Monthly Archives: October 2013

No. 26 (goodness I’m lazy)

Hello dear non-existent readers (alright, I can make out semi-corporeal forms now, so it’s progress). Firstly, I would like to give a huge thanks to those of you who have, for some reason, decided that you enjoy my writing enough to want to read more. Thank you all so much. Secondly, I am lazy. I lack words for how lazy I am. The length of time it took me to post this had nothing to do with my muse going on strike, or my computer dying, but simply pure, unadulterated laziness. I wrote this story a few weeks ago, directly after No. 25, but I have just left it sitting in my folder.

As a bit more on the story its self, this was written as a practice for my written conversation skills, which I practice infrequently. I takes place in the city directly before No. 25, and since it is practice, is not the best, but nonetheless, here. Without further ado and/or exposition, the story! Enjoy.

 

No. 26
The man saw a woman sitting against the wall of a dilapidated building. She held an ancient sword in her hands, the blade marred with scratches and the hilt coarsened with chips. He walked over to her and crouched down beside her.
“You know, if you’re planning on doing yourself in with that there are easier ways.”
The woman looked at him, her expression unreadable, “I’m not. The hell will be here soon.” She spoke these words as if they were simply comments on the weather, and perhaps they were very close.
“Our soldiers can stop them,” the note of pleading in his words was missed by neither.
“They cannot. Just as you or I cannot stop the wind from blowing or the tide from rising.” She shrugged.
“Then we’ll fight them. We can, they can be killed. They have to be.” The pleading had turned to desperation, as if begging the woman to hear his words and find them to be true.
“And so we will. They can be killed, but we cannot succeed. I will take as many of them with me as I can, but it will not be enough.”
“How can you say that? We will win, we’ll make it. And if we don’t the other cities will.”
“Do you have faith in anything?” Asked the woman, looking at the tarnished blade.
Mutely the man shrugged. “Used to.”
“I do. And I am the last of my religion, just as we are the last of the people.”
She held up a finger when the man opened his man to refute her claim. “We are. There were never very many who believed in this religion in this area anyway, and everywhere else is gone. You know it’s true.”
“We can’t be. There must be more.”
“And yet there are not.”
“Then damn it, I’ll make them fight for every bit of these streets. They won’t get these stones, they won’t.”
“I believe in people. That we are truly good. And we are. But we will still fall.” She said this with a small smile as she spoke of her faith, and a look of conviction as she spoke of the truth.
The man shook his head. The woman began polishing the blade she held. A haggard woman called for the doctor.
The man stood, “Thank you.”
The woman nodded, “Goodbye, and stand well.”
Then the man left, following the caller, and the woman worked tarnish off the blade.

 

 

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No. 25

All right, I listened to a song while doing this one as well. Two Steps From Hell, awesome, listen to it please. Link for the song I listened to here;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H7qOJrT_lUg. Enjoy!

The Last Stand (No. 25)
The things rushed forward, thought and logic lost, for the scent of prey, of fear, of life. Screams were heard form the battlements, and the great gates shook in their foundations. The darkness was something unstoppable, like the ocean, or the wind.
They fought, brave survivors with no chance for life, and they knew it. They fought back with the ferocity of beasts, but still, inches were lost, and with each one, people lay down their lives, their blood, their souls, for that inch.
And yet still the things came, feasting on the lives lost on the ground they now overtook. They reached the gate, that had stood for long, but nothing stands forever.
Wood bent, and stone cracked, great chains twisted open like nothing more than paper links. At last, with the sound of death reminiscent of the long dead space whales, the gate gave.
The city had known that it would happen, and yet they had not been expecting it. But as unfathomable creatures swarmed their city, they had to. Nameless things, better unknown, came forward. Creatures of shadow and empty rooms, creatures of silence and leaf-covered graves, creatures of death and creatures of ending.
There were spots of still in the chaos, a million tiny eyes of an endless tempest.
A mother holding the things off for far longer than she should have been able to to protect a baby born only days ago.
A man holding a broken piece of rubble, prepared to defend an alleyway as creatures surrounded him on all sides.
A woman walking into the sea of things, a long forgotten holy sword from a dead religion glowing with the light of determination before she was overtaken.
And so the world was lost, save for the dark, simply craving the emotions that they could never feel, but for the hopes, and fears, and dreams, and terrors of their prey.
And so they fall, and so they forget, and so in the far edges of the forgotten a space whale cries and a mother holds her child.

