Zigfried remained transfixed by the action playing out all around him. Yes— Do something. Suddenly his eyes flared back to life. “Ye gods! Look . . . A ghost!”
Windy saw it too. Through the lather of sea and squirming heads, another sea serpent appeared—and it was no ghost. “Abraxas! It is him! We're saved, just look at those heady wyrms dunk and run.”
Zigfried did look. Scylla had indeed withdrawn—but only for easier and more meaty fare.
Windy was slow to admit the danger her Abby was in. “Something's wrong. Why doesn't he fight? He just lays there . . . floating helplessly.”
“Not helpless, ladyship—lifeless. His body's been heisted from his own safe waters by the same devil's tide that abducted us. His kin dare not enter these forbidden waters, 'else they share his fate.”
“He ISN'T dead . . . I know it! He looked at me!” Windy twisted about violently, from hysteria and high seas. “Isn't there ANYTHING you can do! He's laying out there like a sacrificial lamb. I'll die too if Scylla devours my Abby. PLEASE! HELP HIM!”
Zigfried peered at Abraxas. Was he moving? He shot a glance back at Windy. The look of despair on the her tear-streaked face was all it took to propel the Northman overboard and into the foaming water. “Pray thee, I may undo the curse I've brought upon us.”
Too late, Zigfried realized his blunder. As if his armor weren't weight enough, the undertow from Charybdis was dragging him further under, and ever deeper into the whirlpool's throat. Just as his lungs were about to burst, a serpentine tendril latched onto him and reeled him from the depths. The Northman gulped down huge helpings of fresh air before realizing he was sprawled on the chest of Abraxas. The sea drake was unmoving, and belly up on rocking waters.
Zigfried quickly scrambled to the harpoon still lodged deep in the serpent's breast. “Well now, old fellow, you've treated me a good deal better than I deserve. Since you seem so unwilling to die, maybe we can get you back in the game . . . What say?”
Zigfried latched onto the harpoon with both hands and pulled with all his might until it was clean out. “Forgive me, big fellow. The poison's gone now. I beg you . . . come back to us.”