Day 67

Gabbie was unable to confirm or deny Silverskin’s claim. If she had the time, she might have found a way to cleverly weave a tale akin to deceit. Or she could have come clean, which would have been the more likely choice. Gabbie did not like lying to friends. There were the etching of a word forming on her lips when the ground began to tremble. The children spread their legs to steady themselves, and they clasped hands for the added balance.

“What’s going on?” Gabbie yelped.

“I, I don’t know!”

Opale’s droopy ears fluttered, and she screamed in fear. She reared up, her mystical eyes bulged out it utter terror. She stumbled when the ground rocked and churned. The deerne fell into the lake’s icy waters.

“Opale, get out of there!” Silverskin yelled. The beast’s hooves slid on the watery rocks beneath her. She yelped and moaned, but she could not get up. “Please, get out! Opale!”

Gabbie narrowed her eyes and gasped.

“Opale can’t get up. Something has her!”

Just when they two children wondered what could have possibly be so large and strong that it can hold down a three hundred poiund or so deerne, they say with their own eyes what type of beast could do so. Something gigantic, something as tall and as wide as a skyscraper or a mountain itself rose up and up and up from the depth of the lake. In the thing’s pinched fingers was Opale, clasped by her back right hoof. The deerne wiggled and bucked but to no avail.

“Great Matron,” Silverskin gasped. “I didn’t think it was true. I thought it was all folly.”

“It’s the lake god,” Gabbie said.

The lake god was as black as a shadow. It had no defining features, just a head with blasting white eyes, two arms, and a hand holding onto Opale. The rest of the god was still submerged under the lake’s waters. Just how big was this thing? The god slowly blinked. It dimly brought up its catch, staring intently at the struggling deerne. The black shadow may have moved its head from side to side as it examined the deerne.

“L-L-Leave Opale al-l-lone!” Silverskin tried to scream, but his pleas were wiped clean from an icy lake breeze. The god wouldn’t have cared anyway. It opened its mouth, and Gabbie knew then that they had to leave right then and there, even if that meant leaving Opale. The god’s mouth started from its glowing white eyes and ended at the crest of the lake water. Two rows of savage red teeth lining the god’s upper and lower jaw, and in the depths of its mouth was a wriggling, red, fat tongue. The god’s mouth was as big as a tree, and so it easily swallowed poor Opale whole once it threw the deerne on top of its tongue.

“Silverskin, we have to run. NOW!” Gabbie tugged at the elf boy, but he wouldn’t move. He stared with horror at the god. “Do you want to end up like poor Opale? No? Then MOVE!” At last, Gabbie woke Silverskin from his daze. He stared at her with tears brimming in his eyes and nodded.


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