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datatime: 2022-09-30 17:05:24 Author:poXIDcAS

... and the vine-thing stopped when it hit the line. Just stopped.

And acted it out.

Brothers of fire, she croaked, the voice barely clearing her larynx. We need you. Please come to our side.

Oh, no, Micki croaked, her hand freezing in place. The vine probed at the air, like a menacing antenna. When she stopped, it had nothing to go on. It wavered, deaf as well, and then went back to tracing and gouging the wall.

WATER S-S-SISTERS she screamed, howling gaze and voice northward. OH EARTH MOTHER PLEASE ...

Gwen. Gritting her teeth. Nothing's going to happen ...

Nothing happened. Gwen was frozen in place. Micki dry-swallowed tenor and forced her own hand to snake out slowly for the box of matches.

And she could see it coming, the first one in, the one with the rabid teeth and tongues that foamed as the fat misshapen vine undulated, thundered across the floorboards, sliding the last remaining foot to the lip of her magickal circle ...

And acted it out.

Nothing happened. Gwen was frozen in place. Micki dry-swallowed tenor and forced her own hand to snake out slowly for the box of matches.

Gwen was shocked into stasis. Her tears overflowed. Micki took a deep breath.

She made her decision.

And she could see it coming, the first one in, the one with the rabid teeth and tongues that foamed as the fat misshapen vine undulated, thundered across the floorboards, sliding the last remaining foot to the lip of her magickal circle ...

She made her decision.

It was ten feet away now and closing.

Oh, no, Micki croaked, her hand freezing in place. The vine probed at the air, like a menacing antenna. When she stopped, it had nothing to go on. It wavered, deaf as well, and then went back to tracing and gouging the wall.

And he was right, she knew he was right, there was nothing else and no other way, if the circle was flawed or the ritual sloppy or her will too depleted, then those were the breaks. Inaction meant certain death, and they were down to the very last ticks of the clock. One way or another, it had to be now.

Brothers of fire, she croaked, the voice barely clearing her larynx. We need you. Please come to our side.

Sky-people, she said, addressing the east and forcing her voice to be strong. It was just a slight turn of the head, but the monster tuned into it instantly. She fought down a shudder, cleared dry phlegm from her throat. I welcome you into our circle of light.

WATER S-S-SISTERS she screamed, howling gaze and voice northward. OH EARTH MOTHER PLEASE ...

Light the candles. A toneless drone, through a mouth that barely moved. Gwen. Please ...

Light the candles. A toneless drone, through a mouth that barely moved. Gwen. Please ...

And he was right, she knew he was right, there was nothing else and no other way, if the circle was flawed or the ritual sloppy or her will too depleted, then those were the breaks. Inaction meant certain death, and they were down to the very last ticks of the clock. One way or another, it had to be now.

And she could see it coming, the first one in, the one with the rabid teeth and tongues that foamed as the fat misshapen vine undulated, thundered across the floorboards, sliding the last remaining foot to the lip of her magickal circle ...

And the windowpane shattered.

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