Things Left Undone Book 2 Epilogue

By CuteLucca

Marle groaned. She couldn't remember a thing since she saw Karter and that bright flash of light.

She was sore, and her muscles felt like they had been still for weeks. She reached out to stretch her stiff limbs...

But they were bound to the bed. Or whatever it was. It certainly wasn't comfortable, now that she thought about it. Several bumps and bruises were making themselves known, and they were right on the back of her head, in back of her shoulders, the base of her spine, and her heels. She obviously had been laying there a while.

She tried to stretch again, but was reminded that she was tied up. Her legs, arms, waist and chest were locked in place.

She lifted her head, hoping to get a glimpse of who did this to her, or at least her surroundings. She could see nothing except the stone slab she was laying on and the coarse rope holding her down. She cringed at the thought of the rope burns she was going to have.

She rolled her head to the side, and saw several other slabs, identical to her own. Her blurry eyes took a moment to focus. What was originally a shapeless lump gained arms, and legs, and bright orange hair. It was Crono, bound the same way as her.

He still hadn't woken up yet, and a thread of drool slipped out of the corner of his mouth and splattered on the slab. Marle tried to wake him up, whispering his name as loud as she could. He remained asleep.

Discouraged, she focused on the slab beyond Crono's. Ayla lay there, bound and asleep. Marle didn't even bother to try to wake her up. It took a cannon (or the smell of eggs and bacon) to wake Ayla up.

She turned her head to the other side, and there was another slab. Glenn. Glenn was also asleep, and snored evenly. She called his name, keeping a wary eye on the darkness around them. He simply snorted and rolled his head to the other side, still asleep.

Marle was getting annoyed. Why was she the only one awake? Then the real question dawned on her. Where were they? Who was responsible? How long had they been there? How long had it been since she had washed her hair!?!

Ignoring the pain of stiff muscles, rope burn and a pounding headache, she strained at her bonds. Finally, she felt the rope around her right wrist loosen, but she could also feel her warm blood trickle down her arm.

During that time, she noticed that she wasn't hungry or thirsty. After being asleep for as long as it took to raise lumps the size of the one on her tailbone, she should have been parched and starving. But she actually felt full. Putting that thought aside to ponder after she was in a slightly less pressing predicament, she continued to work at the rope.

After about an hour, her wrist finally came loose of the rope. She brought her throbbing hand up to her face. It was swollen and purple. She must have cut off the circulation while she was working herself free. Not to mention the raw and bleeding blisters and burns on the back of her wrist. Oh, great, she thought to herself as she wrung her wrist out to restore its proper color.

Her fingers finally responding to her commands, she sent them out to free her other wrist. Whoever tied them down did a pretty darn good job, she thought. Probably could have taught sailors a thing or two about knots.

She sighed and let the rest of her body relax as she worked at the rope. They were in a cave, by the moisture in the air, the coolness, and the echoes of dripping water. But she could also notice the faint odor of rancid air. No wonder they were in here. If they were outside of this cave for very long, they'd probably choke and die in their sleep. Her fingers were becoming raw, as well. I can't keep this up for much longer, she thought. But she didn't have to. With a snap, the rope released and her other wrist was free.

She brought them both up to her face and inspected them. The left hand was in much better shape than the right one. She wrung them out, and when they both were proper-feeling, she set to work on the rope holding her chest down.

She had worked on it for no more than ten minutes before she heard a sound in the dark before her. She stopped working and focused all her energy on listening.

There it was again. A clicking, like that of claws on a hard floor. Also, heavy breathing. Grinding of scales moving against each other. Marle gulped, and broke out in a sweat. She looked at the others, but they were still out cold.

She noticed a slight breeze, like something moving past her. A glint of silver streaked the air. Then, a thunderous roar shook the room, the slabs and them.

The others jerked awake, but were unable to break free of their bonds.

Marle kept her eyes rooted to the spot in the dark where she saw the silver. Her hands twitched in fear.

A blast of flame lit the room for several incredibly long seconds. A beast stood before her, a fire-breathing beast.

Its scales weren't silver, but a drab gray that reflected the light from the beast's fire in muted shades of orange. The body sprouted six thick muscled legs, none of them fit for grasping. The wings on its back would never be able to hold Marle aloft, let alone the creature, which was the size of six elephants. The short, thick tail swished slowly from side to side, like a cat watching mice.

Marle couldn't tell where the neck ended and the head began. The mouth was at the end of the appendage, which resembled an elephant trunk with eyes. Beady little red eyes. The mouth opened and the creature let out a deafening hiss, displaying three or four razor sharp teeth. The hiss sprayed scalding steam at the four sacrifices.

For that's what they were.

The room had been lit with torches. It was a cave, and all around the walls was a balcony. On this balcony stood several hundred creatures, all of which looked like Karter. There were two, though, who wore bright yellow robes. Marle assumed them priests. As the beast drew nearer to the four victims, the priests began to hum, a long, continuous note that threatened to split the eardrums. The entire assembly joined in, and suddenly they all broke out shaking. The priests began rolling on the floor, and the other creatures were wracked with what seemed like spasms. The hum was growing ever louder.

Marle looked at her companions. Crono, apparently, had passed out, for he was laying back, with his eyes closed, drooling. What a baby, she thought to herself. Ayla and Glenn were rooted to the spot, staring at the monster as it waddled closer to them.

Marle finally looked back at the monster. It was closer now, and besides looking frightful, it smelled frightful as well. It exhaled in a poof of steam, and Marle gagged on the odor. It was a combination of rotting meat, sour milk, cow manure, and the most expensive perfume.

The monster stopped right before her slab. It eyed her quizzically, and suddenly arched it's head back, reminiscent of a cobra ready to strike. Marle froze, and started whimpering.

The beast hissed again, and shot his arched neck right at her face.

She lifted her arms up in a feeble attempt to protect herself.

Her screams pierced the night.


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