Derek woke up tied down and face to face with something green and scaly. Worryingly, it wasn’t the olive green skin of the smaller spirit who could speak perfect Bunny, but it was the same hue of green of the much larger Forest spirit, the one that, now that Derek came to think of it, looked not unlike a giant monkey lizard.
“If I close my eyes, maybe it’ll go away,” Derek thought to himself, before closing his eyes as tightly as possible. Nothing happened. “It’s not going to go away,” thought Derek.
At first it sounded like rain, albeit very localised, then Derek became aware of a pungent odour. Before he was splashed himself though, the monster that Derek was tied to sprang into life. Well, it jerked into consciousness really, it was definitely awake though, but unable to move which made springing anywhere, never mind into life, a trifle tricky.
“Slslssttbnnnnslllll,” said a voice that Derek recognised as the smaller Forest spirit. “Ssssstheeeeeeeennnnnnnnhhhhhhtttttttttbbbbbbbbbbdiiiiiiiiishhhhhhhhhheeeeennn”
Derek was confused, to say the least. Again, the smaller of the two spirits uttered an incomprehensible string of guttural utterances. “Nnnnnnnnnnnnyyyyyyynnnnnnnnnsssnnnnnnnnnnthhhhhhhhrrrrrrrrrrrrssssssssscccccccccc”
This time though, the giant monster responded. Derek vibrated all over due to the force of the bass of the larger creature’s tones. The two Forest Spirits were having a conversation, that much was clear. Still, Derek kept his eyes firmly shut. He felt the larger creature recoil slightly after receiving what sounded like a nasty boot to the ribs.
It was at this point that Derek did what all bunnies are taught to do if they get lost in The Forest. He shouted for help. It’s not rocket science really. All of The Village kittens are taught not to wander too far away from The Village, however, should they get lost they’re taught to simply call for help. The Bunny distress signal is a continuous, very high-pitched squeal, not unlike a dog whistle.
As the two fighting Forest Spirits continued what sounded like a fairly heated discussion, Derek’s own internal spirits were falling. Calling for help wasn’t something Derek had done for a very long time, most bunnies beyond the age of one year have usually mastered getting themselves home when they’re out in The Forest. The trouble with calling for help is that only Bunnies nearby will hear the call of a lost kitten and Derek was bloody miles away from The Village.
He carried on calling nevertheless, but stopped when he heard a click followed almost instantaneously by a deep ZZUMMMMM. Things were suddenly a lot warmer, it felt as though Derek was standing too close to The Pyre. It was then that Derek opened his eyes. It wasn’t the terror in the eyes of the larger Spirit that first caught Derek’s attention, it was something far worse.
Standing about one tree trunk’s length away and nearly at the same height of the canopy, a monstrous ghoulish white head sat atop two creaking, grinding, spindly legs—with kneecaps on back to front not unlike those of the oolah-oolah bird. The creature had no body to speak of, or arms. It’s menacing, unblinking, gaze fell upon Derek and the two Forest Spirits.
Then without warning: POW!POW!…POW!POW! In quick succession, four bolts of red hot lightening spat from mandibles beneath the creature’s mouth. They shot narrowly above Derek’s head. As they did so the terrified Bunny heard the zumming hum noise of a few moments earlier sweeping through the air. Derek felt his fur singe and looked up to see the white headed monster’s fire spit ripping off into The Forest.
Derek’s screams for help took on fresh urgency. The giant, white headed, bird-like monster took two faltering steps forward: POW!POW!…POW!POW! Three bolts of lightening were deflected into The Forest by the small Spirit’s zumming humming device. The fourth bolt, however, hit its intended target.
The fire spitting menace stood stock still as Derek carried on screaming for help in ultra high pitch. The giant white shiny bird monster took two more steps forwards and trained its fire breathing mouth on Derek.
With a loud CLONK! a flap of skin on the monster’s head suddenly peeled back.
“Derek, thank Nob you’re alive,” said a familiar voice echoing from the darkened brain cavity of the monster.
“Duncan,” shouted Derek, “did the bird monster eat you?”
“Is that really you lad?” said another familiar voice.“Dad!” exclaimed Derek, “you too?”