A silent, shrouded figure, her head wrapped in tattered strips of linen, stood before him.
Jake could hear Nigel whimpering and Maisie hissing. Jake shivered, but kept his head lifted up, keeping a resolute gaze on the stranger’s thin eye slits.
“You’re lost,” the figure said, gesturing to the tunnel near the little dog. “Choose that path and you choose the side of the weak.”
The figure peeled back the wrappings from its head. “Look at what he has done for me.”
Jake’s mouth dropped; he was staring up at the woman from town . . . the leper who had been healed and transformed by Beezeldorn into this creature of absolute beauty shimmering before him.
“Let me show you the source of that power,” she said.
The other animals gasped in awe as they inched closer to her.
The woman cast a radiant smile down at Jake and then turned and walked away, toward an upward curving tunnel on the opposite wall. Nigel and Winston eagerly followed after her, their backsides shaking and wagging joyfully like little pups. Vincent hesitated and then tracked after them. Maisie remained seated and looked back and forth from Jake to the small parade moving away from them.
Jake growled and sprang forward, barking. “She lies!”