Dragon Fire: Episode 29

Terrin woke suddenly, finding himself on a bed of straw. His head ached and his limbs felt like lead. Easing himself into a sitting position, he looked around. It was late afternoon. As he struggled to recall what had happened, he saw flashes of Vanamir and a torrent of fire. At the sound of Cerros’ bellow, he snapped out of the trance.

Taking a moment to steady himself, he moved slowly toward the clearing and Cerros’ voice.

“That boy is trouble!” Cerros shouted.

“Where did you find him?” Olds asked.

“We found him outside the city. He has lost his memory and he needs help. He is a good boy,” Brius insisted.

“Still, he is trouble,” Cerros roared.

“Peace, Cerros,” Olds soothed. “I am certain all is well.”

“Someone sent an assassin to search for him. An assassin who traveled among us,” Cerros growled.

As he drew nearer the men, Terrin said,

“He is right. You have given me so much. I cannot let my troubles endanger you.”

He turned and walked back to the bed of straw, grabbing his few belongings. As he headed toward the horizon, a tear broke from his eye and rolled down his cheek.

“I will not stand for this,” Brius fumed.

Brius left Olds’ side and walked to the spot where Terrin had been sleeping.  When he reached the bed of straw, he saw that Terrin’s weapons were gone.

“Brius,” Olds said as he approached, “Cerros is just angry. It is not the boy’s fault. He knows this.”

“I am too late,” Brius said sighing. “He has gone.”

 

*          *            *

Filled with anger and pain, Terrin kept moving, running through field after field. He was alone now, with no place to go. Whatever his darkened past, it had lashed out at him and almost struck those who had sworn to protect him.

It was nearing dusk when Terrin fell to a stop, his legs exhausted, and collapsed against a tree. He laid his head back and closed his eyes to rest. Just at the edge of sleep, he heard a snapping sound behind him. Terrin sprang up and quickly turned to see several creatures, each the size of a small child. As they spread their arms, extending long talons, they opened their mouths wide, emitting clicks that grew louder as they approached.

“Can I not have a moment to rest?” Terrin asked the air as he removed his sword.

When one of the creatures loudly chittered and leapt forward, Terrin slashed upwards, slicing the animal in half.

A second creature came at him, and Terrin caught it with his hand, holding it up, only to wince in pain as the creature dug its claws into his wrist, tearing the flesh. Suddenly, Terrin felt a rush of heat surge up his arm, and the creature screamed and turned red as fire exploded from its eyes and mouth.

The other creatures shook their arms as they backed away. Terrin checked his wounds and found that they had sealed over with black rocklike scabs. Preparing for a second attack, he raised his sword.

Suddenly from deep within the woods, a large roar came sweeping through the trees sending frightened birds skyward and scattering leaves and acorns to the ground. When the clicking creatures quickly turned and fled, Terrin paused to catch his breath and nodded,

“Good idea!”

Running away from the sound, Terrin kept his sword pointed outward. Behind him, he could hear the forest creatures crying out as the deep guttural growl moved through the woods.

In his panic, he could not remember the trail he had taken into the forest. He was lost. He kept running forward, desperate to find an escape. A second roar echoed through the trees, shaking the ground and felling a tree in Terrin’s path. He leapt over the fallen tree, rolled up to his feet, and ran a few steps more before collapsing. With no strength left, he could not hold himself up. As he quickly looked about for a hiding place to which he might crawl, he noticed that the noise from deep in the woods had stopped.

“What manner of creature was that?” Terrin asked.

His breathing quick and shallow, he let his sword slip to the ground, too tired to hold it any longer. The wind picked up, and out in the distance thunder crashed as Terrin closed his eyes and tried to calm himself.

“Whatever it was, I hope its belly is full.”

Terrin once again looked at the tears on his arm from the creature’s talons and saw that the scabs were already falling off. The flesh was healing, leaving behind nothing to mark the wounds.

“What is this force within me?” Terrin asked.

Sitting in the shadows of the heavy trees, Terrin sensed something just outside the pale light cast by the evening’s moon. He slowly looked up and saw that fifteen feet above him, a large pair of emerald eyes stared down upon him. Large as stones, the eyes steadily watched him as the creature, bathed in shadow, sent forth a deep growl that rumbled, shaking Terrin as he pressed himself against the forest floor.

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Published in: on June 13, 2012 at 3:33 am  Leave a Comment  

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