Friday, February 26, 2010

Chapter 127: On the Veldt

~ Takyle took a surreptitious look around the rolling grassland, but there was no one else in sight. She took a tentative step toward the girl.

"The game within the game? What's that supposed to mean?" Takyle demanded. The girl laughed her starched laugh again.

"It means whatever you want it to mean," she said, shrugging her thin shoulders.

"You're going to have to do better than that. Tell me what you want, and while you're at it, if you know so much, tell me what I want." The girl shook her head.

"If you want answers you must play the game," she insisted. Takyle stopped herself from outright sighing in exasperation, but couldn't keep it out of her voice.

"Fine. What game? Tell me what you want!"


Andrew whirled again to a rustle behind his back, desperately searching for the source of the sound. With his knife clutched in his right hand, he fumbled to get his radio out of his belt with his left. In his haste he managed to drop the walkie talkie once it was free of the pouch and he cursed under his breath as it hit the ground with a soft crack. A quick glance down revealed that the radio had struck a rock at his feet, its back cover jarred open from the impact and the batteries knocked out.

"Shit!" Keeping his eyes up, he stooped down and felt for the batteries and the scattered parts of his radio. He cast his eyes down for a moment to pick up the plastic back cover, and when he looked up again his heart fell to his gut. Staring, unblinking, out through the stalks of grass a pair of orange eyes bore through him.

Andrew made every attempt to keep his breathing in check as around the eyes he made out the spotted and unmistakably feline face.

"Alright... Alright, stay calm. The important thing here is to stay calm. No sudden moves," he thought to himself. He exhaled slowly and shifted his weight to carefully rise to his feet. The big cat's eyes followed the minute change in his body and Andrew stopped.

"Ok, maybe no moves at all." ~

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