Swamped Chapter 28 Page 3

You decide to try shifting the subject a bit.

“Maybe that was a real fire,” you say. “There was one going off under your floorboards a little while ago, so who’s to say there weren’t more of those?”

You can tell Crosswinds noticed you didn’t actually answer the question, but they seem to be taking an interest in what you’re willing to volunteer.

“Now, hang on. What’s this about a fire under the floorboards? I’m sure you noticed how wet it is down there.”

“It’s near your mess hall. The main source of the flames was a stick of darkwood, but there was a full campfire built around it. I took the darkwood out, and put it in the cold cabinet in your kitchen. Best option I could find for putting it out.”

“Darkwood?” Crosswinds asks, startled. “How the hell did that get there?”

“I don’t know. But I imagine a much larger blaze would have started if I hadn’t noticed it. You can check for yourself; I didn’t move the bulk of the campfire.”

“Which means no one’s keepin’ an eye on you if I go and check,” Crosswinds says, scowling. “Bet you think that’s a pretty clever trick you got there, isn’t it? Get me out of your hair while you slip out of the ropes.”

You hadn’t thought of that, specifically, but you were hoping to get out.

“That’s not what I-”

“Save it. I got an answer to that problem.”

And the next thing you know, they stuff a leaf into your mouth. Before long, you lose consciousness.

You wake up some time later, and see something surprising.

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Row upon row of sharp, glistening teeth.