Genies

I wrote this at four in the morning, The next day I had completely forgotten that I had written it. Reading back over it, I was honestly much more interested in some of the throwaway lines for the other universes. I may have to do something with those. Well, enjoy!

No.24
The first thing everyone learns, as soon as they can understand the simplest of concepts, is (of course said in the adult voice that demands the utmost respect and listening) do not, under any circumstances, no matter how dire, life threatening, or generally horrible, let a Genie give you a wish.
Don’t make a wish, don’t give them money, handouts, or help, don’t even talk to them if you can help it. Not even ‘I want nothing,’ ‘cause if you say that, you get nothing. No house, no belongings, no spouse or significant other, no cloths, no money, no major internal organs, you get the gist.
You just have to ignore them, like the sad puppies in the pound on West Chester Street, you know the ones with their cages against the window that you walk right by on your way to work, with the little orange signs saying when they’ll be euthanized, and it’s all you can do not to go in there and adopt all of them. Yeah, you know.
It’s like that with the Genies. Say you just lost your phone, and you really need to get a call about where the meeting is scheduled, but you can’t get it and you’re worried about getting fired, so you say to the Genie ‘I wish I knew where my phone is.’ So you know where it is, but there were no guarantees that the Genie didn’t move it to the bottom of the Atlantic. They could move it because they were given the power to manipulate it so that they could find it, so they can keep using the power for a bit longer.
I hear that some universes just have strange men in trench coats who try to sell you knock-off watches, or sex, or drugs in some dark, dingy ally. But at least they’re not Genies. I hear that there’s a universe where the homeless shadows try to peddle you tiny dragons, adorable things really, cuter than rats and almost as smart as humans, they can teleport you as well, anywhere you want to go, for the low, low price of your soul. Grad A free-range soul, they love it, eat ‘em like candy, they’ll almost certainly get it when you die anyway, so why not start early? There’s even a universe where the Great Squishy Giant Omnipotent Tentacle-ey One-eyed Landsquid (the GSGOTOL for short) will buy off your firstborn and give you someone else’s, most people don’t even understand that one.
But the point of that is that they’re not those thrice cursed Genies. Sure it’s not common, but sometimes someone does make a wish, usually when they’re not thinking clearly; someone they loved just died or is going to, they’re drunk (alcohol is banned for this exact reason), they got fired, they’re injured, sleep deprived, insane, or just otherwise mentally and logically compromised. That’s when it gets messy.
We had a zombie epidemic a few years back for just that reason, some poor sap’s friend died and they wished to bring him back. The problem is that every once in a while it works, you get what you wished for, you hire a good enough lawyer to write a wish with no conceivable loopholes (although the Genie usually finds one), or someone gets the rare (and I mean rare, rarer than diamonds in asphalt) good Genie, and then everyone is making wishes. You can probably guess how it ends.
So, hopefully you see why we say not to wish to Genies.

And back to ones I like. Yay!

I listened to Two Steps From Hell, which is a wonderful band, and you should go listen to all of their songs. Listen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y4jBYEoeRE

