Small dragon adventure
By Thomas Walsh
“Every adventure starts small, dragon. Just as you are small now yet, when you grow” An old man's voice rang in my head, I opened my eyes to a cloaked figure in the darkness, he was cradling me in one of his arms, reading a book with the other. “You've a way to go before I see you again and I hope that it's not any time soon. Do not falter little dragon” Everything suddenly turned bright and I struggled to stay, awake eventually giving in to the light.
* * *
“Have a little accident did we?” A young man asked me, I shook my head and sat up, I was in the kitchen of the large manor I called home. “you've been nothing but trouble, even before I found your egg in that wasteland” the man noted, pointing to a pile of pots and pans strewn about the floor. “How the master will react when I present you to him is a guess only the gods could make. It's been quiet while he was seeing his family, hope he brings back some interesting news. You know he said I'd get this manor some day too. Said I'm like a son to him.” His conversation was broken suddenly though with the sound of rattling and I looked up only to see a loose bored fall more things falling my way. There was nothing but a crushing pain. A voice echoed though my head “Will you teach me more words tomorrow?”
* * *
My ears perked up as the sound of a chain rattling along the ground with footsteps woke me from an uneasy sleep. “it's a lovely day today, a I'd love to say anyway, how good you blood is in the morning” the clear, monotonous voice of my 'master' said as he opened my cage. I'd been dreaming again. I got up franticly, trying to greet my master, to tell him about my dreams but I only got kicked in the side for stepping out of line.
He inspect the regurgitated mess of what was last nights dinner in the middle of the room. “Lords, the smell. Why haven't you eaten?” he asked me, however I couldn't find my voice to answer his question. “Speak you useless, green mutt!” He yelled whilst drawing a sword to point at my throat.
“Uh, I couldn't eat it!” I squealed, curling further into my corner and hiding my scaly snout under my tail. “Dragons... heh, majestic is the last word to I'd use describe them” The fanged man said as he left, leaving me in the damp dark room again, I padded over to the door and rubbed my head against the cold metal before curling up next to it, I knew who the man in my dreams used to be.
It wasn't long before he returned though, and this time he was hungry, I pulled off the floor and slammed against the cold brick wall with my master's crimson red eyes searching for spots on my neck where the scales were weak. Pain flourished through my body as his fangs pierced my skin and drew blood. After a while I began to feel nauseous but he soon finished and I was thrown aside as he wandered off. Sobbing for hours while stinging, bloody teeth marks made me cry for a mother who wouldn't come.
After eventually crying myself to the point of sleep I noticed something that brought me back to my senses, the door had been left open. For the first time in who knew how long I had a chance to escape, padding softly out the room I nearly collapsed, I felt so weak that it almost seemed like I was in a bad dream.
I struggled along whilst using the wall for support, after making it about 30 steps from my room I collapsed, it seemed impossible to continue until the sound of footsteps gave me one last push. Painfully I tried to hurry around a corner whilst the voice of a woman asked who was there, I led down and curled up with my tongue hanging out, trying to look as dead as possible.
There was a scream and then the sound of rushing feet away from where I was, getting back on my feet I continued to struggle again. Having no idea which way I should go I headed upwards, I had wings so I should have been able to fly. My heart was thumping madly in my chest as I Climbed some stairs, I wasn't feeling as weak as before but I was scared all the same, if I got found I'd be thrown back into my room and it would be who knew how long before I got another chance to escape.
There was no door at the top of the stairs and a strong wind blew through the archway, I'd never felt anything like it before and it seemed like it could throw me off the the top of this tower. “Well, your a naughty little dragon aren't you” The angry voice of my washed over me, I turned my head to see him stood by the archway, a gun in his hand. Backing away I didn't dare think about what he would do if he caught me.
He lunged at me and everything seemed to slow to a crawl, I could fear trying to pull me down as my foot touched the edge of the tower, with nothing else I could do I threw myself at him trying to clamp my jaws around his outstretched arm.
There was a scream of pain from the fanged man who grabbed hold of my neck, trying to pull me off, he threw me into some boxes, along with a chunk of his arm. Shaking my head I slipped over the edge, only just managing to cling on to a jutting stone. My master stood with a look of great pain on his face and a pistol pointed at me. I had nowhere to go but down so taking a deep breath I threw myself away from the tower. “No, Get back here. you Bastard!” I heard my master yell at the top of his lungs.
