Day 46

“What makes you think that it won’t come after us once it makes Glue Pot pass out?” Ginger said from underneath her hand in a whisper.

“Remember what Digitalis said about faults? Hers is being hot headed. There’s no way she’ll take Glue Pot passing out lightly,” Alastair replied. “Now, hurry. Take out your Fire Gems and circle around the clearing. Wait until it’s distracted.”

“What about you?” Lila whined.

“Don’t worry about me.”

“Digitalis said your weakness is trying to protect everyone,” Gabbie remarked. “Don’t do anything stupid.”

“Just get the Gems. Hurry!”

The kids reluctantly followed Alastair’s directions. True to his predictions, Digitalis gave out an enraged shout of pain when she saw her comrade, Glue Pot, crumple under the Batal’s squeezing neck.

“You’ll regret you EVER met us, you ugly, disgusting, bug ridden, gangrenous, pustule!” Digitalis roared. She began to put everything she could into her wings as her wooden spoon connected over and over with the Batal’s other joints in its legs. Her face had gone a shade darker, and her mouth was pulled into a grimace of terrifying fury.

“Pustule?! Pustule?!” The Batal’s head reeled back into hits body. “You whelp. You hindrance. Should kill now. Won’t need something rotten like you ailing stomach!” The Batal opened its mouth, unhinging its jaw like a snake until the bottom jaw smacked the dirt ground.

“No you don’t!” Digitalis veered to the left, narrowly missing the Batal’s scooping jaws. “Not today, you slimy dingweasel!”

“You brat! You gross, gnat! You hag!” The Batal swung again. It caught Digitalis’s foot.

“HEY, YOU!” Alastair screamed from the top of his lungs. He was still standing in the middle of clearing. “Your brain is dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage! Thou venomed lily-livered knave! Thou rank hasty-witted nut-hook!” Alastair always knew that finding and memorizing Shakespearean insults would come in handy one day. His best friend from Indiana and him had devised duel methods to both confuse and degrade their bullies. They never got to use the insults because they ended up getting along well with the kids in the grade. Now, Alastair could insult away. The Batal, whether it understood these coarse words or not, knew that it was being made fun of. The thing spat out Digitalis’s foot.

“Nut-hook? Grah! Why must prey always be icky with attitudes. Just let eat! Eat! EAT!”

The Batal tried to move. It’s front legs had been mangled thanks to Digitalis and her spoon. Grumbling, the Batal reared up, balanced on its back feet, and walked upright. Seeing something that is primarily made for using all four feet suddenly use only two was strangely unnerving. Alastair faught the urge to wretch as the monster’s multiple leg joints popped and cracked when it lumbered over.

Alastair waved his hands above his head.

“Now! Now! Now!”

The boy watched his friends squeeze the Fire Gems. The Batal was a goner. There was no way it would be able to avoid the fire balls hurled at him in different directions! Yet, something was wrong. Alastair watched Gabbie squeeze the gem. She wasn’t doing it right. Didn’t the Elder say the gems were easy to pop? Alastair’s gem popped easily enough in his pack.

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