Mercy in Darkness (No.23)
I wandered the battlefield under the darkening sky, searching for any survivors from either side. If there was one from our side, well I would have to evaluate their injuries, see if they could be saved. And if it was one of those things, that’s what the gun in the holster on my waist was for.
I was a medic, so it was my job to go out here and either put our men out of their misery or save them. The bugs were just collateral.
I wasn’t even sure why I’d taken this job, except that the pay was ludicrously good. I could see why. If you want people to do this hell the pay has to be exorbitant. Honestly, pay or no pay, if I had known that I would be wandering around a chillingly quiet battlefield in the dark, five months ago I would have thrown the pen in the face of the person holding the contract instead of signing it. There are days where being a gun, or bandage, for hire sucks.
But there are also days where it’s great. Traveling, seeing the stars. And on the days where a job goes well, or I and those working with me actually help someone, when we’re sitting on some craft with the stars shining all around us, I thank God, or whatever deity might be out there that I hadn’t ever wanted to have a desk job.
And there are days where it’s hell, where you lose a friend, or a chip of your sanity. Where you know that you did more harm than good, and you’re sitting planet side, not a star in sight through the haze of smoke in the bar that you decided to go to get good and drunk, although by the time you get there all you do is nurse a beer all night. Those are the days I wish I had taken a desk job, or something stable, that holds very little risk of serious injury.
Then there are days like this, the ones that will hold something more even though you don’t know it yet.
I was startled out of my musings by a…rattling….skreeking….sound. One of the bugs.
I came upon it, and looked at the thing. I was a bit like a dragonfly, mixed with a nightmare. Those bulbous, faceted eyes that seem to watch you wherever you are freak me out. They seem just humanoid enough to be highly unsettling, like retro video games that had the graphics in the “uncanny valley”, that place of rendering and pixels that is human enough to be realistic, but not quite human enough, where something is…off.
It tilted its head at me, legs pulled to its thorax and wings furled up, those tails of theirs never seemed to move unless they were impaling you with it, and it was in no position to do that right now, with one of its legs trapped over a flipped ground-ship.
I reached for my gun, and something stopped me. Perhaps it was the way the light from the stars seemed to glint off its eyes, or the way I had been thinking earlier, about doing good, but it suddenly seemed afraid. And almost human.
It was the first time I wondered if they had feelings, opinions, thoughts. It hadn’t been determined whether or not they had a hive-mind, but it was simply assumed that they did. They were bugs after all.
I wondered if they had mercenaries, and contracts, and payments, as well. If they had good days and bad. Or fear. Especially fear.
And so I figured out a way to get it out from under the ship, all the while wondering if this was a very stupid idea. It probably was.
I pulled it up, and it looked at me, it clearly looked at me, then it…bowed…said something in that language of its kind, and flew off. I finished my sweep, and turned in my resignation from this particular job as soon as I got back to base. I didn’t care that it would leave a bad mark on my ratings for hire.
It seemed like the thing to do at the time, and it still does. And if I’m faced down by a million of the bugs one day, with vengeance in their eyes for the wounded I had killed, well, I wouldn’t know whether to feel foolish or terrified. But until then, I would be glad of my choice.

Dredges No. 6

This one is in the same universe as Dredges No. 1, but the stories are different. And yes, I know that the character’s motivation is really lame. I might finish the story-line at some point, but perhaps not.

No.17
I ran as fast as I could through the trees, heart pounding and breath hitching in my throat. I could hear the dogs barking behind me, determined to reach the owner of the scent trail that they had been following for some time now, long enough for the sky to go from light to dark.
I slipped on some pine needles and skidded, clutching the vial to my chest to protect it. I slid down an embankment and slammed into a tree. I knew the hounds were gaining, and their human counterparts not far behind, but at least dogs couldn’t climb.
I gripped the vial gently between my teeth, and found a handhold. I scrambled up, overexerted legs straining, until I reached the highest branch that could hold me. I could hear the dogs snuffling at the base of the tree, trying to find a way up.
After a few moments I could hear the heavier, steadier steps of some of the handlers, thankfully they were waiting for the people paying them to tell them what to do, so I was free from the need for action at that exact moment.
Eventually I heard the sound of another person walking up, clearly one of the scientists. And a voice came ringing up, directed at me, “You can come down, it’s ok. We’ll ensure that you are never bothered and get plenty of compensation. Just give us the vial back and we promise to let you go.”
I would have sworn at whomever was talking if it wouldn’t have taken breath that I still didn’t have, “Yeah, no.” I finally managed to rasp out.
The scientist was responding, sounding a bit more irritated now, “Really, it would be in your best interest to give it back. We would let you go on your way and would ensure that you were left alone, as well as plenty of payment. All you would need to do was give us the vial.”
“And really, it would be in your best interest to shut the hell up and stop trying to convince me.” I was uncorking the bottle now, hoping that I would have enough time to close it and set it down safely before I shifted. At least I hoped that I would shift, still in a bit of the experimental phases.
I heard the scientist say to one of the handlers to go up and get me. Not on my watch. I took a sip, hoping that it didn’t need to be injected to work. I corked the bottle, set it down in the little split of two branches, and thought of ospreys. Although perhaps not the first choice of many, they were strong, and I had vivid memories of watching them as a child.
It worked, but it was not fun. My human sized bones had to shift to those of a medium sized bird, as well as everything else, skin, sinew, muscles. Just when I was sure that something had gone very wrong and I was going to be a bloody whimpering mess, my human cry turned to the screeching one of a bird’s.
How long had that taken? The handler must almost be to where I was at this point. I snatched up the vial in my talons and leapt off the branch just as the handler scrambled up. I had just enough time to see his look of surprise and then I was falling.
Some new instinct told me to ease out my wings, catching the wind beneath them, followed by flapping and finding warmer banks of air to raise me higher and help me glide. For just a moment all my worries and tiredness disappeared, replaced by pure exaltation; I was flying, not in the belly of some great craft, but with my own wings.

