Acquisitions Incorporated: Holly Folly

Part II: The Wicked Wood

Gibberwidget slowly bent down and put all his kindling on the ground, save for one piece. He carefully, with the twig in his left hand, moved his right hand in in a small circle. A small light began to appear at the end of the twig. It grew brighter the longer Gibberwidget kept circling the stick.

As the light grew it began to illuminate the creature. A large wet nose gave way to a long snout. Beyond this rows of teeth Gibberwidget and Clarkington could make out four rows of eyes going back in a straight line. The front eyes were large and red, as they moved back on the head they grew darker in color, and where noticeably cloudy.

“A harbinger…” Gibberwidget let out with a shudder.

At one time Harbingers had been thought to make good pets. They were Ferlin’s very own “hounds of war”. Most notably harbingers could be identified by three key traits. First and foremost was thier teeth. Harginer’s teeth grow in rows because they’re fragile and break easily. When that happens the next tooth in line moves forward replacing the old one. This feature may sound like a bad idea for a war dog as their teeth would break off with regularity during a fight. Instead though it made the harbinger and even more feared foe. When the teeth break, the splinter into hundreds of saliva coated splinters. If you were unlucky enough to be bitten you’d most likely not die from the bite itself, but rather the long and painful infection that could come from all the splintered teeth. Those lucky enough to survive such an ordeal would often carry a terrible scar that looked like part of their flesh was made from beef jerky because taking out each splinter often meant cutting into the flesh of the man. The second trait of a harbinger was it’s eyes. They too grow in rows, newer eyes in the front, older ones moving toward the back. A harbinger’s head was made of plates much like a man’s. But a harbinger’s plate never fused, allowing them to constantly move. Harbinger’s eyes were very susceptible to cataracts, thus the clouding of the eyes in the back, and the developed ability to grow new eyes so it could always see. The third and final trait was it’s size. Harbinger’s are ancient creatures, and after the War of the Cauldrons they were hunted to what many thought was extinction. Because of this they no longer stood as tall as they once did, afterall men once rode their harbinger’s into battle….or at least that’s what Gibberwidget’s grandfather once told him. Despite all that, harbinger’s still stood at a menacing height.

Gibberwidget stood there, trapped in fear of recognizing what the creature was. Clarkington began to move his hands, whispering under his breath. Gibberwidget recognized it as Clarkington’s detect evil spell…but, something wasn’t right. As he muttered under his breath Gibberwidget could tell that he was mixing up some of the words, in fact he was replacing some words with wholly different words all together. As Clarkington continued the incantation his arms began to go limp, he dropped the firewood and his eyes began to glow a dull orange, smoke begining to rise from his mouth.

Gibberwidget pulled on Clarkington’s clothes as the man began to rise into the air. His arms out stretched, light poured from eyes eyes and mouth, the incantation turning from a low mumble to a loud shout. A burst of light enveloped the entire opening. Gibberwidget was blinded temporarily and the harbinger yelped…then all was dark.

It was cold. A cold stone. It was wet. A cold, wet stone. He tried to move but every inch of him begged for mercy. As he forced himself to open his eyes Rolfus could just make out a faint light, far away. He brought his arms in and pushed himself up, every muscle feeling like it was ripping from bone. He looked around, his head swimming. He staggered as he sat up and fell to his right. His head hit something hard with a loud clang. “Aaahhhh” he let out attempting to catch himself unsuccessfully as his head once more hit the cold, wet stone; everything went black.

There were crickets, Gibberwidget could hear them. A light breeze touched his face and then, wet sandpaper? Gibberwidget opened his eye just a bit and 8 large red eyes lorded over him. He scrambled backward and the beast began to growl, it’s hair standing on end. Gibberwidget stopped, his heart pounding.

“Clarkington…” he whispered under his breath. “Clarkington, it’s a harbinger, a harbinger Clarkington.” but there was no answer. Gibberwidget moved his arm to prop himself up and once again the harbinger growled at him. “Well this is a fine mess I’ve gotten myself into.” he muttered under his breath to himself.

The harbinger sat down across from Gibberwidget, this mouth opened and out came a long, wet, pink tongue. It’s ears relaxed and bent backwards in a manner Gibberwidget could only describe as…flopping. Even it’s eyes seemed to relax, it’s large chest moving in and out as it breathed.

“So, you’re a harbinger…” Gibberwidget said, mostly to himself but half heatedly at the beast now sitting across from him.

“I AM” rang out a monsterous voice from inside Gibberwidget’s head. He grasped his ears in pain as he fell back.

“Great ballsack!” Gibberwidget let out in a loud yell.

YOU ARE SMALL PINK” the voice rang out once again.

“Gaaaaahhhhh” Gibberwidget yelled as the voice echoed inside his head. “Who are you? Show yourself!” he cried out, his face turning red.

“I AM HERE” the voice said.

“Where?! Show yourself, stop talking!” Gibberwidget let out once more. The wet sandpaper again. His cheek was covered in a thick, wet, mucus…and the pain was gone. Gibberwiget was breathing heavily, the pain inside his head was a distant memory now. He sat up, face to face with the harbinger. “You….it’s you.” he said in disbelief. The harbinger tilted his head and looked at him sideways. Gibberwidget brought his hand up and wiped his cheek. The mucus stuck to his hand, it was a blackish color and seemed more solid than liquid. The mucus itself seemed covered in a thinner more viscous liquid that was blue.

“calm now” the voice came back into Gibberwidget’s head.

He looked right into the two, large red eyes that stared at him at an angle and said, “You can talk…”

“no,” came the voice again, “I am talk”

Gibberwidget squinted his eyes as he moved his head back. Clearly this wasn’t the brightest of creatures, even if it could, somehow, communicate with him. “You’re a harbin…”

“NO!” the voice exploded into Gibberwidget’s head. He fell pack, his skull feeling like it was about to burst.

“Ahhhhhh, then what” he yelled out in pain.

“I AM TALK. YOU ARE HEAR. YOU SMALL PINK.” the harbinger was growling at him. “YOU CALL ME NOT THAT NAME. WE ARE NOT. WE ARE NOT.” It was over him now. Gibberwidget writhed in pain from the voice, the harbinger lording over him, it’s teeth bared, growling, drooling on him. “WE ARE MORE. WE RIDE.” the voice then began to become less. “We ride. we are not. you will not call us.”

The wet sandpaper again, and the pain was eased. His face again covered in the black thick mucus.

“you will call us. you will not call us.” the voice said in a calm manner.

Gibberwidget sat up, holding his head. He moved to wipe the harbinger’s spit from his face.

“no. you will not call us.”

His hand stopped, leaving the mucus on his face.

“you will call us”

“I’m confused” Gibberwidget finally admitted with a puzzled look on his face.

“you will call us” is all the voice replied with.

Gibberwidget slowly got up. The harbinger sat and began to pant. “I will call you…” Gibberwidget said.

“yes. you will call us” the harbinger replied.

Gibberwidget screwed up his face trying to understand what exactly the harbinger was trying to tell him. Suddenly it hits him…Gibberwidget leans close to the beast, “I will call you…”


Gibberwidget should gulp nervously…take a deep breath to compose himself and then in an assured tone of voice say…“I will call you….SCHNUFFLES.”

Part II: The Wicked Wood

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