In the previous episode, Mar-Tshi-Srin and Zhul-Quin are locked in a magical battle. Readers voted for Neevis to use the distraction of their fight to escape from the chair to which she had been tied.
Neevis had taken every opportunity, while Zhul-Quin’s attention had been elsewhere, to work on the ropes which held her. To her great surprise, however, it was the wood of the chair which was about to give out. Time and exposure to the elements had loosened the chair’s joints, and she found it was becoming increasingly unstable.
Now that Marshi had the other woman’s full attention, Neevis rocked from side to side, frantically trying to escape from the bonds holding her to the chair. With an abrupt, high-pitched squeal, the wood finally released her and the chair collapsed, dumping Gremlaw’s daughter to the floor.
With a speed and dexterity fueled by fear, Neevis got herself clear of the slackened ropes and took the filthy piece of cloth from her mouth, spitting as she untied her mother. Both of them then went to work on the chains holding Gremlaw against the wall.
Tears formed in Huleta’s eyes as she looked at her husband, his wrists were cut and bleeding, and his shoulder joints looked as if they were stretched to their limit, about to dislocate.
Casting many glances back at the two figures, locked in a silent magical battle, Huleta and Neevis managed to free Gremlaw. After several minutes he looked up at his wife and daughter,
“Thanks for that,” he said in a voice made hoarse by screaming, “I was thinking I’d have to escape on my own.” He smiled as the two women hugged him.
Regaining his feet, he staggered across to where Mar-Tshi-Srin and Zhul-Quin remained locked together in a fight he could not understand. He looked questioningly at Huleta and Neevis who shrugged,
“I’d suggest you don’t touch either one of them,” he cautioned, examining the magician’s faces.
Mar-Tshi-Srin had a look of determined rage locked onto her face. Her large, Lavashian eyes were half closed but he could see her pupils had narrowed down to needle-point holes. Her skin was paler than usual and there was a mist of sweat covering it.
Zhul-Quin wore a look of shock which had just begun to transmogrify into something reflecting her pure, insanely evil, nature. Now he was close, Gremlaw could see a resemblance between this woman and the poisoner who had been her father. The Lost Ancestor was sweating too and he could not begin to imagine the vile things each woman was doing to the other.
Gremlaw debated what, if anything, he should do to help Mar-Tshi-Srin. Huleta leaned into him, partially for her comfort, partially for his support and wondered,
“How did she manage to find us all the way out here?” Gremlaw looked down into the beautiful face of the woman he loved, wondering what prompted that to be her first question.
“She and her husband came with me,” he told her. Huleta’s face seemed to soften and she asked,
“Do you think we should break them apart?”
“I’ve been wondering that,” he replied. “Truth is, I’ve no idea what it might do to Marshi.”
“What about her?” Huleta spat the word at the silent form of Zhul-Quin. The Lost Ancestor magician’s knuckles had turned white where she gripped Mar-Tshi-Srin.
“Hopefully,” Gremlaw replied in a savage tone, “It’ll kill her.” He expected some reprisal from his wife but only felt her nodding against his side.
Neevis had been searching through the wreckage of the room and walked across to her parents with a small arsenal she had found or stripped from the man on the floor. Handing Gremlaw a short sword, she offered Huleta a curved foot-long dagger,
“Just to protect yourself, mama.” Huleta began to giggle as she heard her daughter using the childish form of address while handing her a weapon.
Gremlaw stooped and picked up a length of wood from some unknown piece of furniture and hefted the three foot pole judging its weight.
“Grem…” Huleta was halted by her husband who swung the section of timber at the back of Zhul-Quin’s neck with as much force as he could muster. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.