The Underworld Bride is the twenty-second chapter of Zak Saturday's Immortal Love Life. It was first published on January 22, 2016.
Swimming with dolphins was awesome.
My family and I, plus Sarah and her family, were in the Indian Ocean, meeting with our friend Ulraj. I was swimming with and controlling rhino dolphins because (1. they’re awesome, and (2. since Argost had opened Kur’s tomb now, Dad wants me to be ready just in case I have to control a whole cryptid army. I was also doing tricks with them. In fact, I was in the middle of one right now.
“Come on,” I told one of the dolphins that I was holding on to. “We’re not gonna make it in time.”
We jumped out of the water, the other jumped out in front of us, and we crisscrossed. I let go of the dolphin I was holding onto, did a flip, and landed on a platform. Sarah was waiting for me on it. Our families clapped. They were on the Saturday sub about thirty feet away from me and Sarah.
I bowed to them. “Thank you, thank you, ladies, gentlemen, uh . . . fish guy.”
“His control of the cryptids is improving,” I heard Ulraj say. “That time you could hardly notice all the mistakes.”
I was offended by that, and Sarah seemed to be offended for me.
“What mistakes?” she asked.
I decided to get him for saying that. I activated my powers again and had the dolphins jump out of the water and land back into it right in front of Ulraj, splashing him from head to toe.
“Oops,” I said sarcastically. “My mistake.”
“Well played,” he replied, giving me a thumbs up.
“Oh, definitely well played,” Sarah said, then gave me a kiss on the cheek.
Well, actually, it was on my helmet, because I was wearing one with my suit. She was also wearing one, minus the helmet.
I continued to do tricks with the dolphins, but because of Sarah’s aura, they would pay more attention to her instead of me. But I was ok with that.
An idea came to mind. I jumped into the water and willed the dolphins to lift me up by my feet with their backs.
“Cool!” I said, then turned to Ulraj. “Any mistakes now, Your Wonderfulness?”
In response, he stuck his hand in the water and pulled out a fish.
“Only over-confidence,” he said, then threw the fish near the dolphins.
I lost the connection with one of them and that one went for the fish. I was now struggling to stay on top of the other one. It swam near the platform, made a sharp turn, and I fell back into the water. My suit came a little open and water poured into it, making me wet and cold.
“Well played,” I grumbled.
“Is it wrong that I enjoy this?” he asked.
“Yes,” Sarah muttered.
She held her hand out to me and I took it. I think she forgot that she had super strength now, because she really yanked me out of the water, knocking me into her and we both fell to the platform, me landing on top of her.
“Oops,” she said. “Sorry.”
I just laughed. “That’s ok.”
My parents decided that it was time to get back to the airship, so that’s what we did. Zon gave me and Sarah and ride back. When we got there, Ulraj, Zack, Komodo, and Fiskerton were waiting for us.
“Thanks, girl,” I told Zon.
Ulraj handed me a towel to dry myself off with. Instead, I grabbed Fiskerton’s arm and dried myself off with his fur. He didn’t like that.
“You are still upset about the fish?” Ulraj asked me.
“No, not at all,” I said a little sarcastically. “I really appreciate all the help with training my cryptid powers. And, hey, maybe next you can help me with my combat practice.”
“Are you sure that’s a wise idea? We Kumari have an incredible spacial awareness.”
He held his hands out to his side, which I didn’t understand until Komodo became visible, his mouth between Ulraj’s hands. “He has been trying to eat my kelp necklace since I got here.” He showed it to us. “But I’m not so easy to sneak up on. After centuries of living underwater, we Kumari developed the shark-like ability to defeat electrical fields generated by all living things. It’s in the nose.”
“Umm, ok,” Sarah and Zack said in unison, confused.
I understood what they were thinking.
“You don’t even have a nose,” I pointed out.
“Now you insult the king’s physical appearance?” he said. “Combat practice it is.”
“Oh, this should be good,” Sarah said.
Unfortunately, it was. For Ulraj.
I hated to admit that he was beating me before we even started, but he was. He interlocked his arms around me from behind and I wrestled to break free. We ended up going inside the airship, all the way to the control room, and the others followed and watched as we continue our combat.
