It was fifteen minutes more before Kaylora’s bubble ‘burst’.
John paced the entire time and kept asking ‘how much longer’. Cat was so relieved when she was done. Not just so they could go, but to get John to leave her alone. Kaylora may have healed her body, but her soul was in horrible shape.
Tears streamed down her furry pink cheeks, "It’s my fault Robin is gone. I was supposed to protect him," she wailed.
"Whether it’s your fault or not, we have to go NOW!" John yelled at her.
Cat wanted to give him a tongue lashing for yelling at her and not recognizing that she was upset. But he was right too. They would deal with that on the way.
"John’s right Kaylora. Let’s go," Cat urged.
Before Kaylora could protest, John and Cat hopped in her pouch. "Which way?" Kaylora asked as she lifted off.
"Olwyn said our way would be lit," Cat told her.
Kaylora flew higher, "I see it!" she exclaimed.
Cat and John let out a sigh of relief.
Kaylora could see the lights all the way to the horizon. With determination written on her face and love for Robin in her heart, she flapped her little wings as fast as she could. They were off to the rescue.
They had flown for a while yet the lights still continued to shine.
"How far away from Sherwood are we?" John asked.
"We are on the other side of the world now John," Kaylora told him casually.
"The world isn’t flat!?" he said astounded.
Cat giggled, "No, it isn’t."
"I wish Robin could have seen this," he said sadly.
Cat put her hand on his arm, "We will find him, I just know we will. Robin is loved so much by so many. Love will triumph."
"I’ll believe it if you will," John said looking into Cat’s eyes.
Cat looked back at him and smiled.
John pulled Cat into his arms and hugged her gently, "We’ll find him, make him well, and take him home," he told her softly.
"Thank you John." Then she paused, "I need you to remember how kind you are right now."
"We have one very large, sad selazor to comfort still."
"Oh, I guess I was kind of insensitive earlier."
"I thought we could talk to her in the air, but the noise of the wind is too loud. We can talk to her once we land."
"Are you sure you want to go into the cave Cat," John asked.
"Yes. I would go nuts waiting outside for you. I know I’ll lose my magic, but Robin is more important. Plus, last time I was able to store some energy up inside me that Kaylor couldn’t take."
"We can use that only as a last resort," John said giving her shoulders a squeeze.
"Hey you two!" Kaylora yelled.
John and Cat looked up.
"I see the entrance to the cave just ahead. We are nearly there," she said anxiously.
"I can’t see it. Where is it Kaylora?" John asked.
"It’s just beyond that one mountain rise."
"Oh my gosh! I can’t even see the mountain!" John was panicked he was going blind. He rubbed his eyes vigorously.
Cat laughed hard, "John...her eyesight is fifty times better than ours. She can see for miles and miles."
"That’s a relief. Either I was going blind or insane," he laughed Looking out again, "Now I see it. Boy is it huge!"
"Are we ready?" Kaylora asked.
"As we will ever be," John yelled up. "Cat, are you sure you want to do this? Lose your powers I mean," John asked with his brow knit in concern.
"Yes Little John, I’m sure. I would do anything for Robin," Cat said without any hesitation.
"Does it hurt?"
"No John it doesn’t, thank goodness. Last time I didn’t even realize it until Kaylor told me. I think because he or she makes me feel so sick and awful, I can’t tell."
"Be ready now, both of you, because I’m coming in to land," Kaylora yelled.
John and Cat looked at each other. Together they said, "We are!"
Kaylora landed gently. John started to climb out, "I can cover ground faster John. We can get to Robin sooner if you stay in my pouch."
"All right. Kaylora, I apologize for being so cold to you before. It was not your fault Robin was taken," John told her softly.
"John is right. Nothing short of stuffing Robin in your pouch and sewing it shut would have stopped Tanzana. Personally, I can’t really see Robin allowing you to do that," Cat added.
"Thank you both for your kind words. During our flight here, I had a lot of time to think about it. I have gone over every possible way that things could have gone. Each time, Robin was taken. As you say, putting him in my pouch and sewing it shut may have been the only thing that could have worked. Now, let’s be on our way."
