“She may be powerless to stop you, but I am not.” The welcome sound of Therys’ dulcet tones immediately put Juno’s mind at ease. He stepped forward from the garden to the lake’s shore. Gorm drew back slightly with a sneer, the surface of the water rippling as the serpent trembled. “Return the boy,” Therys commanded. Gorm only retreated further.
“Return the boy!” Therys bellowed and thrust his arm forward. A fiery red mist shot from his hand, enveloping the snake. A piercing shriek echoed through the garden as Therys wrenched Gorm forward, pulling the enormous reptile’s head down to crash on the shore. The sand where Therys stood began melting into glass.
“RETURN THE BOY!”
Gorm twisted and writhed and, with a violent convulsion, vomited up Joshua’s half-digested corpse. Therys released Gorm, and the snake retreated into the depths with a defiant hiss. Juno ran forward as Therys knelt over the lad. He placed his hand on the boy and closed his eyes in deep concentration. He prayed he was not too late.