I managed to put my feet up, push off and do a back flip. I was now holding Ulraj from behind. He moved his foot, knocking my foot off balance, and we fell to the floor, still wrestling for dominance.
“Zak!” my dad called.
“Zak, what are you—” Mom started.
Ulraj and I stopped wrestling each other. We looked up and noticed my parents and Sarah and Zack’s family looking down at us. Then I noticed someone on the video phone.
“Hair Gel,” he said. “I see you make friends as well as you style your salt-and-pepper punk mollusk.”
We stood up from the floor.
“Oh, hey, Doctor Beeman,” I said. “Uh, we were just . . . combat practice. Best buddies, see?”
I tried to place a hand on Ulraj’s shoulder, but, faster than I could follow, he grabbed my wrist with his hand without even looking at me.
“Dang,” I said. “That is a pretty good trick.”
I tried to break my hand out of his grip, but it was like breaking out of metal. Sarah came over, grabbed our arms, and pulled them apart. She could do that easily, but Ulraj didn’t try to restrain her, which was smart.
“I apologize, Dr. Beeman,” Dad said. “You were saying something about a UFO or a ugeny?”
“You should have my satellite by now,” he replied.
On another screen, there was a showing of an island with a volcano and something flying around it.
“What do you think it is?” Mom asked.
“Unidentified,” Dr. Beeman replied. “Hence the ‘U’.”
Sarah looked at me and I could tell it was taking all of her will power not to throw a fireball at the screen and cut the connection with him.
“So, where do we fit into this?” Dad asked. “Space crafts are your forte.”
“If it were a space craft, I’d already be there,” Dr. Beeman said. “This bogy is organic. More animal than extraterrestrial. I thought you might find that interesting.”
“Indeed. But we’ll check it out. Thank you, Doctor Beeman.”
“Yes, yes, a joy as always,” Mom added.
“An adventure,” Ulraj said, sounding excited. “I get to come with you, right?”
“Uh . . .” Mom and Dad said, both seeming unsure.
“Come on, guys,” I said. “Ulraj and I barely get to see each other. He lives underwater. Kind of hard to set a play date.”
“And your kingdom?” Dad asked him.
He sighed. “I do love being king, but every day’s the same. Pampering, the fine meats and chocolates, connoisseurs always rubbing my feet. They grow so dull. You understand?”
“Not a bit. But if you want in, that’s fine with me.”
“Alright!” I said, giving Ulraj a fist bump.
“And I’ll try to restrain myself from offering fine chocolates or foot rubs,” Mom said.
“Thank you,” Ulraj replied, sounding relieved.
So we headed off to the island. Once we got there, my parents hovered the airship next to the shore and we got off on to a dock.
“Look at this totem,” Mom said, gesturing to it on the dock. “No surprises with the fish. But this other creature, it looks—”
“Like that?” I asked, pointing to a bright colored bird flying in the air about twenty yards away.
It flew by us and we all were breath taken by its beauty.
“It’s beautiful,” Mom said.
“You do this job for years and still every once in a while something will simply take your breath away,” Dad said.
And sometimes literally. Because as soon as he said that, the bird swooped in, knocked into Sarah, knocking her into Dad and about half the animals, and they fell into the water. Then it grabbed onto Fiskerton with its talons, carried him out over the water, and dropped him into it. It landed on the dock, knocking the rest of us into the water. Except Zon.
“That thing is a jerk,” I said.
“You said it,” Zack agreed.
“It could be defending its territory,” Dad suggested.
It was flying above us and made a noise, its butt flashing yellow.
“Did it just . . . moon us?” Mom asked.
Zon took flight and flew with it.
“Or, maybe, it’s just a jerk,” Dad said.
“Does anybody else here smell blood?” Toto asked.
We smelt the air.
“Yes,” Raylee said.
“Where’s it coming from?” Zack asked.
“Me,” someone said in a strained voice.
We turned to where it came from and saw something frightening.
“Sarah!” I called to her.
She was clutching her chest, and there was blood all around her. Raylee and Zack swam to her, grabbed her and pulled her to shore, laying her flat on the beach. The rest of us followed.
