But she was not fast enough. Odious Gresham grabbed for her hand and tried to jerk her off the board. With a reaction that surprised her, she used her other hand and poked her two fingers into his eyes. He screamed and let go of her and her board shot out from under her. Laughing hideously Ordo, the servant, fell on top of her. He had her in his grips, while fat, Odious Gresham, unable to see, wallowed around in the sand screaming about his eyes. Alexi cried out for help and just then Ordo fell silent. Brandon had clobbered him on the head with her board.
“Oh Brandon, thank you, you came back for me!”
“It was nothing. Now get up quickly and let’s get out of here before these rogues come to their senses. But first, I think I’ll give this fat one a whack on the head, too.”
“Good idea!” Alexi laughed.
“What did you do to him anyway?”
“I poked my fingers in his eyes.”
“You did a great job,” Brandon smiled then turned serious. “Come on, let’s go.”
They rode their boards for several hours without stopping, all the while surrounded by a barren wasteland. Nothing but one sand dune after another passed before them without any sign of life, plant or animal.
Alexi began to lag behind Brandon, and finally he stopped and waited for her to catch up. “What’s the matter with you?” he asked tersely. “It’s not like you’re walking. Can’t you manage to stay close? After all, as much as I hate to admit it, I’m feeling responsible for you.”
“Well thank you very much. Don’t put yourself out for me. It’s just that I need a drink of water, and I could do with a bite of bread.”
He pulled out his watch, “We’ll take ten minutes to rest, then we need to keep moving or we’ll fry.”
She frowned and took a portion of the bread and handed it to him. After taking a few sips of water, they were on their way again, gliding over the undulating dunes effortlessly. Suddenly they came to a flat, terraced plain and Brandon motioned for them to stop. He got off his board and felt the hard desolate surface that was no longer sand.
“It looks like the Serengeti, though up until now it’s been the Sahara. I think this may have been a lake once that means water.”
“Really!” Alexi said sarcastically. “If you find water in this God forsaken place, my opinion of you will match your own. I’ll think you’re a genius.”
“What brought that on? Such crankiness—I might have thought the sun baked that out of you by now.”
“Oh never mind.” Then she let out a scream. “Look!” she pointed.
“Now what?” he asked, shading his eyes to see. He gasped, “It looks like a giant bat, and we have no place to hide. Quick let’s move these boards and see if we can lose that monster.”“I am Colhozeh, the great bat. You shall never lose me. I have come for you because Odious Gresham hired me to fetch you, and I have his servant Ordo on my back to help me.”