Chapter 9

Written by: Gabrielle Burt

He had worked so hard, for so long and the old Sorcerer was weary. After being so close, success was slipping through his fingers.  Now disappointment was bitter in his mouth. Show no weakness, said the voice inside his head. You have the power.


The lines across his forehead deepened, drawing his eyebrows in, until they formed a dark, unbroken shadow under which his eyes sheltered from the shock of untamed hair, above.   He must concentrate.  Organise his thoughts.  Innocently he brushed his sleeve, confirming the package was still safe.  For now.   


“So Sargron, we are here.” Drawing himself up, Gacgon held the Ispolin leader’s eye, “At last.  You and I.” He edged closer to the window.  “Sorcerer and Ispolin.”  Gacgon’s voice carried effortlessly across the large chamber.  “Tell me evil dog,” he spat the next words, “do you truly think your spells are any match for a sorcerer such as me?”  


The insult had hit home, but Gacgon still needed a distraction if his flimsy plan was to work.  “I and I alone have created a beast so powerful she will pick her teeth with your miserable bones.  And I will grind what’s left to feed my swine.” He knew this would be his only chance, so while the Dog-Heads were distracted by his words, he raised both cloak-covered arms and darted to the magic flute lying hidden from Sargron’s view beside a very large ledger on the window’s wide sill.  His billowing cape covered his movements long enough for him to sweep the little flute into his capacious sleeve; next to the packet of powder.


This simple reed flute was capable of such powerful magic. 


Foul saliva dripped from Sargron’s vicious mouth as, teeth bared, he snarled menacingly. It was the signal to attack they had been waiting for.  Swarming forward, the Dog-Heads overpowered Gacgon, dragging him roughly from the chamber and down the uneven stone stairs to the courtyard below.   


“It is your bones that will be used to pick our teeth,” barked their leader, “but first we will roast you.” The canine howl of laughter held no mirth.


In the courtyard the Ispolin had been busy.  Gacgon was confronted by four separate fires, set crudely around four witches-stakes.   Gacgon raised his eyes in silent thanks.  Now his plan might work.  But he needed Gretchin, Alwena and his faithful Mrs Ratleigh to be present for this to happen.


Roughly they forced him onto one of the piles of firewood and bound his ankles, waist and shoulders to the stake.    


“Before the sun has set our people will bring the other prisoners,” Sargron snarled, “and when the moon is high, we will tear out your hearts and cut off your heads.”  At this, the courtyard erupted with the sound of Dog-men baying for blood.


But Gacgon wasn't listening.  His ears were tuned instead to the distant rhythm of giant Falcon wings beating the air.



I loved the first paragraph and the third but from then on it became more graphic and even more compelling.I loved the line, I alone have created a beast so powerful she will pick her teeth with your miserable bones. Wonderful imagery and impossible to stop reading.
It's a great serial. I loved being part of it. A fantastic starter from Sumanda and fantastical imagery in writing from all the authors! What a team - and the best part is; we're all learning from each other, as we go.