So the bad news is that I missed yesterday. The good news is I’m back and at 58,000 and 20 chapters words, I have completed Camp NaNoWriMo! Whoohoo! And we’re not even done yet! Stick around, ya’ll!
“Why did they take you, though?” I ask. “Have they hurt you at all?”
Zoe shakes her head. “They just keep asking us about faeries of all things. Where are they? How long have they been here? Does their queen wear a pendant shaped like a tree? Weird stuff like that.”
“Like any of this isn’t weird,” the middle aged man scoffs.
“Their most recent one is how much do we think faeries would pay to get us back,” says an irate teen a few years younger than us. He looks more annoyed to be stuck here than scared. “Like they’re real or something.”
“Horrible giants are real. Why not faeries?” the twenty-something suggests. The teen rolls his eyes.
Miguel and I look at each other, silently debating how much to share. In the end I say, “Well, as it turns out, they kinda…are.” Everyone’s eyes go wide as they stare at me. “I mean, they’re friendly and they’re going to help us get you all out of this, but let me assure you, they’re real.”
“Why can’t you get us out now?” demands the middle aged man.
“No room in the boat,” Miguel says. “Besides, if any of you all are missing, they’ll only come after us.”
Deep in the forest, a low bellowing horn sounds, reverberating off the trees and shaking my very bones. More horns join in, creating a concophoney of panic.
Zoe looks up the path, then back to us, shoving us back into the forest. “You have to go. Do whatever you have to do to get us out of here, but go.”
The guard’s heavy steps thunder down the path, but that doesn’t stop Miguel from stealing a kiss before we book it through the forest towards its northern bank.
“I can’t believe you just did that,” I hiss as we run.
“You’d have done the same thing if it was Oliver.”
“Oh, shut up.”
Bellows and shouts from the main camp shut down our argument and propels us faster through the trees. I never been so grateful for my morning runs as I am now, not that I ever expected to use the skill running from ancient giants. Miguel begins wheezing and falling slightly behind. As I grab his hand to pull him along, I glance back and see black figures and torches taking shape through the trees, making my legs pump even faster.
Just as realize I can almost understand their shouts, familiar voices emerge from the trees, calling out words in a language that sounds as old as the island itself. Behind us, Kole and Kellen stop in the center of the path, arms outstretched and still chanting. The sound of the fomorians’ approach dulls, but I don’t it’ll stay like that for long.
Oliver pushes us further up the path, so we don’t get to find out. “They can handle it. Couldn’t handle a simple distraction without giving us away, but they can handle this. Get to the boat.”
Might help if I didn’t trip and slide down the path to the beach, scraping up my hands. The boys haul me to my feet and we reach the boat just as the pixie brothers shout for us to start pushing. Just as they jump in, the fomorians pile down the path, tripping over each other on the narrow strip of sand. They roar and growl, slamming fists and weaponry against the sand and the sand stone cliffs, knocking a few slabs loose.
The goat man from the night Miguel almost died wades into the water. “We know you’re out there,” he bellows, “so take a message to your queen. You won’t see your precious humans again until we get both amulets. Your era has ended. Now it’s our turn.”
We row around the island in silence, watching as the fomorians fall away from view.
Half way back to the mainland, Miguel dares to speak. “They won’t hurt them, will they?”
“They’re being held for ransom,” Oliver reminds him. “I’m sure they’ll be fine.”
“For now at least,” Kole chimes in.
I scowl at both of them, but Kellen ignores my silent order to shut up. “Here’s the bigger question: what will it take for the faerie queen to save a bunch of humans?”
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