Between Dimensions- Chapter 4
Becca turns around instinctively, to find no one. Where did Adrian go?! For a moment, Becca is unable to move but she doesn’t hesitate longer than that. She moves into action and calls out for Adrian, getting no reply. She panics but orders herself to calm down. She tries remembering any adventure, sci-fi movies, she had definitely seen a lot. That’s when it hits her. There’s no way Adrian would have gone by will, she must have been dragged or carried, so Becca must look for tracks. Tracks that will lead her to Adrian. And whatever took her.
Seeing as Becca and Adrian had landed in some forest, there was undergrowth everywhere. And finding tracks in undergrowth was nothing difficult. It was very clear that someone had been dragged. As quietly as she can, Becca starts following the track, wincing every time a twig snaps under her weight. Trying to be as alert as she can, she can’t help being awestruck by her surroundings. If it weren’t for Adrian, she thinks, I would stand and stay there, marveling the beauty of the unfamiliar and peculiar surroundings. But she carries ahead, looking around for any movement.
She soon comes to a clearing, where right in the middle is Adrian, sitting on the ground, bound by ropes and gagged. Becca stops at the edge and crouches low. Whoever dragged Adrian could have easily carried her and left no tracks, she thinks to herself, but they did. So this means that they would expect me to follow the tracks and come into the clearing where the tracks end.
Getting on all fours, she carefully starts crawling till she’s on the opposite side of the clearing. And now she jumps in. Adrian’s eyes go wide as she sees Becca, and she frantically shakes her head, trying to tell Becca to go away. Even though she gets the message, Becca rushes to her and cuts her ropes with Doerian’s dagger. My dagger now, she corrects herself, my dagger. Adrian hastily removes her gag and starts shouting,
“YOU IDI-“and before Becca can snap back, she screams. Again, Becca turns around. And this time she finds a creature twice her height made from mud and rocks, looking at her with unblinking eyes. Well stones, he has stones for eyes. An involuntary scream escapes Becca’s lips. Impulsively, she pushes her dagger in the beast’s stomach and pulls it out. But he doesn’t even stagger. He just stands and stares at her with the stones. Without warning he brings his heavy hand upon her but she ducks in time.
“Not very fast, are you?” She says and strikes again, but it turns out to as futile as the last one.
“Can’t you see,” Adrian hisses, “that it’s not working?”
“Got a better idea?” Becca replies as she continues her pointless assault.
“Actually, I do.”
And without telling Becca anything, she opens the cap of the plastic bottle and throws the water on the mud beast. Careful not to waste water, she only uses it to immobilize his legs, so he can’t follow them. Once she’s done and Becca is looking at her with her eyebrows raised in appreciation and surprise, she pulls Becca along, without giving another glance to the beast.
After they’re considerable distance away from the clearing, Adrian speaks up,
“Thank you for saving my life.”
“But then you saved mine, so we’re even,” says Becca with a wink, “And I don’t think you should keep track. God knows how many times we’ll save each other’s necks.”
“What was that thing?” Unsurprisingly, it is Becca who speaks up again.
“Mud Man. Or that’s what we call him. They have their own language. Just be thankful it wasn’t a Rock Man. Water wouldn’t have worked on him.”
“Okay…Does he work under the queen too?”
“I don’t know. Communication isn’t easy. I didn’t think I would be able to come with you either.”
“But you did. So these Mud Men, are they even dangerous?”
“More that you’d believe.”
“Well the only thing scary about him was his stony eyes.”
That earns her an actual, genuine laugh from Adrian. Even she smiles a little.
“Well I don’t see this forest coming to an end anytime soon. We’ll have to find a place to rest.”
“Okay, so what are the desirable traits for a ‘place to rest’?” asks Becca
“Umm, let’s see, a place to rest should have at least four walls, a fireplace of heater, comfy beds and quilts and a TV. But since we can’t find that here, we will have to adjust with a clearing, some food, a source of fresh water and fire.”
“Well I’ve already found water.” Becca replies as a tiny spring appears in front of them.
“One found, three to go.” Says Adrian with an intake of a deep breath, as if brace herself for something horribly difficult.