Chapter Teaser: The Kha’lari

From “Healers” Book Three

“They ain’t gonna’ make it,” he heard the old shipbuilder mumble. He then ordered some of the men over to another fishing vessel. As they prepared to join their comrades, the sound of splintering wood drew everyone’s attention.

The boat had barely made it out to open water when a jagged opening tore down the side. Water gushed in. One man tripped over a loose line. As he struggled to find his footing, the Kha’lari’s arm snagged his leg.

“Stay here!” Wisdom ordered before leaping off the dock.

He shifted in mid-air, reveling in transformation. It felt good, powerful even. Blood rushed the required forms to his ligaments, changing them to resemble a dark ‘Keyarx. Ignoring gasps of surprise from the men behind, he focused on the Kha’lari.

The creature had managed to drag the human so that he was halfway over the side. Now grasping the splintered wood, he held on in a desperate attempt to keep away from the stingers, and from going under. The other men tried to help, but a tentacle slammed into boat’s side. While the men were tossed around like rag dolls, the vessel dipped sideways. Fishing equipment washed overboard, with a good majority floating around the boat.

Another failed attempt to reach their captured companion forced the two fishermen to abandon their rescue. They swam for their lives as stingers washed in where they once stood.

The prince pumped his wings harder, dark in reflection over the water’s surface. He was careful of flailing sails tangling with dislodged netting as he angled his descent. A tentacle came close, narrowly missing his left wing. He swiped a taloned hand at the arm holding the man’s leg before climbing back up on the air currents. The effort was met with success, as the writhing tentacle loosed enough for the fisherman to squirm out of its coils. However, he was far from safe, as its stingers drifted everywhere.

Wisdom knew he had to be quick. He dived down, grabbing a handful of netting on his way back up. Pulling hard, he began dragging the thing out to sea, away from the damaged boat, away from the lone fisherman still clinging to its side for fear of being stung.


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