Dragon Fire: Episode 32

As Aric watched Gonorap flee from the mysterious power of the witch Sheizariel, he complained,

“The capture of the creature was not easy. It will not be caught again without difficulty.”

When Aric moved his horse forward to run down Gonorap, Sheizariel extended her hand and commanded,

“Bring him here.”

At the sound of her voice, a tendril of black smoke like the tail of a whip lashed out from one of the alleys in the path of the fleeing Gonorap.

The creature screeched as the smoke coiled around his leathery skin, lifting him and tossing him back toward the witch. When Sheizariel raised her palm, Gonorap slowed to a stop, floating just in front of her gaze.

“I understand, little one, your natural instinct to flee for your life. But if you care to live, you will remain at his side,” she said pointing toward Degan, who was still recovering from his fall.

“Should you succeed in your escape, you will soon discover that your sleep brings no rest. You will be haunted by nightmares so terrible that they will come from the darkness for you. And sadly, Degan, the one from whom you struggled to escape, will be your only hope of keeping the darkness at bay.”

Turning to Degan and with piercing eyes, she said,

“I have crafted your protection, the little thief Gonorap, to hold back the dead. You must guard him, keep him close, and they will withdraw. If you find that you need to call upon the dead for help, send the creature away. He will be gone for as long as you desire.”

“What must I do when I wish his return?” Degan asked.

“You need only wish it. The creature will feel a force drawing him back, a force he is powerless to resist, that will cease only upon his return. You and the creature are bound in life. One of you must die to break this bond.”

As though on a stream, Sheizariel drifted toward Gonorap and added,

“And should Degan die by any hand save the natural progression of time, the dead that haunt him will hunt you, little one. Do not forget—only he can free you from this bond.”

With wild and wide-open eyes, Gonorap listened to her every word.

“You cannot hide from the dead. Though they will find you, they will not hurt you. It is not the dead whom you must fear. They will bring you to me. It is I who will decide your fate,” Sheizariel continued.

“Thank you, Sheizariel,” Degan said with a lighter heart.

“Please tell me about your father.”

“After Father helped you, he was to visit a city that had fallen under a plague. Their crops were dying. The people grew ill, and though the cattle were weak and frail, like the people, they did not die. My father believed the city had been cursed, and so he went there to work a remedy, lift the curse.”

“What is the name of this place?” Aric asked.

Sheizariel looked at Aric and answered,

“Rainbow Creek.”

Degan suddenly grew pale and said,

“If your father went there and did not return, I do not know how we can help.”

“You are marked by a power, an energy that you do not control but can keep at bay. And your traveling companion has an aura unlike any I have ever seen. Together you can discover what happened to my father. Return to me and bring news. If the news is of his death, I will send you on your way for I must take care of the rest.”

“I thought you could not leave this place,” Aric said.

“I will stay here and gather those who will work for me,” she said with a smile that sent a shiver through Aric.

“We must continue our journey,” Degan said. “Do not worry, Sheizariel. We will find out what has happened to your father and return or send word to you.”

As they rode off, Aric looked at Degan and asked,

“What is Rainbow Creek?”

There was a stretch of silence before Degan said,

“A dark place where a castle was built around a door. A door that kept something evil within.”

“Perhaps the evil behind this door escaped?” Aric asked.

“I pray not. Sheizariel’s father the priest was the one who trapped it there,” Degan said. “If this evil has been loosed, its force will reap violence and destruction beyond help.”

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Published in: on September 13, 2012 at 2:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

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