Things Left Undone Book 2, Chapter 14
Inside the Mallet
We now take a brief interlude from the goings-on outside, and join Magus and Flea at their moment of being sucked into the mallet.
"N-no, please-" Flea felt like her blood was being drained by a hundred leeches. She felt herself begin to float. She tried to fight it, but she had no control. She couldn't even speak.
She floated to the side of the ghostly Cyrus, and she watched as Magus floated over as well. Then, it was beyond her control when she reached down to touch the mallet. She felt the sudden rush of cold air, and then she was alone in the darkness.
She floated alone for a while, nothing under her holding her up and nothing above her to hang from. There were no walls, or sides of any sort. Just... black.
After a while, she tried to move. She found that she had full control, and after swimming around for awhile, getting nowhere, she called for help.
"Hello?" She cocked her head and held her hand to her ear to help her hear any response.
"Hello?" was the faint reply.
"It's probably my echo." she sighed, but tried again anyway. "Who are you?"
"Magus! Flea, is that you?" It sounded like there was a foot-thick concrete wall, a hundred yards, and a muffler between them.
"Where are you?" she called into the blackness.
"Where's over here'?"
"Follow the sound of my voice and I'll follow yours!!"
So for over an hour of swimming, or whatever you would call flailing about to get somewhere from nowhere, they were still no closer to each other, as far as they could tell.
Flea was starting to get scared. "Magus, where are we!!"
"I don't know! All I remember is a whoosh of freezing wind and then, I was enveloped in this dark!!"
"It seemed like... No!!" Flea yelled in shock.
"What?" Magus called from beyond the void.
"I think we're inside the mallet!! Remember?!? I reached down, and I seem to remember being sucked in!! What do we do now?" Flea was near panic.
Magus wasn't much better. "Cyrus!! I should have turned you into a maggot and fed you to a dog!!"
Suddenly, the inside of the mallet changed from black to blinding white. A giant voice resonated through the mallet, and said, "Where we go now, mallet?"
"It's Krono!! What does he mean, 'where we go now mallet'?" Flea asked.
"He's probably asking the all-powerful mallet for advice. What should we tell him?" Magus yelled. They were still no closer than when they got there.
"Tell him to go root for edible grubs in the dirt."
"No. I think we should tell him to stuff his underwear with wet snow."
"How about stealing the Nu's nosehairs?"
"Saddling a bucking bronco and riding him until next Tuesday?"
"Jumping into a pit of angry vipers?"
Their decision was made for them by Cyrus himself. He appeared and was visible to both of them. For a short moment, they could see each other. He called out to Krono. "2304." He waved, with a smirk on his face, and he disappeared.
Magus and Flea both leapt at him, yelling "Get us out of here!!" and "Come back!!". As soon as Cyrus disappeared, though, the whole place went dark again and they were hovering in the air.
"Magus!! You're right beside me!!" Flea reached out.
"I know!! But why does it sound like you're so far away?" Magus resorted to flailing again, trying to reach something with substance.
"I don't like it here!! Why did that jerk Cyrus stick us in here, anyway? He could at least tell us why!!" Flea started swimming again, too, heading towards Magus.
After another half-hour, they both stopped, exhausted.
* * * * *
Flea was jolted out of a deep sleep and a pleasant dream by a bolt of lightning.
At least that's what it felt like. She cupped her hands over her mouth and yelled. "Be more careful out there!!!" Her fingers and toes still prickled from the blast. "I wonder what they're doing?" she called to Magus.
"I don't know. Maybe they're fighting Karter. Or perhaps they stuck the mallet into a pool of electric eels." They were still hovering, but they felt a little bit sore and battered, as if their energy had been sucked out by the mallet.
Flea had noticed the same thing. "You know, we're probably just batteries for this thing. Once we're sucked dry, we're probably gonna die."
"Who says we're not dead already?" Magus sighed.
There was silence for a few minutes, but then, a white spot appeared above them.
"What's that?" Flea shielded her eyes from the glow. The white spot mingled with a red spot, and with another massive shake, a blinding flash knocked the two batteries unconscious.
* * * * *
Flea woke up, and rubbed the bump on her head. She was still floating, but she could see. The world outside was reflected through transparent red and white stone, and she could see a pair of booted, walking feet. The mallet was dangling at Krono's side. "Magus!! Magus!! I can see you!!"
Magus jerked awake, and held his hands over his ears. "You don't have to yell! I can hear you perfectly fine!!" his voice echoed through their crystal prison.
"But, I can see!" Flea attempted to work her way over to Magus, but she remained in the same place. Finally, she settled down and watched the refracted image of walking feet carry them somewhere. "I wonder where we're going?"
"Probably somewhere wonderful!!" Magus sighed and folded his hands behind his head. He closed his eyes. "I can see it now! Palm trees, sand, sun, and surf, beautiful women serving me refreshing tropical drinks in coconut shells and pineapple husks! Aah, pina colada..."
Flea sighed and returned her attention to the world outside. I guess there's nothing to do but wait, she said to herself.
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