Just Another Chink In the Wall

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Photo credit: C. Rumarosa

Flying to hang in front of Sirehta, the General scraped a sparking red powder from his back with a rear leg, and said, “To seal your commitment, each of you will submit to marking. Allow me to demonstrate. Pietro!”

Scuttling forward, the little Stinger stopped directly below him. The wasp descended to press his foot against Pietro’s back which began to sizzle and steam, leaving a grooved scar. The General rose, scraping his back again. It was only then Sirehta noticed the youth’s carapace bore countless identical marks.

“Is this agreeable?” the wasp asked.

Sirehta waited for each of his brothers to nod in approval.

“It is,” he replied.

Lowering his head, he resisted his instinct to snatch the General out of the air, and accepted the searing pain without flinching.

So it was with each serpent.

Instructing Sirehta to remain behind, the General divided the viper force into pairs and sent each team in a different direction.

“Your first assignment is to scout to the edge of the Arids and rid the region of any who don’t belong here. Report back to me at dawn.”

“How are we to know which don’t belong?” Cahret asked.

“Residents are marked. Report back at dawn.” General Hai retreated to the cavern without a backward glance, followed by his loyal throng.

The General’s response chilled Sirehta’s blood. Alone, he watched his brothers blend into the night until a tiny voice coming from a chink in the wall caught his attention.

“Psst!” it insisted, “I know who you are.”

To be continued. . .

Previously, on Elliot’s Adventures ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Next time . . .

Sworn

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Photo credit: Fallout

Incautious, the voices grew louder and more distinct the closer the vipers crept. Cahret slithered up the side of a coarse rock wall to peer over its horizon onto a bed of chattering Stingers.

“…but the bat should’ve been ours — we held her down,” one complained.

“Yeah,” another echoed, “what’d that old Crone do she should get it?”

“Not so loud!” the largest ordered. “You want the General to hear you whining? He’s not gonna keep her around forever, and after he’s done with her, who do you think’ll be feasting then?”

“So we’ll get the old bat in the end, huh?” the first one gloated. Shrieking laughter pierced the sky.

Cahret slipped over the rocks to call through the darkness. “Can you take us to your General?”

Below, a flurry of scurrying answered.

Continue reading “Sworn”

Oliva

Glad you could join us for the next slithery episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: Paul Curtis

Clifton wished he were flying. “They’re right,” he reminded himself, “my buzzing would attract attention in the middle of the night, but this walking — crawling — through the woods in the dark… it’s nerve-wracking!”

Tripping yet again over yet another a random leaf or twig or pebble he couldn’t see in the shadowy mottle they called a trail, he fell sideways over a lichen-covered rock.

A harsh whisper emerged from its surface. “Oy! Watch i’ theah, mate!”

Continue reading “Oliva”

Chief Strategist

Glad you could join us for the next strategic episode of Elliot’s Adventures. If you’re new here, you can catch up by returning to the beginning, and reading really fast…

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Photo credit: somepets.com

As eager as she was to cause the King of Bog more trouble than he could handle, Duggla the Crone didn’t like being threatened, and veiled threats were still threats.

Continue reading “Chief Strategist”