Swamped Chapter 26 Page 5

You don’t think you can get to a better hiding spot without exposing yourself. You’d better prepare yourself for a fight.

Not that you have much. Your claws are reasonably sharp, and if you were on the ground you might be able to trip a human with your tail, but that’s about it. Your teeth aren’t suited to biting, and you’re not that strong – not strong enough to take on a fully-grown human, at any rate.

And the humans are armored. Your claws might not be able to pierce it.

Hmm. But if you keep them from seeing you, and fight enough like a wild creature, they might mistake you for one. Their theory works well enough if a beast flings the snake out of the tree instead of a “Marshguard”, whatever those are.

So you slip out towards the trunk, and get your claws ready. You watch as one of the humans climbs up.

“You guys had better have my back if there is a Marshguard up here!” he calls down. “Don’t want to get ambushed while I’m climbing!”

You hide carefully under the leaves, waiting for his hand to get close.

Then you scratch it as hard as you can.

“Ack! There’s something with sharp claws up here!”

“Maybe we should call pest control?” one of the knights on the walkways says.

“Depends what it is. Hey Martin! Any chance you can get a look at whatever scratched you?”

“Not from here, I think it’s under the leaves! And I’m not reaching under there, what if it’s another greatrat?”

“Nonsense. Greatrats can’t climb trees.”

“Still might be something nasty. I say we get pest control on it. And I’m coming down before it hits me again!”

You watch as he descends. The humans start mumbling to themselves, then one of them runs off. Presumably to contact pest control.

But the others are staring very intently at the tree you’re in. Probably hoping to catch a glimpse of you if you decide to leave. Which is not something you want.

You’d better think of something fast. If you don’t have some way of hiding or escaping, you don’t see much option besides surrendering yourself now.

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run away and make them think it was bigfoot or something

Author’s Note:

Explicitly stating that her teeth aren’t strong enough to be an effective weapon does not stop people from suggesting it later. That’s just how it goes.