Wot and Nott #2

Wot, Nott, Kakuri and the HU BA HOU:

Part Two – The Realm of the Black Crystals

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An unusually small Christmas card transported Wot and Nott to the magical land of Onisha, where Umahia, the Grand Mystic, told them that Miafra had taken it over. Umahia asked them to help him rid Onisha of the evil dictator, Miafra. Having accepted the challenge, Wot and Nott set off, determined to put an end to the despot’s cruel rule.

Having eaten from the Tree of Knowledge and Wisdom, Wot and Nott sailed across the Sea of Loneliness in a five hundred year old boat, to Onisha proper, where they met a statue hell-bent on destroying them.

Continuing their quest to save the land of Onisha, Wot and Nott must travel further across it. After fighting their way past a Dragonsaur and then battling the dreaded Protectors, they find the Temple of Wan, where an incredibly old man named Ondo-O-Osqualo tells them that all is not well in the Realm of the Black Crystals…

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A Preview

Chapter One

Guarding the Axis

Taking charge of the situation, Nott said, “We now have an entrance. That is good. However, it is still fazing in and out. That is bad. As I see it, in order for us to get safely inside the Seat of the Axis, we will have to rush it head on, when hole and the building are both fully visible. Any questions?”

However, before Kakuri and Wot had time to reply, to say they had some misgivings about his plan, a dark shadow enveloped them from above. Looking up, horrified by what they saw, a giant dragonfly descending fast towards them, the band of thee darted for cover.

Having been silently watching, listening, brooding, following their every move from that bare branch so high above, the giant insect, posed a considerable threat to their safety. Although it had already grown to a considerable size, the dragonfly was still growing. Larger and larger it grew until it was so big it blotted their view of the sky above. Landing, alighting in front of the Seat of the Axis, the giant insect, blocking the only route into the building, dared the band of three to try and enter. As if that was not enough for Wot, Nott and Kakuri to contend with, the dragonfly began changing, metamorphosing into something quite different…

Its spindly wings falling uselessly away from its body left the giant insect suddenly earthbound and defensiveness. This situation, however, did not last for long, as large leathery new ones, sprouting, replacing those abandoned, began beating in a most threatening manner. Its rear insect legs extending, larger, larger, grew into a formidable pair of hind limbs. Its middle set of legs grew smaller and smaller until they were no more. The front pair of insect legs increasing in size, grew into arm-like appendages, dangling beneath its rapidly transforming head, a head that was changing, growing into something incredibly ferocious looking.  Sharp, pointed teeth protruding from wide gaping jaws, emitted a forked tongue that began tasting the air. Lastly, to help balance this hideous creation, a tail sprouted.  When this transformation was complete, the dragonfly had changed into something quite different. It had changed into flying dragon of sorts, like a cross between a Tyrannosaurus Rex and a Dragon, it was a Dragonsaur!

The hideous creature, however, did not attempt to attack the trio. No. Settling itself down between them and the building, it rested, denying them entry into the Seat of the Axis.  It was a guard.

Wot, Nott and Kakuri needed a plan – and they needed it now, but were at a total loss as to what they might do, try, against such a formidable adversary. Whispering, Nott said, “Wot, can you hear me?”

“Pardon?” he replied.

“I said can you hear me, you berk!” Nott hissed.

“You mean me?” Wot asked, pointing to his chest.

Raising his fist, threatening him, Nott shouted, “Wot, can you hear me, because if you say you can’t I will flatten you, so I will?”

This time Wot heard him clearly, understood exactly what he was saying, but no sooner had he replied that he did, the beast, licking the air, searching for his place of concealment, approached. Although Wot had concealed himself under the leaves of a large bush, and thought himself safe from the beast, he pulled back even further beneath it. Under that bush, in the dried-up interior that scratched and scraped him annoyingly, he racked his brains, searching for ideas as to how he might get away from the creature.  Tugging at the hood of his cloak, trying to pull it higher over his head, all the while grumbling at how prickly and itchy the dead undergrowth was, Wot suddenly had an idea. He wanted to explain it to the others, to tell them what he was going to do, but for fear of alerting the beast all that he said, whispered, was, “Get ready to run.”

On hearing this, Nott knew instinctively that he was up to something. Removing his heavy, cumbersome cloak, he told Kakuri to be ready for anything.

Deep within the bush, Wot fumbled with two pieces of wood. You see, he had recalled his Boy Scout days, when they had shown him how to make fire without matches. He had never tried to do it since then. He desperately hoped he could still manage it. Placing the first piece of wood flat upon the ground, Wot held the other piece vertically on top of it. Rubbing his palms backwards and forwards, around it, spinning the stick, Wot tried to make fire. One minute passed; no fire. Two minutes passed; still no fire. Three minutes passed; yet still no fire. As the minutes ticked away, the urgency of this operation grew. When the fourth minute had passed, Wot’s hands felt like it was they, not the wood, that was going to erupt into flames, but he kept on rubbing. Beads of perspiration trickled down his face. Then, a wisp of smoke, almost too small to notice, escaped from the dry timbers. Spurred on, Wot increased his valiant efforts exponentially. Faster and faster his hands went, back and forth, back and forth. His heart pounded, his hands ached, but he kept on going, kept on rubbing. Suddenly flames erupted from the piece of wood on the ground. Breathing a huge sigh of relief, Wot placed the other piece upon it. Gathering up bits and pieces of dead plant material, he piled them upon it. The flames grew bigger.