I flapped my wings, flapped them as hard as I could but it wasn't enough as I realised what was wrong. My wings were too small for flying and tears began to stream down my face with the thought I'd die here firmly stuck in my head. But somehow this wasn't the end, something gripped me around the belly, winding me but stopping my fall. I kept my eyes closed as I continued weeping in a scared stupor.
When I finally did find the courage to open my eyes I immediately wished I hadn't, whatever had hold of me let go, throwing me into a market. Pain coursed through me as I felt something pierce one of my wings and something else stab my leg as I crashed through several stalls.
Rolling over painfully I caught a glimpse of something huge, and as black as the night sky flying into the distance, My breathing became deeper and I closed my eyes hoping that the pain would go away soon.
* * *
“Tanks for the help again” A distant woman , My head was spinning as I groaned, it felt like I'd been sick again. “it's not a problem Elaine, I'd look behind you though” A man's calm voice replied just before a door could be heard closing. Footsteps echoed and then I felt hand touch my neck and in fright I shuffled into a wall causing myself pain.
“Hey don't move around, your too much of a mess to be doing anything” The woman called Elaine cautioned, I did as I was told and stayed still. “I'm going to take a quick look at you okay?” Before I had a chance to say no however she began rub and poke my head and neck making me cringe. She kept this up, I stayed as still as I could until she'd finished checking me all over, after she finished she promised me she'd bring me some food for being good.
I felt odd, being told I'd been good. My master had always told me I was useless and sad so being called something nice almost made me feel warm inside. I led there for a while, eventually covering myself with straw. I was almost asleep when l I heard Elaine again. “Dragon? I brought you a little food” My ears pricked up through the straw, followed closely by my head and and half my neck.
Elaine had a smile on her face, smiles usually meant something bad for me though and I ducked into the straw again. “Hey, come on what's wrong?” Elaine asked, pushing straw away from my face. “A big thing like you isn't afraid of me are you” she questioned, taking my head and holding it in her arms.
I didn't know why she was being nice to me and not hitting me or drinking my blood like that horrible fanged man had. I couldn't control myself and began sobbing wildly with Elaine rubbing my head until I calmed down and then she made me tell her everything that had happened.
Elaine looked worried for a few moments and then she got up “I've got some things to do, don't move around too much and try to eat that meat while I'm gone” she ordered, leaving the room and closing a heavy wooden door behind her, leaving me by myself again.
I noticed the meat she left in the room for me, I'd always had trouble eating meat and I'd brought it back up the last time I tried to eat however I wasn't likely to get much else so I began to try and rip off pieces of meat. I'd seen my teeth though, they were square and didn't cut well.
* * *
“This is your emergency Elaine?! I thought I told you before, dragons aren't permitted inside the city limits. Where did you get him?” Someone raged nearby, I knew I was in trouble for something now. “your being cruel Orodreth! Something threw him into the lysian market last night and I couldn't just let him die, I sent a few letters and now he's under council protection until he can leave and your going to help me identify him.
I looked through the straw to see an odd man stood with Elaine, He was very thin and his skin was very dark, his face was odd too. It was very clean and seemed to glow, much like his golden eyes.
The elaborately dressed man walked over to me cleared away some of the straw, I tried to duck under more straw but I'd already hit a wall. “Elaine, remind me again. Did you say this vampire had a pet dragon or was it he was keeping a dragon as a pet?” Elaine replied with ferocity, telling him not to act smart. Meanwhile I'd moved into a corner, I was feeling very ill again.
“I don't act smart, I am smart” the man boasted, his tone soon turned to disgust when however, Horrid half digested lumps of meat seemed to force themselves up my throat, they hit the ground, making a mess and causing me to feel weak.
“Lord!.. Ahem, It's a...uh Green dragon, a mammalian type of dragon, looks like he's never fed ether so he was probably stolen or abandoned” I didn't like the sound of what he was saying so I covered myself in straw again while Elaine piped up “So he's a... puppy dragon?” she asked, I mouthed the word slowly, I didn't want really believe, I knew I'd been around too long to be just a puppy.
“Yes, if it worries you about feeding him you could probably find some half baked attempt at replicating dragon milk on the black market, won't do him any good but it'll tide him over until you can get rid of him.” the man explained, his tone made me feel like something bad so I didn't like him already.
