Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chapter 7: Communication (Cont'd)

    "Don't you know what a drakon is?"
    "No. I'm sorry. I don't. I've never been outside this desert." Ardan was ashamed. He felt silly and young. His eyes no longer flitted between Fulkar's giant ones, but found solace in the sand underneath him.
    "Well, then I wouldn't expect you to have heard of us. We are from a land with much water that is covered in green. We almost never travel through the desert." Fulkar saddened as he thought of his home, but the sadness soon it left his eyes and he continued. "Drakons are the oldest beings there are. They were here before anything else. We feed off of the moon and water. The moon gives us energy and water keeps us alive. It keeps our scales bright and out minds, as well as our talons, sharp."
    "No wonder you don't come to the desert much. There's not much water here. Well, not enough for you anyway." Ardan was impressed by this polite, ancient, incredible being.
    "You are quite right. I did not intend to stay, but after my drink I fell asleep and woke up bound. Now I cannot leave." Again Fulkar's eyes filled with with sadness and he rolled his eyes upwards to stare at the sky with longing. Ardan fingered the knife on his belt, trying to make a decision.
    "What do you eat?" Ardan asked. Fulkar laughed, his eyes closing.
    "I do not eat, little Ardan. I need only moonlight and water to be perfectly full."
    "But, you said you could eat me."
    "Of course I could, but I find that most everything has a bitter taste and an even worse aftertaste." Ardan stood, pulled his knife from his belt and slashed at the nets holding Fulkar's head to the sand. It took him several minutes and more than one attack, but shortly the net snapped and Fulkar's head, as well as some of his neck, lifted from the ground. Fulkar sighed and shook his great head, his ears flapping and creating such a gust of wind that Ardan was knocked to the ground.
    "Thank you little friend!" he exclaimed "I have such a crick in my neck."
    "Hold on and I'll cut the rest of them. Just promise not to eat me."
    "I will not eat you. That would be most dishonorable of me." Fulkar was looking Ardan directly in the eyes, and Ardan could see the seriousness of the spoken words. He quickly stood and began working on the rest of the nets. It took him much longer than he had expected, but after stripping off his vest and bag and laying them in the sand, his forehead and chest slick with sweat, the final bond was broken and Fulkar launched himself into the air with a deafening roar.
    Once again Ardan found himself lying on his back in the sand. He laughed. Fulkard spread his gigantic wings and soared above the ground like a shining bird. Rheto yelped and ran, but Ardan could only stare as his new, magnificent friend flew even higher. He lay on his back watching, only sitting up when Fulkar landed, shaking the ground with his immense weight. He stretched his wings and his neck to their fullest, letting out another roar that was accompanied by blue flames that shot from his mouth and nostrils.
    "Thank you!" roared Fulkar. He surveyed his own body, craning his neck to the left and the right. His scales were back to color and the cracks had healed. He felt the strength running through his limbs like a rushing river.
    "You're the biggest living thing I've ever seen. It's a good thing that you don't eat, for you would never be full." laughed Ardan. he let out a whistle and Rheto appeared out of the dark, still a little shaken and eyeing Fulkar apprehensively.
    "Don't be scared Rheto. He's a friend."
    "Are you so sure?" Ardan looked around for the quiet, soft-spoken voice he had just heard, but finding no one else looked at Fulkar.
    "It was not I whom you heard, little friend."
    "But there's no one else here." Ardan was confused. "You heard the voice as well?"
    "Of course. I do know that language. I learned it when I was very young. It is the language of all small mammals. you have a true friend with you tonight," Fulkar answered, inclining his head toward Rheto.
    "It can't be...." Ardan gaped at Rheto and the little animal walked to him and placed a paw on his knee.
   "Master, I have longed for such a time for you to hear my voice. Thank you Fulkar," said Rheto.
   "It was not I, little furry one. I believe your master has had the talent all along. It has just taken such an opportunity, such a night as this to awaken it." Fulkar bent his back legs and sat. His tail curling around him, the very tip twitching methodically.
   "But... it can't be!" cried Ardan, jumping to his feet. "I mean... I've never heard anything before. Rheto, you've lived with me for my whole life. I've never heard you speak."
   "I know. There are so many things I've wanted to share with you." Rheto sat in the sand, his eyes turning sad. "there are so many things you do not know."
   "Now you can tell him, but first things first, we must finish our introductions. I have told you who and what I am, now I would like to know the same about both of you." Fulkar was leaning down over them, even more gigantic now that he was so close. "Ardan, I would like to hear from Rheto first. If you don't mind."
   "It's fine. I would like to hear about you also. I know what you are, but not necessarily who." Ardan found himself realizing that all these years he had thought of Rheto as just a pet, not a being with real thoughts and feelings. Now he knew better and was ashamed.
   "I don't know what to say, not to the two of you anyway. I've spoken to many smaller, lesser beings, but never a human and especially not a great drakon, though I have heard stories about them." Ardan's mouth fell open at this news, that Rheto knew more than he did. "As Ardan knows, because his mother told him, I am a dirt dog. I am not a natural inhabitant of the desert, but moved here along with Arta while she was still pregnant. I do not mean to insult Fulkar, but do you know what a dirt dog is?"

(It really is a long chapter... I'll finish it tomorrow.)

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