Looking for the 50th member of the Darwin clan

Friday, 21 April 2017

Darwin’s Soldiers is 30% funded! Time to let off some fireworks, drink some ale and dance like a loon! A big thanks to Lynette and the Weekes posse and everyone else who has pledged this month!

Our clan is growing stronger - from Shanghai to Copenhagen, Frating to Felixstowe - support for Darwin’s Soldiers is growing and we’re looking for the 50th pledger to join us on the journey. 

I can’t wait to share the story with everyone, so in the meantime, here’s another excerpt to whet the appetite!

 

With a yell, Euryleia burst through a bush some fifty paces back, ‘Run!’ She shouted.

‘What is it?’ Althorn called out.

‘Wolves!’

Half the group sprinted away immediately, while those who knew nothing of wolves hesitated.

‘Run, everyone!’ Althorn ushered the remaining troops away.

‘Come on, Mata!’ John shouted to the Maori who started to jog.

Euryleia overtook John as he ran down the winding path. Howls and yelps could be heard, getting nearer by the second. Althorn was already long gone and John had lost sight of the others as they ran down the bending track. The howling was getting louder and thumping paws pounded a deep beat.

But the forest remained empty.

John stopped to look back. ‘Come on, Mata. Keep-’ He saw movement in the ground behind Mata: patches of brown pine needles were rising and falling out of the dry soil. Off to one flank, John saw grey fur appear and sink back down.

‘Keep running!’ John shouted at Mata.

Mata shook his head, slowing down to turn and stand in a defensive pose. The sound of running paws grew louder as a pair of wolves rose up out of the earth as if emerging from a sea of soil. Mata slipped his deadly club from his belt. Was he going to fight? John looked around but everyone had gone. Two more wolves rose out of the dirt: their white eyes glaring and mouths foaming. John stood frozen to the spot and watched helplessly as the wolves closed in on Mata.

Then something odd happened.

Mata’s skin turned green and his fingers lengthened and wound around his club as dark shapes tore through his arms and back.

 

When John and Mata caught up with the rest of their group, John had simply said. ‘The wolves are dead.’

‘What happened?’ Crossley asked.

John looked at Mata for an explanation, but the large Maori was drinking water. John could see the Maori’s tattoos included a new set of markings.

‘We need to keep moving,’ John nodded down the path and avoided Crossley’s eyes.

How could he describe what he had seen? How Mata had exploded into a tangle of vines and deadly branches, throwing and tearing the wolves apart like ragdolls.

 

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