No.18
I shook my head, and got back on track, heading towards the city. My claws easily held the vial steady, keeping it from dropping to an un-ceremonious end.
I had been a book-keeper at the lab, simply a menial desk job to pay my way through college. I suppose the scientists must have assumed that a silly college student would be too sleep deprived, as well as overloaded with work and life, to really pay attention to what they were doing. Idiots.
I of course, trying to have an interest in what I did, noticed something a bit odd about the records and profits I was typing into my computer for a few hours each day. They were getting funded for almost no work; sure they had a few helpful products, but not enough to explain their average revenue.
So I took a few shifts for the person manning and entering what they bought for their research, and it contained, once again, oddness. They were buying only the materials for the things that they were selling, but for far more for each than they used to make them, as well as the question on how they were still making a profit.
I had considered ways to get information on what they were doing. And had found out that there was a group of people that had noticed the same things. I worked to ensure that they were genuine, or as genuine as I could tell, and they added up.
I ended up joining them, and had been doing a scouting mission of the lab when I had found the vials. I reported what the notes that I had read had said, as well as the pictures. Those bloody scientists had created a shape-shifting drug.
We planned that I would go in, try to snag a vial of the stuff, and if I could, destroy the other drugs. Then high-tail it to a virtually unknown spot in the city where our former scientist (he had left because he hated the treatment of the testing animals) would be ready to analyze what was in it and how to make it.
We might not have interfered if the scientists’ notes if they hadn’t been speculating on how to keep it from the public, as well as possibly using it for warfare. It would not stand. It had been decided that something so amazing should not be kept from the populace.
I spiraled down to the decided upon location, swooping back through a window (thankfully open) and skittering down on the desk that Thane was scratching notes at.
He looked at me with surprise for a moment, then realized what must have happened. He grinned, taking the vial. I pecked at his hand, a firm indication of ‘Oy give me that.’ He frowned, “Sorry Sules. I really am, but I actually agree with the scientists. They needed help managing to catch whoever was working against them. If you had just given them back the vial they would have let you go, honestly, but you didn’t. And they couldn’t simply take in anyone for trying to sabotage them with no evidence besides simple meetings that could have amounted to nothing. But they can now jail the entire group. Fools, the lot of you.”
I swore at him then, but sadly it just sounded like “Skraw, skrik, scree skrik screck craw.” I just said it really angrily.
First things first, I had to get back to human. I leapt forward, taking a chunk out of the hand holding the vial. He dropped it, allowing me to catch it and fly to a high ledge where I had a few seconds to uncork it with my beak, and manage to get a bit of the liquid.
I then thought of myself, and my human body. It was much the same as the first time, simply in reverse. Thankfully I somehow still had my cloths, not even sure how that worked.
Although I did run into the problem that my weight on the rather flimsy shelf caused it to break away from its spot on the wall, falling down and taking me with it. I had managed to grab the vial and cork, keeping them from the shelf’s fate.
I corked the vial and stood, making for the exit. It would have been foolish to fight, I was grossly out matched in weight and strength, so running was my best chance. I would have made it, if the stupid guards who must have been sent with Thane in case I was difficult (what else would I be, happy) didn’t tackle me, and have chloroform.
I managed to utter out a little comment before I passed out, “Bastard.”
No. 21
I woke up zip-tied to a chair. Seriously, zip ties. I think I have used those things once in my life, to fix a shelf. Zip ties are nice, they just kind of sit there, looking inconspicuous. Their apparent chair-tying potential well hidden. Stupid zip ties.
My impromptu thought-rant about zip ties made me pretty sure that my head was still a bit muzzy from the chloroform.
I heard footsteps, making me think to look around at where I was. I was in a chair in one of those perfectly white rooms that you see in scfi and medical dramas. They are quite painful on the eyes.
The source of the noise walked in, a tall woman, fairly good looking. Although the tray of vials and syringes decreased her attractiveness by a large amount.
She regarded me, “Miss Redatha I assume.”
“Seriously, zip ties. Have you heard of five-fifty cord?”
She looked a bit confused. Clearly I was going with the tactic of “confuse the hell out of them.”
“Zip ties have been proven to work well as restraints.”
“Wait, people actually put time and effort into figuring out what restraints work the best? Who was paying them, Mad Scientists Inc.?”
And my tactic was apparently turning into “annoy the hell out of them.” Smart.
“Thanks to your lovely job of stealing our newest test material. You have both gotten us jurisdiction to arrest at least one group of people who oppose us, and made sure that the drug doesn’t kill humans. Lovely work. Now since you are written off in the record books as dead from a fiery car crash you get to help us keep testing.”
“What the hell? I’m legally dead? I think faking someone’s death and using them as a dammed lab rat is a worse crime than stealing something.”
She shrugged, “That’s why we work hard to keep people from escaping. Now, you get to benefit scientific research.”
She pulled out one of the empty needles, tied off my arm, and swabbed the vein (facing upwards for your illegal scientific testing convenience). She stuck the needle in and drew a bit of blood.
She set that aside and pulled out one filled with liquid, “Now to see if this is a working solution to keep someone from shape shifting from the drug.”
“Damn. Damn you. Hell-dammit-no.” I get so very literate when angry.
She ignored my deep thoughts on the matter of being a human test subject and stuck the needle in my arm anyway. She then drew my blood again, took out another needle, this one with a recognizable blue substance in it, injected it into my arm, and cut the zip ties on my wrists and ankles.
“You are clearly not skilled in situations when you’re trying to keep people from attacking are you?”
She simply inclined her head towards the two heavily armored security standing in the doorway, both with guns trained on me, then raised an eyebrow.
“Oh.”
“I suggest that you attempt to shift into something, quickly. The effects of the energy of the drug, unused, can be quite catastrophic. We were cleaning rat off the ceiling for months.”
I tried to avoid the mental image, and when that didn’t work, envisioned tigers. Big toothy tigers, with sharp claws.
It felt like before, but the whole “I’m on fire from the inside” thing didn’t stop so quickly, and while the rational side of my brain was reassuring me that I was fine, the pain sensing part of my brain was letting me know, in no uncertain terms, that everything was not fine and you should really not feel like this.
The pain sensing part of my brain won and I blacked out.

