Return of the Matka-Zem (The Sorain Chronicles)

Return of the Matka-Zem (The Sorain Chronicles) by Deborah Chanley Read Free Book Online

Book: Return of the Matka-Zem (The Sorain Chronicles) by Deborah Chanley Read Free Book Online
Authors: Deborah Chanley
numb legs to support her weight. She blatantly ignored Thane as she shakily left the small clearing and made her way into the forest for some privacy.
    " Get back here!" Thane growled as he dismounted his animal.
    " After I relieve my bladder," she called over her shoulder before ducking behind a tree. Satisfied that Thane had not followed, she quickly found a spot where the morning mist was thick and adjusted her clothes. She understood the dangers of lingering and hurried as fast as she could. As she started back to the clearing, the low hiss of a reptile stopped her in her tracks. To her horror, a faint shadow of something large passed by her no more than an arm's length away.
    The scream of a terrified horse filled the air as the sound of fighting echoed from the clearing. Too frightened to run, she stepped backwards towards a huge oak tree. As she stared into the dense fog, two red orbs, like fireflies, flashed into existence and flowed before her. Her heart pounded in terror when she realized the orbs were eyes. The form of a Glauc-tuko became visual. The monster opened its jaw, showing its razor sharp teeth. Frozen in fear, she could only watch as a string of gooey saliva dripped from its maw. Talon-like claws clicked open and the creature hissed.
    "Go away!" she whispered frantically, seeing her ultimate demise. She screamed when the Glauc-tuko hissed again and tensed its body to spring. As she felt the hard bark of the tree scratch against her skin, the power inside her surged into life. Instinctively, she pushed the energy into the plant and the surrounding grove shook at the force of her will. As the creature launched itself, two large branches crashed together, splattering the beast into a pulp. The sickening sound echoed in her ears as the Glauc-tuko's body flattened into a mangled mess. Her stomach heaved when its black blood splashed onto her face and filled her mouth with its gore. She watched with a mixture of horror and perplexity as the remains of the Glauc-tuko vanished beneath a tangle of twigs and leaves. When the tree wrapped its limbs protectively around her, a sense of calmness filled her being. Cocooned inside the hard wood, exhaustion from the long night and the use of her power instantly overcame her and she fell asleep in the tree's protected circle.
    ***
    When Jane woke, she found herself lying at the foot of the tree. Though at first disoriented, the past events came flooding back when the sun gently caressed her skin. The yellow orb crested the top of the pines and its rays of light illuminated the small area where she had left the Mlinzi. Her stomach heaved at the sight of battle and she emptied its contents. Both horses lay dead, ripped apart by the creatures, their intestines scattered across the blood-soaked ground. As she timidly stepped past the severed head of a Glauc-tuko, it twitched and closed its jaws. Even in death, it tried to attack her. She counted two dead monsters. Blood and gore covered the clearing, but there was no signs of the mysterious warrior.
    " Thane?" Jane searched the area for the strange man, half-afraid to find his mutilated body among the carnage. "Thane, where are you?" her voice quivered with fright. He was her only companion in her flight. She was alone in the wilderness with ferocious creatures hunting her and she was terrified. "Please be alive."
    A few feet away from where she stood, a bushy vine swayed at the sound of her voice. The huge plant convulsed as if in a seizure, before it peeled like an onion shedding its layers to reveal the stranger. With a cry of relief, she ran to where he lay, but when she knelt down beside him, she saw he was badly injured. He bore a deep slash across his torso, from shoulder to abdomen. Blood dripped from the protruding bone of his left forearm. However, what scared her the most was his blood-smeared face. Underneath the gore, she could see his complexion was grey and his lips bloodless. He did not respond to her touch when

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