iv) The ugobok


The ugobok, a great serpent with a flaring ridge along its head, slithers down the spire. Its green eyes flash, and the clearing soon smells of sour milk. The gang’s neck hairs prick and rise.

“Four little mouses creeping to the spire,” the ugobok rasps, with a drawn-out, sibillant quality. A tongue slips out between two curved yellow fang, tastes the air an instant, darts back in. “Four little mouses, yes.” Its serpentine face seems almost to contort to suggest a humanoid smile. “Come on up to the spire, creeping mouses.”

“No thank you,” Shyan says. “We’re not here for a social call.”

“We need your eyes,” Fassn cries. His words are rounded and soft at the edges. A tooth comes loose is lost.

“Well, just the tear duct of one, at least,” Shyan says.

“Is that perchance something you could share?” Cang asks.


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