Elaine slammed the door shut after he left, “I hate that pompous big headed elf” she said, sounding very angry indeed. She didn't seem to calm down for the remainder of the day when she showed up to give me water and check some bandages she'd put on me after the elf left. Eventually I managed to ask a question that had been bothering me for hours.
“So are you going to get rid of me like the elf said?” I asked, though feeling very stupid just for asking. Elaine paused for a few seconds before replying “Don't worry about what that elf said, he's just a pompous old fart who thinks he knows everything” She smiled again and gave me another hug, she sat with me, stroking me and making me feel warm inside.
I let out a long yawn, even though I hadn't done anything today I was still tired. “I'll let you go to sleep, your body's working very hard to heal you know.” Elaine said, rubbing the side of my head, which I was resting on her lap now. “I'll see you in the morning” She said, throwing pieces of straw over me. She kissed the end of my snout before she left, I could hardly keep my eyes open as it was so sleeping was very welcome.
* * *
I opened one eye slowly, everything was bright and misty but at the same time there was a dark haze. “So sad... Have you said your goodbyes dragon?” Both my eyes shot open, it was the voice of the cloaked man. He wasn't talking to me though, this time he was talking to a green dragon whose head he was cradling. “I can't do anything else for him, if he screams hard enough someone might hear him though”
I struggled to my feet, I had to ask them what was going on. I quickly found it hard to walk, my legs all seemed too weak to carry me, and I couldn't say anything to get their attention, as I tried nothing came out but dragon calls. I began screaming, I knew the cloaked man could help me, he must have before.
“We're out of time, I'm sorry for your loss dragon but you must move on, you'll go to a better place. You're withered and dying for him, it's the least you deserve”. Before I could anything everything turned blurry and dark until I couldn't see, I couldn't stay awake any longer.
* * *
One of my front paws was hanging in something warm and wet and I could feel something rubbing my side, looking to my side I saw Elaine was bathing me, I complained in calls again, feeling too drowsy to think of human words at the moment. “Sorry if I woke you up your little majesty but you needed a bath, I'd never smelled something so bad. So did you sleep well?”
I thought of telling her about my dreams but decided against it, she'd left me alone last time I told her something and I didn't want her to leave soon. “Yea, was good” I said, trying to put on a smile. “Oh I nearly forgot to ask, how are you feeling today?” Elaine asked. “Everything's sore” I complained, looking at my the pink flesh of my paw. Elaine immediately explained ,“Sorry, we thought it was bleeding and the scales got in the way, turns out they were just bloody scales but at least they paid for us to take care of you”.
“I thought you said I couldn't stay though?” I asked, remembering what she'd said before. “uh, let me see...” I cocked my head at her, wondering what she was thinking ”ah, I got special permission to look after you until you're well enough to leave, that make sense?” I nodded my head and let her get on with bathing me, it was starting to feel nice anyway.
After drying me Elaine stay around to play with me but eventually she said she had to go for a while, I didn't want her to go but she changed my mind when she said she was getting me something to eat, I just hoped that she didn't bring meat, I didn't think I could eat it any more.
* * *
I'd been having a nap in the straw until a loud clattering near the door startled me, popping my head out I saw two short men carrying a large bucket while Elaine directed them. “Okay just leave it by the straw, that's where he likes to hide.” The two men did as they were told and dropped the bucket next to me, a strong smelling, thick, bright blue liquid was inside. “Okay that'll do, thanks again for the help” Elaine showed the two men to the door and they left, talking about something called stout.
I looked at the stuff until Elaine came over “Drink that up, it should do you good if those dwarves knew what they were doing”. Whatever it was it smelled really sweet, I dipped my tongue into the mysterious liquid. It tasted extraordinarily sweet and made me feel slightly warmer, I didn't hesitate to lap it up as quickly as possible for me. Elaine stood watching me, a couple of times she even pulled me away from my feed because she said I was drinking it too fast.
Elaine dragged the empty bucket into a corner and came back over to me. “Try to get some sleep, it's the best way for you to get better at the moment” I tried to complain and say “No” however a deep yawn had other plans. Elaine started throwing the straw over me again and then sat down next to me, I groaned, feeling tired as she began stroking my head like before. For once I was happy to go to sleep.