She leaned back, looking at the plane over the tops of her sunglasses. “You know, that is one scary looking plane. I didn’t pay too much attention to it yesterday. But if I saw something like this, I might be hesitant to approach it, too.”
Max chuckled. “That’s Uncle Diarmid for you. Only he would have his plane painted like a giant Celtic dragon, complete with all that gorgeous intricate knotwork. The artist who designed and directed the painting owed him a favor of some type. One thing I’ll say—she’s a fabulous artist.” He pointed out the row of teeth that stretched from side to side under the cockpit windows. “Those look frightening enough from the air. Close up, they’re terrifying.”
“I just find the way she incorporated the dragon wings with the plane wings incredible. I’m not sure I would want to stumble on this plane in the middle of the night. I suspect that would be a nightmare in progress.” She settled her sun glasses on her nose and attempted an encouraging smile. “Well?”
“Well.” He leaned closer and kissed her nose. “Are you ready to go meet the neighbors, honey?”
“As I ever will be. Why do I have the feeling that they’re not going to help rescue us?” she asked as she slowly wiped her hands on her sweatpants.
“Probably for the same reason I feel that way. Something isn’t right.” He offered her his hand and led the way around the tail of the plane. He had his eyes on the ground, trying to avoid the muddiest spots so he wasn’t prepared when Russet stopped dead and frantically yanked on his arm.
He turned to see what her problem was.
She was making little whimpering squeaky noises and the terrified expression on her face raised the hair on the back of his neck. Whipping around, he peered over his shoulder as he instinctively nudged Russet back towards the plane door.
A line of young naked warriors brandishing spears was advancing across the field toward them. That was bad. Very bad, but not terrifying.
But the enormous tawny griffin leading them was enough to send Max tearing off across the field toward the trees lining the far edge. He had a firm grip on Russet’s arm and dragged her willy-nilly behind him, ignoring her protests and frequent stumbles as she struggled to keep up with him.
“What was that?” she yelled.
“Keep running.” Max peered over his shoulder and immediately zig-zagged off to the right. The griffin was gaining on them. “Run!”Max tripped over a hidden tree root as a mighty roar echoed across the meadow. Then a blinding white light pummeled his mind and he fell unconscious to the ground.