THEN…Timewalker Book 2, Now Avaialble on Audible

Blurb:

Will Pandora and her World Alliance rule from Atlantis, under the sea… until the world above no longer breathes?

The much awaited sequel to the highly acclaimed dystopian fantasy novel, WHAM! is here.

“Zipping from the gorgeously enchanting to the darkly terrifying, THEN… is dystopian fantasy at its finest. And it’s even better than Book 1.”
–Stuart Kenyon, author of the SUBNORMAL series & SWIFTLY SHARPENS THE FANG

While the underground frantically works to mount a resistance against Pandora and the World Alliance, the potentate’s evil grows.

She stages withering chemical attacks wherever the underground may survive. She passes more laws to hamper their movements.
And new inventions to control their minds.

And as Nia grows heavy with the potentate’s child, her desperation to escape before the birth turns to panic.

Sample Reviews for THEN…

Wendy

 

5.0 out of 5 stars THE EPIC FANTASY SAGA Continues

January 4, 2019

Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase

If you Loved “WHAM!” you will be swept away and into “THEN”, part 2 in the Timewalker Series by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps. “THEN” is a gem of book. The epic story continues with artful weaving of time, history, language, and psychology of the characters. The predominant theme is the hero’s journey in a sci-fi Dystopian reality that connects characters and the plot through different times of the past, present and future. This interlacing of time is done brilliantly and with concise clarity. In this journey, there is loss, magic, mystery, conflict, awakenings and reunion as well as serious sheer adventure that stems right from the extraordinarily unique imagination of the authors. There is a classic and timeless quality to “THEN” that reminds me of varied authors like Chaucer, Tolkien, and Edmund Spenser’s epic book, “The Faerie Queene”. Within the textural and sensual depths of the beautiful imagery and remarkable creativity in “THEN”, it is quite apparent that the allegories from this extraordinary Sci-Fi Dystopian Fantasy are evident in our world today as archetypes and stereotypes in our reality. It takes a highly crafted and thoughtful author to be able to hold the story to its genre of fantasy while allowing the reader to see parables that are current to today. The Hero’s Journey in “THEN” is a journey of the soul of finding inner truths against the background of super-natural reality wedded with obstacles and deception as well as innocence and magic. The authors have done a brilliant job! I highly recommend this book to both young adults and adults..

 

Stuart Kenyon

 

5.0 out of 5 starsDystopian fantasy at its finest

4 January 2019

Verified Purchase

I always look forward to books by the Phippses. So when the author generously offered me an advanced reader copy of their new book, I jumped at the chance! Of course, I’d be happy to wait in line like everyone else, such is the esteem in which I hold Carol and Tom’s work.

THEN… picks up where its predecessor, WHAM!, left off. The genie is out of the lamp now, and revolution is brewing, but not if diabolical dictator Pandora has her way. From her hidden sanctuary, she continues to oppress her people. Spying on them, gassing them and dealing with dissidents harshly, her hunger for power knows no bounds. Those that stand against her – a ragtag collection of humans, trolls and fairies from the past and present – must fight almost impossible odds.

Underdogs fighting back against tyranny is by no means a novel idea, but the TIMEWALKERS stories are brilliant enough to outshine the crowd. The plot moves rapidly, twisting and turning, flitting from character’s one point of view to the next at breakneck speed. Action is frequent; dialogue is charming one moment, disturbing the next; the various locales are beautifully depicted. We’re transported from wondrous Lewis Carroll-esque utopias to ugly, ravaged places, from undersea paradises to places which almost look like our own world. If you read for escapism, if you love to be immersed in a fantastical universe with magical characters and compelling plots, you should read WHAM! and THEN… immediately. I also heartily recommend the writers’ HEART OF THE STAFF series, which has been recently revamped.

 

Review:                             Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers’ Favorite

 

Then… is a genre-mashing work of fiction for young adults, penned by co-authors Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps. In the second book in the Timewalker Series, the sequel to the weird and wonderful Wham!, we once again pick up the adventures of sisters Tess and Nia as the deadly threat of the World Alliance looms over their lives. Nia, captive and pregnant, knows that her body is a ticking time bomb that sets a limit on her escape. Meanwhile the underground movement works hard to build a resistance to Pandora and the World Alliance, and dystopian politics once again clash with the fairy world in order to do so.

