Inheritance of Light 5

The votes have been counted and Mario will continue with Kenny and Brad on the quest to find Jim, the lost centaur. Feared to be kidnapped by the flesh eating, soul sucking Tablukan, Jim is believed to be in the Caves of Sorrow past the Sky Kissed Mountains. The fantasy adventure continues with this installment of Inheritance of Light, an interactive story in which the readers make the plot decisions.

Last week’s votes say that the three adventurers will face down the tricksters, but a surprising interruption will occur.

The first deer got very close to the Hu-rangutan and looked into his eyes. Brad wanted to wrap his arms around the deer and nestle his nose into its neck, but he didn’t.

Beware the deer that talk too soft,
They cut off your thoughts and cloud your mind.
These deer will want all of your blood,
They’ll leave you deaf, dumb and blind.

“Don’t let them get close to you,” he said.

“Oh, what can be so bad,” said Kenny. He looked into the pink eyes of the centaur. “She’s so sweet.” He was about to caress her mane when Mario stepped in and pulled him away.

“Something is definitely wrong with them,” he said. “They appear different than they were when we first saw them.”

“Get away from me. She’s better this way. You’re just not used to magical creatures,” said Kenny. He pushed Mario away. Mario coded a wind that swept up the trickster’s hooves. It tripped and kicked trying to keep her balance.

“Kenny, she’s not what she appears to be,” he said. The second deer got closer to him, but he did not look at it and backed away. He coded a bright lightning flash to strike between them. The deer stepped back and looked at him.

“You can still hear me, sweet one,” it spoke in the smoothest and softest voice that Mario had ever heard. It had the music of a thousand harps in it and lulled him out of his state of alertness. He felt relaxed and almost looked at her.

Brad jumped up into the tree closest to him and started throwing fruits at the deer. One large juicy red fruit hit the false centaur in the face breaking its hold on Kenny. Its form faded temporarily and returned to the deer shape that it had arrived in. Brad laughed.

“What are they?” asked Kenny.

“They are jungle tricksters,” said Brad. “They drink your blood and leave you for dead.”

The three deer’s bodies elongated. Their snouts grew into large proboscis that had teeth inside little orifices. Chattering teeth reached for Brad, Kenny and Mario. Brad took a branch and swung it ferociously at the deer closest to him. Its snout kept getting longer and snapped close to Brad’s neck. Brad screamed.

Mario snapped his neurowhip at the creatures, but they hopped away from him. He whipped at them again and again only to miss each time. They were limber and quick. He thought that they might reach him. That’s when one of the long snouts wrapped around his throat and Mario found himself face to face with a trickster. It looked into his eyes and he started to pass out.

He reached deep into his mind and coded up the earth. There was a rumble like an earthquake. The earth shook beneath them. The deer creature holding Mario let go and shrieked with a high-pitched sound. It bounded away from Mario.

Kenny was shooting arrows into the other deer, but it did not die. Its body took in the arrows, then it oozed around them and the arrows came out of the other side of its body. The earth came up around Kenny and folded over him. Suddenly, where he had just stood, only a torn up piece of ground remained. Roots and uncovered stones were the only thing that Mario and Brad could see. The three deer scampered away.

Mario and Brad simply stood there breathing hard. They looked at each other.

“What did you do?” asked Brad. Simply, the earth enveloped him. Mario then wondered briefly if this was game over. Dirt softened beneath his feet. He sank rapidly into the ground. It was like quicksand. He had no time to scream before he heard a word inside his mind. It was an invitation, an introduction and a warning.

“Underleaf.”

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