Thump. Thump. Thump
Anna's heart began to pound when she hear he screams emanating from the tunnels. She could feel the blood pounding at hear temples with every beat. Something bad was coming and every part of her body was telling her to make an escape.
"They're looking for us," Teak observed. "It's only a matter of time now before they find us."
"Teak, can you get us out of here?" Anna asked.
The teakettler nodded and positioned himself between Anna and Shireen. "It's going to take me a while to build up enough steam to transport the three of us. You might have to hold them off."
Anna looked down at the Shireen's knife. Her hand was shaking so badly that she could barely keep a grip on it. Nausea swept over her stomach.
"Easy now," Teak said. "I've watched you train with Shireen. You can do this."
"I don't know that I can," Anna's voice trembled.
"You have to. If you want to see home again, you must." Teak's voice was firmer this time. "You don't have to defeat them, just keep them away from me and Shireen. Now breath."
Anna took a breath, doing her best to try to expel some of the nervousness as she exhaled. It helped... a little.
"Better?" Teak asked.
"I'm going to start the transportation spell now." Before lowering his head Teak cast a gaze into Anna's eyes. "The steam has to cover your entire body for this to work. So the moment I stop whistling, duck. Understand?"
Anna looked back at Shireen, still unmoving on the tunnel floor. She thought about Elma's sacrifice. She imagined her own mother staring at the road, hoping for her daughter's return. She had to do it for them, if not herself.
Teak began to whistle low and softly. Tendrils of Steam began to form around his paws and inch their way towards the prone figure of Shireen and Anna's feet.
As Teak whistled, Anna took another breath and took stock of her situation. In her rush to follow Shireen, she had failed to arm herself. However, Shireen did take her spear into the tunnels and it in fact lay a few feet away from where she had collapsed.
Anna tucked Shireen's knife into her belt and bent down to pick up the spear. She did feel a bit more comfortable with it in her hands.
As Teak's whistle grew, the sound began to reverberate on the tunnel walls and down the corridor. There was another loud screech... the mermaids had heard Teak's whistle and were closing in.
Anna gripped her spear, and waited.
Thump. Thump. Thump.