Down in the Dark Woods by Gavin Ough

darkwoods75x99Vote at the end of this episode!

In the previous episode, after discovering Trewana is not only a Wood Nymph but might be two thousand years old, readers voted she and Clood are attacked by her ancient foes.

Episode 4

“Dax!” I called as my German shepherd growled deeply again. He stood, forepaws braced on a windowsill, hackles raised almost all the way to his tail, venting fury at my empty back garden. “What’s the matter with you?”

“Something is wrong Nathan Clood,” Trewana almost whispered behind me and I nodded slowly, still trying to pick out what Dax had sensed.

Luck saved me. I turned and took a few steps towards the strange creature who had taken over my life in twelve hours when the window behind me imploded, showering me in burning hot glass.

I hit the floor as I saw a shadow shoot past me. Dax! My mind yelled as I heard Trewana’s high-pitched scream.

Fragments of hot glass had sunk into my neck and the backs of my hands, stinging agonizingly.

I turned to see a nightmare movie creature walk through the ragged flaming hole in the back of my house.

Easily seven feet tall, vaguely man shaped but constructed from flames, the thing my sanity shied away from strode arrogantly into my home.

Flame and smoke curled up from where it stood on the carpet and my low ceiling blackened in the heat which leaped from its head.

“At last,” the living flame could speak. Its voice sounded as if it had been electronically slowed, made deeper by some mad Foley artist, while the CGI wizard who had created it must be laughing insanely behind some powerful computer, “You can die, my queen.”

There is a fine line between heroism and being shit-scared. I can tell you now, when that thing pointed towards Trewana and me, I was shit-scared.

My body moved automatically, ignoring the pain from my numerous little cuts and I was sprinting before I knew it.

I grabbed Trewana around her tiny waist, lifting her easily from the floor where she had fallen and, astoundingly, flung us both towards the large picture window in front of my house.

Something snapped painfully inside me as I saw the smoldering remains of Dax curled against the base of a wall, fur singed and burned down to his skin which had blistered in the intense heat.

My only companion of five years was dead.

Glass exploded outwards as we hit the pane at the same moment the fireball hit it too. I’ve never really believed in divine intervention or fate, but I think something must have been watching out for us that day.

We rolled to a stop, the damp grass cooling us both, and I hauled Trewana towards my car. I just about threw her across into the passenger seat as I jumped in behind the wheel.

German engineering made sure the engine in my BMW X5 flared into life the instant I pressed the button and I shifted into drive before stamping on the accelerator as hard as I could.

Trewana arranged herself in the seat and hung on for dear life as the entire car jumped forward with a cough. Vote below on what will happen next or if reading in email click Take our Poll.

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