Angela "Wizzle" Wilczynski ~ Golden Road

Shadowdancer Chapter 32

part of: Shadowdancer

by Carrie Radna

“What are you doing with my bag?” Frieda asked the unwelcome visitor. She was getting tired of others constantly interrupting Kenjaon and her when they wanted to be completely alone. The Crumatib, whose name was Zwuiasach, was undeterred. He had heard about her, and had plenty of his own attitudes to spare, so he was fully prepared to deal with any outbursts that might happen. Zwuiasach watched earnestly as she got up to try to reclaim her bag from him.

“Let go!” she shouted.

“No way. You’re coming with me,” he answered.

Both Frieda and Zwuiasach struggled with the backpack as Kenjaon looked on, still sitting on the bed. She attempted to pull with all of her might, but she was no match for Zwuiasach. Crumatibians are extremely tough and strong, due to their compact build and short stature. They are flexible, agile, nimble, and quick. Not many humans could ever beat a Crumatib in battle. However, they were mostly known for their intelligence.

Frieda was thrown back onto the floor after a sharp jerk by Zwuiasach. Kenjaon went to help pick her up. Panting, she said, “I don’t want to leave here!” To her shock, Kenjaon sided with the Crumatibian.

“I don’t think that would be wise…he is only following orders from the human scientists and the Crumatibian elders. You are needed in Thíä-ei’r immediately…”

Frieda stopped for a moment. “There are human scientists here?”

“Yes,” Zwuiasach answered, slowly approaching her. “Do you think that you came here by sheer coincidence? Frieda, you were chosen to be a warrior. Why give up your destiny?” His voice grew soft as she looked up into his face. It was more human, rounded like the moon, with a turned-up nose, bright aquamarine eyes, pale, pale skin with wrinkles under his eyes, and full pink lips which resembled Mick Jagger’s. Four of his eight twisted fingers (there were eight on each hand) impatiently tapped in time while holding her bag.

“My destiny?”

“Yes, my Dear,” Zwuiasach gently replied. “I figured that you were a woman of adventure…”

“I am.”

“Well, it doesn’t get any better than this. Let me put it to you this way—would you like to return back to Earth to save Gareth in your present condition? The guards at the Center would kill you before you could take your first step into their compound. That wouldn’t help Gareth, would it? I think not…so, come with me,” he told her, offering his hand.

Frieda felt helpless. This being knew so much about her, and she didn’t know anything about him. But she had to admit to herself that he was right. She was not ready to face her enemies, the brutal kidnappers back home. She remembered the promise that she had made to Eric and her mother, that she would bring Gareth home safely. Until this moment, she had been blind to her own welfare. She had to get ready to fight the monsters she had heard about. It was all becoming too real for her.

Resolved, she took Zwuiasach’s hand. After he helped her off the floor, she told him, “I will go, only on one condition…I want to see Kenjaon again before I return home.”

“Fine,” he answered.

Kenjaon smiled. He would see her again. The possibility excited him.

“Can I kiss her goodbye?” he asked Zwuiasach.

“Uh, I don’t think so – we have to make the window,” he said. He started to pull Frieda out of the door as she squirmed like a wet puppy. Blowing a kiss, she cried to Kenjaon, “I love you!” Her voice echoed down the halls as they ran through the corridor. Kenjaon did not answer her.

“Hey! You’re hurting me!” Frieda yelled as the both of them sprinted swiftly down the main corridor.

“Sorry, but we need to make it to the ship. It will take off shortly.”

“Do you have to squeeze so hard?”

“Well, don’t blame me if I have extra fingers!”

They sped on, passing the Five Moral Cups, the Operating Room, and the garden, turning a sharp right down a hidden hallway. The stones on the walls were colored white and gray, with red arrows pointing towards the launching pad. Frieda tried to keep up with Zwuiasach but had great difficulty. Crumatibians were also extremely fast runners.

“Lady, don’t give up on me now. We are almost there!” he told her, intent on the both of them making their destination before the ship could take off without them.

“I’m trying!” she gasped between deep, rapid breaths.

“Don’t try…just do it!”

She was already becoming tired of his authoritarian attitude. She wondered if she would ever be in control of her life again, free of operations and orders. Suddenly, he stopped running. Without letting go of her arm, Zwuiasach pointed above them.

“This is our ticket out of Wýl. Isn’t it a beauty?”

All of Frieda’s words stayed lodged in her throat as she stared in amazement.