GENRE: MG FICTION
Shale, a snake, has been entrusted by Fredrick with the task of guiding James, a bird, Safya, an ant, and Alysha, a squirrel, through the secret passages of an underground city. James, the story’s protagonist, must be protected at all costs.
Something was not right. Instead of travelling higher, towards blue sky and fresh air, they were headed lower. The snake seemed to sense his discomfort.
“Sssomething wrong, Jamesss?” The snake grinned. “If not, we bessst keep moving. Don’t want to be ssstuck down here forever. I wouldn’t mind, but I think you might.”
James wanted to turn around and fly as fast as he could in the opposite direction. Shale was a bad bad creature, a very bad creature, no matter what Fredrick had said. Even a dog you have known your whole life can turn around and bite you. Shale was a dog, a bad dog. James wanted to run. But Shale’s voice was just so… so sssoothing.
Mindlessly, James followed Shale step after step. He could hear Safya in his mind telling him to stop, to turn around, to grab Alysha and run, but he had fallen under the snake’s hypnotic trance.
Something crunched under James’ foot. It was a bone. A jawbone. He heard a crack to his right, and, with enormous effort, turned to see what it was. Alysha, also under the snake’s wily power, was following Shale too. She had stepped on a ribcage. It was all going to end here, in this underground tomb where Shale lured his prey to be consumed. Even as he walked, James could see where he was headed. Shale waited at the edge of a large, black pit, willing the bird and the squirrel to jump into it.