Watcher of the Realms Chapter 17

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Chapter 17

Barbarian Boy flapped his only wing. But one wasn’t enough to keep him—us—airborne.

Bad thing, though, he was veering toward the cliff where my friends were.

I kicked my legs, trying to get him to go down before he reached the other side. Maybe I’d be able to grab that rope bridge on our way down and not plummet to my death.

Barbarian Boy snapped at me. His fangs grazed my neck. I slid down his body. Hanging onto his feet might be better. Out of reach of those razor teeth.

The creature flinched and looked up. A rock pelted him in the face. “Take that, fang boy,” Hope yelled.

An even bigger rock hit him square in the temple, right at the base of his horn. He roared. The horn tipped sideways. It swayed in the wind, broken. Flopping against his head.

Another rock clobbered him in the mouth.

And then his demon black eyes rolled back. His wing stopped moving. That’s when we really started falling.

“Riley!”

I let go of Barbarian Boy. Arms out to the side, I aimed for the rope bridge. It was only a couple of feet away. I could grab it. I could do this.

Focus!

Air ripped through my shredded shirt. My eyes watered. My heart pounded. I shifted my arms up a little more to veer left. One chance to get this right.

One chance.

My hands met the rope, and I squeezed. Hopefully my super grip would turn on right about now.

The rope snapped free from where it was attached to the cliff. The whole bridge jerked. Shifted down. I scrambled to find footing. The tip of my shoe caught something. Yes! I’d made contact with a board step.

The mother leaned over the cliff, reaching toward the bottom of the cavern, howling. I couldn’t see what happened because it was total blackness below us, but I had to assume Barbarian Boy crash-landed at the bottom.

“No!” A deep voice roared.

It sounded really, really close.

“The Mom!” Braeden yelled. “Hurry!”

All I saw was a massive hand reaching for me. I scrambled up the rope bridge, but the last part broke free of the cliff behind me. The gang was holding their end. If they could hold on, I’d just swing across the canyon.

Then I could climb to them.

This might work. If I survived ramming into the cliff.

An iron clamp shackled my ankle.

“Riley!” Tish screamed.

I held on tight to the rope, praying it didn’t give way. The mother was so heavy, though. I fell farther and faster.

A rock flew past me. Pegged the Barbarian Mom in the head. She grunted. She released her hold on me. I looked down. She was somehow crawling the cliff toward me.

Holy heck. She was jamming her clawed hands into the mountain. I dangled above her like a catnip toy for a cat!

I scrambled for some rope to keep climbing. More rocks flew passed me, pegging the creature. It was slowing her but not knocking her out like Barbarian Boy.

No, I think it made her mad because she was gaining on me.

I was dead.

A rope dangled in front of me. “Grab it!” Braeden yelled. “Hurry.”

I wrapped it around my wrist and hung on.

“Pull!” Braeden yelled.

I punched my hand into the side of the cliff. If she could use her massive strength to climb the side of a cliff so could I.

But ouch did that hurt!

“Watch out!” Hope yelled.

A huge boulder tipped over the edge of the cliff.

“Incoming!” Hope yelled again.

I swung to the side. The massive hunk of earth bolted by me and rammed right into the Mom.

The impact blasted her away from the cliff wall. She reached out for anything to grab. But there was nothing but air.

Darkness swallowed her and her roaring up, too.

“Oh my gosh!” Hope sighed. “Oh my gosh.”

They pulled me up the rest of the way. Braeden grabbed me under the armpits and yanked me up. I flopped onto my stomach. Tish landed beside me, crying. Braeden sat on his butt, gasping, and Hope toppled over beside him.

“Now that’s something you don’t see every day.” I rested my forehead on the ground and focused on healing my back. I was so tired, though, I wasn’t sure anything would work.

“That’s freaky,” Hope said, looking in my direction. “Your cuts, they’re kinda fading. Like someone’s erasing them.”

“Nice aim with the rocks, guys.” I coughed as I pushed up. My arms were rubber, felt like I weighed a ton.

“We just killed two Barbarians.” Hope hopped to her feet. “Two. Barbarians, Bean. Oh my gosh. Giants. They were giants. Crazy. Going to eat us. We almost died.”

“Uh-oh, I feel a meltdown coming on,” Braeden whispered.

“I might join her,” I said.

“What have you guys gotten me into? Use that coin. Take us home, now!” Hope charged me. “Right now.”

The front of her foot caught a rock, and she landed flat on her face.

“Son of a—”

“Hold on there, spunky.” Braeden helped her up.

“Did you just call me spunky?” She pushed Braeden. “You did not—”

“Hold on, guys,” I said, rolling onto my side. “Give me a sec. I almost died, like, twice right there. Mind if I catch my breath?”

“What should we do now?” Tish asked, now sitting cross-legged in front of me.

“Got me.” I scrubbed my face.

“You scared me.”

“Yeah. Me, too.” I shuffled her hair and said, “It’ll be okay. We’ll be fine.”

“Hey.” She grabbed my hand. “You. Look.”

She showed me her palm. The exact same mark that was in the middle of my palm was in the middle of hers!

~~~~~~

Join us Monday for Chapter 18 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

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See you soon….

About Lynn Rush

New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, chocolate addict & ultra runner. Rep'd by Nicole Resciniti of The Seymour Agency
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