Guerrillas in the Glen
Gordon Stearns

Chapter 7
The Horrid Eel-Tooth
page 3 of 3

Hyde's reaction was entirely different. His little body convulsed as the horrid eel-tooth roared into action. He was petrified by this snarling machine whose terrible, whirling, jagged teeth were now eagerly tearing into a small beech tree. Hyde was stunned by ferocity of its attack. He covered his eyes when it continued to slash the fallen tree apart. He shuddered to imagine what this hideous monster could do to his favorite tree.

The Dad struggled clumsily with the chain saw. Once, the chain saw accidentally bit into the ground and recoiled, just missing his thumb. Figan was so fascinated with The Dad's ineptness that he did not notice Hyde's panic.

Like a thousand hornets, the saw angrily buzzed while the sun's rays filtered lazily through air hazy with wood chips and dust. The Mom and the boys lugged the freshly cut logs and stacked them against the trunk of the great cherry tree.

Before long, Joe and Brett grew tired of this job. They searched for a tree of their own to work on. Hyde felt his blood go icy as he noticed Joe and Brett inspecting his favorite tree.
"Mom," Joe called out pointing to Hyde's favorite tree, "could we cut this one down?"
The Mom smiled proudly and gave each of the boys a big hug. "You boys are really a big help." Then she paused. "Sure is a cute, little tree. How unfortunate it's right in the way of the house."

Hyde went rigid, his eyes riveted on the hand saw now menacing the silvery trunk of his favorite tree. Never had Hyde felt so small and helpless. He had been completely cowed by the horrid eel-tooth.

As the horror below began to unfold, a numbness engulfed Hyde's spirit. He felt suspended in a nightmarish world beyond time where everything was familiar, yet strangely different. The tree seemed so completely detached from everything else. Even the boy humans hovering about his tree had become unreal and somehow unrelated to what was happening. The only thing that seemed real was the hand saw itself.

The saw had a life of its own. Its rasping teeth gnawed deeper and deeper towards the heart of the little tree with unbearable slowness. With unbearable slowness, the teeth chewed deliberately at the tender pulp. The ghastly sounds seemed to come from a great distance, but Hyde thought he could hear each jagged tooth hideously ripping into his beautiful, lovely, favorite tree. The implacable teeth ripped and rent and tore. Haltingly, Hyde whispered again and again, "You not do this to me."

As the cruel blade tore into the heart of its victim, rain clouds began to blot out the sun, and the gnarled branches of the great black cherry tree swayed darkly in the rising wind. The favorite tree shuddered to its very roots, its brilliant emerald leaves becoming pale, fluttering moths' wings. A thin, rustling wail suddenly pierced the air, hovered for a timeless instant, and was gone. With a soft moan, the favorite tree parted from its base and fell to the earth.

To be Continued!

Hyde's favorite tree has been murdered by the humans! What will Hyde do? Will he leave the wondrous glen? Will he seek revenge?
Find out in Chapter 8 entitled Longest of Nights, only in The Fable Library.
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Gordon Stearns
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Guerrillas in the Glen Copyright 1997, 1998 Gordon Stearns
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