Blood Fang: Chapter 7: Terror

High above the snow-covered forest, Cobalt was sitting in his nest.  The howls filled the air, and in the distance, he could see a black shadow expanding over the horizon through the trees.  The glyph was etched into the tree, and its ethereal energies were fading.  The former human had contacted the aerie using the magical glyph once again.  “Looks like we’re on our own …” The eagle said with an annoyed tone.  Leaping from his tree branch perch, he took flight and headed towards the approaching predator forces.  Over the bare tree tops he flew, past the pond where the revolutionary war ghosts once encamped, following the creek as it branched in twain.  One branch led past Mr. Bear’s cabin, while the other fed into the lake that had come to replace the human town which once was situated there in years gone past. 

The events of his contact with high command echoed in his mind, relaying what Ice Feather had told him regarding the owls.  When the former human made a request for assistance, the leaders promptly refused to assist.  Cobalt was the lowest rank of the aerie, and could not make such a request.  He was curtly dismissed, and instructed to maintain watch over the area.  Pushing those thoughts out of his mind, he adjusted his wings to catch an updraft.  The eagle soared over the ground and started to ascend, flying at a fast rate of speed through the cold winter air.  At the opposite end of the lake that he was now starting to pass overhead, the was a long series of hills that flanked surrounded the area.   In the time of humans, small homes dotted the forest covered hills, but there had never been much development due to their incline.  The bridges had long since crumbled, leaving deep gullies scattered around at the base of the steep bare tree covered hills. 

Looking down, Cobalt could see hundreds of coyotes running in between the tree trunks.  Their barking was being kept a minimum, though it was unavoidable in some circumstances.  They would trip, and roll down the snow-covered hillsides, to recover by large tree stumps.  All coyotes were heading in the same direction towards the lake.  While he could not see the monster, nor the wolves for that matter, the existence of the smaller predators at their current numbers were worry enough.  In the distance, he could hear the wolves howling, which meant they were not too far away, perhaps just on the opposite side of the hill.  Further reconnaissance was not advisable at this point, so the eagle banked hard to the left and started to flap his wings hard.  Cobalt started to fly back as quickly as he could muster, he had to warn his friends of the impending danger.  

Meanwhile, Loki the elk looked up from the forest floor.  The stag was pulling a large dead oak tree behind him via an attached harness.  The elk was grunting, and clouds of steam were escaping from his nostrils.  “Wonder where Cobalt flew off to?  And too bad he is not a dragon anymore; he could have helped me haul these logs.”  Earlier in the morning, Mr. Bear had hooked up harnesses to the stag and his daughters, so they could pull the fallen trees through the forest.  The plan was to build barricades every fifty feet or so, following the creek up to where Pudgy’s home was.  The beavers had been stirred from hibernation, and pressed into service to defend the forest.  The aquatic animals were in the snow, and were busy cutting sections of logs as fast as they could muster.  With each newly cut section, a nearby free elk would haul it into position.  Work had begun at the crack of dawn, and they were making quick work with the defenses.    

The bobcats had gone into a semi-hibernation state, and were slow to rouse from slumber.  Eventually after much pounding by Mr. Bear on their front door, Mr. and Mrs. Waffle Cat were pressed into service.  After helping get the beavers out of their frozen pond, they went to help evacuate the bunnies out of their new warren.  Once the baby bunnies exited their home, they founding the white fluffy snow.  It was a new experience, and the bunnies desperately wanted to play.  However, their parents knew what this meant, with the worried expressions of the bobcats, and Mr. Bear wearing his Kevlar riot armor.  A stern word from their parents snapped the children back to attention, and all followed through the path in the snow plowed out by Mr. and Mrs. Waffle Cat.  The group headed to the safety of Pudgy’s underground home.  The door was open, and the warmth from inside the home was causing the snow to melt around the entrance.  The cats directed the bunnies inside, and once inside the cats scampered off towards a barricade.  The bunnies found towels laid out, and the babies were dried off by their parents.  The front door was shut, and the bunnies tucked themselves away into the various nooks and crannies inside. 