Kaylora entered the cave mouth. They hadn’t gotten ten feet when John called out, "P-EW! It really stinks in here!"
"It smells like death and selazor excrement. She has been in here a very long time, centuries," Kaylora told him.
"Wow, that is a long time," he said through pinched nose.
Kaylora laughed softly at his funny voice, "You will get used to it after a while. You must try, because it will only get stronger the deeper we go."
"Great! I was hoping this would be like a walk in the sunshine," he joked.
Kaylora let out a deep breath, "Here we go."
She had been right. The smell did get worse. Cat and John gagged if they took in anything but shallow breaths. The air became moist and warm the further down they went. The surroundings were very much the same as Kaylor’s cave had been. Deeper and deeper they traveled.
"I can feel Robin now," Kaylora whispered. "His life force is very weak. Cat, do you have the store of magic still inside of you?"
Cat closed her eyes, "Yes, it is there."
"Good. John and I will try to distract Tanzana while you try to heal Robin," Kaylora suggested.
"That sounds good to me. Please, both of you be careful."
"We will Cat. Don’t worry," John told her trying to sound confident.
Cat pushed herself up and kissed John tenderly on the lips, "For luck."
John blushed and looked away, "Thank you," he mumbled.
Cat looked at him differently in that moment, "Did anyone ever tell you that you are really sweet?"
Little John looked back. He reached down and lifted Cat, hugging her to him. When they were face to face, "Has anyone ever told you that you are the most wonderful woman on the face of the earth?"
They looked deeply into each others eyes. Both of them realized at the same time that their feelings for the other went much deeper than friends. Cat wrapped her arms around his neck and they kissed. It was a deep kiss of newly found love. Cat’s toes curled from John’s kiss. It was nothing like Robin’s kisses. There was tenderness, sweetness, and love for her in his kiss. Her body tingled all over.
"Whatever you two are doing down there, I feel stronger from it," Kaylora said as she walked.
They broke their kiss. Both blushed and laughed as they hugged.
"I think we had better concentrate on the job at hand," Cat suggested a little breathlessly.
"Okay. We can pick up where we left off later. I do believe we have a lot to talk about," John smiled.
Cat looked into his blue eyes, "I think so too."
John put her down and wrapped an arm around her waist as they continued into the abyss.
Tanzana was overjoyed at having her victim in hand. But this one was different from all the others. Now that her poison was in him, she was able to stand being near him. His blood had a heady scent to it. With one of her sharp talons, she ripped open the material that covered his leg wound. She brought his limp body to her mouth and licked the blood from his skin. It was so tasty. She savored every drop. In fact, it was so good, she put her mouth to his leg and began to suck the blood from his body.
Robin was semi-conscious and moaned when he felt his body being moved. Then he felt a torturous pressure on his thigh. Robin felt his blood being siphoned out. He cried out in anguish as his tormented body writhed from the excruciating pain. His cries and movement made Tanzana stop. She wanted to keep him for a little while. If she did it properly, she would have this tasty morsel to nosh on for quite some time.
As long as she kept him filled with poison, he would be no bother to her. Tanzana reveled in his outer beauty. It had been her pleasure to devour many men. But this one was by far the best looking. Her interest was peaked about him. After he cried out, his body completely relaxed in her hand. Tanzana poked and prodded him with her sharp talons until the human showed some sign of life again.
Consciousness gradually returned to Robin’s punished body. He felt atrocious. His right leg throbbed and was cold. Sticky, thick wetness covered the right side of his body. It seemed to be flowing from his upper thigh down into his boot. A sharp something kept poking him all over. It was not enough to puncture his skin, but enough to hurt every time it hit. Robin’s brain told him to wake up in all respects from head to foot. His body protested this ridiculous thought. Finally Robin’s brain convinced the rest of him and full consciousness was achieved.
