Authors: Gilbert L. Morris
Â© 2000 by
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without permission in writing from the publisher, except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles or reviews.
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Â The savage game of Lord Zarak / by Gilbert Morris.
Â p. cm. â (the lost chronicles ; v #2)
Summary: The Seven Sleepers must confront an evil king whose sport is to offer the prisoners in his dungeon one chance at freedom by escaping past his savage hunting dogs.
ISBN 0-8024-3668-4 (pbk.)
Â Â [1. Fantasy. 2. Christian lifeâFiction.] I. Title
PZ7.M8279 Sav 2000
1 3 5 7 9 10 8 6 4 2
Printed in the United States of America
arah Collingwood took a deep breath, filled her lungs with air, and bent her body. Then she dove into the blue-green waters of the bay and kicked with her fins. The water was as warm as a bath. In front of her she could see Josh Adams swimming downward toward the reef.
Maybe sometimes Josh is awkward on land, Sarah thought, but he's sure a great swimmer!
The two were down ten or twelve feet now. They passed a huge school of brilliantly colored fishâred, green, yellow, orange, and moreâmore colors, it seemed, than in a rainbow. Then they swam by an enormous fish that Josh had told Sarah was a sea bass. He looked big enough to take off one's leg, but he hung suspended in the beautiful green water, simply fanning his fins and tail gently.
Sarah loved to scuba dive. Back in Oldworld, her parents had once taken her to the coast of Belize, where the second largest barrier reef in the world was located. As usual, when she thought of the way life was before the world had been practically destroyed by atomic warfare, it made her sad. But then she glanced at Josh, who had suddenly stopped to investigate something, and she thought,
But now I'm one of the Seven Sleepers, and I've got six good friends, and I've got GoÃ©l. I just won't think about the past.
GoÃ©l. Since being awakened from the sleep capsules that had saved them from the atomic war, the Seven Sleepers had served GoÃ©l. He was a mysterious
but noble figure. He led an ongoing battle against the Dark Lord, who had set out to enslave Nuworld.
Josh was still looking at something. He turned toward her and gestured wildly.
She looked to where he pointedâtoward the reefâand could see a shadowy shape. Shock ran along her nerves. She did not know what the shape was, but Josh was obviously alarmed. She followed him as he swiftly swam upward, his fins thrashing. When they broke the surface, he yelled, “That's a barracuda down there! He could take a plug out of you.”
Sarah was not as afraid of barracudas as Josh seemed to be. She had never heard of a barracuda attacking a human being, although they did look vicious. “Come on, Josh! Let's go back down and pull his tail!” she joked.
“Are you crazy?” Josh had shoved his mask back from his face and now wiped the water away. “Those things look like they're bad tempered.”
“Well, come on. I'll race you to shore, then.”
They swam toward the beach, and it was easy with the flippers on. Sarah did not even have to use her arms but, with legs thrashing, just drove herself forward. Since she was keeping her head high, she could see that the other Sleepers were playing volleyball on the beach. When she got close in, she pulled off her flippers and waded the rest of the way. She was careful not to step on any jellyfish, for she was very sensitive to them.
“Hey, you didn't wait for us!” Josh called to the volleyball players. He tossed his flippers and mask onto the blanket where he had been lying earlier, getting a tan. “How do you expect to win without your star player?”
There were three players on one side: Dave Cooper, the oldest of the Sleepers, at the age of fifteen; Jake Garfield, thirteen, with short red hair; and Abigail Roberts, a blue-eyed blonde who was, in the opinion of some, the prettiest girl around.
On the other side of the net stood Bob Lee Jackson and Wash Jones. Bob Lee was never called anything but “Reb.” Although he wore only swimming trunks, he had his cowboy hat perched on top of his tow-colored hair. His light blue eyes squinted in the sun as he said, “Why don't you all go on back and swim? We don't need help. We're beating these folks like a drum.”
Wash Jones was standing close to the net. He was the youngest of the Sleepers and the most cheerful. His white teeth now gleamed in his dark face as he said, “Aw, you can come and help us, Sarah. We need somebody good-looking over here to balance out us ugly folks.”
With a laugh Sarah went to Reb and Wash's side of the net. “All right,” she said.
But Josh said, “Aw, I think I'll just go lie down and watch you guys play.” He walked toward his blanket.
Sarah's close friend Josh Adams was very tall for almost fifteen. She knew that he was also very shy and unsure of himself, although he tried to keep this covered up for the most part.
“Come on,” Reb yelled. “Let's see what you all can do.”
The volleyball game went on for some time. There was a lot of laughter, and no one really cared much who won.
