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Chapter 3 – An Apparition and A Resurrection
Just how long Ambrosius lay there he could not tell, but when he woke he was
freezing and disorientated. The diffuse light that filtered down through the mist fro m
the invisible Smug stung his eyes. The fish was gone, but that moment of eye
The thought was severed by a terrifying noise juddering through the mist that
froze Ambrosius on the spot. There was a low base rumble that shook his belly and
made his knees weak, a teeth-jarring clang and a high-pitched wheeze. It repeated
rhythmically and seemed to be getting nearer. There was no time to climb.
Instinctively Ambrosius dived into the fronds of some slimy green Mist Kelp at the
foot of the nearest Hook Tree and lay trying not to move, but shivering in fear and
coldness nonetheless. Through bulging eyes Ambrosius peeped out from under the
mercifully thick straps of the kelp that hid him.
At first there was just Mist and noise; a terrible rhythm as if the devil himself were
playing drums and a chorus of his demons were humming threateningly in between
the beats. The ground pulsed. The mist parted and suddenly all Ambrosius could see
was yellow. The vast yellow shape rumbled and guttered through the chur ning fog
and then, without warning, stopped in front of the kelp. It was as though the ground
itself was trembling at this monster's presence.
Now Ambrosius could read, and read very well. At this moment though it seemed
as though this faculty were someho w inappropriate, even though it engaged
automatically and shouted at him from the side of the nicotine- yellow leviathan in big
black letters:
“Fish Stocks Limited”
Oh. What did that mean? If ever a sentence had harmonics, this one did. It made
something flare up in Ambrosius, something which had been communicated to him by
the eye-to-eye with the Infinity Fish before his faint. Fish Stocks Limited. Inifinity, it
seemed, was under threat.
The yellow monster turned and started off in another direction. Ambros ius
watched as the mist enveloped it and the noise grew fainter. His mind still reeling
from his encounter with the great chugging jaundiced beast, Ambrosius extracted
himself from the fronds of kelp and quickly started his ascent of the Hook Tree. As
the ground left him he felt safer somehow, more alive. In a matter of minutes he was
out of the ghostly mist and breathing fresh, dry air that tasted like summer and
Hookblossom. The feeling of well-being that the clear atmosphere brought stood in
sharp contrast to the terror of the ground. Ambrosius put all the energy he had into
climbing and scaled the tree as though he were running up it.
“You're dead!” came the shrill accusation of young Moonrise Husk, as Ambrosius
covered the last few feet and at last sprawled on a branch again. “I saw you fall!
You're dead!”
Ambrosius was too out of breath to talk. Instead he lay panting, feeling the last
dampness of the mist drying off his clothing along with the sweat of his exertions in
the afternoon sun.
“I'm telling Leatherskin Wrinkly that you fell!”