The words printed on the cover shine as you open Do Not Open. You first expect that some monster will jump out and chase you down the path, but no. Instead you find that the first chapter is blank.
Chapter two stares you in the face and as you read it seems to suck you in; it’s a fast read and the details can be seen clearly in your mind’s eye….
You see a man running on foot through dense foiliage; he looks back but all he can see is a fast moving red blur. The chaser seems tireless and the man is running out of strength to keep a distance. He sees a clearing in the woods, a dirt path, and makes for it but trips on an extended tree root.
The red blur leaps upon the fallen man and pins him to the forest floor. The man sees at last the creature who has chased him down, but is not given much time to think on it as the thing quickly jabs him in the neck with a long barb and drags the lifeless body away to be eaten. The thing starts to eat, its back turned to you, but then it tenses as if listening; it then raises itself up from its kill; you see a pair of large yellow eyes turn and look in your direction; the rest of it is veiled in shadow……
You are pulled from the book and into reality. Low growling is heard behind you. A large red cat, like a cougar, with long pointed ears, and gleaming yellow eyes; a third pair of legs at the front brandish long pointed blades, from the elbow on, in place of feet. The strange big cat stares you down, a low gutteral growl continuously made.
Thus you have encountered the Marb. Feeding off the intellect of curious readers, long since has he been freed from his written prison, and has been gathering minions, unsuspecting hikers foolish enough to open a book entitled Do Not Open. Soon he will have enough underlings to transform the Park into the Jungle he once held before his exile….
The Marb suddenly lunges at you. The attack is made quickly; you fall to the ground. The creature has you pinned with its front paws crushing your arms while the front leg blades cross above your neck, ensuring that you stay still.
The cat eyes you but not hungrily; you then realize it has other plans for you. Hot breath hits your face but it has a strange smell to it like formaldahyde or some other preservative….
You fight the urge to sleep though darkness threatens to take you. The world around you is veiled in swirling shadow; it might be just you, but it reminds you of the creature from the book.
You have no choice, mortal, comes a deep voice in your head. The cat seems to sneer. Join my army or fall under the coming tide…
You begin to see a vision of a vast army of creatures, numerous as the sea, coming out of the Labyrinthine Forest and swarming all who oppose them….
What have you released?
Joining the Marb may ensure your life be spared, but to what cost? Yet surely if the biker fought off the creature, so can you.
**This is where trails are mixed and paths are woven,
Now is the place of a road newly chosen. **