“We shouldn’t be here, Master.”, the dog communicated with a yip.
“Do not fear, Slade,”, Herondal comforted him. He knew whenever they came to unknown places, Slade would act like a coward. He bent down to him, “Can you see anything moving out here? These are simply the caves of the ancient world.”
“I know you doubt me and think that I shall run when it comes to encountering some unknown beast that should be lying down in its sleep. But you should know that there those who cannot be defeated at all.”
“I’m well aware of them, and it’s not them, we’re after.”
“How could you be so confident saying that? Have you come here before?”, said Slade, pausing to stop while walking.
“We’re nearly there.”, Herondal turned to look at Slade. “If you keep standing there, there’s a chance you could have your head sliced off any moment.”
Slade’s eyes widened. He sniffed the air surrounding him and sat down.
Herondal had no choice but to pick up Slade into his hands, “Come here you coward. There is nothing to be scared of, my friend. I’m only pulling your legs, that’s all.”
“I do not like the sound of those words.”, Slade said sceptically. A single bark was all he did to let know he didn’t like the way his master spoke with him. Not when they were in such a horrible dark open space someplace underground.
Herondal holding Slade in one hand, brushed his hand over his furry skin, “To be honest with you, we stand in the lair of a legendary dragon, which lived in the ancient times.”
“What?”, Slade barked in a manner which made him look like a Chihuahua. He growled with his bare teeth, disagreed with his master’s behaviour.
“You know, I’m not scared at all when you show me your face like that.”, Herondal smiled.
Twisting and turning in the grasp of his master, he freed himself and leaped to the ground. His barking continued, displaying his anger for his master. “I truly hate you for getting me here. Do you even know what you’ve done? We’re as good as dead now.”, he said with an angry tone in his voice.
“Will you listen…”
“I’m not going to listen to you this time. You’ve crossed the line this time.”, Slade cut him.
“Just listen to me, will you?”
Slade looked over his shoulder at his master, “I’m going back outside. This is the last place in the world I would come to. And I’m not coming here until I have lost my final breath of life.” He turned and started to run away, back in the way we had entered the caves.
Horendal spoke in a firm voice, “Come here right now, or you will face my wrath.”
As soon as Slade heard him, he froze, and started to yelp and squeal.
Horendal reached and picked Slade and said, “If I ever see you lunge away from me like that you’ll be in a great deal of trouble.”
And soon there was silence between them. When they came to the edge of the cliff where the path had cracked, Slade feared for his life, “You do not want to go there.”
“It doesn’t look like it’s going to give in soon. Hasn’t done that since ancient times.”
Slade began to bark as his master started walking slowly towards the bridge built along the cliff. They could both see the danger as the bridge had cracks below it at other places. At three places, they saw the walls blackened out, but it shined as well.
When Horendal reached the beginning of the curvy bridge along the edge of the cliff, a long guttural sound was heard from somewhere below them.
The dog barked once, “No. You’re not going to look over the cliff. It could be extremely dangerous. The ground could give in at any moment.”
“Then I want you to stay here and not run away.”, he set the dog on the ground, and continued, “Wait here until I get back.”
As Horendal turned and walked closer to the edge, Slade became nervous. Just as Horendal reached the edge, Slade started to bark repeatedly. When Horendal looked at the dog, he felt a gust of wind beyond the edge of the cliffs rise up behind his back.
And it was the dog who saw the threat that flew up from the depths below, elevating itself straight up to meet the barking of the dog. Both Horendal and Slade looked like ants in front of him.
Slade was sitting down quietly on the ground. And as Horendal turned to face the dragon, he could already see the bright yellow gust of liquid moving across his gullet towards the throat.
And as they stood still in the dark chamber of emptiness and hollow open space, a bright light of fire flashed out from within the mouth of the dragon, straight in the direction of Horendal and his dog Slade. Moments later, all that remained was a charred section added to the walls. This was the fourth darkened spot on the walls now. The dragon went back into the depths, and silence once again ruled within the caves.
This post is inspired from The Daily Post’s Writing 101 June 2014 Challenge – Day 07: Give and Take