While Pudgy offered a smile and a wave, he was busy at his wood stove.  Since the little animal could not assist with the heavy work outside, he was preparing emergency supplies to assist his friends.  The hedgehog remembered the last time monsters came to the forest, and worried that this was a repeat of the situation with Kaiser.  Making his determined face, the critter knew that he had to prepare for a long-term siege, and be ready to defend as necessary.  As the timid bunnies twitched their noses and watched their hedgehog friend, they saw he was wearing his white winter outfit, and mining helmet.  All those inside the underground home watched as snow began to cover the exterior windows.  Red fur, and a black paw could be seen as the Red Panda moved snow to camouflage the exterior of the underground home.  Soon the light of say faded, and the home became dark.  Pudgy wiggled his nose, and pushed the button at his sink which turned on only half of the lights in his home.  He had to preserve battery power, as he did not know how long it would be needed.    

Mr. and Mrs. Field mouse were at their hedgehog friend’s side, helping him bake hard tack biscuits.  The little rodents ran back and forth, bring out trays of baked items to set on the kitchen table to cool.  As a faint baked good smell wafted in the air, multiple pots of water bubbled on the stove.  Tea was being brewed, but also various herbal tonics, and antiseptics were being made in case of injury.  Pudgy had gathered various plants that were used for medicinal purposes, in case of emergency.  Hopefully he would not have to use them, but he needed to be ready just in case.  The baby bunnies started to whimper; this game was not fun.  They started to whine, they wanted to go back home.  Mr. and Mrs. Bunny took turns, hugging their frightened children, reassuring them that they would be safe inside the underground home.  In fact, through the door at the end of the home, was a big room with stuff to explore.  Then there was a tunnel, that led to their original warren.  As the babies listed to the story, the home quieted down. 

Meanwhile outside of the underground home and high up in a tree, Patches the house cat refused to leave her tree house.  This was a collective source of consternation for everyone, as the sensible plan would be for the house cat to stay inside the underground home.  But she had lost her home once before, and was not wiling to leave it without a fight.  The cat insisted that she would monitor from above, and let everyone know when she saw the predators approach.  After a huge argument by Mr. Bear and the other animals, it was decided that in the end the idea was not a bad one.  Having an extra eye in the sky would be useful, since they only had Cobalt now for aerial support.  Comix Hawk and Angeliki Raven had departed the forest shortly after the winter’s eve party.  They could not tolerate the colder temperatures, so they had migrated safely away to the south on a temporary basis.  The collective opinion of the remaining animals was that perhaps it was just as well they had left?  The tacit realizations of fear, had broken the sense of peace and safety once more within their forest home.  Not only was the existence of the smoke-filled monster heading their way, but of the natural wolves and coyotes under its command as well.        

Patches watched from her tree house windows as the large stag moved the last long tree section across the top of the beaver dam.  His daughters were positioned in various places, to help maneuver the log onto the stack of timbers with their hind legs.  In total, seven barricades had been built up.  While they would not completely stop the wolves, it would slow them way down.  Loki honked with satisfaction, “thank goodness, it is done.  Mr. Bear, how we looking?”  The large brown bear dressed in black Kevlar riot armor, and looked over at his elderly father who was climbing over the second barricade.  “Looks good to me, hopefully this is all overkill, and they pass right by us.”  In the distance, and eagle cried out.  Patches meowed and waved at Mr. Bear, “Cobalt is coming!  I can see him!”  The cat’s voice was soft, but in the near quiet force, it seemed to echo.  The brown bear nodded, and watched as the eagle weaved in between the trees at a rate much faster than normal.  Loki noticed this as well, and cursed, “shoot.”  The eagle extended his wings, and swooped in to land on top of the barricade logs.  With wings of brown and black feathers fluttering, he folded them back and looked at Mr. Bear. 

“At least a hundred coyotes are heading down the hills opposite of the lake.  I heard the wolves, which appear to be just over the crest of the hill on the opposite side.  I did not see the smoke monster, but we can assume it is coming too.”  The stag honked angrily, “darn it …we led them here!  Cobalt …I’m sorry.”  Mr. Bear shook his head, “something tells me they would have come here regardless.  We are as ready as we can be, hopefully they are in a mood to talk?”  The elderly gray bear nodded, “there must be a very good reason to travel all the way from Alaska to here.  We will get our chance to ask soon ….” The bear trailed off as the house cat was frantically waving at them from her tree house.  Screaming as loud as her lungs could muster, “THEY’RE COMING!”  The house cat looked on with fearful eyes as the coyotes were silently running through the high snow.  A sea of brown in many shades were snaking their way through the various paths in the forest.  Past the split granite boulder, up the creek, and its three frozen water falls, to the first barricade at the beaver dam the coyotes travelled.  As the predators peeked over the logs, they bared their teeth and barked angrily.

