The euphoria was momentary, roars and flashes of light and colour burst out of the cloud. Koray trembled. Andre froze as he looked up to see the ugly head of the serpent breaking through the cloud net, that same piece had moved sideways again. The serpent, still partially trapped was writhing with fury to escape. He broke free through the gap and with an almighty hiss, streaked away in the direction from which he came. They waited but knew that the serpent would return as the low rumbling growl and hissing were still very audible and they were not wrong. The hissing became stronger and louder, he was attacking again.
Koray stretched his arms toward the skies and began chanting strange words. Whether it was the chanting that did it, who knows but stars began to appear, hundreds of them, flooding the night sky. Oscar was amazed at his next thought. He remembered another thing he read in the reference book. “Hurry Andre, Oscar shouted, “Gather the stars, and try to attach them to the cloud to hold it together”. Koray chanted and chanted, chaos was everywhere, the rumbling, hissing of the serpent was getting closer, and the purple sky was swirling with stars. Andre did not have time to be afraid or question whether it would work or not, no one would ever know unless he tried. He laddered up and reached with all his might to his left then his right gathering the stars who seemed to comply. Andre moved around the dark cloud forcing it back into position and studding it together with stars trying not to look in the direction of the serpent. As much as he tried it was not enough, he could see more holes appearing. Koray chanted on and on, his voice rising into the sky.
Andre felt weakness in his neck, arms, and ladders; he was exhausted he felt defeated.
Out of nowhere, something wound around Andre’s wrist then his neck. Black threads; he was terrified. The black threads wound around his fingers whilst the other end latched itself to the cloud and began to weave itself in and pulling Andre’s hand with it. Andre could feel his life ending when another thread attached itself to his other hand and began the same thing. They pulled his long arms further and further into the cloud net. He was powerless. He was doomed but just as fast as they latched on, they let go. Andre unbalanced with the sudden release. He rocked back and forth out of control. A long thread wound around his neck and it stopped him from rocking but it was tightening its grip. He braced himself for the end of his short life. He closed his eyes and waited. The thread around his neck loosened slightly, he opened his eyes just in time to see it slip gently from his neck into the clouds. He was finally free and steady on his ladders. When his heart had slowed to a frantic beat, he could not believe what he saw. The black threads had literally ‘sewn’ themselves into the cloud and along with the stars, they had formed what looked like an impenetrable net and not too soon as the head of the monster once again roared into sight.
Andre had never folded himself down so fast in all his life. The sky filled with flashes of colour, the rumbling and screaming hisses were so loud it was enough to make your toenails curl. This time the clouds moved straight into the serpent and again they took on grotesque shapes. The rumbling, screaming, and hissing died down. Koray quietened his chanting to a whisper and finally there was total silence in the night.
The three friends exhausted and terrified, waited. They waited to see if the monster was going to break free again, knowing if that happened they would never be able to stop it. A slither of Ember Moon’s glow appeared from behind the slow moving dark misshapen mass of cloud net. Koray bowed deeply and when he rose, he whispered, “Ember Moon is safe”, but Oscar and Andre cautiously kept their eyes on the sky.
The cloud had just about passed ember moon completely when bright colours started to emanate from the dark mass. Gasps and groans escaped from Andre. There just seemed no way to stop that evil monster. There was no hope. As the three brave friends looked up into the night sky, they began to realise it was different this time. There was no rumbling or hissing and no ugly head appearing, just long dancing coloured threads spreading themselves across the sky. It raised their hopes although they did not understand what was happening.
A heavy THUD next to Oscar’s feet nearly toppled him off the tower. They all looked down and saw a clump of brown. On closer inspection, they saw what was left of the evil serpent, a brown speckled mess, and best of all, very, very dead. Oscar did not mind seeing this dead body.
The colours in the sky pulsated into a stunning light show. The stars floated free as the winter cloud reshaped itself into its original form and passed out of sight.
Oscar and Andre turned to Koray but he was gone. For a horrible moment they though he may have fallen from the tower until they saw a ruby heart shape hovering just above where he had been standing, it slowly rose into the sky until it was glowing in front of the Ember Moon before it disappeared. They knew Koray had gone home. Oscar and Andre stood together for some time smiling at Ember moon and the mysterious dancing rays.
No one fell from that tower…whew! I am glad Koray made it back to Ember Moon, aren’t you? Now let us tie up the loose ends because I don’t know about you reader but I don’t like stories that end without me knowing answers to all my puzzles, like…What were the colours in the sky? What happened to Oscar and Andre? Did they ever see Koray again?
To be continued……