This is my April Quote Queste. The scene I had been going to write when I posted the quote didn't work, but this one came to me yesterday. I'm sorry it's rather slapdash and I didn't spend much time polishing it.
I should never, never have told him.
Dunol cursed himself over and over again, looking out from the cave halfway up the mountainside. The angry mob had left the lower hills and was ascending the path.
I should never have trusted the kid! He was too eager, too excited about his new life… and eventually the secret had spilled from his lips.
Kenoshi, Dunol’s dark red dragon, poked his rider’s back with his nose. Quit blaming yourself! And stop blaming Kalgee. He IS a dragonboy. Besides, I thought he said it was some girl’s fault?
Dunol scowled more heavily. “Yaysa. The little brat. Once she knows someone has a secret, she just can’t rest until she has extracted it. I suspect she learned that from her mother.” Emi, the town blackmailer and harlot, had trained her little daughter well. Barely a teenager, Yaysa already knew the secrets of most of the town.
Kalgee said she was pretty, the second dragon in the cave said absently. He was staring out a crack in the cave wall, head swinging back and forth in nervousness.
“Pretty!” Dunol snorted in fury. “She is that, and a veritable witch besides!”
Kenoshi poked him again, harder this time. Quit blaming yourself! What are we going to do now? Have you thought of something yet?
Dunol cursed again. He didn’t know what he was cursing, but thinking the words made him feel better and relived the pressure building in his head. "No, I haven’t thought of anything! We need to leave, but where will we go? Somewhere far enough away that we will be forgotten in a few years' time. This land isn’t ready for the idea of humans and dragons getting along."
No, it isn…. Kenoshi broke off as the other dragon roared, fury evident in every line of his body. He charged out of the cave, taking to the sky.
"Kashimo?! What are you doing?!" Dunol stared after him in shock.
The dragon flew on, ignoring the protests of his hatchmate and his hatchmate’s rider.
He says he’ll be back, Kenoshi said in resignation.
Dunol cursed again.
A moment later, Kashimo swooped back in, depositing a bloody body gently on the cave floor.
Help him!! he begged.
Eyes wide, Dunol dropped to his knees beside the boy. He'd been beaten and his back and legs were a swollen mass of red welts and cuts. "Kalgee, can you hear me?"
The boy’s eyes opened a slit and he moaned.
Dunol grabbed his medicine pack and began to treat the boy. "Kalgee, stay with me, Talk to me. Who did this to you?"
"My stepfather," the boy's breathing was labored. "We have to leave now." The urgency in his voice was echoed in the dragons, who were both swinging their heads now.
"We… I know. But, I honestly don’t know where to go, kid."
"There’s a cave. My father used it long ago, when he was sheltering from the rebels. I know where it is." His lips could barely form the words and Dunol trickled water into his mouth.
"And we could hole up there for a few days, before trying to find a more permanent place," Dunol nodded, understanding the boy's idea. "I’ve heard there is a country across the sea where humans and dragons live in peace. But, Kalgee, you can’t travel."
"We HAVE to!"
WE HAVE TO, the dragons echoed.
We’ll be gentle with him, Kashimo added, worried eyes locked on his young rider.
"Fine," Dunol sighed. "I don't like it but you’re all right." Swiftly, he loaded the packs he’d made up onto Kashimo, and then he lifted Kalgee gently and tied him onto Kenoshi, leaping on behind him.
The dragons sprang up and out of the cave, wings beating in great sweeps as they put out a burst of speed that would quickly distance them from the men with bows and arrows below.
The men saw them and yelled as a dozen bows twanged. Relief filled Dunol as the arrows failed to hit them. The enraged shouts of the people on the mountain grew fainter and in another moment, the dragons had ducked behind a ridge.
Kalgee whispered directions in his ear and he directed the dragons,“To the west.”
Kenoshi bore onward steadily, Kashimo beside him anxiously watching Kalgee.
Dunol cast one fleeting glance over his shoulder. Someday the world will be ready. But not now. Not today.
Then he resolutely faced forward, face set determinedly.
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Miss Melody Muffin