I don’t know about you guys but I’m so anxious to share the next episode that it’s driving me crazy that it isn’t time yet! So, I thought I’d share another excerpt just for the fun of it…
With two fistfuls of coarse brown hair, Jakin held tight to the Ba’at’s neck while Mita guided the great beast through the air. Across the Yellow Valley and along the mountain range, staying close to the rocky ridges so they wouldn’t be silhouetted against the sky. They darted in and out of canyons and gorges, the Ba’at twisting and flipping in the air and causing the world to spin and turn upside down.
“Is that really necessary?” Jakin mumbled, struggling to hold down the breakfast that was threatening to come up.
“Pardon, your Highness,” Mita’s rumbling voice came from behind his head, “I forgot you not accustomed to flight of Ba’at.”
The Ba’at’s path steadied into a sedate glide and Jakin breathed a sigh of relief.
“Thank you.” He smiled at the quiet chuckle he heard rumbling in Mita’s chest. He probably would have been amused too. Looking back over his shoulder he saw that Joja and Malakai were just behind and a little above them. Malakai was grinning from ear to ear as he waved at Jakin. Jakin nodded back and then turned his attention to the ground rushing by beneath them.
The mountains were rocky and steep, with scattered trails that had once been mountain streams. Their flight path avoided all the villages but he saw an occasional peasant leading a donkey. He hoped they wouldn’t look up as they flew by and he was grateful for the wide-brimmed hats they wore that limited their view.
“Jakin!” Malakai’s warning scream startled him and his head jerked back just as a spear flew past his face close enough to tickle the hairs on the tip of his nose.
“Jax!” Mita shouted, “Get them!”
Jakin twisted to his right to look for the Jax just as the Ba’at did a sideways flip to the left and dropped so fast that Jakin lost his grip. He scrambled to hold on.
“Stay low, your Highness!” Mita shouted as he pulled Jakin back to the top of the Ba’at.
Jakin wrapped his arms around the Ba’at’s neck and held his breath as the beast spiralled through the air, twisting its wings in ways he didn’t even know was possible as it dived toward the two screeching Jax rising toward them. One of the Jax Riders still had his spear and he was aiming it at Malakai, who wasn’t grinning anymore as he clung to Joja’s Ba’at with his eyes as wide as saucers.
“Malakai, look out!” Jakin shouted as the Rider threw his spear.
Joja’s Ba’at flipped sideways and the spear flew past, missing its target just as Mita’s Ba’at crashed into the Jax, grabbing it with the claws on the front of its wings and ripping the Jax’s head off with a single snarling bite. The Rider screamed as he fell toward the ground, his arms flailing.
The other Jax screeched and curled it’s stinger toward Mita’s Ba’at, but before it could thrust forward Joja’s Ba’at grabbed it just behind it’s saddle and tore the Jax in half. The Rider tried to jump over to the Ba’at but Joja smashed him in the face with one powerful punch and then he too, fell.
Side by side, the two Ba’ats swooped toward the ground so they could assure the Riders were dead before they ascended back into the sky, once again resuming their hasty and erratic flight path.
Jakin didn’t complain this time.
“Where did they come from?” Jakin asked, once his heart had slowed down.
“Must have been hiding on ground, hard to see in rocks,” Mita replied. “If they had been flying the Ba’ats would have warned us before they get so close.”
Jakin fixed his gaze on the ground, watching for more Jax, and hoped they would make it back to Ba’aco soon.