One coyote in particular was able to jump up on the log barricade’s top.  Barking loudly in anger, the lead angrily shouted, “WE NEVER FORGOT THIS PLACE, AND THESE LANDS STILL BELONG TO THE BLACK TAIL!”  Mr. Bear rolled his eyes, “oh great …they’re back again.  No wonder they found us; it wasn’t Loki at all.”  The stag looked down, “you know that coyote?”  Cobalt nodded as he faced forward towards the predators, “after Pudgy returned from his trip with the owls, coyotes with black tails attacked the forest.  When I used to be in my other form, I arrived to help Mr. Bear defend the forest from these same coyotes.”  The elderly gray bear sighed, “I wish you were still a dragon now…”  Loki looked at his daughters, who were all looking at the predators with fear in their eyes.  “April, Gretchen, Isabella …get back to the third barricade.”  His daughters did not protest, turned and started to walk towards the barricade as instructed.  Cobalt and the others were at the second barricade, watching as dozens of heads started to peek over the first barricade.

Patches whimpered softly, watching as hundreds more coyotes were approaching up through the creek valley.  So far, they had not spotted the tree house, which was painted in a color scheme to match the tree which it was attached to.  The coyotes were starting to stand in such a way, that they were forming a series of steps, for the others to climb up on.  The lead coyote was standing defiantly, still barking threats of various kinds at her friends.  The house cat wished she was back home, safe with Brenda, and away from these dangers.  The coyotes continued to amass underneath the beaver pond dam and its barricade, having successfully formed a way to cross the barricade.  Looking at Cobalt, she started waving her paws, and pointing.  She mouthed the words danger, and ready to attack.  Cobalt nodded and chirped softly, while not turning his head.  Golden eyes locked onto hers, and the cat felt almost as if the eagle was looking through her.  He could just barely see the reflection in her eyes, and could vaguely make out the amassing predators. 

Mr. Bear grumbled, “what is that darned cat trying to tell us?”  The eagle whispered, “they formed themselves into a way to cross over the barricade.”  Loki shouted over at the coyote, “what do you want?!?!”  The lead coyote’s face contorted into a sadistic sneer, and his brown eyes locked into the stag’s.  He howled an attack call, and suddenly dozens of coyotes leapt over the barricade.  They were leaping over directly side by side with each other, and moving like water that was spilling over a dam.  In a short period of time, easily fifty or more had crossed the barricade, and were slowly approaching the second barricade.  Mr. Bear roared, as well as his father, while Cobalt took flight and perched up in a nearby tree.  The eagle cried out in a shrill tone, “the delivery truck road … I see the wolves approaching!”  The elderly gray bear nodded, “l knew they might try to flank us!”  They were black wolves, covered with snow, as they padded through the deep snows where the human vehicles once travelled.  Their numbers were hard to count, but were marching in neat rows.

Loki snorted, and stomped his front hooves on the ground.  Lowering his head into an attack position, “let the bastards come ….”  Howls filled the air, and swirled around them, as a sharply cold breeze blew through the forest.  As the black fur wolves lined the crest of the hill, they looked down into Pudgy’s forest, and the few animals defending it.  The leader of the black wolves looked left and right to his fellow wolves, “what the heck is this?  The way that Blood Fang talked, it sounded like we were heading into battle?  Let the coyotes take care of them, let us watch the show.”  The lead wolf nodded to the lead coyote, and howled.  The various colored coyotes lunged forward, and began to cross over the second barricade in the same manner as the first.  Due to the layout of the forest, the second barricade was not at as tall, so only one row of coyotes was needed to be able to leap over it.  Loki lowering his head, charged forward and started to impale the predators on his antlers.  The speared beasts howled in pain, as their blood flowed down the stag’s face. 

