Fire Wind Red

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Fantasy Realm
Redordo new that she could find the way home to her family, to her eggs all she needed to do was get past the soldiers and the archers and she would be safe.

Submitted: March 25, 2019

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Submitted: March 25, 2019

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The wind had picked up again today, it was getting cold, the leaves had started to change and the high peaks started to get covered with a white blanket of snow. I need to get home to my family to the warm lands away from this place of cold and wind. I had just laid my first egg and had left my sister in charge when the hunger came, stronger than ever, I needed to eat, to hunt, to burn but the hunt lead me farther from home than ever and now I was here across the sea and mountains looking for food desperate to get home. I am a Weirdragon I have two forms, the red dragon of legend and the form of a small female, with bright red hair. I have been in human form for about 3 weeks now sleeping and eating trying to regain my strength for the trip home. There has been humans everywhere and they only want 2 things, to hunt dragons and mate with me. Both of which make my desperation to get out of this foul land all the greater. I have gold enough to last me for another 4 weeks but today I will finally be rested enough to make the trip to the mountains, and I have hired a guide named Fran-kin a dwarf and a set of pack mules to take me on the journey. “You ready there? Done looking wistful?” The Dwarfs voice was raspy and harsh and startled me out of my reverie. “Yes, I am ready, there is plenty of food for the trip to the mountains and then you can leave me to finish the trip on my own” The Dwarf gave me the same look that he gave me the first time I had mentioned that, a look that I was crazy and that he was not going to take responsibility for what happened to me. “You are one of the strangest females I have encountered in my life, you pack nothing but meat and ale and all you want is a guide to the mountains which will only take 3 days.” I smiled at him for a moment shook my head and took another big bite out of the cooked beef that I had been curing for this trip for about a week. “well I know that I am paying you enough when you start to show concern, but I promise you my friends will be there to guide me for the rest of the journey once we get to the mountains, there is no reason for you to worry.” Fran-kin grunted and finished packing the mules and gestured for me to get into the back of the cart that was going to be pulled by a large horse. The 2 pack mules though did need guiding and I wondered for a moment who was going to lead them. I had barely had the thought pass through my mind when a young man? Boy? It was always hard to guess age with humans, came from seemingly nowhere and nodded to me and the Fran-kin before grabbing the leads for the pack mules and waited for Fran-kin to let him know when to start walking. Fran-kin grunted, “ok Tonk we are ready, Redordo are you ready?” I looked up at him from my snack, momentarily surprised, I was not use to anyone saying my name out loud, I had spent so much time alone hunting in the forest that I forgot what my name sounded like on the wind. “Yes, I am ready to go.” The evening wind was a warm blanket that washed over me as we had stopped by the side of the road after the first day of travel. I was still packing away the meat as I was still trying to get that little extra energy for the long flight I still had to make over the mountains once we got there. I was glad I had thought of this means of travel as it would let me rest for 3 days and get me that much closer to home. My musings were interrupted by Tonk coming to sit next to me by the fire. He did not smell as bad as most humans I have meet and seemed to be much less brash than the other hunters I had met in the village. “So are you a hunter? Are you going up to the mountains to hunt the Barkin beasts?” He spoke so softly I did not think he has said anything for a moment. I smiled at this shy human, “I am a hunter, and I am looking for a good hunt in the mountains before I go home to my family. What about you? Are from the village?” Tonk looked startled for a moment, as if he did not expect to be asked questions in return. “um, yes…. I, I am from the village, my, uh family died when I was young and I, uh started hunting for food and survival, I was always uh, good, you know with, um a bow and enjoyed the hunt.” I nodded at the boy, “It is a good way to hunt for you, as you are not very big like some of the hunters in the village, It seems to have made you nicer as well, most of the hunters use throwing axes or traps and then get up close to kill the animals. Very strong and very violent.” Tonk coughed softly, Um, yea, I am not strong like many of them so I rely on the bow and stealth to kill. I um, find you to be very strong, I saw you lifting the bags of meat, you are very strong for, you know…” He trailed off looking at the fire we sitting next to and poking it with a stick. “well good night then, I am sorry to have disturbed your ….” He trailed off again and headed back towards his own fire.

