Chapter 19: The Dragon Who Guards
Read all the chapters here. Enjoy!
Previously: Sinking down through the depths of the Sacred Pond, they come out the other side into a different world. Madnes can guess what world this is, but there’s little time to think as a great dragon comes charging at them, and the fairy of the Madness Solver power inside him is silent…
The dragon approached, almost on top of them. He could see the faceted orbs that were eyes—basketball-size eyes. Jaws of sword teeth opening wide…
A second roar rolled out of the dragon’s mouth, sending waves of shudders along his skin. ‘Fairy, why won’t you answer? Why won’t you help us!’
Didn’t she care if he died? That’s how it seemed earlier in the compound. But now she was silent, indifferent in what corner of his mind she hid herself. He forced himself to think through the fear threatening to unravel him.
Warm washes of air from the dragon’s roaring breath hit, and the ground quaked with each thunderous step. They staggered backwards. Wings fanned wide and the massive purple-scaled dragon ground to a halt, scimitar-claws stopping shy a foot from their shoes.
Madnes swallowed. The dragon’s growl steamed the air. And then…
The dragon melted down.
In a writhing column of smoke it shrunk and distorted, its shape melting and melding into something else. Once the smoke cleared, an 18-year-old in full suit armor stood in its place. Dark purplish hair fell about a face constructed of elegant sharp angles, a male’s muscles bursting beneath scale-like armor of the same purple dragon hide. Every inch as grand as a knight—no, a fantasy knight; something you’d never find possible on Earth.
Lazy faceted eyes roved over them, and a hand raised—“You’re on the grass.”
Madnes blinked. “Huh?” He and his friends stared through wide eyes, and the young knight pointed down at their feet. “You’re on the grass,” he repeated.
He was too shocked to comprehend, the fear of massive dragon jaws still shaking his body. “So are you,” he finally chirped a reply.
“Yeah, but it’s my grass.”
Speechless, he wondered if this was real. The dragon became a person, and now the person was telling them they were on his grass? Was this his lawn? Did dragon men have lawns? “You’re…not going to eat us then?”
A look of barbaric disgust crossed the dragon-man’s face. “Meat? Meat is gross,” his slow voice drawled, and he shivered beneath thick plates of armor and leather as if Madnes had suggested something beyond his comprehension. “I only ever eat greens.” He stated emphatically. “Greens are good. Greens are healthy. Greens put a shine in your human skin.”
“Greens?” he questioned tentatively, imagining a dragon munching on a salad bowl.
“Trees,” the knight nodded, sunlight catching on tangles of voluminous hair when he did. “Oaks and cypress are delicious. Especially with a sprig of lemon grass and ferns.” He lifted his gaze dreamily, staring beyond them at whatever green meal his imagination must be brewing up.
Madnes felt Harrey and Alice slowly let their hold on him relax and release. Ugly cocked his bird head to one side, and Madnes’ head followed suit, they waited until the dragon-man snapped out of his daydream.
A hand waved, “You’re still on the grass.”
“Oh.” They shuffled backwards. A dirt path circled the pond before heading off who-knew-where—they stood on that.
Faceted eyes like sapphire jewels regarded each of them and the knight cocked his head at a lazy angle. “Where are you from? Nobody that’s nobody nears my cave,” he drawled.
“Nobody that’s what…?” Madnes shook his brain of the confusing sentence, and Harrey piped up behind him: “I think first we gotta know where we are?”
—The first logical thing he’s said in a long time.
“Apparently there’s dragons in this land, so I’m thinking maybe…Norway?”
—And the dumbest conclusion he’s said in a long time. Madnes didn’t bother wondering how he came to Norway as a guess.
The dragon knight eyed Harrey, very perplexed. “What is a Norway?”
Madnes slapped a hand over Harrey’s mouth before he could answer, and asked, “We’re in Wonderland, aren’t we?”
The knight nodded.
Harrey’s eyelids rose far as they could and Alice gazed around her with newfound wonder.
“That pond…it’s linked to our world?” he surmised, fingers busy twirling a strand of red hair. “That explains the old legend, and why people thought it was sacred. Long ago, something from Wonderland was seen coming through—but I thought few Earthians could see Wonderlanders who cross over.”
“This is the portal that I guard,” the knight stated, either ignoring or ignorant of what he’d just said. Madnes’ eyes narrowed—probably the latter.
“Whoa whoa, wait you guys,” Harrey’s hand caught the edge of his sleeve, tugging him around to face him. “Wonderland? Did I hear what I thought I heard? This isn’t some dream I’m having after eating half a pizza last night?”
“You said you have a power.” Alice came at him from the other side, small hands planted on hips. “You’ve got some explaining to do,” her eyebrows knitted, “Madnes Hatter.”
Sweat beaded. “Ah, yes. I guess now that you’re in their world you can see them…” he mumbled half to himself. Then cleared his throat. “Welcome to Wonderland! Eh-heheh,” a nervous laugh spilled out.
Please share with friends via social media buttons and help spread the word about #MadnesSolver! Follow the newsletter and blog for more chapters to come! 🙂
Thank you for reading, and check back next Wednesday for more Okinala Island adventure 😀.
© copyright 2015 E. Rawls and Rawls E. Fantasy, All Rights Reserved
This is my entry for this week’s #BlogBattle challenge by the wonderful author Rachael Ritchey, where the challenge is to write a short story based on that week’s chosen word. This week’s word was: “Head.” Check out the link, read other great stories there, and VOTE for your 3 favorite to win!
Hope to see you on Okinala Island (here) next Wednesday!
(the adds are by wordpress, not me, in exchange for using this sight free.)