Mr. Bear roared, and got up on his hind legs, and with two massive clawed paws swiped back and forth at the long-pointed snouts full of sharp teeth.  Loki’s daughters honked, and started to flee, back behind the fourth barricade where Mr. and Mrs. Bobcat were positioned.  The married couple looked in horror, as their friends were battling the approaching horde of predators.  But a keen eye was placed on the ever-growing phalanx of black wolves, who continued to follow the pathway of the former road.  The black wolves were standing shoulder to shoulder, for over two hundred feet of road that was visible through the tree trunks that ran parallel with the road surface.  Mr. Waffle Cat shook his head, “this is not good at all.  How can we defend against so many?”  His wife nodded, but before she could answer, she started to shriek.  At first, he did not know what she was staring intently at, until the top of something started to approach.  A wolf, easily double the size of the others, was walking slowly behind the black fur ones lining the road.  Its body seemed to swirl, almost as if it was made from smoke.  As it turned to face the forest, glowing red eyes moved slowly left to right.    

April whimpered, “it’s the smoke monster!  He followed us here!”  Isabella whimpered back, “we led it straight here!”  Gretchen started to cry softly, “we endangered everyone!  I just wanted to see Pudgy, not hurt him or his friends.”  Once the words were spoken, the smoke monster’s head snapped towards their direction.  Its red eyes locked onto the three cows, and two bobcats standing behind a barricade made from trees.  Lifting a snarled claw tipped paw, it pointed towards them.  The black wolves howled, and then started to lunge forward towards them.  Mr. Waffle Cat shouted, “everybody move!  We got to get back to the fourth barricade!”  The bobcats turned and started to sprint as fast as they could in the deep snow.  The three elk daughters also moved as quickly as they could, but the snow was especially deep in this section of the forest.  Mrs. Waffle Cat was last to run, and watched as the wolves slid on the snow and started to land in a pile at the base of the steep hill.  Turning to run after her husband, she mumbled out, “at least these ones aren’t graceful in the snow.”

Drew the Red Panda was behind the fourth barricade, and was waving his paws to beckon his friends over.  The black wolves had recovered, and were hopping through the deep snow.  It greatly slowed them down, which was helpful.  The small bear watched helplessly, as the female elk crossed over the barricade.  The bobcats came last, and he extended his paws to help pull them up and over the logs.  As Mrs. Waffle Cat made it on top of the log, she turned and watched as the wolves plunge deep under the snow.  The sound of water could be heard, and ice cracking.  The wolves were crossing the beaver dam ponds, which had frozen over and were covered with snow.  This formed a natural defense on the way to the fourth barricade.  The surprise of the ponds was enough to halt the advance of the wolves, as drenched predators climbed up and out of the pond on the opposite side. 

The red panda and bobcats watched as the eagle leapt out of his tree top perch and started to make attack runs on the coyotes.  Crying out loudly, he extended his talons and clawed at the eyes of the coyotes.  They snarled and barked in pain as the eagle attacked.  Flapping his wings hard, the bird weaved in between the trees, until he could come in for another attack run.  Mr. Bear and his father had already retreated back to the third barricade.  Loki charged forward once again, with impaled animals stuck on his antlers and dangling.  Whipping his head to each side, the bodies of his fallen foes were flung and struck the approaching onslaught of coyotes.  He could feel them biting at his legs, so he reared up on front legs, and kicked with his back.  Several predators were kicked in the head and were flung backwards striking their comrades.  This gave enough time for the tired elk to cross over the barricade, and turn around to catch his breath. 

Grandpa Bear was bleeding, but still had his teeth bared.  “It’s been too long since I had a chance to sink my claws into some skulls.”  As the gray bear turned, he saw the smoke monster.  Narrowing his eyes, “junior, look up at the road!”  Mr. Bear nodded, “looks like Loki was right.  A wolf made of smoke.  We’re cut off, black wolves behind the fourth barricade, and coyotes past the third.”  The stag looked up, and could just barely see his daughters behind the fifth barricade.  “I need to keep my daughters safe!”  The stag charged towards the barricade, and leapt over into the much deeper snow.  Leaving the two bears alone to defend the third, who cursed the elk, while watching their eagle friend come in for another attack run.  The eagle cried out, with blood dripping from his talons.  The coyotes aware of what was happening, were starting to react.  But the eagle was too quick, and would swoop in with claws outstretched.  Connecting with the soft tissues around the eye socket, he quickly closed his talons and pierced the surface of the eye.  The fluids within bled out, and the predator howled in agony.  Taking off once more, the eagle flapped his wings hard, and began to circle the trees once again.     