With a heavy groan, Robin forced his eyes open. When he groaned, the sharp thing stopped tormenting his battered body. Robin found that he was lying down. But he was not on solid ground. Whatever he lay on kept moving making him more nauseous and dizzy than he already was. It got so bad that Robin had to roll on his side and vomit. His leg throbbed more from the convulsing his body just went through. Robin opened his eyes after emptying his stomach and found himself to be high in the air. As he rolled onto his back, his eyes focused upward into huge red snake eyes.
"Not again," he moaned.
"I see you can speak," Tanzana said pleased.
"Only when I have something to say," he grunted.
"You are very different from the others."
"Really, how?" he asked not really caring.
"You do not cower and whimper as the others did at seeing me. You are also very pleasing to the eye and to the palate," she said licking her lips.
"Gee that’s too bad. I was hoping I’d make you sick," Robin quipped.
"You are entertaining human."
"Robin Hood," he weakly said.
"What was that?"
"My name is Robin Hood. I can think of many names to call you, but what is your proper name?"
"My name is Tanzana. You amuse me Robin Hood. I will tell you that you must die."
"Tell me something I don’t know. Everything dies eventually," he said then cried out in agony as a pain shot through his leg.
"Yes but you will die sooner than you think. I have decided to keep you around for a bit. I want to savor your taste as long as your body will allow. You have delicious blood."
Robin cringed, "So I’ve heard. I don’t mean to ruin your fun, but you will be the one who will die. I have too many things to do yet to have an abomination like you end my life."
"I am going to enjoy seeing you suffer Robin Hood. I want to see just how much I can take of you before you die," Tanzana told him as she raised him to her mouth.
Robin tried to move away, but she held his injured leg, "No!" he yelled out through the pain.
The edge of her lips closed over his wound and covered just about all of the his right side. Robin tried to squirm and push her away, but he did not have the strength left in him. Tremendous suction was his next sensation as Tanzana guzzled the blood from his body. The pain was excruciating. Robin screamed as she nearly emptied his life’s blood from his body. His voice was almost gone from its over use. When the blackness encroached on his mind, Robin welcomed it and allowed it to take over.
Tanzana stopped when Robin lost consciousness. She licked her lips and closed her eyes in ecstasy as the taste still lingered in her mouth. Knowing that it would be a while before she could feast again, she dumped Robin on the ground. Looking forward to her next feeding, Tanzana sat back watching and waiting for a sign of life from the one called Robin Hood.
"We are very close. I can feel her evil," Cat whispered.
It was just a moment later that they came upon Tanzana and Robin. She was sitting watching him. Robin’s body lay sprawled on the ground. His pant leg was torn into shreds leaving his maimed flesh open to the damp air. Blood covered the entire right side of his body. The red color of his blood was a stark contrast to the pallor of his skin. Before Kaylora made her presence known, John and Cat jumped out of her pouch.
"Be careful," Cat whispered and gave John a quick kiss.
"You too," he kissed her back.
It was show time!
John stood beside Kaylora as they walked out into the open. Cat would stay hidden until they had Tanzana occupied.
"I will take Robin Hood now!" Kaylora declared.
Tanzana turned her head to look at Kaylora, "I thought I took care of you already," she said as she got up.
"The good selazor is a lot tougher than you think. We have the power of love within and behind us. Love always triumphs."
"Love, bah!," she spit. "Evil has more power, it is all powerful."
Kaylora began to circle around her. Moving so Tanzana’s back was to Robin. Once she was in the right position, Catrina made her move. She sneaked out from her hiding place and ran to Robin’s side. He was more of a mess this time than before. Carefully she brought his arms down to his sides. When he was dumped, his arms fell haphazardly over his head. Quickly she slipped one of her hands beneath his tunic to lay over his heart and the other hand on the bloody wound on his leg. She was frightened when she could barely feel his heart beating under her hand on his chest. Closing her eyes, she concentrated and whispered the spell. Her hands began to glow red. When this started, Tanzana felt her magic and turned around. Without any warning, she lashed out her tail and hit Cat hard sweeping her away from Robin.
"You will not touch him!" Tanzana shrieked.