“What happened?” Zack asked her.
“That bird’s beak is really sharp,” Sarah replied, her voice barely a whisper, and she was breathing hard. “It pierced through my skin when it hit me.”
“The wound is pretty opened,” Raylee said. “I’m going to have to stitch it up.”
“Do you know how to do that?” Zack asked her.
“Yes. I’ve done it a few times before. I’ll take her back to the airship with Pikachu and the animals. You guys continue your, I guess, research on that bird.”
“What about me?” Zack asked.
“You should stay with the Saturdays and let me handle Sarah with her being a girl and all.”
I kind of knew what she meant. The bird had pierced her at her cleavage. Raylee picked her up, Sarah starting to look pale. Then they headed to the airship, leaving the rest of us on the beach.
Zack looked disappointed that he couldn’t be with her, and so was I. But we did what Raylee told us and focused back on the jerk bird. He was still flying around with Zon and, for some reason, I was a little jealous. We walked back to the totem, looking at the icon of that bird on top.
“It’s called the Duah,” Mom said. “It’s story’s carved on the totem. According to oral tradition, it arose from the underworld and has lived in peace with humans for centuries. But lately, it’s been showing itself more often, acting wild.”
“Dwindling food supply, maybe?” Dad suggested. “It could be threatened by over fishing.”
“If that’s all it is, I can take care of this myself,” I said. “My cryptid powers can make bad dino relocate to an uninhabited island where the fish would be all his.”
Mom and Dad looked at each other, considering it for a moment.
“He is suppose to be honing his powers,” Dad said. “Much better to do that on a hungry creature than a force of ultimate evil.”
“Funny how stuff like this never came up in the parenting classes,” Mom said, then turned to me. “Go get him, kiddo.”
We went back to the airship and strapped a little platform onto Zon, then I put on a helmet and we were off.
“Come on,” I called. “Come on out, Duah. I’m only here to help you.”
Zon gained altitude all of a sudden, then I noticed the Duah dive by us. Zon flew down in front of it. I grabbed the claw and activated my powers. I didn’t get a connection. Then Zon dodged him when he almost hit us.
“Ok, next pass,” I said.
“Circle him,” Dad suggested to me through the intercom from the airship to my helmet. “He’ll get confused.”
“Trying singing,” Mom said. “It might sooth him.”
There’s no way I’m doing that.
“Do a loop,” Ulraj said. “I don’t know if it will help, but I’ve always wanted to see one.”
I restrained myself from telling him he’s not helping. I just focused back on the bird.
“You’re doing great, girl,” I told Zon. “Just let me connect with him and I’ll send him packing.”
The Duah was flying toward us. I had my powers activated. He was getting close, but at the last second, Zon flew away from it.
“Zon, come on,” I told her. “It’s ok. He’s just a big bully. You don’t have to be scared. I’m gonna let Zon go back to you guys. She seems spooked.”
Zon landed me onto a cliff and she flew off. I turned back to the Duah.
“Ok, time to ship off for happier, fishier—”
I was interrupted all of a sudden when Zon grabbed the claw out of my hand with her talons and dropped it on the cliff a few feet away from me. The Duah flew over me and I barely had enough time to dodge him.
“Zon, what are you—”
She flew off after the Duah, leaving me on top of a cliff and confused.
“I do not think the Duah was looking for more fish,” Ulraj said.
He seemed to be right about that.
Back on the airship, Sarah wasn’t quite looking so good. Her mom brought her out of the infirmary, and she had a fresh new pair of clothes on, but she still looked pale. She walked over to me, slowly, kind of wobbling, and, when she got to me, she collapsed into my arms.
“She lost a lot of blood,” Raylee explained. “So she’ll be very queasy until I can get her new blood.”
“How much blood did she lose?” Mom asked.
“About half a pint.”
“That’s a lot,” Zack said.
“Oh, that’s nothing. I once lost a whole quart of my blood.”
“When and how?”
“A very long time ago. Almost eighty years ago. And how? Well, jealousy issues.”
“What kind of jealousy issues?” Sarah asked.