 

Having recently read Wham!, I was easily swept back into this conceptually intriguing world where the fairy past and the distant future collide as good battles evil all over the world. I very much enjoyed the heightened level of threat as the problem becomes more global, reaching beyond just the personal lives of the central characters. The new threats developed by the WA are inventive and dangerous, presenting a powerful war story right in the middle of Tess’s and Nia’s own personal dramas. I felt that Nia really featured in this book as a star character, and her emotional journey was harrowing to follow. Authors Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps have done a great job of cementing the lore of their wacky world in this second novel, which overall makes Then…Timewalker Book 2 another excellent read for fans of fantasy, dystopia and powerful heroic narratives.

BookReviews88

 

5.0 out of 5 starsFantastic!

January 24, 2019

Format: Kindle Edition

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps have done it again with this fantastic dystopian fantasy read! ‘THEN’ is the second installment of the Timewalker series and I absolutely loved it. (I loved ‘Wham’ too.) Pandora and the World Alliance wreak havoc, as sisters, Tess & Nia (and many others) do everything they can to save the world from their evil agenda. If you like Sci-fi, fantasy, dystopian stories, you’ll love this excellently-written read. Well done!

We currently have a limited number of PROMO CODES for FREE downloads of both THEN…Timewalker Book 2 and WHAM! Timewalker Book 1. You do not need to have an account with Audible to get these FREE audiobooks. Please reply to this post or email us at car01am@yahoo.com if you are interested in receiving one or both of these FREE codes. Sorry, US and UK only.

 

 

 

 

 

Arwr the Diatryma Finds Humanity in Vyrpudi the Troll

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“Mary,” said Arwr softly from beneath the lone scrubby pine.

“Does your leg hurt, Arwr?” she said. “I’ve some herbs that might stop the pain without putting you to sleep.”

“No Mary. My leg is merely bruised and the pain is bearable,” he said, nodding to where800px-nyndrtly Vyr-pudi was chained, beyond the fire. “Did you know that Vyr-pudi saved my life? He saved Abaddon’s, too.”

“That’s his name, Vyr-pudi? Have you learnt any more of his language?”

“Yes actually, but what I did not expect is that he’s beginning to understand ours.”

“How do you know?”

“He called out my name quite clearly, just in time for me to dodge the lyoth which brought me down. I have no doubt that he saved my life and Abaddon’s, too. Abaddon got
thrown off my back while I was kicking at the Lyoth. Vyrpudi caught him. And when he
saw his moment, he jumped the Lyoth and strangled it with his chain. No one has even
thanked him.” He gave the side of his beak a thoughtful saw across a fallen pine trunk and
thoroughly shook his feathers.

Mary sat speechless for a moment, listening to the owl as a pop in the fire sent sparks dashing into the starry sky. “Oh my,” she said. “I see your point Arwr, but he is a troll surrounded by Elves. He undoubtedly had some part in feasting on the Elves in two Jutish villages, and you know better than I do what you caught him in the act of doing at Oilean Gairdin.” She peered at Vyr-pudi, sitting in his chains. “You’re right, Arwr. We’re no better at all if we can’t show humanity when it’s needed.” She stood and brushed off her skirts. “Do you know the Trollish words for thank you?”

Arwr nodded his head. “Afey-fira.”

“Afey-fira…afey-fira,” she said as she started over to Vyrpudi, who sat up quite straight at her approach. “Well. Arwr says your name is Vyr-pudi.”

Vyr-pudi became very wide eyed at this.

“Anyway we,” she said, pointing to herself and then back to Arwr, “want to tell you afey-fira.”

Vyrpudi’s eyes bugged out and his jaw dropped open as she squatted before him and carefully reached out her hand. At once he drew back from her touch as if she were about to strike him. “Well I guess that wasn’t a good idea,” she said as she stood up and let her arms fall to her sides. She smiled at him and walked back to the fire.

“I believe he thought I was about to hit him,” she said as she found her spot on the rock.