The next morning, after a good nights rest we started out again. Tonk kept smiling at me and looking in my direction and Fran-Kin was grumbling about something as we started on the trail again. The disturbance started around noon as we had stopped in a grove to take some lunch and I smelled them before the could rush us from the tree line and quickly surround us. These bandits were no larger than the hunters and not nearly as intimidating, but they made up for that with numbers. There was at least 12 of them all pointing bows, axes and more than a few swords at us. One stepped forward and smiled at Fran-kin, “hello there little man, I think all of your food and money would be the best thing for you to do.” Tonk, surprisingly was the first to move, pulling his bow from behind his back and started shooting, only I could see his movements as my dragon vision allowed me to track better than humans. Within a few moments they all were lying dead with arrows sticking out of their heads. Fran-Kin coughed, and turned back towards the fire, having not even bothered to get up from his seat when the bandits arrived. Tonk put his bow and arrow away and also went back to his food. “what are we going to do with the bodies? We cannot just leave them here.” I crossed my arms as I said this, knowing full well that neither of them would care about people seeing all theses bodies on this well-traveled road. I rolled my eyes at both as the shrugged and not caring what they thought I picked up the bodies two at a time and placed them in a trench a few hundred feet from the path. I spent the next few hours laying them in the trench neatly in a row, covering them with a good amount of dirt, putting markers up and saying the Draconic prayer of death. I knew it was dire situation and we were under attack but I could not help feeling a little uncomfortable around them that night. I mean its one thing to defend yourself, but no negotiation, no giving them a chance to run, sure they were bandits but at the same time, the look in Tonks eyes, it frightened me, and I could not say why, it was just a feeling, that even though he did not pose any threat to me, something was wrong with him, off, and I could not tell what. As I sat with Tonks by the fire that evening, he was a different person than the last night, he seemed relaxed and almost joyful as he sat and told be and Fran-Kin stories of his home land and the people that lived there. He never talked about his family but he did talk, a lot. He finally exhausted himself and went to sleep, I stayed up for a bit and tried talking to Fran-Kin about Tonk. “So that was a little strange, he kills a bunch of bandits and he is mister chatter box but give him an average day and he is shy and retiring.” Fran-Kin frowned for a moment, “yea, I did notice that, I only hired him a week ago and he seemed to imply he got in trouble where he was from and was looking for some money so he could head out west to the Vinderland and the cities beyond. But he had always been shy and retiring as you put it until today. Now that I think about it the only time I have seen him smile at anything was on the hunt when we were skinning the kill, he seemed most interested and … happy … about that. A chill went through me and I thought of my child to be, what if this human hunted for pleasure not food, hunted just to enjoy the kill and not because they needed food? Would my child be safe in such a world? I think back to the old days before our people uncovered the magic to shift how we looked, to the fear of all my brethren of being hunted for pleasure by humans, how few of us there are left because of it. I was not the biggest fan of humans but I know that the children, the woman the craftspeople and the farmers never hunted us, it was always those who were after power, the pleasure of the kill or glory, I feel that now these same hunters have turned to their own kind to see the same power they lost when we hid our true selves from the world. I broke from my thoughts and turned to Fran-Kin, “we need to question him, he may have killed others, other humans, and that is a crime in any land.” Fran-Kin looked at me, “I don’t argue the fact that he needs to be stopped but what can we do? There are no courts, no men of the law out here, no one will come to lock him away…” I frowned, “well if that is how it is, then I guess I should take things into my own hands once we get to the mountains.” I watched Tonk the next day very closely and noticed that he had a small bag that he seemed very attached to and anytime we stopped he would go to a spot far away from us and look inside the bag. I needed to see what was in that bag and see if it confirmed my theory that he was hunting humans for pleasure. I remember my great-uncle before he got killed would collect skulls of the humans he had hunted, and he would care for those skulls like they were gem stones. It would always creep me out that he would do that. Now I felt the same way about Tonk as I watched him hold that bag close to him wherever he went. I would have to be very quiet and stay up late to steal that bag away from to see what was inside.

That night I kept myself awake and waited until Tonk was asleep. My vision made the night almost as bright as day for me, and the skills I had picked up hunting helped me to stay quiet as I snuck over towards him. I could hear his breathing as I bent down close enough to touch him and slowly moved the bag away from him. I made a quick dragon jump, which is the jump we use to take off from a standstill, and landed about 20 feet away light as a feather if I do say so myself. This way I could look in the bag and even if he woke it would take him a few minutes to find me. I stared at the simple brown bag, made out of some sort of cloth and steeled my nerve to look inside. It seems so silly, here I am this dragon, afraid of a bag, but I know it is more than that, it will prove that a killer is among us and would have no issue killing innocence people, creatures, dragons for nothing more than their own twisted pleasure. I slowly opened the bag letting my breath out as I saw there was nothing but cloth inside. But I felt something, underneath the cloth, I unraveled the cloth and my heart sank, there were bones, finger bones, teeth, and woven bits of hair, human and animal alike. My feelings were right but what do I do now? Do I let him go? Confront him? And if I confront him what would the outcome of that be? My thoughts were interrupted by his smell, he was here, behind me, and his pheromones were up, excited? Fear? I turned slowly still hidden in a shadow of a tree, the clearing he was walking in bathed in faint moonlight. He has not seen me yet. He started to talk as he walked. “I know you are here beast, I have seen that jump before, I know what you took, what you have seen by now, you cannot stop me, your code will not allow it, your kind took an oath, do no harm to sentient beings, you can do nothing out here! There is no law, there are no rules! Only mine! Only the game! Only the hunt! And now you are the hunted once again, you killed those people, you killed the dwarf! You have gone blood crazy! A crazy dragon on a rampage! I was lucky to survive! You could have killed me and everyone in this village! I will find you! I will kill you! Come out to your death you giant red wind!” I have always prided myself on keeping my temper, but that was the last thing I was expecting to hear, how dare this insane killer call me a red wind! How dare he presume my kind, my history, my past actions! I was clean, I had never touched a human, I had never been branded with the symbol of the red wind, the symbol that was given to dragons who had killed innocent humans for pleasure, those of the old ways, of the wars of the past, of the death and the almost obliteration of my people. I ran out into the clearing and transformed in front of him, my purple scales almost twinkling in the moonlight, “how dare you! How dare you use that slur! I am clean I am not like you, taking pleasure in the pain of others! I should kill you where you stand for just implying that is who I am!” the words poured out of me in a stream of anger and outrage and as the last word dropped from my lips he collapsed in front of me. I froze for a second, and transformed back to human form, now naked in a open field, no I had not thought this through at all, and I saw as I tried to cover myself Fran-Kin standing there with a crossbow in one hand as he limped towards me. “I think we need to talk…”


© Copyright 2019 Robert Dragon Pollack. All rights reserved.

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