Looking out from under the bush, Wot could see that Kakuri and Nott having already detected the wisps of escaping smoke were at the ready. Although the beast was almost upon him, it had not yet noticed anything suspicious. Luck was with him. Gathering more grass and twigs – anything that might conceivably burn – Wot placed them over the burning wood. Heaping more and more grass and twigs on top of the burning embers, Wot shaped a little mountain out of it all, knowing that soon, very soon, the whole caboodle would ignite. His timing would have to be perfect. Drawing up two huge armfuls of dry kindling, Wot took a last careful look at the situation outside. Kakuri and Nott were both at the ready, the beast was still sniffing the air for clues as to his exact whereabouts, and the building, the Seat of the Axis was phasing back into view. Inspecting his little mountain, Wot saw fire erupting. Dropping the two armfuls of kindling upon it, he waited for it to ignite. WHAM, the whole caboodle exploded in a fireball of bright colours, scorching both him and the dry bush.

This was the signal Kakuri and Nott had been waiting for. Dashing away from their places of concealment, they ran like never before. The combusting bush startled the Dragonsaur. It stood there dumfounded, inhaling the smoke and the fumes, the terrible flames burning, searing into it. Shrieking with pain, the Dragonsaur tried to evade the smoke and the heat. However, it was too late the damage was done. Trying desperately to remain upright, it swayed unsteadily, then it collapsed in a heap.

Running as fast as their legs would carry them, Kakuri and Nott approached the blasted out hole in the Seat of the Axis. Without a backwards glance, without looking to see if Wot was okay, they ran through it. They were gone.

However, despite making a safe retreat to the rear of the bush, Wot had suffered a singeing. His face and hands were as black as coal, he had scorch marks around his eyes, nose and lips, and his heavy cloak was smouldering upon him. The smoke, having penetrated to his clothes beneath, had turned them almost as black as his face.

When he saw Kakuri and Nott escaping the beast, and entering the Seat of the Axis via the blasted out hole, Wot whooped with delight. That very same hole was also his goal.

Although the burning bush had hurt the creature it was not out for the count by any stretch of the imagination, Wot fully realised this. Watching the beast with a wary eye (it was beginning to stir) he counted the seconds as the structure faded from view. You see, it was imperative that he worked out exactly when it would reappear, and plan his run accordingly.

In fifteen seconds, the Seat of the Axis rematerialized. Wot needed fifteen seconds to get away from the beast and run through the hole…

Twenty, nineteen: the beast is out cold.

Eighteen, seventeen: the fire is almost gone.

Sixteen: Wot is ready to go.

Fifteen: now is the time to begin.

Fourteen: Wot is approaching the beast.

Thirteen: his heart is pounding so much.

Twelve: the beast is lying so still.

Eleven: the beast opens an eye.

Ten: its head rising, it roars.

Nine: Wot runs to the left.

Eight: the beast makes a lunge at Wot.

Seven: Wot runs to the right.

Six: the building is phasing back in.

Five: Wot can see his two friends.

Four: setting fire to his hat, Nott throws it at the beast.

Three: the flaming hat scares the beast.

Two: the beast flies away.

One: Tearing through the hole in the wall, Wot is safe with his friends.

“Phew!” Wot exclaimed. “For a while, there, I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it!”

“Nor was I, old buddy,” Nott replied. “I had to sacrifice my good hat, you know! I hope you appreciate that!”

“I do, old friend, I really do,” he answered. “Though one thing puzzles me…”

“And what might that be?”

“How did you manage to set fire to it?”

“With my trusty old lighter, of course,” Nott replied, showing him the said lighter.

“Oh,” Wot mumbled, eyeballing the lighter. “I could have done with that a few minutes ago. My hands are still aching!”

“Why don’t you carry a lighter?” Nott asked, though already knowing the answer (that he considers them dangerous).

“You two are a real odd pair,” said Kakuri, “you really are.”

“Us?” said Wot.

Why?” asked Nott.

“Of course,” she replied. “Have you any idea what you both look like, the state you are in?”

Inspecting themselves, Wot and Nott, however, saw nothing wrong with their appearance. “What do you mean?” they asked.

“Look at yourselves, she said.  “Nott, your suit is so tatty it looks like it was a giveaway! And as for you, Wot,” she continued, “your appearance has more in common with overdone turkey, than a man.”  The two friends looking again, this time seeing with her eyes, burst out laughing.

CONTD

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