Arwr glanced over at Vyr-pudi who was now watching them with undisguised curiosity. “Yes I saw,” he said, “but you didn’t hit him and he can plainly see that you didn’t intend to. He’ll figure it all out. Where it will all go, though, I can’t guess. You do remember that when I captured him, the plan was to learn what we could from him and then kill him, don’t you?”

“I remember,” she said, shaking her head. “Even with his valiant deeds today, after so many long years of attacks on Elves…”

“I know,” he said as he snapped each wing and settled himself, closing his eyes. “We shall simply have to take things as they come.”

 

Ch. 38, The Burgeoning

 

 

Carol & Tom Phipps

 

 

 

 

FREE for the FIRST TIME EVER and the ONLY TIME this year. THEN… Timewalker Book 2 6/15/19 – 6/ 17/19.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

 

FREE for the FIRST TIME EVER and the ONLY TIME this year. THEN Timewalker Book 2  getbook.at/THEN 6/15/19 – 6/ 17/19.

Please share on social media. Here are my Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carol.phipps3 and Twitter https://twitter.com/Car01am links

Will Pandora and her World Alliance rule from Atlantis, under the sea… until the world above no longer breathes?

The much awaited sequel to the highly acclaimed dystopian fantasy novel, WHAM! is here.

“Zipping from the gorgeously enchanting to the darkly terrifying, THEN… is dystopian fantasy at its finest. And it’s even better than Book 1.”
–Stuart Kenyon, author of the SUBNORMAL series & SWIFTLY SHARPENS THE FANG

While the underground frantically works to mount a resistance against Pandora and the World Alliance, the potentate’s evil grows.

She stages withering chemical attacks wherever the underground may survive. She passes more laws to hamper their movements.
And new inventions to control their minds.

And as Nia grows heavy with the potentate’s child, her desperation to escape before the birth turns to panic.

Get ready for hours of entertainment, from the busy pens of Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps.

Get your copy!

AND

 

 99 SALE…WHAM! Timewalker Book 1  getbook.at/WHAM  6/15/19 – 6/17/19.

 

They took her world. They took her family. They said it was for the greater good.

They lied… 

From husband and wife writing team, Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps, WHAM is an imaginative and original dystopian fantasy where technology and magic stand side by side.

“Rarely have I seen fantasy and science fiction married so successfully.”

When Children and Family Assistance police drag her mom, her dad and her beautiful sister out the door into the night and beat her senseless, Tess Greenwood finds herself alone, her every move watched by the hidden World Alliance. Almost blind after her beating, she flees to the forbidden Broadstreet compound and a troll named Maxi.

So begins Tess’s journey from quiet teen at home to fierce young woman, determined to get back her family any way she can. Even if she must travel time itself.

But time is one thing she has little of. Those arrested in the night seldom live for long, and beautiful young women are destined to become toys for the elite.

Frantic, Tess tries to pull herself together to save her loved ones and her world… and the clock is ticking.

Get your copy and enter the world of the Timewalkers.

“At first, I thought this was your typical dystopian story, but I quickly learned it is so much more. Layer upon layer was peeled back as I read, revealing themes of corruption, power, and greed as well as familial love and loyalty that spans the ages.”

 

“CHASING THE RED QUEEN” Blog Tour! @ElizabethGlist1 @4WillsPub #RRBC

Chasing the Red Queen

Excerpt: (first contact with an ancient predator)

Clutching her rescuer, blinded by her hair which had been cast upon her face, Donja felt him lower her to her feet, back to the wall. “Are you hurt?” a strong, masculine voice resonated, shielding her with his massive body as the crowd went ballistic.

“I don’t think so,” she mumbled, pushing at her hair. The first thing she saw was soft, blond hair on his chest, visible beneath his open, silk shirt. She rocked her head back and looked up, his massive frame towering over her. Her eyes narrowed. He reeked of masculinity, with a thick brow ridge and broad nose. His cheekbones were prominent with a square jaw, and though his lips were moving, she didn’t hear him, for her eyes were hypnotically drawn to a scar that ran from his cheek to his right ear.

