Glig and Mahani cowered behind a boulder so small it would likely lose the title if dusted off by a stiff breeze. Meanwhile, death pelted the dirt all around them. Hurled stones cracked against each other. Arrows screamed by their heads. Glig pulled the hood of his Impervious Cloak up and wrapped it around him and Mahani.
“We gotta run! We gotta get out of here!”
Glig felt a rock shatter against his back. He winced. The cloak absorbed most of the impact, but it wouldn’t be enough if a rock hit anything structural, like his skull. Another rock hit the cloak, then something smaller but way more powerful. An arrow probably. He winced again.
“Breep,” he said.
“What? Why not? Glig we’re gonna die out here.”
But Glig knew they couldn’t run. They were panicked, and the first opening they spotted as they came out from behind the cloak would be the exact place the kobolds would want them to go. It was like flushing marsh fowl. This whole canyon was one big trap. Each time they had thought they were doubling back they were being guided deeper into it. The kobolds probably had a way of blocking off whole paths, opening up new ones. Clever creatures like these weren’t going to be checkmated by a pair of squawking morons running away in terror. The only marsh fowl that ever got away were the ones that did something totally unexpected.
“Marsh fowl?” What — “
Glig looked down at Mahani’s glove. “Breep?”
“What? Glig I don’t— “
“Well, yeah, probably, but — ”
“I don’t know. Pretty big I guess.” Something cracked against them, and Mahani winced this time. “Glig! Come on, we gotta — ”
“Breep?” Glig clarified.
This time Mahani got it. “Yeah. Yeah, I can do that. But I need to see the sky to make it happen. And — “ Something started pelting against the cloak, this time lightly, like rain drops. Skittering, eight-legged raindrops.
Dozens of palm-sized, clear-bodied rock spiders crawled in underneath the hem of the cloak, looking for someplace dark.
Glig squawked, tossed off the skittering cloak, and ran like a moron, trying to outrun a trail of rocks and arrows and confused spiders, ending up thirty feet away, trying to take cover behind an even smaller boulder than the one he had strategically abandoned. An arrow sliced past his neck. Something hit him in the hip. Two rocks collided mid-air, inches from his face, prolonging his life against all probability. Even so, Glig was fairly certain that without the cloak and with this terrible new boulder, he would be dead or at least dying in the next six to twelve seconds.
He peaked up to see Mahani behind her boulder — had it always been so large? — ducking as an arrow splintered against it, casually brushing away a couple dozen spiders as if they were dried leaves. She had pulled the cloak over herself, her glove already glowing white hot, her gaze already fixed on a small piece of sky peaking out from behind mesas and canyon walls. She was concentrating, lost in thought and mouthing the occasional word, as if she was having a conversation inside her head, a conversation with the sky. She seemed too focused to notice much else, including the team of kobolds on the ledge above her, hauling over large, overfilled cauldrons.
“Breeep!!” Glig sprang up from behind his precious boulder and sprinted towards Mahani through a shower of projectiles, breeping, ignoring something that hit him in the ankle, ignoring something that him in the back, just hoping he could get to Mahani in time to knock her out of the splashzone. But he couldn’t. A waterfall of beige goop crashed over them both.
They both laid there on the dirt, shocked, sputtering, crawling back behind the boulder while desperately wiping the thick slime from their eyes, waiting for it melt their skin off or something. But it didn’t. They were fine.
Mahani licked her lip and tasted some of the harmless tan goop. “It tastes sweet.”
“Breep?” asked Glig.
Her eyes went wide. “Worse,” she said. “It’s batter.”
They looked up just in time to see the mouth of the second cauldron angle towards them, spilling out gallons of hot, bubbling fry oil.
CLICK HEART TELL FRIENDS MAKE MIKEY HAPPY MAKE GLIG HAPPY THX