“Well, it’s kind of a long story,” Raylee started. “This woman was jealous of me because she liked a guy who liked me more than her. Well, actually, she was . . .” Raylee stifled a laugh, and the animals seemed to be doing the same thing. “Never mind. She wanted to kill me because of that. Then she tried to kill the guy for trying to save me from her and because, if she couldn’t have him, then no one else could. But, even though I was severely injured, I ended up killing her instead of her killing us. It was in self-defense. But . . . it was not a good night.”
“It doesn’t sound like it was,” Zack said.
But Raylee looked at the animals and they all seemed sad, remembering that night. I wondered if something else happened that they left out . . .
“So, basically, it was teenage crap, but involved adults instead?” Sarah said, her voice still barely audible.
Raylee nodded. “Pretty much. But, anyway, I need to get you some new blood, or you’re going to be that way for a long time. And, since you won’t stay in the infirmary, you guys need to help her move, because she can’t move on her own.”
“Why won’t you stay in the infirmary?” I asked Sarah.
“Because I don’t want it to be like it was the last time,” she replied. “Being unconscious and all.”
“Actually, we need to keep you awake,” Raylee said. “Because I’m afraid that if you fall asleep, you won’t wake up again.”
I could see what she was saying, because Sarah’s eyes were droopy. Raylee gave her a shock and her eyes opened again.
“Yeah, can you guys keep her awake for me until I get back?” Raylee asked us.
“Of course,” Mom said.
“Thank you. I’ll be back as soon as I get her some blood. Let’s go guys.”
She activated her powers and she, Pikachu, and her pets were gone.
“So what’s going on with that bird?” Sarah asked.
We told her how he was attracted to Zon, and Zon was attracted to him.
I gave Sarah to Zack for support.
“I can’t believe her,” I complained.
Fiskerton made a heart with his hands.
“No, it is not romantic,” I disagreed. “He’s a butt flashing, bully, jerk,”
Salam ore, he said.
“Salam ore? Since when do you growl in French?”
“Zak, we all know how you feel about Zon, but she’s still an animal,” Mom said. “Sometimes they just operate on instinct.”
“That still doesn’t make it right. Zon deserves better than that thing, and I’m gonna make her see that.”
Before I could do just that, Mom stopped me.
“Zak, I don’t think you should be interfering with this,” she said.
“Mom!” I complained.
“This is still his mission, Drew,” Dad said. “Right or wrong, he has to learn to make these kind of choices.”
That didn’t help me.
“Right or wrong?” I asked. “Is nobody with me on this?”
“Who the hell do you think you are, Zak? Her father?” Sarah asked, marching up to me, which was really impressive considering how tired she was, but she looked wide awake right now. “Because you so are not. And even if you were, you don’t have a right to decide who she can or can’t be with, because, as you know, if I listened to my father, I wouldn’t be here right now, now would I?”
“She’s right, Zak,” Zack said.
And she was, and I felt kind of bad, but I wasn’t going to back down.
“Sometimes it’s necessary to do that,” I said. “And that’s what I have to do.”
Sarah looked disappointed. “Then do it. But I will warn you, Zak Saturday, you will only make it worse.”
She collapsed back into Zack. It was silent for a moment.
“Actually, I don’t care,” Ulraj said. “I just want to see some fighting.”
“Well, I’m still gonna handle this,” I said. “I just got two problem cryptids to deal with now.”
Unfortunately, I couldn’t handle them. I did a few tries, but in the end, Zon picked me up and dropped me into the ocean.
“I don’t get it,” I said. “I know Zon. She should be easy to control.”
“This is why we’re training, Zak,” Dad said through the communicator. “None of us really get your power with cryptids yet.”
“I just hope the beast, Kur, is no tougher than a pteranodon with a sweetheart,” Ulraj said.
Yeah, I kind of hope so, too. Then suddenly, a boat came toward me so fast that I barely had enough time to swim out of the way.
“What’s your hurry?” I asked.
Then I noticed a lot of other boats on the water.
“What’s everyone’s hurry? Uh, is everybody else seeing this?”
“They are nomadic fishermen,” Dad said.
