Friday, December 11

An unexpected surprise… (Original Fiction by Xan)

With Beasley in the lead, they ventured into the small tunnel. Zander had to crawl on his hands and knees; his broad shoulders rubbed the sides of the tunnel as he shuffled along. A short distance ahead of him the small halfling stood upright and casually strolled along whistling and often making comments about the ease in his walk. After a few moments of grueling work to pull himself along, Zander noticed a strange odor. He looked up to see that Beasley had also noticed the smell and was frozen. With an alarming whisper, he ordered the giant behind him, “Back up, back up, back up!” Beasley turned and started pushing the giants’ shoulders. “Hurry, we don’t want to be in here when it reaches us.”

“What reaches us?” The giant queried of his small companion. Nevertheless, before he could answer a sound of sloshing like a wet mop on a stone floor could be heard, the acrid smell of rotting flesh filled their noses. “What is it?”

“I don’t know, but it definitely isn’t friendly!” Beasley started to panic because his large associate was having a hard time backing up in the small quarters.

They reached the opening from the collapsed floor trap just as eight green tentacles started to snatch at them. Zander quickly jumped to his feet and pulled out his hammer. As he did so, the green beast slapped him with its many tentacles. All of his muscles seemed to burn and turn to stone all in the same motion, he could not move as he watched helpless as his small friend dove behind him in an attempt to distract the monster. The thing had eight tentacles and smelled of a rotting corpse. It looked like a green worm with a large mouth and mandibles like a large insect, with the tentacles protruding just above its mouth. Beasley jumped out from behind his tense friend and stabbed at the worm-like creature. He connected and the monster shrieked as it flailed its tentacles in a counter attack but missed the small target dancing around evasively. Finding another opening, the rogue dashed in again and slashed at the worm monster again, this time connecting a little harder. The creature writhed in agony; just then, Zander was able to move his body again and wasted no time finishing off the beast with a staggering slam of his hammer.
“Nothing takes away my ability to move and gets away with it!” Zander wiped the gore from the crushed worm from his face and winked at the thief.

“You need to stop coming to my rescue, I almost had him finished.”

“I couldn’t let you have all the fun dispensing this foul creature, now can I Beasley?” Zander laughed, went to put his hammer away and was struck from behind by another tentacle, this one pulling him off his feet. He fell to the ground with a thunderous crash and his hammer slid to the far end of the hole and just out of reach. The sticky creature tried to hook him and inject its paralyzing sticky film covering its body. Beasley leapt in and began to slash at the monster slapping at Zander’s back. Stabbing and slashing the green slimy creature, all the while Zander scrambled to regain his footing but with both his friend and the beast dueling on his back he could not stand, only grasp for his hammer. Beasley stepped over the monster and let out a cry of anger as he took his short sword in his hand and buried it deep in the monsters head. The monster flopped after having the blade into its head as Zander yelped in pain. Zander leapt up and grabbed his posterior.
“You got your beast and my sensitive spots you fool!” Zander belted out in a spark of broken pride.

“Would you rather…” Beasley laughed. “Would you rather I let it stun you again and eat you for breakfast?”

“Next time watch where you poke that thing.” Zander grumbled. “I will have a hard time walking with a blade through my rear. Let’s remove these things and continue down the tunnel, they cannot be more of these putrid things.” Zander kicked the impaled worm.

They pulled the two beasts from the tunnel by their tentacles away from the opening. Zander scoffed as they dragged the carcasses aside.

“What’s so funny?” Beasley said labored by his efforts.

“It was nice of the creator of these beasts to give them such easy hand holds to drag them away by.” Zander winked at his small friend and the two compatriots laughed together.

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