As Loki assumed an attack posture, he heard an unearthly sound bellow throughout the woods.  It was a mixture of English, animal, and demonic.  “ENOUGH OF THIS,” the wolf like creature’s voice boomed as he strode forward to the edge of the hillside.  The gray smoke within his body swirled, and he leapt effortlessly through the air.  It was almost as if he really was made of smoke, as the creature crossed the forest distance and in front of the attacking black wolves who were approaching the firth barricade.  The creature had no weight, and was standing on top of the snow.  Drew looked on in horror, and stammered out, “wh …what do you want?”  The creature lowered his gaze at the red panda, “what manner of creature are you?  What a strange forest, I see bobcats over there, and looks like a snow fox behind yet another barricade.  It makes me curious what is so important in this direction, you chose to defend?”

Loki cursed then spoke with an angry tone, “none of your business,” as he lowered his head into attack position.  The creature sneered and started to chuckle, “is that so?  I remember you, I let your family live, in exchange for information.  I followed your directions, and your lead.  Who knew there were so many world chains along the way for my followers to utilize?  I should thank you, since you have only strengthened us.  But it is now where your usefulness ends … as you feed my friends.”  The stag watched as thirty black fur wolves looked towards him, “go ahead and try it.  I plan on living today.”  The wolf like creature laughed, and leapt once more over the barricade, and started to run on the top of the snow.  He left no prints, and when he crossed the final barricades, he kicked Mary the snow fox in the head.  The poor fox was flung out and landed hard against a protruding rock and sinking down into the snow.  Argente scampered over in the snow, and started to check on her, watching the creature run up the hill. 

At the top of the forested hill, was a ring of oak trees.  They had grown so thick, that they connected into one another.  “Well …this is certainly a bother.”  The creature raised his left paw, and making a quick motion from right to left, a beam of black magic shot out through the trees.  Extending his smokey tendrils out, he flung the ancient oak trees away in all directions.  Within the circle of oak, a huge white granite boulder lay uncovered with snow.  Approaching the stone, Blood Fang placed his right paw on it.  Images flooded his mind: owls, and the many adventures of the hedgehog and his friends down the hill.  Narrowing his blood red eyes, “Pudgy Hedgehog ….”  Raising his right paw up, he thrust it as hard as he could and struck the granite boulder.  As the stone began to glow, the creature leaned down and started to breathe in the magic.  The sounds of owls hooting started to fill the air just over the rock, which filled the creature with cheer.  “You will need to find a new way here, my owl friends…”  Inhaling deeply, the magic within the stone was sucked out, and soon the earth shuddered.    

The magic invigorated the creature, and as he started to turn to face the forest, the ground began to shake violently.  The trees swayed, and began to crack at their trunks, then fell in all directions.  The ground immediately began to give way, and sink quickly.  The creature did not care, and chose to run down the ever-increasing deep gulley that was spreading through the forest.  Argente watched as the land sunk, and was helping Mary limp back to her cavern home.  The wolf like creature had destroyed the ley line node, as the owls had feared. A tiny part of her was glad, as this meant Pudgy would no longer be able to go off on adventures in that direction anymore.  But the larger part of her mind realized that what the creature had done, was extremely bad, as she watched the land violently change before her.  What was happening, was that the collapse of the earth was following the path of the ley line.  This also had the affect of exploiting any weakness in the soil or rock beneath or above it. 

The female elk had surrounded their father, honking angrily, and trying to defend him.  He was covered in blood, as the wolves had been ripping chunks out of his hide.  While he tried to protest, the daughters were not listening and kicking anything that came close.  All watched as the creature leapt effortlessly, and landed in front of Pudgy’s home.  Calling out, “PUDGY HEDGEHOG!  I know you are inside this hill!  Come out, and I will tell my forces to spare your friends.”  The two bears who were surrounded by coyotes roared, realizing what the creature was after.  They could not carve a path, as the predators only seemed to grow, despite the dozens they had hastened their early demise.  Mr. Bear watched as the little round door way opened, and Pudgy exited his home.  The little hedgehog was dressed in his white snow outfit, mining helmet, and backpack. 

