Fantasy Suspense Adventure

“You always do this, you idiot. Always.” The dwarf, stout build and red-bearded, complained to himself on a cloudless moonlit night. He was trapped and he knew it. Stuck in a shallow but wide underground cave with the only escape being the wide-ranging hole about twenty feet up in the ceiling. He laid faced up towards the sky with glistening gossamer threads strung all about the room, a tangle of which bound his left arm and snared him to a grey boulder. The whole space smelled of musty decay. Moonlight glistened off the pearl-blue thread as he shook his head and continued to mock himself.

Let’s go looking for more sitheral! I bet there’s some in that cave! Ya got greedy again, Kaz, ya got greedy and you know it, ya rock-head!” He hollered, his deep gruff voice echoed off the damp cavern with naught but the wind to accompany him, or so he thought. Light caught a fuzzy silvery surface that seemed to move smoothly like rolling grass plains. There in the darkness he recognized the figure of a carriage-sized spider. The horror shocked him motionless and silent. Kazal could do nothing but attempt to quiet his horrified mind. 

A cradled mass of web squirmed in the smaller limbs near its black fangs as it crept closer. He watched with bated breath as the merciless orbs entombed on its carapace stared at him through the darkness. It cautiously approached, step by step. It was mere feet away before it reared up menacingly; its front legs arched back and gently placed the wrapped-up creature on the ground. It stuck fast to the stone next to Kazal, just on his periphery. The spider fastened the web that surrounded it with the skill of a musician tuning their harp. The animal played on each thread with its palps; the muted and shrill noises twanged and reverberated softly. Satisfied, it soared to the walls after a mighty jump before it left the cave in a flurry and squeezed out of the gap through the ceiling, the only sound it ever made came from the treetops as they groaned from its weight off in the distance. The sack shook ominously next to him.

He slowed his breath, but soon his face erupted in a red rage, he shouted “Til Nir Goch!” He cursed harshly at the heart attack the spider had nearly given him.

“Quiet, you fool!” A rebuke hissed from the package the spider left behind. Kazal craned his head as much as he could; only to find an elf’s face that chewed and spat out globs of web. He was cocooned almost completely, nearly upside down and affixed to the wall. His pale face accentuated an infuriated expression. “Bloody greedy dwarves! Wasted time tracking you all day and then you go and blunder into the most obvious mother trap I have ever seen!”

“Shut your prancy little yap, you good for nothin’- Wait, what’s that? You’ve been following me?! What for and for how long?!”

“Really?! Do you really care?! Out of all the things to be worried about… Your pathetic craggy little rock-brain can’t deduce why an elf scout might be protecting his borders from thieving dwarven miners like you!?” He thrashed when he spoke; his disdain emphasized with each insult.

“Thieving!? How dare you! I’m many things elf but a mineral-thief ain’t one! Oh-hoh I can’t wait to tell the guilders what you said, they’ll laugh so hard their tears will rust their chainmail. Also, it looks like you found yourself in the same pit, you git, oh you just wait until I get my hands on you, I’ll take me pickaxe and excavate your head from your shoulders! I’m gon-"

“Quiet! Spare me your empty threats, idiot, we’re both going to die if we do not escape and escape fast!” The elf’s face was drenched in sweat and his breath sounded hoarse and restricted by his bindings.

“What if I’d rather die than save you? Ever considered that, eh?”


"Oh…” his face morphed into an odd expression of delight and fear. “You don’t know, do you?”

“Know what exactly, eh?”

“This is a silvered-mother nest. This rare breed of giant spider does not hunt to eat when they are mature, oh no… What they capture is to be used for brooding, my dear friend. You will be home for thousands of little crawlers that will love nothing more than to feast on you, nibble by nibble.” The elf relished the dwarf’s fear; an emotion he had not faced much of, by the look on his blood-drained face. He let the moment sink in in silence. “Unless we can find a way out of here that is. Can you move?”

Kazal was about to protest and insult him before shadow pains of wriggling legs in his stomach ushered a sense of urgency. “I can only move my left side, it’s not caught, but the arm is broken. Those fingers aren’t moving either. Must’ve busted it bad when I landed. I rolled over into this mess…”, He gestured with a head nod towards the web coverings on his right side, “…when I crashed, and since then I’ve been held stuck.” He tried to raise his gummed-up arm which budged only a little before it fastened back.

“Okay, I can heal your broken arm, but it’s going to take some time. I am going to need to know more about you for it to work. What is your name and where do you come from?”

“Eh? Wait, this isn’t some illusion or elf-trick, is it? This ain’t some information gathering scheme or something of the kind?” He looked over and studied him intently.

“You fool! We do not have time for me to explain my clans magic to you; suffice it to say that for my spell to work I need to be able to connect with you on a deeper level. Name. Home. Now.”

He paused for a moment before he seemed satisfied and said, “My name is Kazal Alekax, but the people in my host calls me Kaz. I was born in the valley of Bildir, lived there all my life, until just recently when we moved to this mountain range. What’s your name anyway? You know it’s inter- “

 “Shut up! Nothing more!”