Dredges No. 5

And this was from a dream. Sigh, the mermaid comes off more as cynical than insane. Well here you go you poor, nonexistent readers. No. 11
I lugged my bag of gear, heading towards the little house at the edge of the ocean. Reaching it I knocked on the door, it was opened after a moment by an old man in tattered cloths. “Excuse me, do you know how far away the nearest boat is?”
I was surprised that he started laughing, I was wondering if I’d missed something when he responded, “You’re kidding, right?” I shook my head, “You want to cross the black sea, it’s impossible. The last ship that tried to cross it is at the bottom of the deeps now.”
“Are you sure that there are no ways to get across, I really need to.”
The old man sighed, I’ve lived near the sea my entire life, and she doesn’t take kindly to strangers, only harbors a grudging respect for me. But if you really want to get across, you’re going to need to get the mermaid’s help.”
“The mermaid? I thought that they only live in the tropics, doesn’t cold kill them?”
The man shook his head, “Used to be some that could brave the cold, not many but a few, most of them died when those cursed purists decided that human was the only sentient race that deserved to live. Although most other races, mermaid or not, managed to escape, the cold-water mermaids were not so lucky. They were killed, rather violently, and the only surviving one is also the only one who can get you across. Although there is the problem of her being more mad that a wyvern.”
“So, um, where can I find her?”
He shook his head again, “If you really want you can find her next to the water in the bonegrove. Good luck.” Clearly he was uninterested in continued talking so he closed the door. I shrugged and headed off towards the place that he had directed me.
The bonegrove was a terrifying place, animals had an uncanny habit of going there when they were dying, so it was assumed to be haunted and cursed. All the skeletons didn’t help.
I walked along the shore next to it, even the sea life would head here when their little fishy clocks were up. I often had to step around skeletons, once even the one of a sea-dragon, the most elusive of any sentient creature. It was odd to ever even see a single bone of theirs.
I at last found a small shack, literally sitting a foot deep in water. As I neared it I saw a shape sitting on the beach singing nonsensical things. She looked at me, “I have no porpoises for sale so if you would please go away, I would like to finish my song.”
I was not expecting that so I stood there flustered for a second before responding, “I am very sorry to bother you, but I heard that you could help me get across the sea.”
She sighed, “No one is ever interested in porpoises. What is wrong with you people?”
“I’m, um, very sorry for my, um, lack of interest in porpoises, do you know how I can get across the sea?”
“Seriously? Is that all I’m good for? Getting people across the bloody sea? I raise porpoises for shrimp’s sake, but no, always, ‘can you get me across the sea?’ At least the animals shut up.”
“Oh, I’m very sorry. So, tell me about your, porpoises?”
She shot me a look of, you are a complete idiot, “I don’t have any porpoises, they are not mine. I take care of them then set them free. You humans are such idiots thinking that you can own other creatures. This place is what happens when you give them a choice.”
“I’m sorry, what do you mean?” That was smart, ask the crazy lady what she meant when she started to talk about an area full of bones. Well, crazy mermaid.
“Silly human, you would never understand. Go back to the rock that you live under. You and those bloody lizards. Lizards are bastards. Did you know that? Complete and utter bastards, they remind me a lot of humans.”
I was really quite confused, “I…apologize for your interactions with humans as a whole, but we’re not all alike.”
She raised one eye ridge thing at me, “Thank you for picking up on that. I mean honestly. Everyone who asks for my help always seems to conveniently forget that their race is not perfect. You’re still a lizard though.”
I wasn’t quite ready to give up, but I really did need to get across the ocean, “I really do apologize for being a, lizard, and not asking about your porpoises before, but I really need to get across the sea.”
She gave me a look that I could have sworn was, I am so bored with your babble, “Yes, yes, fine. You did have the decency to ask about porpoises, and to apologize for your race’s complete idiocy. So fine, just let me grab my travel gear.”
Wait, what? “I’m sorry, your travel gear?”
She shot me the most condescending look imaginable, “Yes, the mad woman is taking you. Unless you want to die, you’ll need my help.”
Oh, lovely, the mad mermaid was taking me through the most dangerous sea that we knew about. This would be fun.

