Dragon Fire: Episode 35

As the bellow grew louder, Terrin felt the ground begin to shake. He braced himself and nervously looked at Atol for an answer.

“It is as I feared, ” Atol said, looking to the sky.

When Terrin followed Atol’s eyes upward, he saw by the mountain a dark cloud, moving swiftly towards them.

Straining to see what it was, Terrin suddenly said,

“A cloud? No. Not a cloud. Insects?”

“I fear you are right,” Atol said.

Confused by the furrow in Atol’s brow, Terrin watched as the insects flew closer. They seemed to grow larger, and when they circled overhead, he saw that the insects were giant hornets, five of them, each the height and length of a horse.

“We are being attacked!” Atol yelled, “Come with me!”

Atol and Terrin ran toward Idrian, scrambling onto its back. At their heels was Olon who leapt upon the creature just as it took to the air.

“Are you skilled with a bow, young prince?” Atol asked.

“I have had some practice,” Terrin yelled out over the wind as it pushed against them.

“Draw your bow and fight while I guide Idrian through this battle. If one of the creatures stings Idrian, he will fall from the sky.”

“Why did we take flight?” Terrin yelled confused.

“To defeat these creatures, we must keep moving. To stand still is to die,” Atol explained. “They encircle their prey and kill them.”

“I understand,” Terrin called back as he removed his bow from his back and pulled an arrow from the quiver.

“Guard your emotions,” Atol warned.

Gripping Idrian with his legs, Terrin pulled back the arrow and positioned it until his hand shook with the force.

“Hold!” Atol commanded.

Terrin held the shot but when his arm began to burn, he called out,

“Why must I wait?”

“The creatures gather in a close group just before striking. One well placed burst might kill them all,” Atol said.

Terrin did not understand Atol. Then he realized that he spoke of the fire. He tried to remember how it happened that night in Olds’ field. He had felt a flash of heat and released the arrow then watched as fire moved down its shaft.

“Now!” Atol yelled.

As if in a trance, Terrin made no response.

“Young prince, you must fire now!”

Suddenly, Terrin awoke, releasing the arrow.

The arrow spiraled through the air as Terrin felt a rush of heat and saw the arrow burst into flame, striking one of the hornets and exploding in a ball of fire.

Idrian turned sharply, rolling in the process. Grabbing the creature’s flesh, Terrin felt the bow slip from his hand.

“Well done,” Atol said over his shoulder, “but one hornet remains.”

“I am afraid I have lost the bow,” Terrin said, his face full of sadness.

Looking back at Terrin, Atol said,

“Then we must avoid this last insect.”

Terrin saw the singed hornet approaching and said,

“We must let it draw closer for I have a plan.”

“Are you certain?” Atol asked in apprehension.

“Yes,” Terrin said.

As the creature flew nearer, Terrin seized a handful of Idrian’s fur and pulled his feet up underneath him. In a crouched position, Terrin took a deep breath and cleared his mind to slow his racing heart. The hornet raised up, lowering its stinger to attack. Just as it dove towards them, Terrin reached out and caught one of the insect’s legs, pulling the hornet out of the way as Idrian turned swiftly. Using the insect’s prickly skin, he climbed onto its back, holding on to some of its bristly hairs.

As Idrian circled around, Terrin pressed his hands against the insect’s back and closed his eyes to concentrate.

After a moment, he felt his arms heat up. Suddenly the insect began to writhe. When Terrin opened his eyes, he saw red cracks forming in the insect’s skin and little plumes of fire bursting forth. He hoped the hornet would stay aloft long enough for Atol to return, but the insect suddenly exploded into flames, consuming Terrin. For a instant, he hung in the air then plummeted toward the ground.

Published in: on February 4, 2013 at 12:44 am  Leave a Comment  

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