*Note: Did you see the #BP Friendship post about Madnes and Oz and where it all began?
Chapter 17: Going Under
Read all the chapters here. Enjoy!
Previously: Madnes and Ugly Duckling are trapped inside the Sacred Pond’s compound and surrounded by freakish robotic sentries who seek to blast and vaporize them. Suddenly his friend Harrey shows up for the rescue, descending on his new and improved flying bike vehicle. But the robots turn his way and he’s struck by a barrage of lasers… Did he survive?
There was nothing he could do. He ran toward the bike as it lowered down, but he wasn’t fast enough to reach before the lasers made contact.
Red flashed, and Madnes desperately tried to see past the glare in his vision.
“Did you think we wouldn’t come prepared?”
A pang of relief at his friend’s voice—still alive—hit him, and he looked up as his feet continued carrying him in a run around the pond. “Harrey! H-how did you—? What ‘we,’ who’s with you?”
Lasers ricocheted off a thing like a curving shield. It reflected like a mirror, and there were two of them, either side the bike and hiding the people within. He realized with mixed emotions that Alice was in a seat behind his eager friend.
Madnes sprinted to the pond’s edge and leaped out above the water’s surface to catch a dangling rope ladder and shimmy up. A shield moved to give him cover until he was safely on a seat. The strange bike held several side-by-side bike seats—was it even a bike anymore?
“You brought Alice?” he yelled.
She glared at him from a seat beside his. “I can do what I want. Don’t blame Harrey. Or are you being controlling?” her eyes narrowed.
He waved his free hand defensively. “No, no, I didn’t—mean it like that—”
“Buckle up, troop!” Harrey grinned beneath a pair of aviator goggles, and he pedaled and switched gears, making the bike ascend. Countless lasers bounced away…then they ceased. “Told you this thing worked! And I went ‘n saved your life, haha!”
Madnes peered around a shielding mirror as Harrey hummed, pleased with his work. “Uh, trooper Harrey?”
“Yeah, passenger, sir?”
“Do you have cover for bullets?”
“Bullets?” Harrey’s grin tilted. “Um…no, didn’t get that far ahead. Why?”
“We’re going to be full of them in a few seconds.”
The sentries below switched their laser mouths out for jaws full of guns.
“That’s what I said earlier.”
Harrey pulled on levers. “Faster—Go faster, bike, me beauty! You’re captain be in trouble!!!”
The bike’s propellers whirred faster and faster, ascending higher and higher, when… Ka-splut-splut-spluttter. The top propeller sparked, slowed, and stopped.
“Oh. At least we get to die together,” Alice mused out loud before the bike dropped like a stone.
“You said this thing was fixed!!!” Madnes shouted.
“You said you got it working!”
“I did! It just…didn’t last long!”
The contraption plummeted. They plummeted. Down, down to the watery blue depths of the pond.
Everything went azure. He could see Alice off to his right and Harrey a ways in front, kicking free of the bike as he did, Ugly still in his vise grip and crying. A shimmering cold enveloped him. Air. He needed air. He kicked his feet toward the surface… Why did it feel like he was going backwards?
Air. He needed air!
The surface was moving away. It was floating away from him. Why?
His legs kicked harder, free hand swimming. The surface’s glow dimmed further and further away. He was sinking, and it didn’t matter how much he struggled. He was being sucked down though there was nothing pulling him. Down…down… Looking about, Harrey and Alice were sinking with him, eyes bulging, mouths screaming.
‘Fairy, help us! Do something!!’
The world was nothing but an endless, pure blue stretching every which way he turned, enveloping all of the universe. Nothing else existed.
‘I can’t—hold on—’
The blue grew dark as his conscious fought and failed to breathe, sinking, ever sinking, it wouldn’t stop; there was no end, no sandy floor you’d expected to find at the bottom of a pond.
Nothing but endless falling into endless blue…
EEP I know, I know, this was super short and a painful cliffhanger, but don’t stampede or throw tomatoes at me just yet! I’m busy getting ready for a trip, visiting relatives, and had to write up several chapters for the Blog Battle ahead of time, and so they came out a little shorter. Forgive me? *large, pleading eyes*
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Thank you for reading, and check back next Wednesday for more Okinala Island adventure 😀.
© copyright 2015 E. Rawls and Rawls E. Fantasy, All Rights Reserved
This is my entry for this week’s #BlogBattle challenge by the wonderful author Rachael Ritchey, where the challenge is to write a short story based on that week’s chosen word. This week’s word was: “Troop.” Check out the link, read other great stories there, and VOTE for your 3 favorite to win!
Hope to see you on Okinala Island (here) next Wednesday!
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