“Who leave right at the pick of the season?” Mom said. “I don’t think so. I better see what’s going on.”
While Mom was asking the fishermen about their surprising departure, I went back to the airship and dried myself off.
“I don’t know why you worry, Zak,” Ulraj said. “Females are always getting sick of their boyfriends. Well, not in my personal experience, of course. Any Kumari girl would give her left gill to be seen on the arm of the king for even one— Will you put it into your lizard skull that there is no sneaking up on me?”
He was holding Komodo, who was invisible, back at arms length.
“Maybe you’re right,” I said. “I mean, really, how long can this thing last?”
“Yeah, and I wonder how long it’ll be until your girlfriend will be sick of you,” Sarah said. “Because at the rate you’re going, it won’t be too long from now.”
Ouch. That hurt.
Zack laughed. “Dude, you just got burned.”
I really wish he would stop rubbing it in.
“Bad news,” Mom said as she entered the room. “Apparently my first source didn’t know the Duah’s entire story. Now that the creature’s found a mate, he’ll be taking the island back down to the Underworld with him.”
“What?” I asked, surprised.
“That’s horrible,” Ulraj said.
“Oh, no. That wasn’t the bad part,” Mom continued. “Once they’re down there, he eats his new bride alive.”
“What?!” I exclaimed.
“Quite the honeymoon,” Dad said.
“We have to do something.”
“I agree. We should—”
“Zak!” Mom called.
I jumped out of the airship and into the water. Zon and the Duah were flying near the shore.
“Zon, listen to me. This is important,” I called to her, but she ignored me.
My family and I agreed that in order to save Zon we would have to capture her. Sarah was way too weak to help, which she didn’t like, but Zack decided to stay with her. Ulraj and I went underwater and hooked a fish to a rope.
“The Kumari have used this method to trap birds for centuries,” Ulraj said.
“You live underwater,” I said. “Why would you trap birds?”
“We do have to eat.”
The fish jumped out of the water.
“She spotted it,” Dad told me through the communicator in my helmet. “Get ready.”
The rope was being tugged on and me and Ulraj pulled down as hard as we could, dragging Zon into the water. Mom flew the airship overhead and Fiskerton dropped a net on Zon, then he came down on a rope, grabbed her, and lifted her back into the airship. Then he threw down a couple ropes for me and Ulraj to climb back up on.
“Dad, heads up!” I called, then threw a rope down to him.
He grabbed it and we pulled him up. Zon cried out.
“Sorry, girl,” I apologized to her. “But it’s for your own good.”
My parents flew us away from the island.
Sarah, Zack, Ulraj, Fiskerton, Komodo, and I put Zon into a solid glass case in the back of the airship. She didn’t like it one bit and kept cawing.
“I know,” I told her. “But if you won’t listen to reason, we’ll just have to take you away from Mister Bad Influence.”
She wasn’t listening.
Fiskerton was sad that they were apart, made a heart with his hands again, and made it look broken.
“You are really not helpful right now,” I told him.
Sarah was standing right next to the cage, and I swear I saw a tear streak down her face. I walked to her side.
“Hey, Sarah,” I said. “I—”
“Please don’t say anything,” she interrupted. “I don’t want to hear it.”
I decided not to respond.
Then we heard a sound from outside, and I knew it was the Duah. A moment later, the alarms went off.
“Zak, it’s in the airship,” Mom told us over the intercom. “It’s coming for Zon.”
Well, duh. Why else would it be here? Zon understood and was calling for him.
I turned toward the others. “Go try to stop him. I’ll protect Zon.”
Ulraj, Zack, Fiskerton, and Komodo went off and left me and Sarah with Zon. I grabbed the claw. Sarah activated her fire powers, though she could barely stand, and we stood ready.
“Zak, he’s still coming!” Ulraj called from down the hallway a minute later.
The Duah entered. I whacked the claw at him and Sarah began throwing fireballs.
“You are not going to get—”
I was interrupted when Zon broke through the glass and hit me in the back, knocking me to the floor. The Duah helped her out and they flew out of the airship together.