“It’s from the war. Afghanistan,” he said, robbing her of thoughts.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to stare,” Donja said, meeting his intense blue eyes.

He raised his hand and gently removed a lock of her hair that was stuck to her lip gloss. “I’m used to it.” He smiled with perfect white teeth. “But what I’m not used to is finding someone as beautiful as you inches from my face.”

 

 BIO:

Karen Glista is a registered nurse and award-winning author. Living in the great lakes state of Michigan, she finds solace in a remote home nestled within a dense forest (which she believes is enchanted).  In the moss laden woodlands, she often wanders, all the while delving into and living fantasy as much as reality. Driven by heart, visionary characters, and underlying dreams, she embraces the fictious and much like you comes to know them, and with such, spins a tale that in the dark of night lights your soul.

PURCHASE LINK:

Chasing the Red Queen on Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/dp/B079KJFJW8/

 

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/KarenGlistaBooks/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElizabethGlist1

Website: https://karenglista.com/

 

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.
 
Lastly, Karen is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!

Meri shows Everyone Through the Fairy Ring

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The caravan of Elves trudged through the hot red sand in determined silence, following Ceidwad, Lladdwr and Arwr with Abaddon and Shot ‘n’ Stop as they accompanied Diatryma_by_ministerartMentrus, Meinir and Gwawr. By afternoon, they had begun bearing to the north-west, away from the feet of the Great Barrier Mountains, and at once found themselves in rolling countryside, dotted with scrubby junipers. By late afternoon it had become quite hilly, and soon they came to a vast forest of great tall pines. “They’ve stopped yonder, sire,” said Owain with a nod ahead.

“So I see,” said James, staring under the flat of his hand.Scan10041

“And I do believe that I recognize this Fairy,” said Neron.

“Halloo!” cried the Fairy with a grand wave from where he stood amongst the diatrymas.

“Would you be Meri Greenwood?” said Neron as he dismounted and held out his hand. “Dyn Gwyrdd was your name back when we first met, if I’m right.”

“Not mochel aboven a thousent yere a-go, Neron Ri.” said Meri with a grin as he took his hand and gave it a good shake.

“And just after that, you visited us when we hung the great front door at Oilean Gairdin, and I’ve not seen you since. And this handsome young man here is James, King of Loxmere-Goll.”

“And thou the Queene of Goll ymaried, whom yow al yfled?”

“You can’t imagine how I regret having to admit that, but yes.”

“And thy partye righte soor for water ybe, ey?”

James and Neron both nodded.

“Thanne alowe me for to wolcome hem to the village of Gerddi Teg, the Fayr Gardens of the Grete North Wodes. Weo konnen for to contynue oure introducciones as they hira thurst to slake.”

“Forgive me sire,” said James as he quickly looked about, “but for the life of me, I see no village at all.”

“Thanne by rightes thou the ffirst to seen schuldest bethe,” said Meri as he turned andFairyRing pointed to a great circle of mushrooms, growing in the mat of pine needles behind him.

“I guess I’m lost…” said James, looking utterly confused.

“Thou nedith na buen,” said Meri with a hearty laugh. “Juste stepe wythinne the cercle. Llewyrch, Danneth and Súlacha awayten thee doun the steyres. Thou nedith carefull to bene to stapen over the musserounes. Mentrus? Plese to lede the way for hym.”

At once Mentrus stepped within the ring and jogged airily down through the dirt and pine needles to vanish altogether, followed by Meinir, Gwawr and then Ceidwad, Lladdwr and finally Arwr. Abaddon looked panicky as his ears sank into the needles of the forest floor, but he was still bravely astride Arwr when he vanished. James gave a wide-eyed look about at everyone and then stepped over the mushrooms to plunge his ankle out of sight as he felt for the top step. “Ah! There it is,” he said grandly as he too trotted down out of sight.

Ch. 41, The Burgeoning

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Who is Teeuh?

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Teeuh is a young woman, a moth winged Fairy who is the daughter of Longbark, the oldest of the Forest Primeval oaks, who makes her from Nasteuh, the daughter of Kingangel-oak-top10-trees James and Queen Spitemorta of Loxmere-Goll.