“I’ve given my name; only right that you give me yours, elf!”

“My name is Syndel Elan, now shut up so I can concentrate. I have never done this on a dwarf before, your peculiar anatomy will make this difficult. Now you must count to…can you count?”

“I can count, arsehole.”

“Count as high as you can in your head.” Syndel chanted in an elvish tongue, the words ‘Kazal’ and ‘Bildir’ were the only ones Kazal could decipher. The dwarvish words sounded out of place in an elven spell, like gravel on silk. Kaz concentrated on counting until a searing pain rose sharply in his broken arm, followed shortly by an audible and muffled popping sound as the sensation in his fingertips sprang to life. It took all he had not to break concentration as the spell continued to work its magic. Syndel’s eyes were closed as he chanted; a faint mist poured from his lips and shrouded both of them. Kazal lost count as hours passed, the moon trailed off in the distance and the sky hinted at the approaching dawn. The pains subsided after a while. Completely exasperated, Syndel asked, “Okay, can you move now?”

Kazal’s arm felt as if it had been asleep for years, but slowly it rose to form a rude gesture towards the elf. Kazal laughed to himself, satisfied.

“Alright, that was pretty impressive for an elf! Syndel, was it? I was getting worried around four hundred, didn’t think you had it in ya. Honestly, I stopped counting.”

“I only had you count so you’d stop blabbering, dwarf. Now hurry up and cut your bindings. This silk is strong; I hope you’ve got something sharp.” Kazal looked miffed before he snickered at the way he’d been tricked. He continued to chuckle as he rummaged through his pack that lay barely in reach. He felt cold steel on the edge of his fingertips. With a groan, he reached as far as he could before the web pulled him back. The hold his fingertips managed was enough to drag the head of a pick out and into his grasp.

“Aha! Gotcha Bessy!” He lifted it like a prized pet.

“A pickaxe?! You’re going to free yourself with a pickaxe?! That dull tool cannot unfix you, Kazal!”

“You’ve got your tricks, Syndel, I’ve got mine. Hey… Looks like It’s your turn to count, Aye?” He winked, turned away from him, and knocked the stone against his dark iron ring that adorned his left hand. It sang a peculiar whining tune which oscillated before it dissipated. He held it to his ear and listened closely before he murmured, “Just as I thought. Likely some quartz in there, big chunk of feldspar too. Just need to strike a hole here and…” His pick struck true and made a deep indention in the stone. He ruffled through his bag once more and grabbed something. “There we go…”

“This better be effective, Kaz, or we are dead. It is near morning time. She nests during the day, and gods forbid if she has… if her brood…” his worries were interrupted by a loud clank immediately followed by an explosion that rang their ears and jostled every inch of web around them. Syndel fell sideways onto his back, his vision blurred in the dust, but he could tell from the morning light that he was upright and staring skywards. 

“How’s that, eh!?”, Kazal bellowed triumphantly. The dust cleared and before him stood the dwarf with a sizeable chunk of rock still webbed to his right arm but split from the main cave wall. It clung to him like a stone bracer. The tip of bessy was bent upward at a sharp angle. Syndel spat out pebbles and coughed.

“By all the devils below, how did you do that?! You could have killed us!”

“Better dead by my own hand than becoming a Kaz-sized feast! Hah! I Just made a little blasting charge from that ore I'm up here for, that mean son-of-a-goat ore, sitheral. The black one with green specks running through it. Little strike from poor ‘ol Bessie here was all it took to make all this rubble!” He looked down at him; he was clearly unamused. “Cheer up, Syndel! We’re getting out of here!”

“Well…I am still webbed. Do you not have anything sharp?”

“’fraid not, all my tools are back at camp. Would have my trusty axe on me, but I wasn’t expectin’ this trip to be anything but a short little looksie-loo. How wrong was I, aye?” He looked down to see him bundled up, as if he were in a tight sleeping bag. He was securely fixed to a flat broken off slab of rock. He laughed and smiled genuinely, “You’re kind of funny looking all tied up like that. Let’s at least stand you up, aye?”

“Perhaps one of these stone shards will be sharp enough… Or you could…” His expression froze and turned pale white. He looked past Kazal at the arctic eyes of the silvered mother spider behind Kazal, as it stared down at them patiently. The mouth of the cave looked small when adorned by her bearded appendages. She slowly sidestepped around the entrance. “Ka…Kaz….”

He looked behind him and his heart skipped a beat. “Okay…no time....” Kazal rushed to the side of the elf and never broke eye contact with the beast. He deliberately fell back; his hair and the small of his back firmly stuck to Syndel, who was too paralyzed with fear to question him. It stayed immobile as Kazal struggled to stand back up. He planted the good end of his pick into the earth and heaved himself up to his feet with sheer muscle strength. Syndel was now rooted on Kazal’s back, the heavy slab of rock that came loose from the explosion still stuck to him.