Sarah helped me up, or tried to, but ended up falling onto the ground next to me. I helped her up and we ran to the control room along with the others. We noticed that some of the windows were broken, and the engine had a big hole in it. We looked outside the broken windows and saw Zon and the Duah flying back to the island.
“There!” I called. “They’re going back to the island. Let’s go!”
“We can’t,” Mom said. “The stabilizing controls are completely fried. Until we get the airship fixed—”
“What are they doing down there” Ulraj asked.
I looked back and saw them breaking down the cliffs, causing big rocks to fall into the ocean.
“They’re triggering some sort of seismic instability in the island’s core,” Dad said.
“An earthquake,” Mom said. “They’re sinking the island.”
“Down to the Underworld,” Ulraj said.
The island looked like it snapped in half.
“Zon,” I said, heart-broken.
Mom and Dad began fixing the airship after they had told us that the Duah carried the totem up in the air and dropped it into the airship, breaking the windows and the engine.
“Doctor Saturday, there must be some way of rescuing her,” Ulraj said.
“Not until we get this ship repaired,” he replied.
I didn’t think Zon would last that long. Then I noticed some parachutes hanging on the wall next to the door. I grabbed one, strapped it on, and jumped out the window.
“Zak, no!” Mom called, but I was already gone.
I opened my parachute and was now falling with style down to the island. But I wasn’t the only one.
“Zak, wait for me!” Ulraj called.
“And us,” Zack added.
They appeared next to me, but Ulraj was the only one with a parachute. Zack was holding onto Sarah while he was flying.
“What are you guys doing?” I asked. “This is my fight.”
“I didn’t come along on this trip just to hear about someone else’s adventure,” Ulraj said. “And I’m guessing these devices don’t have a turn around button anyway.”
“Yeah, and you’re gonna need our help with this whether you like it or not,” Sarah said.
I sighed. I shouldn’t be mad at them for being good friends.
We landed on the island and I got rid of my parachute.
“The Duah’s nest is up there,” I said, pointing up the cliff.
Suddenly boulders started coming down from it. We moved out of the way to avoid getting hit by them.
“Yes, where all the rocks that could crush your head are coming from,” Ulraj said. “I guessed that.”
Sarah laughed. “You’re right there.”
I guess it was pretty obvious.
Another boulder came down and I dodged it at the last second. That’s when Zon noticed me and didn’t like it.
“Ok, that is it,” I said, then activated my powers. “Zon, I command you to leave the Duah and come home now! Do you hear me? I command you.”
I seemed to be in control of her, but then she flew at me, and I dodged her.
“Zon!” I tried again with my powers, but Ulraj stopped me.
“It’s not going to work,” he said.
“What are you talking about?” I asked him, getting annoyed.
“Your powers. I can see it now.”
He pushed me out of the way just in time before a boulder smashed us.
“You influence the cryptids, but you don’t truly control them,” Ulraj told me. “The first lesson I learned as king is that everyone hates an order. The secret is to make them want to do what you want them to do, then they willingly follow your lead.”
“I’m not trying to be king of the cryptids,” I argued. “I’m trying to save Zon from being eaten alive!”
“By having her be eaten dead?” Zack asked.
We glared at him.
“I’ll shut up.”
“Good idea,” Sarah agreed.
Ulraj turned back to me. “You’re trying to command her. The Rhinoceros dolphins danced for you because they wanted to dance. They’re born showoffs. Every time you use your powers, I would imagine it’s the same. There must be some small part of the cryptid that wants to do what you’re asking. You can’t completely take away the free will of another creature.”
“He’s right, Zak,” Sarah agreed. “In order for you to bring Zon home safely, you need to tell her how you feel or you’ll lose her forever.”
I took their words to heart. Then Zon and the Duah appeared next to us.
“You’re right,” I told them. I ran toward the birds with the claw in hand and knocked the Duah in the back “You stay back!”
It backed off and flew away for the moment. Then I turned to Zon and activated my powers again.
“What are you doing?” Ulraj asked.
I ignored him and focused on Zon.
“Zon, I just wanna talk to you,” I told her. “I know there’s some part of you that at least wants that.”
I deactivated my powers. She came near me and cawed.