Inside the home, the bunnies and field mice were pleading with Pudgy to not go outside.  When the little hedgehog made his determined face, and put on his backpack, they knew it was serious.  The hedgehog had watched the events unfold outside of his window.  When the wolves attacked, he scampered through the store house and tunnel, to watch the other barricades fall.  As the land shook and sunk, the critter knew he had to do something.  Upon the monster’s command, his mind was made up, and geared up for an adventure.  Stepping out into the cold winter air, he saw the smoke monster in all his insidious glory.  The body was a wolf, but it was made of swirling gray and black smoke.  Mustering up all of his available courage, Pudgy spoke, “If Pudgy go with you … will you promise to leave Pudgy friends alone?”  The wolf like creature’s blood red eyes focused intently on the little hedgehog.  “You have my word, hedgehog.”  A smoke tendril reached out, and wrapped around the little critter snugly.  The creature howled in his demonic tone once more, and the predators looked up.  They all turned away from their prey, and started to follow the creature. 

Patches was crying her eyes out, as the monster took Pudgy away.  She watched in horror as the elk fell down into the snow, as blood pooled around their bodies.  Mr. Bear and his father collapsed as well, in a similar state.  The ground was continuing to shake violently, causing her tree to swap violently in the air.  The creek was being sucked into the ground, along with the beaver ponds.  Soon both bears were falling into the sink hole, roaring as they desperately tried to escape.  As the earth and snow fell deep within the ravine, her tree started to lean.  Meowing in scared tones, the house cat felt the ground eventually stop shaking.  Her tree was now leaning towards the chasm below, but still in a relatively straight manner.  Her floor tilted towards the ravine, but the cat did not care, and kept watch on the retreating forces.  Piles of dead coyotes were strewn about, the stench of death heavy in the cold winter air.  She watched in horror as the predators joined up, and then followed the road’s path away out of sight.  “COBALT …WHEREVER YOU ARE, GO FIND PUDGY!” The cat cried out, as the tears fell uncontrollably. 

Meanwhile inside Pudgy’s home, the bunnies and beavers watched as their homes were sucked deep within the earth.  What was once a gentle slope to the beaver ponds, was now a treacherous mountain hill side.  Inside, Pudgy’s home remained intact, and safe for the now homeless woodland animals.  The ground opposite of the creek, which once led to the path to Cobalt’s house, was still sinking violently within the earth.  Trees that had stood for fifty years or more, full of summer time birds, were now mere fraction of their original size.  The former road soon disappeared, and was indistinguishable from the surrounding area.  In time the spreading destruction ceased, and the forest became very quiet once more.  The skies clouded over, and soon a hard snow began to fall once more.  Flakes the size of dessert plates were falling from the sky, covering any sign of battle, temporarily hiding it from view. 

Drew looked on in horror, as he was clinging desperately to his barricade.  The land had sunk so far, that what was once level, was now pointing down over sixty degrees. The log barricade was now serving as a bridge, between each side of the ravine.  His paws and their claws were dug into the log, but his muscles were burning as he hung from the underside of the log.  In the distance, he could fee Mary and Argente waving from the cave where he lived.  The elk had no choice but to ride down on the sinking earth, and were laying in a pile against a pile of trees that had fell down.  Isabella was standing, and honking in scared tones for help.  With the last bit of his strength fading, and his claws coming out of the log, the red panda started to fall.  Making a scared panda noise, he landed hard on a rock.  Grumbling as he rubbed his side, “owwww….”

