-Welcome, stranger… The giant snake said, hissing a long, threatening sound. -How can I help you?
-You can’t, Sir Rodrik shouted. -You’ll be dead before night falls.
The snake looked at him with curious eyes. The little night was armed with a sword, but didn’t seem like much.
-Others have tried before you, little knight, she hissed with venomous friendliness -I’ll be happy to accompany you in your little quest for fortune.
Sir Rodrik forced his horse forward, as it nervously struggled…
He got into a hotel. ran up the stairs. He fought his way past screaming guests and staff, climbed the fence to get further.
The dust got thicker. People more scarce. A piccolo coughing in a corner. A cleaner crying, praying.
He covered his mouth with his shirt, his lungs could hardly breath. Some shadows running by, screaming, coughing. Falling bricks and blocks crushing their way towards the ground.
Somewhere above daylight pierced through the concrete fog surrounding him.
Above him floated a monster, a ghostlike female of destruction. She stared into nothing, beyond it all, as if she was longing, searching for something that wasn’t there.
Ssssshhh my baby, she whispers through tight lips. She knew the giant was there, peering into their hiding place. She could hear him breath, see the light reflected by his green eyes on the walls.
They pressed in between the rocks, tried to disappear.
Don’t make a sound….
The cave was tall and dark, and he was waiting for some sign of life. There was nothing. After a while he said a loud “hello”.
There was no answer. Hello, he said again. Do have any food to spare?
“We don’t give at the doorsssssss” He heard from the darkness.
“The liquid is more toxic than ever. There’s hardly life left. No life , no food. I’m starving!”
Thung too a deep breath. “Come out, or I’m coming in.”
He wasn’t sure if it was a hiss of fear or laughter. His whip hand rolled out, and he took a step forward. Another. A third. He entered the cave.
“Hisssssss….” He heard it closer… (more)
-Hey! I’ll make you a deal, said Espen from the troll’s hand. Let’s have a singing contest. If you can sing louder and stronger than me, we’ll not only let you eat us, but we’ll even prepare ourselves as the most pleasant meal you’ll ever have. You see, I’m the head chef of the King’s kitchen, and these two are my main assistants.
-What? We’re not – Ouch!
The Ashlad kept talking as his brother Per held his leg. -If you lose, well, you’ll just eat us as you always eat humans.
The troll rubbed his beard for a long while. He tried to figure out why the little creatures would go into such a bet, but soon he forgot all about it. He did want to find out what kind of meal these three cooks could create…
… It had no legs, and the arms seemed to be hidden under its cloth. Its face was old, diffuse, like it wasn’t really there. Mock was wondering if it could be eaten, but had a feeling it couldn’t even be killed. Not with his spear, at least.
-Do you know the way out?
The figure seemed to be looking straight through him, like if he wasn’t there.
“The tunnels are all like tar and resin,
Like sailors’ knots and the spider’s spin
The exit is found at the stop of the top
A stone is tossed when gravity’s lost”
It disappeared in thin air, just as it had arrived…