“I know you think you’ll be happy in your new home with the Duah, but Zon, you have a home. You have a family. And if you choose the Duah, you’ll never see us again. Never. You understand?”
She cooed in response.
“Maybe we can’t fly or glow, but . . . we love you. I love you,” I continued. “So just, come home, ok?”
She cooed again and nodded. I smiled. And so did the others.
But the moment didn’t last long.
“He’s back,” Ulraj said.
I looked up and saw the Duah carrying a big boulder. He dropped it between me and Zon. We moved out of the way before it landed on us. Then he picked up Zon and flew up the mountain.
“No!” I called.
The four of us ran as fast as we could up the mountain. Once we reached the top, we noticed the Duah taking Zon down a hole to the Underworld. We stopped for a moment, hesitating. We looked at each other and came to a silent agreement. We jumped down the hole.
We landed pretty hard onto a lot of bones. I looked around. It was dark. I could see a river, but that was about it.
“So this is the Underworld,” I said.
“But where are the twelve singing sea horses of Namaland?” Ulraj asked.
We stared at him, completely confused.
“We clearly have a very different Underworld mythology,” he said.
“Clearly,” Sarah agreed.
“It’s so dark,” I said. “I can’t see—”
“On your right,” Ulraj said suddenly. “Strike now.”
I didn’t ask questions. I had the claw in my hands and swung it like a bat, hitting the Duah back. It splashed into the water.
“My senses do more than protect my kelp necklace,” Ulraj said.
“And our powers allow us to see in the dark,” Zack added.
Apparently, yes. We jumped into the water, except Sarah. I had extended the claw. The Duah managed to grab it, with me, Zack, and Ulraj holding on to it, and pulled us out of the water, spinning us around in the air. He let us go and we got thrown into a pile of bones.
“Are you guys alright?” Sarah asked, helping us out of the bones.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Get ready,” Ulraj said. “He’s coming behind us.”
I held the claw close and waited.
“Wait,” Sarah said.
A moment later . . .
I swung around and hit the Duah. But it wasn’t backing down this time.
“Right. Left,” Ulraj said, and I repeated it physically. “One for me.”
He kicked the Duah in the chest, which knocked him back a little, but not enough.
“Right,” Ulraj said.
I continued hitting the bird. He flew back away from me.
“Duck!” Ulraj said.
I didn’t know what he meant, but I did as he said, and not a moment later did a rock fly past my head and into the Duah, knocking him to the ground. I looked back and saw Zon flying with a rock in her talons, except they weren’t rocks. They were skulls. She cawed in triumph.
“Nice aim, girl,” I told her.
The Duah was struggling to get up. We all walked up to it.
“Listen, jerk,” I told him. “Your home is being taken into the Underworld and your bride just stood you up at the altar.”
He growled in frustration.
“I know it’s embarrassing for you,” I continued. “But you have two choices: live the rest of eternity with no home, no bride, and getting daily beat downs from me . . .”
“And me,” Ulraj added.
“And us,” Zack said, referring to him and Sarah.
I activated my powers before continuing. “Or sink your sorry bat butt down to the Underworld where you belong.”
He growled and Zon threw another skull at him.
“So, what do you want?” I asked.
In response, he took flight and dived into the water.
“Still, he really was beautiful,” Ulraj said.
“Yeah,” Sarah agreed.
“Eh, I’m over it,” we heard my dad say.
We turned around and noticed my parents and Fiskerton standing just below the hole to the entrance of the Underworld with ropes hanging down it.
“Nice work, boys,” Dad said. “And Sarah, of course.”
“Now how about a lift back to the airship before we become permanent Underworld residents?” Mom asked.
Zon landed next to me and I had a different idea.
“No thanks,” I said. “I’ll catch my own ride.”
They didn’t argue. So they took Ulraj, Sarah, and Zack, as well as themselves, back to the airship while I took a ride back on Zon.
We were now taking Ulraj home, and along the way, I was brushing down Zon.
“Ok, happy hunting,” I told her. “Go on. Catch your supper.”
She dived down toward the water to catch some fish. I turned to Ulraj.
