Mid Encounter

Chapter 9: Found Then Lost

"No Ziz. No matter how much you ask, that zipperhead you found can't help with this task" the older tribe member told her once again with a frown pasted on his face.

Ziz sighed and moved to the side on the rope bride so he could take his basketful of gatherings to the storehouse. It was turning colder and that meant that all of her village was collecting everything eatable and getting ready for the time of the white ground.

Dodging around busy people, the small munchkin returned to her straw hut. There she found the guest she had found over two moon cycles ago (AN: 2 months) He was trying to weave a basket out of dried reeds like she had taught him earlier, but was failing miserably.

Ziz leaned quietly against the wall made of rope and bark and watched him with interest. His nimble fingers could do the correct motions well enough and that wasn't the reason he was having problems. Glitch would do a few steps, freeze up for a second, and then start again with the wrong step. The poor basket looked like a lopsided bird nest instead of a neat, functional basket.

The zipperhead suddenly paused and looked at his handiwork with such an expression of bewilderment that she couldn't help but burst out laughing.

He jumped in surprise, dropping the knotted bundle of reeds, but as soon as he saw it was her, a grin lit up his pale face.

"Ziz! HI! I was working on a basket. I was working on a basket. I was working on a basket." The skinny man said the sentence in the exact same way, then continued on, unaware of his glitch, "doesn't look good at all though, does it?" he smiled a goofy smile, and rubbed the back of his messy, uncombed, head.

She stepped over and picked the thing up in her small hands, turning it this way and that. "It's ok for a beginner, Glitch; you will get better if you keep working on it."

Though, in all truth, she knew that would be highly unlikely to happen.

OZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZ

Maybe he could get better at making…making…what? Oh! That's right, a basket.

The tatterly dressed young man's forehead scrunched up in confusion.

Why was he trying to make a basket? He glanced blankly out of the low-built doorway and saw a bunch of little people carrying all kinds of stuff around like ants at an anthill.

"Oh!'" He thought to himself, suddenly remembering. The little person here had said something this morning about her tribe-people-munchkins getting ready for winter! 'That's it! Should I be helping? I think I should…"

Glitch gave a short guilty laugh, and looked down at his friend of short stature.

"How rude of me! Stetting here being useless while everyone has so much to do!" a smile lit up his face; "I'll go out and help now!"

He hurried ducked out of the short doorway and out into the busy village before Ziz could say a word.

"Glitch!" she yelled after he had already disappeared, "Come back here!"

OZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOOZOZO

Immediately after running out of the hut, Glitch had crashed into a couple of munchkins making the baskets of supplies they were carrying to fall over a hundred or so feet directly to the forest floor below. Now he was down there picking it all up.

"There is some to your left." Ziz directed him from above. "Other left, Glitch."

One of the lookouts stationed even further up the trees suddenly yelled "Longcoats! Headed this way!"

Longcoats? Askadilla's henchmen were much more brutal than before since she had taken over the palace.

Everyone was rushing around, draping camouflaged nets over the walkways and the brighter roofs of the huts. The village among the treetops was quickly blending in completely.

After helping for a few minutes, Ziz remembered the ZIpperhead was still on the ground. She quickly ran back to the railings and looked below and spotted him immediately. He was staring up at them, his head tilted sideways in confusion.

"Hurry and get back up here, Glitch!" she yelled at him.

He glanced around, then turned his face back up to her.

"How?"

Ziz gave a growl of frustration. "The ladder of course you idiot!"

Once more he looked around him at the bare barks of the trees.

"There are no ladders, Ziz."

She froze. She wasn't thinking. Of course all the ladders had been rolled up, and stored at the top securely. The small girl heard the sounds of sticks and leaves crunching under the boots of the approaching Longcoats. They were almost here. What would they do to him, when they found him all alone in the forest?

"Run."

"What did you say Ziz?"

"Run! Glitch, Run as fast as you can away from here now!" she firmly told him in as loud of a voice as she dared.

He blankly looked at her.

"NOW GLITCH! RUN!"

Just as the longcoats appeared over the hill, the former advisor to the queen turned and ran like his feet were on fire.

OZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZOZ

Yells and the sounds of pursuit followed him.

The shredded remains of his once elegant garb flew around him furiously as he dashed madly away.

The word RUN was lit up in what was left of his mind, becoming the only thing there.

Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, run. Must get away. Must keep running…..RUN

He dodged in and out of the bare trees, jumped lightly over a fallen log. His heart pounded hard in his thin chest. Breath burning lungs from the cooler air.

Something whizzed past his head, smashing into a tree. His rapidly tireding body, pushed itself even harder.

An explosion of pain erupted in his right shoulder, causing him to lose his footing and fall down a slick leaf covered slope. He tumbled down violently head over foot, each time the injured shoulder hit, the pain increased dramatically. Then the slope ended mercilessly in a drop several yards down.

He landed hard. Every part of his thin body hurting horribly. His damaged mind started drifting in and out. The world above him spinning and blurring.

The darkness claimed him.

Then.

There was a voice.

Small. Familiar.

"Ambrose?"

Author's Note: Hey! This is my holiday gift to you! ^.^ I believe I am only going to write one more chapter for this story and go ahead and end it. However, Second Encounter is still not close to being finished. I am so sorry for not updating regularly for Mid Encounter and Second Encounter over the years and I hope you forgive me.