Crystal Caverns of Horror (Day and Night part 3) by Kay Chang
NOTE: as you may have noticed, Ryan was nice enough to help me here with my story. (Acccck!! timelines! I HATE timelines!!) sorry. School hysteria . anyway, here is part 3
Tabby was gone. Where she had gone, no one but the she herself and Snowball knew. They travelled without speaking for the most part, T-Bone trying to puzzle out what Markee had meant by saying he had the flower “in his heart.”
What? Where’s here?!! He looked up to see the mouth of a large cavern, looming in front of them. Little sparkles came from inside. Amber beamed. “These are one of my favorite places. It’s so quiet and pretty here. You’ll like it too.”
As they walked in, Callie couldn’t help remembering Rex Shard, the former Crystal Colossus. And where was Tabby, that silly girl, anyway?
“Taaa-bbbbyyy!!! Will you hurry???”
Snowball danced from one foot to the next, eager to be off again. But Tabby didn’t hear. She stooped and examined the clump of weeds at the side of the road. She considered something for a minute, then grabbed a handful of the plant, stuffed it in her pouch, and turned. “Sorry, S.B. I gotta go. The Seven, (or is that the Six?) are probably getting close to the Crystal Caverns. Remember the LAST time we went through there?”
Snowball nodded. “‘Kay. See ya.”
“And keep an eye on that “REALLY big” thing for me!!”
“This is the Cave of Diamonds,”
Amber walked ahead, sounding like a tour guide. We’ll have to go through the Caves of Emerald and Ruby before we leave the Caverns.”
Marrkee shuddered. “I hate this place.”
“Why?” asked Callie curiously. “After what happened last time Amber, Tabby, Snowball and I, it would be a miracle if I still liked it.”
“We were attacked by the Night Child. He turned this place into a nightmare for me. I am surprised Amber still loves it.”
“Well, it’s pretty,” said Amber, not even turning around. “But you’re right. I wish Tabby was here. At least with her around we’d be safer.”
A distant rumble made Chance stop and cock his ear. “Whatzat?”
Marrkee looked around fearfully. “Damn! Thunder Imps!! Run!!”
He grabbed Amber’s wrist and ran to a sheltered cove nearby. When they were all huddled under the shelf, Razor asked, “What the heck are Thunder Imps?”
Amber looked around fearfully. She whispered, “They are little demons who were cast off by Lilith. They never forgave her, and they rant their anger and hatred on anyone foolish enough to enter the Caves. They’re called “Thunder” Imps because of the way they talk sounds like thunder.”
“We must be stupid!! You said so yourself!!”
Amber looked embarrassed. “I kept hoping that, at the last moment, Tabby would show up. I guess not.”
The imps were dirty, tailess things. Cast off by their mother Lilith, like Amber said, they were horrible creatures. The imps came waddling in. They sniffed the air, searching for fresh victims. The biggest one, an ugly brute known as PigWart, was the first to spot them. Letting out a booming cry, he attacked. Soon, the Six were trapped and surrounded. Not even Razor could think a solution out of this. He looked at T-Bone, drew a finger across his neck and said “ccek!”
T-Bone just nodded. PigWart poked them rudely with his spear, and gestured they follow him. The Thunder Imps had not had fresh victims for ages. They would celebrate tonight, then fall on their prey like an evil parody of big cats like lions and tigers. They went off, hooting and laughing, toting the Six like they were stuffed animals.
Tabby arrived too late. When she arrived, she cursed silently, and looked around her. Noting the litter left by the Imps, she followed. She had no other choice. It was either that or loose all of her Six. She couldn’t afford that. Not yet, at least.
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