Cat was thrown to the side and hit the ground to lay still.
John was mortified, "You will die by my sword!" he bellowed as he ran toward Tanzana. He was able to get about three feet away from her before Tanzana backhanded him. John landed near Cat. He never felt himself hit the ground. Darkness claimed him when the mighty blow struck his body.
Kaylora used one of her really big feet to kick Tanzana in the chest with a thwump! Tanzana toppled over to land on her back. This gave Kaylora time to rush over to John and Cat while Tanzana tried to get up. Kaylora gently picked Cat and John up and placed them in her pouch. She would heal them after she got Robin. Now that they were safe, she moved toward Robin. He was still unconscious. From the looks of his leg, Catrina was not able to heal him before she was attacked. Blood still seeped from the deep hole in his discolored flesh on his thigh.
As Kaylora was just about to lean down to pick him up, Tanzana hit her from the side with a bash of her tail. Kaylora was knocked back but uninjured. This made Kaylora furious. She ran at Tanzana screaming. Tanzana ran forward as well. Even though Kaylora’s arms and hands were much smaller, she had the strength of love. They grabbed each other and began hand to hand combat. Grappling, scratching, biting, ear pulling, spitting, eye gouging and exchanging blows. While they were concentrating on the melee, Little John regained consciousness. The world was fuzzy to him. Then he realized part of the fuzziness was real fuzz. He was back in Kaylora’s pouch. Getting up on unsteady legs, he peeked out over the edge. To his surprise he was met with the sight of Tanzana’s huge body right in front of him. A sly smile crept over his face. John searched the pouch for Robin’s sword.
When he found it, he grabbed the handle tightly, "Make a sheath in her black heart," he whispered.
John stood up to his full height and waited for the right moment. When it came, John plunged the sword with all his might into Tanzana’s chest and into her pulsing black heart.
Tanzana let out an ear splitting scream. She let go of Kaylora and stumbled back clutching at the sword hilt that stuck out of her chest. A black aura began to surround her. The scream was cut off as the glowing back aura completely enveloped her. It began to shrink and to lighten in color. Diminishing to a soft glowing silver ball. It lay there pulsating and emitting a low hum. By human standards it was still huge, twelve feet in diameter.
"What happened? Where is my good selazor!? Where is my mate!?" Kaylora began to cry.
"Don’t worry Kaylora. That’s what happens. He will be here soon enough," Cat weakly said as she rubbed her head. Then her eyes went wide, "Robin! Quickly he was dying when I tried to heal him! Oh dear Lord I hope we are not too late!" she said in a panic.
Quickly you two, climb out. If he is that badly hurt, you cannot be near me," Kaylora ordered.
As Kaylora bent down to Robin, John scrambled out and then lifted Cat out. He stood there holding her and watching Kaylora gingerly scoop up Robin’s frail body. John couldn’t remember when Robin looked so bad. He was thoroughly covered in his own blood. There was no visible sign of life.
Tears began to flow down John’s face, "She’s just got to save him, she’s just got to," he wailed.
Cat sniffed, "She will do all she can John." Cat dried his tears with her small hand. She wrapped her arms around his neck and lay her head on his shoulder.
Kaylora held Robin’s upper body against her chest over her heart. His face was turned to the side and was deathly pale. Kaylora cradled his lower torso and legs in her arms. Her heart began to glow blue and her body pink. Tears fell from her eyes when she closed them. "I can hardly feel him, but he is still with us," she whispered.
The pink glow brightened and surrounded her and Robin. John, with Cat still in his arms, stood mesmerized by the sight. Neither of them paid any attention to the glowing, pulsating, humming silver ball.
Kaylora began to glow a brighter pink. Tears began to stream from her closed eyes, "I can’t seem to heal him. His body does not respond," she wept.
Cat buried her face in John’s neck as she began to cry. She knew what Kaylora was saying. Kaylora could not save Robin. He was going to die. John closed his eyes and placed his head against Cat’s. His best friend, no brother was dying and no one could save him.
End of Chapter Seven
Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six
Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve
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