Nasteuh’s grandmother Demonica interferes with Spitemorta’s pregnancy, so that even though Nasteuh is a beautiful and magically endowed baby, her twin brother is born a troll and she manages to chew off the teats of all her wet nurses. When Spitemorta is away making an 143881854.mDiqyn6G.LunaMothCocoon2.5attack on Niarg Castle, Nasteeuh is stolen in a raid of retaliation on Castle Goll by Niarg soldiers. By the time she is taken to the three Fairy sisters beneath Mount Bedd, she is known to all as the damned baby. When Damned Baby becomes too dangerous for the Fairies to handle, they wrap her in a cocoon and give her to Longbark to remake.

After several months, she emerges from the cocoon, dsc_1224_1328927551a gorgeous young woman with green hair, moth wings and the teeth of a dogfish shark. She spends the next twenty years living with her Fairy mamas, communing for hours and days at a time with her mother Longbark, who teaches her and continually increases her magical power for things to come.

Teeuh can be found in the following books:

The Reaper Witch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DOOM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAM!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THEN…

THEN…Timewalker Book 2

Who are the Fairies?

 

 

 

Fairies, Homo sapiens viridihirsutensis R., who appear in Good Sister, Bad Sister, The Burgeoning, The Reaper WitchDoom and Wham! are a race of humans indigenous to the primeval oak forests of Fairy Valley and to the lands which become the Chokewoods under Razzorbauch’s enchantment. They are characterized by alabaster-white skin, eyes with emerald green irises, pointed ears and brilliant green hair that has metallic iridescence in sunlight and which develops bright yellow streaks with advancing age, much as the hair of other races turns grey or white. They are, like their Elven cousins, highly intuitive and predisposed to magical abilities. However, their attunement with their surroundings far exceeds that of the Elves and has become a specialized involvement with the green world, particularly with oak trees. Barring accidents, they are immortal.

 

mud-maid-main_1

 

 

WHAM! Timewalker Book 1 AUDIOBOOK is NOW AVAILABLE

 

We are very excited to announce that Wham! Timewalker Book 1 audiobook is NOW AVAILABLE on Audible.com, Amazon.com and iTines.

And you can get the audiobook of WHAM! absolutely FREE with a NO RISK 30-Day FREE TRIAL on AUDIBLE

They took her world. They took her family. They said it was for the greater good. They lied. 

From husband and wife writing team, Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps, WHAM is an imaginative and original dystopian fantasy where technology and magic stand side by side.

“Rarely have I seen fantasy and science fiction married so successfully.”

When Children and Family Assistance police drag her mom, her dad and her beautiful sister out the door into the night and beat her senseless, Tess Greenwood finds herself alone, her every move watched by the hidden World Alliance. Almost blind after her beating, she flees to the forbidden Broadstreet compound and a troll named Maxi.

So begins Tess’s journey from quiet teen at home to fierce young woman, determined to get back her family any way she can. Even if she must travel time itself.

But time is one thing she has little of. Those arrested in the night seldom live for long, and beautiful young women are destined to become toys for the elite.

Frantic, Tess tries to pull herself together to save her loved ones and her world… and the clock is ticking.

Get your copy and enter the world of the Timewalkers.

“At first, I thought this was your typical dystopian story, but I quickly learned it is so much more. Layer upon layer was peeled back as I read, revealing themes of corruption, power, and greed as well as familial love and loyalty that spans the ages.”

 

You may have had the pleasure of listening to our amazing narrator’s mesmerizing voice as she read “Time Does Not Exist”,  the intro to WHAM!

NOW listen to the enchanting voice of SKY WILDMIST,  www.avalonstudiovo.com, as she narrates excerpts for our new WHAM! Timewalker Book 1 audiobook  trailer.

You Were a Bear?

sun-bear-steve-javorsky

They had their unicorns completely laden and packed before the first light. With the first rusty calls of the seaside sparrows as the sky turned deep blue, they wended between tussocks of marram grass into a landscape of sandburs and rolling sand dunes with CapeSableSeasideSparrow_2Tramman, Obbree and Karl-Veur leading the way while Rose, Fuzz and Inney followed a rod or two behind. After tramping a good long way with no talking, Rose paused to shift her pack and to study the horizon.

