Chapter 3: Fortisa's Idea

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 127
Comments: 1




Frior Isard glared at the empty hooks and circles of lines burying his feet.  His balding head turned bright pink in the sunlight.  

“I’d give a day’s wage to find out what is stealing our bait!"  Frior Marden slid a wrinkled hand over his scalp.  "I haven’t caught anything except sunken logs!  Neither have you!” 

"Oh sure, blame the bait-thief!"  Fortisa giggled.  "Everyone needs a bait-thief to blame!"

Fortisa's frivolity squelched at the sight of the sudden blackening sky behind the Frior, “I think we should go back to shore.  Look!”  She pointed to the sky.

Frior Marden turned, looking up just as lightning splintered the clouds and the easy breeze became a gale wind. “Row!” 

They plunged their oars into the choppy water.  Beating hail pelted them.  Surging white-caps grew into steep waves.  

Fortisa and the Frior strained against their oars.  Frior Marden didn't see the wall of water rising behind him and above them.  Fortisa saw it.  The dark gray froth pitched their boat upside down tossing Fortisa and Frior Marden into the deep.

Fortisa swam furiously to the light above. “Frior Marden!”  She screamed as her head broke the surface. For several moments she saw nothing except a blurry vision of their overturned boat and gear slowly sinking.

“Frior Marden!”

Her arms thrashed about her as she fought to stay afloat…in her dream.  

She gasped as if spitting out water.  

“Oh Dragon!”  She awoke floating in a deep puddle. 

Oh, Dragon!  What is…you’ve cried a lake!  Where’s William?”

 “I’m sorry.  I can’t help it…the tears.  Are you…drenched?”

Fortisa stood up. Even her short hair dripped dragon-tears.  

“Oh, Dragon, I am drenched, waterlogged, flooded, soaked...pick one!  Choose your favorite! Now I have to dry everything!  Where’s William?!”

She moved her sparse, soggy belongings into a sunny area and hung the blankets, change of clothing, and other parcels on low tree branches and bushes.  From a distant hill, flicking his tail, his ears alert to her voice, William eyed her.

With her hands upon her hips, she paced back and forth, finally sitting upon a downed tree trunk near the lake’s edge.  She looked up at the dragon.

“You’re shimmering gray. Just thought you should know.” 

"Dragon, I have to leave for Tiochus.  Someone...expects me, and I am now a day late.  Just so you know, you’re shimmering something like a turquoise, now.  That color is...pretty for you, though you probably don’t care about that."

Dragon sighed.

"Dragon…I have been thinking about that chain.” 

She bowed her head. Picking up a stick she drew lines in the earth with it.  “The links look like letters or some kind of symbols.  I don’t know how to decipher them.”

Dragon squinted at the links across his snout.  His eyes crossed.  “I can’t tell.  They are too close to my eyes.  Fuzzy, blurry.”

"Frior Andrew might be able to interpret symbols like these.  He studies old manuscripts.  Maybe even a sorcerer or wizard could help.  Must locate Frior Andrew.”

"No wizards and no sorcerers!  For all I know the figure with wings who turned me into this could have been a sorcerer…or wizard!”

"Dragon, I do trust Frior Andrew - and honorable man.  You would like him."

"Frior Andrew, and what, who, exactly is a...frior?"

"He will explain when he meets you.  Anyway, no time for explanations now."

"And she accuses me of speaking in riddles!"

Fortisa chuckled.

Dragon made a gurgling sound.  "I don't trust anyone, Fortisa...though...I find myself trusting you...some.  Can I drink some more water?  Please?”

Fortisa dropped the stick and gazed up at the dragon. “You are glowing orange now.  What does that mean?”

“I don’t know.  Until you arrived I didn’t know that I...glowed.”

“Dragon, you cried the water level taller than two horses standing on top of each other...higher than the tree I climbed before.  I don't have a boat tucked anywhere in my soggy blankets.  I don't generally pack one, just so you know.  Besides, if you keep weeping, you will drown yourself before I return.  Do you think you can wait, for more water?”

"If I must," he murmured under his breath.  

Fortisa smiled.  

"Frior Andrew will think I am bewitched when I tell him about you, Dragon!"

She whistled to William.  He snorted and pranced towards her.

Fortisa glanced around at the silver-shimmering lake of dragon tears and her clothing and blankets hung up along the banks. 

I don’t know what to do.  Everything is soaked, and I can’t stay any longer.  So glad I have a spare bedroll!

“Fortisa, I haven’t spoken to anyone in 700 years…I will miss you. Be safe. Hurry back!”

Fortisa stretched out her hand to William as he hesitantly approached her, first looking at the dragon, then at her.  She gave him a pat then retrieved the parcel and her bedroll.

“William seems to be liking you better, Dragon.  I didn't think he would come to me just then. Now, Dragon, no...more...tears!  And don’t let anyone steal my things, either!”

"I'll just glow them to death, no need to concern yourself."

Fortisa and William set out for another destination. Dragon listened as the forest seemed to swallow up the sound of the rhythmic pacing of William’s hooves.  

All alone again!  Lucky me!  I never knew how empty it felt to be totally alone before...until now. 

Can I trust you, Fortisa?  What am I saying?  My brother couldn't even trust me!

Dragon muscled against a surge of sobs...unsuccessfully.


Submitted: July 10, 2019

© Copyright 2021 Elise Pannon. All rights reserved.

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Elise Pannon

I am having a good deal of trouble with formatting...large gaps, and sometimes missing words and sentences. Sorry. Trying to remedy this predicament.

Thu, July 11th, 2019 12:15am

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