Saturday, March 12, 2005
Excerpt from Duisterville

They entered the forest just as the sun set and long shadows stretched across the campus, making it all seem very dark. Philip noticed that some of them, Dom and Piper included, had brought flashlights. He and Caleb, having come unprepared, had none, and so stumbled many times over twigs and roots, and were scraped and whipped by various branches. Once they were deep into the forest, Dr. Veritas stopped everyone and spoke to them, leaning heavily on his cane, half supported by Zhi at his other side. "The shugas are ferocious rodents. With their venom, a bite or even a scratch would cause death for which there is no remedy. But remember, as Zhi already has already said, they're dead. Their venom has been made powerless by the work Zhi has already done. They can still bite and scratch and cause terrible pain. Perhaps it stings, but they can't really hurt you."

Then Zhi organized them into groups of two to four and sent them further into the forest. Philip and Caleb were put together with Dom and Piper. He was about to hand them shuga guns when Dom pulled his kuzdelem from his pack. "Y'ah, yes. Y'you Regnum already have shuga guns." Then he moved on to organize the next group.

Everywhere they went in the forest, they saw mounds of dirt where the shugas had dug up the ground, and trees fallen over where they had eaten clear through the trunks. In one place the landscape looked as though a tornado might have hit. "Look at this destruction," remarked Dom in amazement.

They all four saw something move behind one of the mounds of torn up dirt and tree branches. A small shadow of a reptilian shape with a pointed snake's head and a rat's body jumped high in the air. They could see for just a brief moment that it was built with bones sticking out of its skin, long bony legs, inch-long fangs bared, and claws just as long. Tiny eyes like red laser light stared out at them. The four watched with a sickening nausea while the creature spread bony wings made of black, rotting skin and furiously sped towards them. The wings accelerated its attack so that it was flashing towards them at an amazing speed, fangs bearing out of its pointed mouth when Dom raised his gun and fired. Blinding light pulsed from Dom's gun and covered the creature, causing it to make an ear-splitting squeal before it dropped to the ground in flames.

Dom, followed by the other three, cautiously approached the place where the shuga had landed, and found only a mound of charred flesh. "This one won't do any more damage," Dom reported after probing the ashen remains with his foot.

"Imagine what that could do if they weren?t already poisoned," Caleb remarked quietly. Philip still had the image of the bony creature with rotting flesh and laser eyes fresh in his mind, and was a little too vexed to answer.

As they went further into the dark forest, they watched carefully for any movement while they plowed through fallen trees, broken branches, displaced earth full of rocks, and even some pieces of wood that looked removed from somewhere on the campus grounds. It would have been difficult to see them in the darkness except for their laser-red eyes. One, two, three, and then ten, fifteen, and twenty and more were destroyed, dropping to the ground in flames just like the first. Philip counted five that he had shot himself. He lost is earlier dread and was feeling rather confident, marveling at how easily they succumbed to the pulses of light from the gun.

Finally it grew late, and the four trudged back to the clearing in the forest. Zhi was glowing when Dom told him how many the four and destroyed. When they had safely left the forest and were under the glowing globes of the campus, Philip noticed for the first time that there was small writing scrawled across the cannon area of the kuzdelem gun. He held it up towards one of the globes and read,
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

- posted by Bruce @ 10:19 AM | | 0 rocks in pond


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