“Young ladies were never meant to be pack animals, Rose,” said Fuzz. “I could take your bag for a bit.”

“And I suppose old bespelled bears are,” she said with her eyes dancing.

“Absolutely!” said Fuzz. “Going to find Gastro. That is indeed what it reminds me of, too.”

“What are you two talking about?” said Inney.

“We were once in a place like this when Fuzz was a bear,” said Rose, stopping short to images 2share wide-eyed looks with Fuzz at what she had just said.”

“You were a bear?” said Inney. “Mister Fuzz! You’re not a skin walker, are you?”

“You mean, could I change myself into a bear? Not at all. I could not begin to do something like that, even if I had forever and seven days. I was trapped as a bear with no
hair until the witch who did it to me was killed and her evil faded away some years later.”

Everyone ahead had turned about to listen. “She must’ve been one powerful witch if it took zzzDicksissel9so long for all of her magic to fade,” said Tramman.

“She was powerful, all right,” said Fuzz, “and made all the more so by having in her possession what we know as the Great Staff of Power. Your long lost brethren once called it Bata Millteanach. And it’s a very long tale that I can see needs to be told when we get to Balley Cheerey.”

“That’s a story I can’t wait to hear,” said Tramman, turning square about in the sand. “Let’s get on to Balley Cheerey.” And with that, the party resumed their tramp through the sand.

As the sun rose, the sand became unbearably hot, and since Rose, Fuzz and Karl-Veur sandduneshad lost their shoes in the sea when the ship sank, they were forced to make emergency footwear out of a ripped kelp sack and strips of the skirt of Rose’s kirtle. By the time the628x471 sun was high enough for the sand to blister bare feet, they were underway again, listening to the endless calls of cicadas.

Grass was now covering most of the sand. Dickcissels called from the taller tussocks. Redwing blackbirds scolded from the air above their heads. “When the grass is all taller OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAthan we are, we’ll finally be in the Strah,” said Tramman. “Keep your eyes open for snakes.”

As Rose studied a particularly tall bunch of grass, she stumbled across a mound of sticks and grass. “Fuzz!” she cried, “Look! Huge eggs. The size of a baby’s head. Fuzz! This one’s hatched.” At once all three imagesstrike falcons dashed through the grass to peer closely at what she had found. “Are these strike falcon eggs, Inney?”

“Yea,” she said, picking up an egg. “These aren’t suppose to be out here, are they Tramman?”

“Not at all,” he said, letting go of his handful of reins to pick up an egg with both hands, “We thought we’d shot the last wild one maybe seven hundred years ago.”

images 1“What’s wrong with wild ones?” said Rose. “What would happen if I picked up this one just hatched?”

“She’ll be your bond mate, if you want one,” said Tramman. “And wild ones? Really, really dangerous. They can take you out with one slashing kick. See Obbree a-stringing his bow? That’s what I’m going to do right now.”

“So what do I do if I want a bond mate?”6f9fde723ee52483fa2689890dee578c_1_orig

“Take her with you. Inney’ll tell you what to do,” he said as he strung his bow. “Fuzz? Take my sword. I see Karl-Veur has Obbree’s. And everybody pick up an egg. Put it inside your shirt. We have to go. Now! Those parents could show up and kill someone in the blink of an eye. Somebody will have to come all the way back down here and hunt them down and kill them.”

Ch. 2, The Reaper Witch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Next Time the Howlies Come for a Sheep, They’ll Bring a Skillet

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The howlies certainly loved their breakfast of roasted fish. After they followed Herio and Philpott back to the cave, they sat crowded around the entrance, staring inside as if the pair of them were about to hatch. The prospects of escaping looked more dismal than ever. And it was most difficult to fall asleep that night in the heavy closeness of the musky reek with all of those eyes watching them.

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They were awakened not long before daylight by being hauled to their feet and marched to the river, where they found several of the giants already up to their waists in the water, grabbing at catfish. Blue Eye even found their water bags and followed. This time breakfast lasted into the early afternoon, since the fish were harder to catch and five more howlies had appeared.

