Toby shook his head and started forward again, wondering when Ully had lost his sense of humor. He led them in the direction where he sensed Katie, until night and clouds rendered the jungle too dark.
Ully cursed as he moved to seek cover from the downpour. Safe beneath his jungle roof, Toby watched him. The brave, cheerful Ully that sat with him in Hell seemed lost in the underworld, and Toby began to suspect there was another reason their jailer, Jared, had freed them.
Toby didn't answer, unwilling to admit just how much Ully's words stung. He led them deeper into the jungle. The branches hurried to create a path for him, and he smiled at them. According to his angel memories, the trees were more than trees in Death's underworld. They were alive.
I have his "Jungle-Book" in raised print, and what a splendid, refreshing book it is!
Gabe was quiet for a long moment, leading them through the jungle in thoughtful silence. Katie felt the strange sense of something following again and moved closer to him.
She sat on a thick log. He disappeared into the shadows of the jungle, and she pulled her knees to her chest, listening. He was silent while the branches overhead hissed and rasped against one another and the cries of distant birds drifted to her.
Unable to sleep without knowing the truth, Toby huddled beneath the jungle leaves and stretched his senses until he found Katie. He couldn't put her in more danger, if there was something wrong with Ully. She was close enough for him to find when he needed to. If he kept some distance between him and Katie, he could figure out what was wrong with Ully without endangering her more.
He faced the jungle. The trees were battling demons, but one then a few then a dozen of the creatures escaped the jungle's grip to pursue.
My soul delights in the repose and gracious curves of the Venus; and in Barre's bronzes the secrets of the jungle are revealed to me.
Another division of the natives is into Aryauto or long-shore-men, and the Eremtaga or jungle-dwellers.
And this is the Hungry Tiger, the terror of the jungle, who longs to devour fat babies but is prevented by his conscience from doing so.
It sounded like a herd of horses plowing through the jungle. "Demons," Toby said.
For some time sickness and mortality were excessively large, but the reclamation of swamp and clearance of jungle on an extensive scale by Colonel Henry Man when in charge (1868-1870), had a most beneficial effect, and the health of the settlement has since been notable.
After twenty-five years in the concrete jungle, what could be so difficult about living in the rustic hills of Arkansas?
She waded through the brush of the possessed jungle, unwilling to admit just how scared she was.
Katie's gaze flickered from the snake-like movement of lively jungle trees to Gabe's back. Gabe's words terrified her. If the strongest man she'd ever met couldn't save her, what hope did she have?
He looked up instinctively, sensing something different about this thunder. It didn't sound like the rumbling thunder he'd heard in the mortal world. It sounded like an explosion in the sky. The jungle canopy blocked his view, so he leapt up to catch the branch of the nearest tree. He scaled the tree quickly, stopping only when he broke through the layers of leaves. More tiny explosions came, and he twisted to see what they were.
She twisted to face the direction from which it had come, expecting to see Gabriel. Nothing was there. The jungle around her fell suddenly still, and the possessed branches stopped in place, as if watching her.
The sounds of fighting grew faint and then disappeared. The stream wound through the jungle until it reached a small waterfall that fed into a massive lake whose black surface reflected the stars and moon. Katie slid down the hill beside the waterfall to the lake's edge, uncertain what to do. Gabriel hadn't mentioned the stream ending or the lake.
She turned to see him motion her towards the jungle surrounding the lake. His clothing was torn, and blood stained his skin. He appeared to have been running; his boots were covered in mud that had splashed to his thighs, and his face was flushed.
Katie frowned. In the course of a day, Gabe had gone from emotional to unaffected when discussing Death. He was distracted, and she felt like she was talking to someone completely different. Blaming herself for taking his mind off of their survival, she fell silent and followed him. Briars and branches caught her pant legs, and she found herself slowing to push more and more of the jungle's flora out of the way. Gabe, too, began to struggle with the bramble, and she noticed the jungle no longer laid their path before him. Instead of clearing away to allow them passage, it stayed where it was, obstructing them.
She squinted into the jungle, trying to see Andre again. This time, he wasn't there.
The specter shook its head and rose, moving away without disturbing the flora on the jungle floor.
Rhyn watched his only friend trot into the jungle. He resumed pacing, surprised when Gabe reappeared quickly.
Finally, he broke through the thatch of branches and leaves blocking most of the sun. The day was darkening. In the distance, he saw the massive fortress that was Death's, and he saw the Lake of Souls he'd seen in angel memories. He saw birds but couldn't see through the jungle to where Katie might be. The branch holding him swayed in a heavy wind that smelled of rain.
The moons appeared through the branches in the jungle, almost alone in the dark sky except for a wisp of clouds floating beneath them. She watched the clouds pass. More came, quickly blocking the moons and stealing most of the light from the jungle. Katie sat up and blinked until her eyes adjusted to the new level of darkness. The sky took on an eerie silver glow, like it did in Maryland the night before a hard snow.
The sound came again, the cry of someone who was hurt. Katie wiped her eyes. She was drenched with rain and curled against the large root of a tree. The birds of the jungle made screaming sounds, but this was different. This was human.
Something within Katie snapped at the despair in Deidre's voice.
He flew through the air, drawing the attention of nearby demons in midflight. He saw them shift directions and dart towards him just before he dipped beneath the jungle canopy again.
They navigated the jungle as fast as they could, catching themselves against trees as they slid through slippery piles of leaves and over fallen branches. Katie ran until she was breathless. Deidre kept on running, and Katie pushed her body forward.
Their small island was untouched. The trees and jungle beyond were decimated by chasms and fallen trees.
Frustrated he couldn't help Katie while Ully was out, Toby started off again into the jungle, looking at each tree until he found one he thought he could climb. He leapt to the lowest branch, which slithered in his grip before it wrapped around him.
The death-dealer smiled faintly. Rhyn trotted away from him, out of the palace and into the jungle. He suspected freeing Katie from Death would be easier than freeing Gabe from Death. There was more at stake for her if she lost Gabe.
Katie stared at him, suspecting he'd lost his mind. To her surprise, a branch wrapped around her body. She yelped, shoving at it then went still as it plucked her from the ground and moved her across the ravine, dropping her off in the jungle again.
It was clear and cool outside of Gabe's small cottage in the middle of a possessed jungle. Rhyn felt the sense that someone else was there once more and looked around. Assuming the feeling has something to do with his magic, Rhyn shook it off once more. He opened the front door without knocking, already sensing it was empty. Gabe had left in a hurry. The wardrobe near his bed was open and his walls were missing many of the weapons Rhyn had seen last time.