Chapter Snippet

From the latest chapter in Book IV “No’va” 


The Falonberry’s core should not have been translucent. Still, light passed through the thin outer layer and in between random areas where he would have expected seeds to show. Yet instead of individual shapes, everything connected to one large silhouette.

How did worms get in there? He kept turning it, trying to make sense of what he saw. Tendon-like appendages floated out from a single, large seed. He counted seven of them, then squinted. An eighth appeared, and he snickered. “Like a tiny squid got insss…oh….”

In sudden realization of what he held, he dropped the berry and stepped back.

“That’s an egg!” He must have stepped too far, for he could feel the prickle of leaves against his back. He shuddered at the thought of such a thing hatching, and even more so as he realized how it had been attached. Like it was a berry itself. How many more are there? And… did I just save any of those?

Jenario doubted the smaller ones were of any threat. As he turned to count how many of these swollen berries filled the bush, he nonchalantly swiped a hand across his shoulder to remove a few stray leaves. That was when he felt something brush against his back. There should not have been anything on the right side of him, and yet somehow one of the “M” branches was there, filled with drooping berries. It was as though it had purposely positioned itself to tempt once more.

“What is this?” Jenario stared suspiciously at the ground, trying to locate its root system. Surely, the dirt would show signs of disturbance if a plant decided to move itself. Finding none, he retraced his steps to leave when a rustle of leaves confirmed yet another move to block his retreat. Whipping around, he found a second branch in his path.

A low hiss made broke a cold sweat across his forehead. With every hair follicle raised on end, he turned with a tremble to a leafy form rising from behind. The top of the middle bush had been the perfect likeness of its two counterparts, the real Falconberry plants. But now that it rose, it was all too clear with the rays of the sunlight striking each of the fake berries. They were all eggs attached to its parent. What once resembled rooted branches now hoisted up the body, uncurling the abdomen in the process until Jenario stared up at a massive spider.


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