“Thanks for everything,” I told him. “I guess you did end up teaching me something about my powers, huh?”
“I’d like to think I am not just a king for my own people,” he said. “But for all people.”
“Yeah, that’s great. And, hey, to return the favor, let me teach you how insolated padding can block electrical fields.”
He was confused by what I was saying, but to prove what I meant, Komodo jumped on him, wearing insolated padding, and got his kelp necklace.
Sarah laughed. “Nice one, Komodo.”
He was happily eating the necklace. Ulraj was still in shock.
“By the way,” I said to him. “He really wanted to do that.”
“I am ready for fine chocolates and foot rubs again,” he replied.
We all laughed.
“Hey, guys,” Raylee said, appearing out of no where as usual, along with Pikachu and the animals.
“Hi, Mom,” Sarah and Zack both said in unison.
“Hi, Sarah. I got you new blood.” She held up a solid bag. “You ready to stop feeling sluggish and tired?”
“And weak,” she added. “Yes.”
“Alright then. Come on.”
Zack helped her up, then they all left the room.
I was sitting on an infirmary bed while Mom grabbed a bag of blood out of the bag she was carrying, put it on an IV, and stuck a needle in my arm.
“It’ll take a while for you to regain the amount of blood you lost,” she said.
I nodded. “Ok. But where did you get all this blood?”
“It’s a secret.”
“From a hospital?” Zack asked.
“Was it that obvious?” Mom asked.
“Well, I didn’t know where else to get it, unless I found someone who has the exact same blood type as you and made them give there’s to me. But don’t worry, I paid for it.”
“That’s good,” I said.
Mom sat down next to me on the bed. “So what happened while I was gone?”
Zack and I told her everything about the Duah.
“The Underworld?” she asked, seeming a little confused and excited.
“I doubt it was that kind of Underworld,” I said.
“Yeah,” Zack agreed. “It looked like something different.”
Mom nodded. “Ok.”
You see, she’s read a little Greek mythology, even though she doesn’t know much about it and doesn’t believe in any of those gods except the one true God in Heaven.
Zak entered the room a moment later.
“Hi, Zak,” Mom said.
“Umm, hi,” he said back.
She looked at me for a moment, then back at him. “Uh, we’ll leave you two alone.”
No one objected. She, Zack, and the animals left the room. Zak walked over to me and sat down on the bed.
“Hey, Sarah, can I ask you something?” he said.
“Sure,” I said. “What?”
“Why were you crying earlier?”
I sighed. “Because, Zak, you were trying to keep Zon and the Duah apart, and he was fighting for her.”
“Yeah, so that he could eat her.”
“I know. But it made me think about you and me and how my dad is about our relationship. He doesn’t like it at all. And I was wondering, if he found a way to keep us apart, would you fight for me like the Duah fought for Zon? No matter what he does to you?”
“Well, I wouldn’t fight for you so that I could eat you,” Zak answered.
“Uh, no,” I agreed. “That would be disgusting and disturbing.”
He nodded. “Right. But I would fight for you. No matter what.”
“Of course. Sarah, I—” he faltered.
I had a feeling he was about to say he loved me, which would’ve been nice to hear, but it is way too soon for us to say something like that to each other.
“I really care about you.”
That was a bit too much, but I liked it.
I smiled. “That’s really sweet. And I would do the same.”
He smiled back at me. I leaned in and kissed him. He kissed me back. After a couple minutes, we shifted ourselves so that I was lying on the bed and he was on top of me. After about a few more minutes, the moment was ruined when the thing holding my blood fell to the ground.
Zak pulled it up, then he wrapped his arms around me and we laid together on the bed until my blood lose was regained. It was so nice.
I think this chapter was better than the last two. I added something extra to it, but there was one part that I removed. After Drew told them all about how the Duah was going to take Zon down to the Underworld and eat him and Zak went to warn her, a man was passing by him and had a basket full of bread. Zak had taken a loaf of bread and tried imitating what the Duah was going to do to Zon by chomping on it and saying "Mmmm. Yummy, Zon." It was too stupid that I didn't want to add it to my story, so I didn't.
Anyway, please review here.
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