Jonathan’s Return (An Adventure Novel)
(Copyright 1984, Mark D. Jones, All Rights Reserved)
Book Two, Chapter Six, Part Six
The sounds of the dragon’s relentless attack on the seawall continued in the distance behind them, as Jonathan did his best to calm his nerves and assess the situation they now found themselves in. The beast was beyond furious in its ripping away stone blocks at the fissure that provided an escape route for he and Sammy to get away just moments earlier. Now, Jonathan saw movement across the ceiling of the vault they were in within the fortress’ seawall, and red eyes staring back at them from above – a frightfully paralyzing position to be in!
As he lifted his Light Sword towards the ceiling to shed some light above them and get a better view of whatever it was that clung to the ceiling, Jonathan recoiled in angst from what he saw – nothing like anything he’d ever seen before! Hanging from the ceiling were literally hundreds of large, black and hairy spider-like creatures with red eyes, each one with a body the size of a dinner plate or larger! Although their bodies were like giant spiders, their legs were tentacles like those of an octopus, allowing them to slither across the ceiling’s stone blocks while hanging upside down!
Jonathan had to catch his breath at the sight of these hideous creatures moving across the vaulted ceiling about ten feet above them, and fortunately, they hadn’t attacked the two of them – yet. In fact, these nasty and vile creeping things didn’t seem to pay Jonathan and Sammy any attention except to look down at them, almost as if they had a larger danger to worry about. After slowly picking up the provision bag and venturing farther into the vaulted room, Jonathan kept moving forward while ensuring Sammy stayed right beside him, never taking his eyes off the creatures around them. The floor and walls of the chamber were clear of these creeping beasts, and it seemed to Jonathan that the ceiling seemed to represent some sort of safety to them – as if other things might be lurking on the floor in dark corners…
Knowing they couldn’t remain where they were, and that the dragon was still ripping away at the seawall, Jonathan knew they had to keep moving, but there wasn’t a clear direction out of this chamber with its limited visibility. They slowly walked straight ahead, while never taking his eyes off the slithering things covering the ceiling, until Jonathan could make out an exit corridor leading from the chamber. They seemed to be in a central passageway running within the outer seawall of Skulvarr Fell, without any other options to choose from left, right, up or down. Jonathan was surprised to find that the corridor was larger than he had first guessed, with a ceiling perhaps ten feet high, and a width of at least fifteen feet – large enough for armies to march within it – and that they seemed to have left the spider-like creatures back in the vault behind them.
As Jonathan and Sammy continued moving ahead, they reached a long, descending stone staircase and followed it down to the next level, as they had no other options to follow. At the bottom of the staircase they stepped into a pool of dark water about six inches deep, and Jonathan could feel a steady current running from right to left against his ankles. Investigating further, he could feel where seawater was pouring into the lower level of the corridor within the seawall, and realized there must be a significant crack in the seawall’s foundation that was allowing seawater to penetrate inside it. The pool of water seemed minor to Jonathan, compared to the creatures they had only just encountered, and kept slowly moving forward, while making sure their footing was secure under the water.
It was then that Jonathan noticed a significant difference in the atmosphere around them, and they both stood still trying to figure out what it was – absolute quiet! The distant sounds of the dragon attacking the seawall had stopped, followed by complete silence – until a bone-chilling shriek and cry stopped their hearts between beats – the dragon had entered the corridor!