the waterfall is beginning to dry up and we all know that when waterfalls dry up there’ll be no entrance or exit to Gargantuan anymore. Now quick unharness me! You must hurry before Gargantuan disappears!’
Davina did what she was told; the stampeding of the mass of Grotes was increasing in volume.
‘Get off and push!’ cried Davina.
Monte saluted Davina, ‘Good luck now,’ he said and clawed a tunnel in an alternative direction.
Dragging the bed, Davina and the others followed the remainder of the tunnel to the waterfall. The tunnel tremoured with the pounding of the Grote’s feet. They were close.
Davina glanced at the waterfall and frowned, there was barely any water left. The group heaved the bed with all their strength. Ghost and Johnny struggled and strained to pull the bed over the rocks to the waterfall.
‘Quick. We need to get through now!’ said Johnny.
Ghost looked petrified; the eyes in the back of his head were firmly focused down the tunnel. The decoy was not going to work.
‘What are you seeing Ghost?’ called Davina, assuming the worst.
‘Davina I think we need to make this quick,’ he gulped. ‘I’ll tell you when we’re safe.’
The stench of the rancid creatures grew stronger by the second. Davina glanced over her shoulder, ‘You two get my father to safety, and I’ll block them off!’ she said protecting them.
‘Don’t you dare Davina!’ said Ghost.
‘Keep going!’ she commanded.
‘Well I’m going to face them with you,’ said Ghost.
‘Don’t be ridiculous! I need you to take my father to Gargantuan. Now go!’
The pair wrestled their emotions and glanced at each other.
‘Go!’ she said.
The pair resisted, but thousands of Grotes were close to emerging from the tunnel. The remaining waterfall suddenly became very appealing and they begrudgingly dragged the bed to the waterfall.
When the pair glanced back Davina, with her tiny frame, stood her ground. She was ready.
‘Davina be careful!’ Ghost called.
Davina shook her head at the notion, be careful facing the git of Grotesques?
Davina’s heart thumped to the rhythm of the pounding Grotes. She quickly glanced over her shoulder: the pair struggled to manoeuvre the bed through the waterfall. Once the pair had disappeared to safety Davina tapped the Shamaventus and whispered, ‘Bring ice to the waterfall behind me and create an ice wall, right here – right now.’ With that, a small sparkle of light resembling a snowflake gently blew into the water and crackled. In seconds, a wall of ice sealed both Johnny and Ghost inside.
Davina turned her attention back to the tunnel and tapped the Shamaventus, ‘Let us see our enemies and let light fill this darkness.’ As soon as Davina spoke the words, thousands of tiny fireflies emerged from the Shamaventus. They quickly wound their way through the tunnel and transformed the length of darkness into a multitude of tiny lights. Davina gazed down the tunnel; thousands of dark figures bounded towards her. She wanted to run, but the masses of Grotes spewed from the mouth of the tunnel. She was surrounded.
From the other side of the waterfall, Ghost thumped the ice desperately. It was too thick to break through. When he peered through the solid wall of water he saw a small-framed girl about to be mauled by thousands of dribbling Grotes. ‘What do we do? We have to help her,’ he said.
Johnny shrugged; they were helpless.
From the hover-bed, an exhausted voice croaked, ‘Leave her, she has fought greater battles than this. Take me to Gargantuan; we need to form the armies.’
‘But we can’t just leave her!’ said Ghost.
‘This is her fight. We must not waste time observing something we cannot contribute towards. This is between her and them. It is all part of her development.’
Ghost squinted his numerous eyes. ‘I can’t even begin to understand what you just said and how come you’re suddenly all better?’
‘Have some respect! He’s a king,’ said Johnny nudging Ghost.
‘I don’t care what he is! We all fart! Anyway what kind of person leaves their own child to fight alone, while he just wants to get home and have a nice cup of tea or whatever it is they drink… Probably buckets full of snot!’
The king gave a weak chuckle, ‘I admire your loyalty but you underestimate Davina. She’s not the fragile, little girl you think she is. She doesn’t need to be protected.’
‘Then what does she need?’ replied Ghost.
‘The respect she deserves. Now look through the ice. Is that a weak girl?’
Ghost followed the king’s gaze; the small girl was jumping around and firing the Shamaventus in all directions.
‘Now follow her orders and get me back to Gargantuan. We have an army to grow,’ said the king.
‘How does she know how to do that?’ asked Ghost with his mouth open.
‘She has been trained by the best – her mother. Her mother was a peaceful warrior with the highest level of martial skills.’
Ghost stared incredulously at the king in disbelief. ‘Her mother taught her that?’
Johnny didn’t want to get into a discussion and pushed the bed.
Ghost stared at the king, ‘I think you have some explaining to do.’
With that, the pair directed the bed to a rock-slide and slid the vast caverns through the undersea tunnels until they reached the outer openings of Gargantuan and the Goylegate.