The next morning, Herio was awakened by a busy commotion outside to find the giants on their haunches, patiently peering in at him with wriggling fish in their fists. “Philpott,” he said. “Do you see what’s out here?”

 

Philpott rolled off his dusty pallet onto his knees. “Say,” he said, giving his greasy head a good scratch, “we’ve got that little box of lard which we were starting to get hungry enough to nibble at. I’ve got it and my skillet.” He began finding stones to set it on over the flames of a fire as Blue Eye waddled over with a fish in each hand to look him up and down with the silvery rings of his eyes. As he set to the task of making the fire, Herio began cutting up the fish. When the first piece went into the sizzling fat, a chorus of gasps broke out and the howlies crowded in to see. This breakfast lasted until evening, with the giants traipsing back and forth to the river all day.

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“Damn!” said Herio as he lay down on his pallet after dark. “What are we going to do tomorrow? Aren’t we running out of lard?”

“Yeap,” said Philpott.

Herio might have heard, but he was already snoring.

Herio jerked wide awake in the first broad light of day to the hearty medley of calls from athrasher4 sunset thrasher in the gnarled twist of scrub oak, growing out of the rocks at the mouth of the cave. He was on his knees at once. “That mockingbird wouldn’t be there with a crowd of howlies,” he said, getting to his feet. “Philpott! I don’t see a single giant out here.”

“Hey!” cried Philpott as he stepped outside. “Where the ding-dong blazes is my skillet? And my lard box. Those stinkers are thieves!”

“No time,” said Herio.

“No there’s not,” said Philpott. And with that, they grabbed up their things and were out in the chilly mountain air at once, jogging as they buttoned and tied their clothes.

It was a long way down the length of the mountain ridge without the unicorns. Even so, they found themselves covering ground nearly as quickly as they had managed while mounted, following the howlie tracks uphill. By sunset, they reached the upper end of the great meadow above the dry wash where they had found signs in the sand made by the giants, the morning they set out. A mountain burrowing owl rasped and cackled from the rocks of the divide as they made their way out into the thin dry grass under the vault of deepening blue sky.

“Well we certainly had our adventure,” said Philpott, walking backward for a step or two. “And we ended up with one of the wildest tales we’ll ever have to tell, but we might not even have found out where they live, let alone doing anything to discourage them. We didn’t change a thing. They’ll just keep getting into our sheep.”

“Oh yes we did,” said Herio.

“My word, what?”

“And it’s mainly what you did.”

“I’d like to know what that was.”

“Next time they come for a sheep, they’ll bring a skillet.”  

“I can see that I’ve talked to you longer than any sane fellow would’ve.”

“That’s it!” said Hero, stopping short and setting down his panniers. “We can butcher hit for them…” He squatted to stretch his back.

“I knew it was too late when you commenced to howling like one of them.”

“No, wait,” said Herio. “Look ‘ee here. Weren’t we starting to talk and trade? Really. I mean, we told them we were thirsty and they took us to water. We said we were hungry and they gave us fish. Then we cooked the fish and they let us go. Right?”

“Yea. For my bloomin’ skillet.”

 

“Let’s say that we want to graze this pasture for a week,” he said, standing up with his bags and starting to walk again. “We pay them a sheep first.”

“What?”

“We take a wether up there…”

“You mean right back up to that stinking hole in the rocks?”

“Yea. We take a sheep up there and butcher and cook hit for them, and tell them hit’s for a week’s worth of pasture. They’d love it.”

“I’ll bet,” said Philpott with a wide-eyed nod. “And how in the ever loving blue eyed world are you going to get the notion of a week’s worth of future grazing across to those wooly bellied wizards?”

“I haven’t figured out that one yet. But you’d have to take them the sheep first, at least.”

“Well you kept wanting to draw pictures…”

“That’s it!” cried Herio, whirling about, mid stride. “What if we figured out what sort of picture, and put it on a parchment and took it with us?”

“We?” said Philpott. “Well, I reckon I can help butcher a sheep. But you’d better have one damned good picture with you, is all I can say.”

Ch. 10, Doom, The Heart of the Staff

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps