This is Part 5 of a collaborative story between myself and Sharmishtha Basu. First of all, my apologies for it being posted so late in the day. I committed to posting my part every Monday. However, this weekend has been a bit busy and I am so tired that it wears at the creative engine a bit.
In case you’re behind on the story, our heroine Angelique has been kidnapped and brought to a temple in the jungle by two men. They are going to sacrifice her to get through a door to steal a large diamond. However, a huge tentacled monster attacks them before they can.
Sharmishtha has posted all the previous installments here.
Alone on a Boat – Part 5
Unseen branches and leaves stretched across her path, slapping her and entangling her arms. She forced her way through, just trying to get as far away as she could from the dark temple behind her and the screams that still echoed through her mind.
There was a sudden splash and she plunged up to her knees in cool wetness. She was standing in a stream and along its course, she could see a narrow slit of sky and a full moon rising over the trees.
She had totally lost her bearings in the dark jungle, but a stream had to lead down to the coast and that was where her boat was. She set out, splashing through the water, and feeling with her sneakers for large rocks on the bottom.
If it wasn’t for the glimmer of the moon on the water, Angelique would never have seen the edge of the small waterfall that plunged into darkness. She stopped and listened, trying to determine how far the water fell. The jungle seemed to have gone silent and only the faint tinkle of the stream could be heard.
As she was hesitating, trying to decide the best course to take, a strange, melancholy whistle came from the water below her. It came again and she looked over, trying to see if it was an animal. She saw a point of pale luminescence in the water, by the base of the falls and as she watched, it grew and spread out over the water. A bubble formed on top and expanded and stretched into the grotesque form of a slimy homunculus. It continued to grow and then slowly began to move up the waterfall towards her.
Angelique was gripped with terror and turned and ran back up the stream. She was vaguely aware that she was running back towards the temple, but at that moment, the only thing that mattered to her was to get away from that luminous goblin that was slowly climbing up the waterfall.
Time lost all meaning as she splashed through the water, tripping and stumbling on stones and trying not to fall. Suddenly she ran into something wide and yielding that was stretched across the stream. For a moment, she thought it was a huge spiderweb and it was all she could do to keep from screaming. It wasn’t sticky though and she realized that it was a net.
A voice came out of the darkness near her, speaking an unknown language.
“Hello?” she said after a moment.
“Ah, you speak English,” the voice said. “Come out of the water; you will damage my nets.”
“I’m sorry, I didn’t see them,” she said.
“I wouldn’t think so, nor do the bats that get caught in them.” Angelique had the idea that the speaker was an old man. A moment later, he uncovered an oil lamp and she saw her guess was right.
“Now,” he said. “What are you doing here at this hour? A lost tourist, perhaps?”
“I was kidnapped,” Angelique said, “and taken to a temple by two men.” She told him about the tentacle monster in the temple and the luminous creature on the water.
She saw the man’s face become serious just before he covered the lamp again and they were plunged back into blackness. She felt him take her hand.
“Come,” he whispered. “This is no night for mortals like us to be outside. Great and dangerous forces have been awakened. We must hurry.”
(to be continued…)