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Monday, November 26

Awfully Familiar Update

Switch reared up on his hind legs. "I will not do this."

"Fine, suit yourself." Truth was, I was terrified of being alone in the maze. But I was convinced that I was right. Or at least, that it would give me a leg up on that awful toad of a goblin.

Switch padded off down the corridor. His thin black form got smaller and smaller.

"You'll end up just like the other rat skulls!" I mentally shouted at him. "You ever wonder why there's only skulls left? It's cause they eat your whole body in one gulp!"

Switch turned a corner and then he was gone. I was alone again in the maze.

The silence was awful. I could occasionally hear movement above us on the mesh. Sometimes I heard talking, although I couldn't make it out. I was convinced we were being observed.

Suddenly, Switch's black form was visible around the corner. He was coming back!

I tried not to betray the excitement in my thoughts. "You changed your mind?"

Switch wasn't just padding back towards me -- he was running full tilt. "Run!"

I turned and started running, but Switch was already flying past me. And behind him was Hack, utterly silent with deadly glittering intent in his wide eyes.

Hack looked a lot like Heave, only he was a scarecrow of a goblin. Where Heave had heavy-lidded eyes, Hack's looked as if they had been peeled back permanently. There was no pot-belly on Hack, just a sunken stomach. Hack's long tongue flopped out of his mouth as he ran, trailing saliva. He loped like a gorilla down the corridor on his knuckles, galloping at a pace far faster than I thought goblins could manage.

That was enough to lend speed to my steps. I picked up the pace.

I could hear the heavy footsteps of Hack gaining on us. He was much faster than we thought. Which meant that all along, he had been toying with us.

"We must split up," thought Switch, now running beside me.

"But he'll catch one of us!"

"Find Heave," said Switch. He slowed to a stop at a four way intersection. Hack started panting and giggling as he saw easy prey, an awful combination.

I paused. I couldn't just leave Switch at the mercy of that awful thing. "He'll eat you!"

Switch nodded. "I had no purpose. You do. Find Heave. Beat the Maze."

He slapped at me with his tail. I reflexively jumped backwards, out of Hack's line of sight.

Switch turned to face Hack. Then he ran off in the opposite direction, away from me.

The goblin didn't hesitate. He skidded around the corner, bouncing off of walls, and continued his pursuit.

I was pretty sure I would never see Switch again.

I turned around, determined that Switch's sacrifice not be in vain.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:52 AM


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