Read Parts I, II, III, IV, V, VI

 

The Ban-Tho howled in a deep, low rumble.  “Si-lenze,” it said with a snarl. “I killed not these ones.”

Oetho could easily understand the creature’s speech.  He had dealt with many captive Ban-Tho before and so was able to parse its deep-lunged accent.  Amana, however, ignored the creature’s grunts and darted about searching for something more deadly to throw.  “You will die if I have to strangle you with my own bare hands.”

Oetho continued to protest, though stayed put as she rummaged about with abandon. Eventually, Amana found something that satisfied her, a wrought-iron poker. Hefted into both hands, she turned to face the creature, but instead of fury in her eyes, her mouth gaped with shock.

The Ban-Tho squatted near the floor. In its hands was the young goat kid, one hand around its abdomen, the other clutching its neck. “Yourz?” It said. 

Amana gasped. There was a loud clank and a ring as the poker hit the floor.  “Put it down,” she shouted.  “Put it down, or Rilla help me, I’ll …”

As if in punctuation the colored glass in the arched window shattered inward, shards raining down onto the floor.  Wind burst into the attic swirling dust and loose paper into a torrent.  Through the holes Oetho could see the tempest outside.  A lump hit his throat, and he knew he was out of time.

Continue to Part VIII