A sneak peek at the next thrilling Lore of the Underlings episode,
which I’m writing as we speak (Episode 4 ~ Preview 12)
“What the heck?!”
John Cap’s sharp eyes opened wide as he pointed due north of Morio’s head. “Where did all those come from?”
The cause of the young man’s sudden surprise was the sight of a hundred vines, which had just appeared from out of nowhere where before there had been but one. They hung down in lengths all over the map as if snipped by a mischievous child — bobbed for no obvious reason or rhyme — though most were still furry like the first. And many of them were also damp with an ugly sheen in the new-found light or dangled dark drops from fraying ends that fell into old, moldy rings of black-green. The tipsy floorwood, already unsteady, was littered with these soggy spots, moist patches of rot that smelled of must. They let off a perfume of decay that mingled with some other secret stink and turned the air pungent and thick. It was hard not to choke from a whiff of it.
Both men turned their gaze from here to look highward and trace the odd cords on their climb to the ceiling. Up, up, up they spun, one after another, by hair-raising turns each rose to the roof. Their spiral locks in twisted braids made mock of a circular stairway to heaven.
At last by accord were all ascended, man vicariously through vine. And there they discovered a webwork of cracks that resembled a mapmaker’s handicraft… a plotting of paths on the chamber roof by a million imagined milky ways now aglow from the honey sun pouring in… like long-sought trade routes blazed in the sky to dreamlands of spice and gilded things.
The travelers crossed them by mind’s eye to reach the far wall where their third yet slept. But descending that side they first found something fearsome hanging above her head. Another deathly array of spikeful machines — more morbid than those they saw before. Devices that few but a devil could love.
Morio mumbled soft worries aloud. “Be careful Miss Vaam… something looms…”
John Cap, however, did not seem concerned. Clearly he had other matter in mind.
He stepped toward the space she displaced and spoke, his voice turned a tender hush. “It’s morning Vaam. Time to find your way back.”
… to be continued. Stay tuned!