Darkness swirls around Shale, lifting him off the ground and strapping his arms to his sides. He struggles, hating his helplessness. An agonizing pain cuts into his chest, and he grits his teeth, panting. "You may think that you are indispensable, but you're not. I always have a plan-B. So, is it worth it to kill you and find someone more suited to the task, or to allow you to continue?"
"And see that tree over there?" He pulled me to a stop, pointing off into the leafy darkness. "That's where I spent the night one night, hiding from wolves. I stayed half awake the whole night, and almost fell out when they started howling at me." "Howling?" My mouth fell open. "Weren't you scared?" "Terrified," he replied matter-of-factly. "But it could've been worse, like trolls, or evil palace guards." He grinned at me and I couldn't help but smile back.