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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Ghost of the Crystal - Part 6

Every step in the dark was slow, laborious.  No one wanted to make a sound for fear of drawing the Hunter down on them.  Jag-Ben especially made sure his thick boots landed in Kleo's dainty footprints.  They weren't sure how much time had passed before the light of the campfire was but a distant memory.  The sound of fighting had also long since ceased.  Kleo stopped them short as a moonbeam reflected off a single thread along the ground.  She pointed it out to the others and let her gaze follow along the thread to a blackwood tree, where it was tied around a thin branch twice.
"A snap trap," Tyrin whispered.  "I use this kind to catch game sometimes."  He took out his knife and knelt down to cut off part of a thin vine nearby.  "I don't want Morra to stumble into this.  Give me a moment."  Jag-Ben huffed in annoyance.
"If ya do it wrong, ya might set it off," he said.  "Just hurry over and leave 'er be!"  He stepped one leg over it, letting Kleo help guide him.  His foot fell with a hard thump on the other side.
Snap!!  The sound startled all three of them, but the thread remained intact.  A shrill scream echoed through the forest.
"It's Morra!" Tyrin said.  He glanced up at the others for just a moment.  "I have to help her," was all he said before running off towards the source of the scream.
"Oh no!" Kleo said, darting after him.  In his haste to follow, Jag-Ben tripped over the thread.  It tugged on the thinnest part of the branch it had been tied to, snapping it off.  The tree reacted just like the one back In camp, recoiling the branch up and away from the ground in a single, swift motion.  A second thread had been tied to the branch and pulled on a net of thick vines that was buried nearby under a layer of dirt.  The net took Jag-Ben's feet out from under him and swept him up.  When it the trap was finished, Jag-Ben was left bouncing and swinging high off the ground.
Tyrin turned to look behind him.  "Kleo, you get him out.  I'll go help Morra!  Well find each other later."

"I promise I will not lose Jag-Ben to that monster, too," Kleo said with a mixture of pain and resolve in her voice, then ran back to Jag-Ben.  Her dark wings unfurled and she leaped gracefully to the net before pulling out her small knife.  With the first cut, the vines all writhed and contracted as if in pain, making Jag-Ben cry out briefly.  Kleo stopped cutting, then looked up at Tyrin.  "Go, now!  I'll get him out!"  With a nod, Tyrin turned on his heels and ran as fast as his legs could carry him.

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