Her legs moved hypnotically slow, she inched along and watched. “Okay, Syndel…. Could really use your fancy magical elf brain now…” He whispered urgently as he saw her fangs ungulate slowly around her mouth parts. The sound of skittering legs echoed off in the distance, which grew louder by the second.

“No…Do you hear them? Her younglings come back from the nights hunt with food for their mother… Be ready for more.” Syndel scanned the whole area with rapid eye movements; he took in everything. He spoke curtly and softly and took great pains to not indicate any sort of movement that might trigger her. “Kaz… please tell me you have more sitheral.” He whispered.

“Aye, nearly a full day’s haul.”

“We have one shot at this. It may kill us, but if it does not work, we are dead anyway.” His examining brain was a curse in these moments. He foresaw multiple outcomes to his plan, most of them horrible and not fit for reflection.

“Just tell me what I need to do.” He slowly moved to reach for the bag

“There’s a sitheral deposit on the rock spire directly under her, it looks to be a supporting wall for the lip of this hole. Listen carefully, you must toss your bag at its base. And then you must aim my face at it.”

“Aim your face?” Kaz spoke too loudly, and her forelegs rose sharply in preparation for a fatal pounce.

“Now!” Syndel shrieked at the top of his lungs followed by a flurry of magical words that Kaz had no hope understanding. Instincts consumed him and forced Kazal to heave his pack on command. After his body recoiled from the toss, a stream of fire spat from Syndel’s mouth. It easily burned through the side of Kaz’s beard as it struck far off its mark. Finally he understood and pivoted on his foot and the stream arced towards the bag. She sprung into the air as dozens of tiny eyes peered over the edge of the hole, none made it in before a giant eruption rocked the surrounding acre. Kaz turned from the blinding green flames that burst from the earth and billowed skyward; Rock, dust, and spider parts flew wildly in the cavern. One huge stalagmite crashed into them both and slammed them up against the wall. They were separated; and the impact broke up the rock on Syndel’s back, along with enough webbing for his arms to reach the long dagger in his boot sheath.

With a flurry he cut himself free and stood tall but shaken, Kaz lumbered up slowly, his beard puffed smoke, and he laughed in triumph. A severed leg bounced off his head and onto the floor, its joint thrashed about. The mother was curled up into a fired ball above them, charred and ashen legs crumbled into the cave and broke up like spent firewood as it hit the floor. Syndel looked at Kaz with a jubilant smile. He wanted to tell him that he was impressed, but the moment was cut short when multiple shadows sprang across the floor from the children that remained. They made no except from their hooked claws that tapped swiftly against the floor, ceiling, and walls. They were the size of hunting dogs, yet faster and with all the terrifying instincts that come naturally to a hunting spider. They leapt at them from all sides, but Syndel moved through them like a dancer among amateurs. Cleanly sliced limps littered the floor. Kaz’s pick planted many of them to the floor, his raw strength and fury alone proved fatal to many of them. He used his rock-bound arm as a shield and gauntleted fist, any that dared approach were pounded into the unyielding earth. They moved as they fought up a fallen rock wall towards the surface; They knew that a simple stumble would cost them their lives.

Finally, they reached the top, the last few of them retreated into the woods. Sunbeams spilled through the pines. They both huffed before they fell back into lush green grass and shared a desperate laugh that comes only from those who saw their own death and overcame it by luck and ingenuity alone.

“Well, I have no idea how to write this report, Kaz, I must admit; if I let you go, they’ll have me imprisoned under suspicion of being a spy.” He looked over to the soot and dust covered dwarf, his red beard ashen and misshapen.

“Tell them the truth. You saw a dwarf stumble drunkenly into the worst bed imaginable” He got up to his feet and offered his free hand to help him up before Syndel drew his blade. He sliced the webbed chunk off his other hand cleanly and in the blink of an eye. The slab slipped to the ground with a heavy thump.

“You know, in a way I’m sure that spider saved my life. With the way you handle that blade and that blasted magic of yours.... Alright, I won’t be snooping around here for anymore ore. Kaz’s promise. Rest surely that I won’t be doing that again. Especially not with those kinds of beasties about.” He walked over to the hole to see the wreckage they had caused. Rocks crumbled here and there as spider bodies were curled up into themselves left and right.

“Well, I must be getting back I ‘spose. Before they assume I died and run off without me. Again. I guess… I guess this is the last time we see each other, eh Syndel?”

“It better be, Kaz. For your sake and mine, friend.” He shook his hand, and they went their separate ways.

May 21, 2021 05:26

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Abood Balbisi
10:09 Jun 06, 2021

Can I post your story on YouTube with your name listed With some edits you can look at my channel https://youtu.be/3wjgHZWiXwo


Reece York
09:59 Jun 08, 2021

Absolutely : )


Abood Balbisi
10:47 Jun 08, 2021

I did not understand what you mean


Reece York
22:04 Jun 08, 2021

I apologize, you may post my story on YouTube.


Abood Balbisi
22:27 Jun 08, 2021

Thank you, I will send it to you as soon as it is finished


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