Short story Saturdays!

Hello friends – Kris here

Tina was unfortunately under the weather this week and didn’t get a chance to write a normal Wednesday blog. Here’s something I whipped up in the same universe as the last story to share with you all. Everyone get out there and have a great week!

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Emphidias spat the coating of slime out of his mouth. He always got the worst collection jobs and he made sure to be angry about it the whole time.

Sure the nasty, viscuous fluid was essential to keeping the engines cool. And sure, he could see in the dark. Just because one had to scream at a fungus in the dark for the lubricant to be released didn’t mean he had to be understanding about the ordeal.

The grumpy dwarf slung his hands back and forth to get the last of the goo off of them. Finally this blasted barrel was full. As quietly as he possibly could while lifting a hundred pounds of snot onto his back, he secured the straps and marched pointedly through the darkness to the entrance. He marched for several minutes through the twisting maze. He wiped the sweat from his brow. Wait, sweat?

By the gods, the cave was heating up, which meant only the early awakening of its inhabitant. Was he down here too long? It had taken more fungus clusters to fill the barrel this time so it was possible he’d overshot his time. If that were the case, someone should’ve come down after him.

Cursing himself, his companions, his people and the monster simultaneously, Emphidias whispered along the corridor much more quickly. His soft shoes leaving no trace of his passing on the rough stone floor. Squinting in the bright light of the entrance as he rounded the last bend, he could feel the hair on the nape of his neck stand on end.

“Damn it all to hell!”

He jumped forward and felt the wet splat of the monster’s whip-like tendrils flailing at the stone just behind him. Sprinting as fast as his burden would allow, he hopped back and forth several more times and zig-zagged to keep the sticky appendages off him. His legs already burned in multiple places where the acidic mucus was eating at his flesh.

Bursting out of the dank cavern and into the sunlight, Emph yelled at his comrades who were laughing and chatting amongst each other.

“You fools woke the damn thing! Flash it quick!”

Momentarily stunned, the men on the hillside shut their mouths to comprehend what he’d just said. The disgusting, deafening SQUELCH as the monster hurled its front end at the cave entrance spurred them into action. Each man scrambled for the mini-bombs they all carried and struck their strikers against the quick-fuses at the tops. After each was successfully lit, it was subsequently hurled at the enormous blob dragging its way into the daylight. The shapeless mass of gluttony had hurled itself out of the mouth of its home at the scrambling, stocky dwarf racing for the ship. The thrown bombs stuck to its sticky body easily, burning until the flame reached the explosive contents inside.

One by one, the bombs’ retort rang into the crisp air and released the bright flash of light the flash-bangs were named after. The creature recoiled, the flashes of light searing its sickening flesh.

The men blew into enormous sailing horns and formed a semi-circle around the monster. The loud, baritone notes forcing it to draw back into the cave to escape.

Waiting a few minutes longer, the men chucked a few more flash-bangs with a longer delay into the cave mouth and made a break for the ship.

Emphidias had just finished massaging the goo into the boat’s propeller when everyone rushed aboard. Hitching the chains in place, the rest of the men took their places at the pedals and started moving in sync. Explosions resounded into the air on the tiny island and the ship started the long trek home.

“Well this is easier already” said one of the prop-men cheerfully. “Wish that stuff didn’t suck so much to acquire.”

“Well I’m not sure what woke that bastard up,” Emphidias was resting his weary limbs. Angrily. “But this site won’t be safe again for at least a year or more. Next time I’ll use you all as bait and do the collection while the beast is eating.”

Author: keyboardcouple

A couple who write and learn in front of their keyboards.

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