The Back Door – The Monksville Chronicles #86

Buggaboo climbs through the rubble and pokes his head through a tiny gap in the top level of the rocks. He listens intently, smells the air – the lake is starting to give off a fishy interference. He must be getting close. He pops back inside the protective shell and advances gingerly towards the Reservoir, stopping off every so often to climb up and do a little surveillance. Each scan he performs gives back no sign of the owl; by the time he reaches the end of the chasm within the rock pile, the flying squirrel is sure of one thing: the wing’ed gremlin conceded. Buggaboo has won the bout.

A gust of wind rustles his whiskers as he steps out on the cool crag. The wind’s always stronger over the water, Buggaboo knows it to be true, but the swells rarely peak at night like this. ‘Tis what it is, he must work with what he’s got; there’s no going back now.

Buggaboo leaps. His patagium catch wind. He coasts high above the open water under the dim glow of the full moon’s light. In this moment, the appeal of nocturneship shines clearly to the flying squirrel – the night lives in a different fashion than the day, casts an entirely different shadow. The energies dance on different frequencies, the wind blows in a different direction; a hot scream explodes from Buggaboo’s rear as the witch doctor bursts from the treeline, its horns that of a slain demon residing in The Void patiently biding its time until it may creep back into the realm of the living.

‘No.’

It’s all over. Buggaboo is a flying squirrel through and through, and that’s just the problem – flying squirrels do not actually fly, they only glide on the air, glide on it very slowly, and while he can pitch and yaw with the best of ‘em, Buggaboo can’t boost his speed, can’t accelerate. The screeching owl can, for it is the king of the sky when the starpool looms above, and so it does, and the gap betwixt its open beak and the tail of Buggaboo shrinks like dried meat.

‘No, I refuse to be taken by the likes of that dirty bird!’

The flying squirrel has a contingency plan of course, as one always should. There’s always the escape hatch, always the back door, that secret exit tucked away in the corner of the room where none look and even less tread. He just has to wait for the perfect moment, for when Bugg’ takes his leave, he’ll not want to be followed.

And yet the owl follows on, and close behind at that. Very close, too close, withing striking distance and clear outside the realm of second guessing its terrible intent. As the wraith readies its weapons and bellows a victorious screech, as the thing that goes hoot in the night prepares to close its talons around Buggaboo’s back legs, Buggaboo knows his moment has finally come. The flying squirrel curls. The gliders collapse. The tip of his tail rests against the small of his back as he plummets to the water below.

The owl Lúaloch, faring about as well in open water as a lakebreather does in open air, debates giving chase, ultimately deciding to retreat. The channel opens, ‘I shall let the rodent go; he’s won the right to his suicide. He may end his own lifecycle,’ and closes once more.


This has been the fourth subchapter of the last chapter of the book The Monksville Chronicles. Here is everything you need to know about it:

The Monksville Chronicles

I’ve written a few other books, too. Even fixed the link. Click here to see the list.

If you’re there, hypothetical reader, thank you for being there. From this day on, we move forever forward~

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