Dragon Fire: Episode Five

When they reached the town, Razham and Terrin waited outside while Brius went into the inn to negotiate rooms.
“How long have you two been together?” Terrin asked.
Razham thought for a long moment then said, “When I was just a young man, I rescued Brius from a lion.”
Terrin studied Razham as he spoke. His skin was dark, tight, and smooth. His head was shaved, and he looked not much older than Terrin.
“How long ago was that?” Terrin asked, bending over to remove his right boot.
“Fifty years,” Razham answered.
When Terrin quickly turned to Razham, he almost fell off the cart.
“How old are you?” Terrin asked.
“Next week, I will be 120 years,” Razham answered.
“Where are you from?” Terrin asked amazed.
“There is no name for my home, but your people call it the beast lands. It is full of woods and animals. My people worship a large tiger sent down from the heavens to protect us,” Razham said.
“Why are you here?” Terrin asked.
Razham did not answer, but Terrin could see that the question upset him.
Brius stepped out of the inn smiling and talking to himself. As he approached the cart, he looked up and said,
“I am older than most people here, my mind is half gone, but I can still sell better and faster than anyone. I got three rooms at a quarter of the price.”
He clapped his hands together and climbed onto the cart.
“I also got a bargain on the stables,” Brius added.
The three men rode to the stables where Brius unhitched the cart and turned to Razham.
“Cover everything and lock it up. We will see you in the morning.”
Brius motioned for Terrin to follow him, and they both started for the inn.
“Razham is not staying with us?” Terrin asked.
“Yes, but he will come later. He will lock up the cart, cover it, and join us when he climbs in through the window,” Brius explained.
“Why the window?” Terrin asked.
“He feels that is a safer way.”
Terrin wondered for a moment then said, “Oh I see. The slave act.”
As they walked toward the inn, Terrin listened while Brius rambled on about the trading and his younger days.
“Razham said he is 120 years old. Is that true?” Terrin asked.
“It is true. I have been with Razham for 50 years, and he has not aged a day,” Brius answered.
“Why does he not age?”
“He never speaks of it. I believe it has something to do with his family and why he left home,” Brius answered.
Reaching the inn, Terrin and Brius walked through the front doors. Just inside three men were pounding on the counter. One held an axe while the other two carried sheathed swords.
“What do you mean you have no rooms?” one of them demanded. “My companions and I have been traveling all night to stop an army of angry trolls headed this way. We need a place to rest. Now clear out one of those rooms!”
“Let us leave here and return later,” Brius said quietly.
They turned around and when they were only a few feet from the door, the innkeeper pointed to Brius and said,
“He took the last three.”
Brius froze in his steps and whispered to Terrin,
“He gives us over to save himself.”
Brius turned and smiled at the angry men. “My friends, those traveling with me have paid for three rooms, but we can give one to you.”
The large brute in the center moved up to Brius and grabbed his throat, lifting him.
“You will be giving us all three!” he growled.
“Peace, comrades. I am certain we can settle this,” Brius choked.
“Let him go!” Terrin yelled.
The smallest of the three men reached out and grabbed Terrin, throwing him against the wall. Terrin slowly stood up, ax raised. Although the weapon felt strange in his hand, he seemed instinctively to know what to do and moved toward his attacker.
As he got closer, the man suddenly spun around and struck Terrin. He flew backwards, the ax slipping from his hand.
“Here is my settlement!” the large brute spat at Brius and slipped a dagger from his belt. He pulled back his hand and stabbed Brius in the stomach as Terrin watched in horror. Terrin felt a pressure on his skull and his eyes seemed on fire. Reaching out his hand, he yelled,
“NO!”
Suddenly the wall behind Brius and the brute exploded in fire. The man looked at the wall then at Terrin and said to his companions,
“Let us go. This place is destroyed anyway.”
As the men fled the inn, Razham appeared in the doorway. When he saw Brius on the floor, he ran to him and checked the wound. Pulling a small water skin from his pocket, he poured a black liquid into Brius’s mouth. In a few moments, Brius rose and approached Terrin.
“We must hurry!” Razham said. “There is an army moving this way!”
“Humans?” Brius asked.
“No, I do not believe so,” Razham answered.
“Come, boy. We must go,” Brius said, but Terrin could not move his weakened body.
“The boy is dangerously hot. We must get him out of here,” Razham said as the fire spread from the wall to the ceiling.
“We will have to drag him,” Brius announced.
“And the army?” Razham asked.
“We will have to drag him quickly!” Brius answered.

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Published in: on March 14, 2010 at 7:19 pm  Leave a Comment  

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