No.16
Stupid mermaid. Stupid freaking mermaid. We had to be lost, everything looked the same, and even worse, the sky met the water in such a way that you couldn’t tell what was sky and what was ocean. It was enough to drive someone mad. The only scenery was this rock somehow jutting up from however many dragon lengths deep the water was.
“Are you sure we aren’t lost?”
The mermaid, did she have a name, laughed. She didn’t say anything, simply laughed. It didn’t bode well if the crazy person who was also your guide was laughing. I was so very doomed.
She had been taking me across by having me grab onto her while she used some extremely fast swimming, often having me nearly lose my grip. Thankfully I had several skins of water and some food in my bag of enchanted-I-didn’t-read-the-instructions-whatever.
The mermaid grinned at me, the grin of a madwoman, “Ready to continue hurtling at breakneck speeds while struggling to hang on?”
“Sure…” As I had thought many times on this journey, I was doomed.

Dredges No. 4

Sigh. There are way too many of these.

No.9
Flying, spinning, soaring. I darted after a sparrow, it wasn’t even a mouthful, with winter coming soon I would travel back to my cave, it was warm there, heated by the molten rock beneath the earth.
I was about to swoop down for a goat perched on a ledge, when I heard my name being called. The only person who had known my name had died years ago, I decided that it must have been the wind and loneliness. It had been many long years since the battle, and dragons had been forgotten again, fading back into stories and songs.
People don’t usually talk to stories and songs, and my own kind are territorial brutes, and have never really known how wonderful it is to have a conversation with someone.
I was making a dive for the oblivious goat when I heard it again.
This time I stopped and lowered closer to the ground. I saw the person who had called me, a woman with grey-streaked hair, and wrinkles around her eyes. I was interested, I landed next to her. “I’m sorry, but may I ask how you know my name?”
She smiled, looking at me through crinkled eyes, “Really old friend? You break my heart with how little an impression I left on you.”
She reminded me of someone, but she couldn’t be, she was dead. Dead and mourned. But I still had to say it, ask even, “You’re dead.” Ah yes, very eloquent at dancing around the subject, us dragons.
She sighed, “Damn bloody gryphon.”
My sensible part was struggling to rationalize, “I saw you die, the orc, and then that gryphon carried you away. You, what, how?” And yes, it is possible for dragons to be flustered.
She shook her head, “That stupid orc knocked me on the head quite a bit, I faintly remember being picked up by the gryphon, but I passed out. When I woke up I was still a bit loopy and somehow managed to kill it while it was flying. I was down for the count for quite sometime after that, and the gryphon had carried me a long way. By the time I got back you had left. I took up sculpting and blacksmithing, and I was in some little town near here when I heard talk of a dragon, so I looked, and I saw you. That goat never would have stood a chance.”
“Wow, well, sculpting.”
“I’m sure that you took up a much more admirable profession, cow herding perhaps.”
“Pah, of course not, no self respecting dragon would get near cows except for the taste. I herded sheep thank you very much.”
I had conversation again.