The formerly gentle forest, had been turned into much more treacherous terrain.  As the red panda scampered along, and carefully descended, he called out. “Loki, Isabella, Gretchen, April … I am coming.”  Climbing over rocks, and tree sections, he eventually made it to where the four elk were laying.  The ground was covered in blood, and squished under his paws.  Sliding over to where April was, he gently pawed at her dark brown nose.  The elk looked up at him, “everything hurts.  What happened?”  Drew nodded, “I know it hurts, but we have to get out of here.  Who knows if the land is stable now, or if it will sink further?  Can you move?”  The elk cow nodded, and started to stand up.  Her sisters nodded meekly, and began to do the same.  Loki grunted, and stood up as well, as the blood poured out of the wounds on his side.  “Girls, we have to move, like Drew said.  What happened?” 

As the red panda moved ahead of the herd, finding a way to head up and out of the ravine, he narrated.  “The smoke monster went up to where that ley line node was that Pudgy told us about.  He cut down the oak trees like they were noting, and drank the magic that came out of the rock.  Then the whole forest began to sink, while he called out for Pudgy.  I think Pudgy went with the monster, because the wolves, the coyotes, and the monster went away at the same time.”  Gretchen whimpered as she climbed, “oh no …Pudgy left with the monster?”  Drew nodded, as she looked back at the large elk climbing the steep hillside.  Occasionally they were sliding back from the wet mud or snow, but they were making progress.  Loki called out, “did you see where that darned eagle flew off to?”  The red panda nodded as the elk finally ascended out of the ravine and onto a narrow flat spot in front of the tunnel entrance by Argente’s cottage home.  The panda pointed in the direction where the monster went, “I saw Cobalt fly off after them.”

The elk daughters looked at each worriedly, and then up to their father as he collapsed onto the ground once again.  “DADDY,” the three former human girls called out.  Drew seeing the tunnel entrance, quickly darted up to the gates, opened them and ran inside.  Squeezing through the tunnel, he made it to the store house, and entered it while calling out, “anyone in here!  I need some help!”  The interior door opened, and Mr. Field Mouse twitched his node, “the bunnies, beavers, and we are in here.”  The red panda pointed, “Loki and his daughters are injured, we need first aid supplies.”  The mice knew exactly what to do, as their hedgehog friend had readied everything.  As the bunnies hopped past with bandages, and the boiling pots of antiseptic water, Drew looked at the storehouse roof.  Everything seemed intact, which was a small blessing.  Mr. and Mrs. Beaver were looking out of the round windows in the underground home. 

The beavers were watching the two severely injured bears climbing out of the ravine.  Grandpa Bear was wheezing as he climbed, “does this happen often here?”  The younger brown bear, whose armor had been ripped off and dangling in places, said with a smirk. “Unfortunately, yes, although a massive forest wide sink hold is a new one.  I guess next is a plague of locusts.”  His father shot back with a smile, “locusts are good, especially with some minnows.”  As the two bears slowly climbed up, they saw the extent of the destruction.  The formerly gently slow down the hill, as the creek meandered through the forest, was completely replaced.  The deep ravine extended the entire distance to the newly formed lake where the human town once stood.  In fact, as Grandpa Bear squinted, he could actually see the lake now.  The two stopped temporarily to catch their breath, listening the sounds of loud cracking.  Mr. Bear squinted as well, “the lake ice is cracking.  Why would that happen?”  His father nodded, “the ravine must have spread all the way down there.  You said the lake formed seemingly overnight?  Whatever the source of water is, appears to be feeding it from underneath.  Now a huge opening formed to its north eastern side.”

The two large animals continued to climb up to the area in front of Pudgy’s underground home.  There was a small flat spot of which they could sit.  Turning around, and sitting with the hillside to their backs, they were soon joined by the beavers and red panda.   The beavers whimpered, “our home is gone …just like that.”  Drew patted the female beaver on her head, “I am sure Pudgy would not mind if you stayed at his place while he was gone…”  The two bears looked at the red panda, and after he explained what had happened, they looked sadly off to the east.  The woodland friends were too injured to move, and the land too unstable, they were trapped here for now.  Hopefully Cobalt could free Pudgy, before it was too late?

By Cobalt

Cobalt is a normal guy that goes to work. Pudgy is his hedgehog friend who lives in a hobbit style home nearby, and goes on epic adventures. All Pudgy stories are copyrighted to Cobalt. Doomcock, Harvey Cthulhu, and Xanadoom is copyrighted to Overlord DVD.

One reply on “Blood Fang: Chapter 7: Terror”

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