Chapter 3 Page 4

She was not prepared for what she saw next. Blocking the cave mouth was a moving mountain of brown mud and green ooze. Branches, leaves, vines, and the skeletal remains of rodents floated among the mass, making it a nightmare beast of garbage. The skull of a deer with long pointy antlers, worn like a helmet, watched her with empty ooze eyes. It lurched towards Cassandra, making that unnerving squishing noise.

“What the Hell are you?” Cassandra shrieked. The creature responded with a gurgle. The exit to the cave was filled with the slimy monstrosity, and behind her was a useless mythical gate. Her chances of escape were looking pretty slim. A green tendril shot from the center of the mucky mass and Cassandra smacked it to the side with her stick. Another tendril snaked out, and she batted that one aside as well.

The creature was dribbling closer, and Cassandra continued to swat at the tendrils. They were coming faster, and she missed one while trying to dodge another. It snaked under her panties and pulled back. The band of her underwear ripped, and she fell backward. The creature tried to use her panties to pull her towards it, but she twisted and kicked the undergarments off. The monster dragged the cloth back to its bulk, stuffing the soft cotton into its disgusting body.

Cassandra didn’t want to follow her underwear, but she was limited in her retaliation. All she could do was swat at the tendrils from the sitting position. She scooted backward, her round bottom scraping painfully against coarse rubble. Her back touched cold stone, and Cassandra pulled up short. She was leaning against the ruins, and out of space to escape.

She brought the staff over her head, intent on giving the skull helmet a hard thwack. When the staff hit the gate, instead of the clacking of wood on stone, it pulsated like a gong. The sound reverberated, echoing off the cave walls, but it didn’t phase the creature which was still encroaching. She brought the staff down against the skull helmet, but it did nothing to stop the disgusting thing from coming for her.

Two tendrils wrapped around her ankles, and she was yanked toward the slimy monstrosity. The space between the pillars on the gate behind her began to glow, but all that did for her was illuminate her imminent demise.

Cassandra kicked out with her feet and raised the staff over her head again. She met with some unexpected resistance this time. It felt like something grabbed the staff, and pulled. She held on tightly, suddenly caught in a tug of war between the muck monster and whatever was behind her. Instead of questioning, she thanked the three goddesses that she wasn’t slipping any further towards the creature.

Flipping over to get better purchase with her knees, also gave Cassandra a view of what was behind her. There was a person, at least she assumed it was a person, holding on to her stick. He was tall, dark, and humanoid, but he was very definitely not human. He was probably male. She assumed this because he was shirtless, and he was covered in short black fur. He wore plain brown pants, with a pair of goggles dangling around his neck. He slipped from the space glowing between the pillars, grabbing onto her and holding her tight.

A smaller figure joined the first, also probably male. He was green, and his skin was pebbled and rough. He was wearing a set of brown pants, a brown button-up shirt, and he was brandishing what looked like an overly large crescent wrench. Hope surged through Cassandra, this looked like a rescue. “Help me, it has my legs,” she gasped, indicating her trapped ankles.

 

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