Finally, from the sidelines Josh called, “I vote we cook us some hamburgers.”
“Yeah!” Reb said. “That sounds good to me. You girls get to cooking!”
Abbey made a face at him. “Who died and made you king?” she said. “You can cook as well as I can!”
In the final event, the boys built the fire and set up the homemade grill. The girls made the hamburgers. Soon the burgers were sizzling, and when they were cooked, all the Sleepers sat down on the sand.
Reb Jackson put his between two slices of bread and scowled in disapproval. “Sure wish we had some real hamburger buns,” he complained. “Don't seem like a hamburger with just putting it on bread.”
“Tastes all right to me,” Jake said. He took a huge bite, chewed, and then winked at Wash. “If Reb ever gets married, his wife will have an awful time. He demands the best of everything.”
“I'd hate to be married to
” Abbey said. She was taking dainty little bites and chewing them thoroughly. The sun caught at her blonde hair, making it seem there were threads of gold in it. “He's impossible!”
“No. I'm possible,” Reb said. “I'm so possible I can't tell you how possible I am. As a matter of fact, I'm the most normal person I know. Everybody else is abnormal.”
Dave laughed aloud. “If you're normal, and we're all abnormal, then we'll have to put you in a cage. Because when all the abnormal people outnumber the normal people, then they become normal.”
This foolishness went on until suddenly Josh glanced back toward the woods behind them and said, “Who is that? I never saw him before.”
Sarah looked. Someone was walking toward them from the trees.
“Neither did I,” Abbey said. Then her eyes nar
rowed, and she murmured to Sarah, “But whoever he is, he sure is good-looking, isn't he?”
Sarah was not surprised that Abbey would at once analyze the newcomer as far as looks were concerned. She was slightly boy crazy and had been so ever since they had come to Nuworld. Many of their troubles had been the result of Abbey's fondness for good-looking boys.
Josh got up and walked toward the stranger. “Hello,” he said. “You looking for someone?”
“I'm looking for the Seven Sleepers, and I guess you're it.”
The speaker was more than six feet tall. He was youngâeighteen or so. He had reddish hair and wide-spaced green eyes. He was tanned, he was indeed handsome, and he appeared to be very strong. He was wearing a pair of light tan slacks, a white shirt, and a pair of low-cut, tan half boots. “My name's Roland Winters.”
“I'm Josh Adams, and this is Sarah Collingwood. This is Abbey Roberts and Dave Cooper and Jake Garfield. This tall guy here is Reb Jackson, and this is Wash Jones.”
Roland Winters let his eyes run over the group as if he wasn't too pleased with what he saw. “I didn't expect you to be so young,” he said.
Somehow his remark irritated Sarah, but Josh just said, “People often say that. Sorry to disappoint you. But what can we do for you?”
“Nothing.” Roland Winters grinned. “It's what I can do for you.”
Sarah glanced back at Josh and saw the puzzled look on his face. “What does that mean?” she asked Roland Winters. “What could you do for us?”
“Well, GoÃ©l sent me.”
At the name of GoÃ©l, everyone became more alert.
“GoÃ©l sent you?” Jake exclaimed. “For what?”
“I guess he thought you needed some help for some reason or other, so he asked me to come and meet him here. He told me a little bit about you kids.” The newcomer hesitated, then shook his head. “I've heard some stories about you, but I guess they were exaggerated. Kids like you couldn't have done as much as I hear.”
The manner of Roland Winters as well as his words irritated Sarah greatlyâand probably all the other Sleepers too. Good-looking and strong and able as he seemed to be, there was an arrogance about him that grated on her nerves.
“Well, if GoÃ©l sent you, I'm glad you're here,” Josh said. “Join us and have a hamburger.”
“Don't mind if I do.” Coolly Roland Winters picked up some bread. He put some mustard and pickle on it, and made a sandwich with the meat patty. When he took a bite, he said, “Next time maybe I'll do the cooking for you. I can do a little bit better than this.”
“Oh, that's just great,” Reb said with a frown. “You can do all the work you want to around here. I won't stand in your way.”
Roland ate two hamburgers and then some cookies that Sarah had made the day before. Apparently he found the cookies not too much to his liking, either.
Sarah grumbled to Josh, “He is so unbearable!”
“Unbearable he sure is! I just hope he's not going with us on whatever mission GoÃ©l sends us on next.”
Sarah scowled. “I've got a feeling that he will be.”
“What makes you think that?”
“Womanly intuition. I just feel it.”
“And I sure hope your womanly intuition isn't right this time. In any case, he seems to be rubbing everybody the wrong way.”