Dragon Fire: Episode 78

Razham grabbed Gonorap and fled, leaving behind the screeching woman. Grabbing the crumbling banister, he raced to the bottom of the stairs. When he stepped outside, he suddenly stopped as droves of burned people poured out of the surrounding buildings.

“Nightmare creatures,” Gonorap said in a panic. “Nightmare creatures come for Gonorap.”

“No, little one. Not yet,” Razham said hurrying back into the house.

He saw that the woman was now on the stairs. As she let out an unnatural scream and suddenly dove at Razham, he quickly moved aside then bolted up the stairs.

When he reached the top, Razham put Gonorap down and ordered,

“Go find the weakest section of wall. I will keep them back as long as I can.”

As Gonorap fled, Razham turned to face the woman. This time when she lunged at him, he struck her with his staff, doubling her over as she tumbled down the stairs. The force of her falling body knocked over two of the burned creatures who had found their way into the house.

As Razham fought, Gonorap searched frantically. He saw many small spaces where he could slip through and escape, but he remembered that the holy man had promised to protect him.

“Must find weak spot. Must find weak spot,” he repeated.

He scratched and dug until he was exhausted but found no weak section of the wall.

“Gonorap cannot find weakness!” he cried out.

“You must keep searching,” Razham yelled, his eyes steadfast on the attacking creatures.

With quick movements, Razham rotated his staff, striking one attacker across the jaw. The creature flailed its arms then fell over the railing.

Another spin of his staff and Razham struck a second creature, sending it flying against a wall.

“Gonorap found door!” Gonorap yelled.

Razham knew he was out of time. The burned creatures kept coming and would soon overpower him.

When Razham ran toward Gonorap’s voice, he saw the little creature waiting. Scooping him up, Razham hurried through the door and slammed it shut behind him.

“Hold tightly and do not release me,” he instructed Gonorap.

“Gonorap afraid,” Gonorap whimpered.

Razham looked into the creature’s eyes and said, “Trust me, little one.”

Just then he saw another door on the other side of the room and stepped quickly toward it. As he pulled at the latch, he heard the burned creatures screaming as they clawed at the bedroom door.

The latch gave way and the door opened onto a balcony overlooking the street. Razham stepped out to the edge of the balcony and stood still for a moment, judging the distance.

Then running back to the opposite end of the room, Razham took a deep breath and focused his energy.

“What? What?” Gonorap cried out.

Razham gave no answer but began running toward the balcony. As he ran through the room, the creatures broke down the bedroom door and poured in. With Gonorap’s fingers digging into his cloak, Razham dove over the railing and closed his eyes.

Over his shoulder, Gonorap screamed in terror.

Just seconds before he hit the ground, Razham vanished.

* * *

When Razham reappeared, Gonorap fell from his shoulder and vomited.

“I am sorry, little one,” Razham said.

Slowly Razham stood and looked around. He saw that they were on the roof of the house across the street.

“How Gonorap get here?” Gonorap asked.

“It is a small trick of my people. Though it is not difficult, it does leave me weary,” Razham said as he lay down.

When Gonorap started to speak, Razham cautioned,

“Keep your voice down and we should be safe here for a while,” Razham said. “I must restore my strength.”

Gonorap crawled up to Razham and whispered,

“We find necromancer.”

“Yes, little one,” Razham said. “We must leave this place for there is nothing we can do here.”

“We leave now,” Gonorap said.

“As soon as I have rested, we will find the necromancer,” Razham assured him.

After a few moments, the screaming of the burned creatures died down and Razham began to feel his strength returning. Suddenly a loud hissing noise caught his attention.

“What is that noise?” he asked as he sat up.

“Nightmare creature! Nightmare creature!” Gonorap repeated.

Razham quickly stood and saw that one of the burned creatures was crawling up onto the roof.

“Leave now! Leave now!” Gonorap whimpered.

When the burned creature opened its mouth to call the others, Razham reached for his staff then heard a thuuup as a black arrow shot through the air. Its point pierced the creature, pinning it to the rooftop.

Razham whirled around and spotted a figure up in the branches of a tree two houses down the street.

The archer leapt down from the tree and across the rooftops until she stood near them.

Without a word, she walked over to the creature, bent over, and pulled the arrow free from its target. As she slipped the arrow back into her quiver, the creature’s body slid off the roof.

Eyeing her cautiously, Razham decided that she posed no threat.

“Thank you,” he said.

“There is no need,” she answered.

Gonorap pulled on the hem of Razham’s cloak pleading,

“Leave now.”

“A moment,” Razham replied.

“You must go. It is not safe here,” the woman said.

“Why are you here?” Razham asked.

“Would that I were helping people, but the truth is not so noble. I have come to this place to correct the sins of my past. Within this city is a person, some say an immortal, who engages those who would kill for gold. I fear that if this evil triumphs in the kingdom, the world will soon perish. And so I must destroy this man, this one they call immortal, and set right my transgressions.”

Razham watched the woman’s eyes as if to see her heart. Then he looked down at Gonorap and considered the small creature.

“Gonorap, we cannot let her make this trek alone.”

Turning to the woman, he said, “We shall help you, at least until we have paid our debt to you.”

“You owe me nothing. You may go on your way,” she answered.

“To do so would be dishonorable. Besides, I believe we search for the same man,” Razham said.

“I am Razham,” he said extending his hand.

“I was once known as Lady Elizabeth,” she said accepting his hand.

“Oh no. This troubles Gonorap,” Gonorap sighed.

Published in: on October 16, 2016 at 10:57 pm  Leave a Comment  
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