Welcome to Wednesday Briefs, where authors post free fiction of 1000 words or less each week. I used the following prompt: “Whose bright idea was this, again?”
While Shane and Silvion slept, I enjoyed the sun on my skin, allowed the quietness of the surrounding nature to seep into me. At least to a certain degree, because after some time the sun started to burn and the calmness annoyed me. Didn't the birds and bees know that Shane wasn't supposed to be a puppy? That I'd believed him dead? Or that Silvion would lead us to a place where we were supposed to pick up dragon scales for Shane to eat, so he could shift back into his human-form?
I huffed, irritated at myself. Of course the birds didn't know. Neither did they care, and why should they? It didn't matter to them—just to me. It mattered so much to me. I longed to feel Shane's arms around me, to see the light teasing smile on his face, and to hear his voice calling my name.
Shane kicked his legs, yelped, and then his eyes snapped open. A growl reverberated through his small chest but he shivered.
“Hey, what's the matter?”
Shane looked up at me, still trembling, and barked. I said, “I wish I'd taken the letters with me, so I could understand you better.”
He licked my hand before he bounced off my lap and vanished behind a boulder to do his business. Silvion rose to his feet in a graceful, fluid movement that I never thought a man of his hulk could possess. He winked at me when he caught me staring. I averted my eyes, willing my face to stop flaming, right when Shane ambled back to us.
Seconds later, Shane wiggled into my arms, nudging his nose firmly against any body part he could reach. Sometimes he growled at me, which sent me into fits of hysterical laughter. Shane seemed to be jealous. How very ridiculous.
I shouldered into my backpack when he'd calmed down, and we walked away from the small creek, along a winding forest path. The loose soil swallowed most of our noise, but squeaks and scurrying feet announced our presence anyway.
After we stepped out of the small forest, hills stretched out as far as the eye could see. Straight in my line of vision appeared the same large hill I'd seen earlier, when I'd looked into the mirror and Shane had breathed on it. I gasped. The charcoal-colored castle loomed like a giant on the hill, despite its bad condition. The arched gate swung back and forth in the breeze, but at least it didn't bang.
The sky was overcast, with heavy clouds almost touching the tip of the castle's single tower. How in the hell had the tower been preserved when the walls had crumbled to nothingness?
Sudden, rhythmic gusts drew my attention further to the sky. I frowned at it, then at Silvion, who was resting one of his ginormous hands on my left forearm. Shane whined and dove behind my legs, tucking his tail away as he did so.
“What's—” I cut myself off when a red-colored dragon sailed out of the clouds and landed neatly on top of the tower.
My legs trembled and everything inside me froze. The dragon stretched its neck, sniffing the air.
When I managed to convince my vocal cords of producing sounds again, I asked, “Who's bright idea was this, again?”
“I'm not sure,” Silvion whispered. “But for now, we should retreat into the forest. You need to wait till the dragon seeks out his mate. Only then will you have at least a sliver of a chance to cross the distance without it attacking you.”
“What does it do with its mate? Kiss it? Invite it for dinner?”
Silvion cast me a look that said clearly he found my sense of humor in need of further development. Still, he answered, “They have sex. While they're at it, they forget everything around them. It's your only chance to get to the ruin alive.”
“How do we get out of there?” I asked, then added, “Alive, I mean.”
“I have no idea,” Silvion replied.