Three Word Wednesday CXCIX: Abuse, Hatred, Cramp
Leaving in the morning for Colorado and not sure how much internet access I will have so I’ll check in when I can. The Writer’s Book of Days prompts will continue to post on their own.
Aledon leaned down and stroked her neck. “Just one more pass lovely, and then we can head for home.” The golden-scaled dragon launched them from the cliff and circled around so the sun was at their back. There was smoke on the ramparts and even from the sky Aledon could hear the screams. The barbican was breached and the archers were firing repeatedly. Smoke from fires set around the walls created a haze that made it difficult for them to see. Aledon searched for Sulniara in the melee and pointed. The dragon wheeled and dove for the ground.
Aledon struck with his sword as they glided along the surface and those he missed, the dragon batted with her claws, clearing a path to where Sulniara fought, back to her horse. The dragon turned and Aledon extended his arm. “Sulniara! Jump!”
Sulniara swung her own sword one last time and grabbed for Aledon’s arm. He swung her up behind him and the dragon pounced and fled to the sky. “Look! They are on the run!”
Aledon looked where she was pointing and sure enough, Thornley’s men were retreating. Aledon saw blood on her arm. He glanced around in time to feel her slump against him. He pulled her around so he could hang on to her. “Goldensoar! Take us home!” She turned her head and her amber iris darkened and she turned north and sped through the sky. She turned through the pass between the mountains to an almost hidden lake. Goldensoar dove for the bottom and landed on the ledge that led to her cave. She knelt so Aledon could dismount, carrying Sulniara carefully to the cave. She moaned as he carefully laid her on a pile of furs near the firepit. “Damn, she has a deep slice in her side. He ripped her tunic away from the wound and tore it into pieces. He folded the pieces and pressed it against the wound to stop the bleeding. “I need herbs, damn all, Sulniara.” He bound the cloth to her and placed his hands on either side of his dragon’s face. He leaned his head against her and pictured the plant in his mind. “Go, now, lovely. Hurry!”
The dragon waddled to the cave entrance, no longer graceful on the ground. She turned one last time to look at Aledon, then left the cave. Aledon heard her take off and arranged wood for the firepit. He started the fire and poured water from his skin into a pot that hung over the pit. It would be hot by the time Goldensoar returned. He knelt next to Sulniara and brushed her black hair away from her face. He covered her with fur and went outside to wash himself in the lake. He stripped off his tunic and splashed the cool water from the lake over himself, shaking his red hair and beard. He looked around at the red streaked, jagged walls that climbed straight up. There were passages but the cave wasn’t visible from the sky. He glanced up listening for Goldensoar’s return. He could hear her cries as she circled before descending.
“Thank you, girl!” He took the herbs she clutched in her claws and hurried into the cave. Aledon stirred them into the heating water and let it boil. He tore strips of cloth and made a poultice with the herbs.
“Easy, love. This is going to hurt some.” Sulniara writhed as he placed the poultice on the wound. He bound it to her and covered her back up, noting the bruises. She had taken a lot of abuse this round. She was pale but resting easier already. His hatred of the Grey King and all he stood for hungered for revenge for Sulniara and the people that were starving under his evil reign. The first to die would be Thornley.
Goldensoar had curled up in the back of the cave and though they were not cramped, she was able to stretch her neck enough to lay her head next to Sulniara, her scales pulsing with agitation.
“She will live to fight again, lovely. For now she will sleep and I suggest we do as well.” Aledon curled up next to Sulniara so he would know if she stirred in the night. Goldensoar nudged him with her head. “Goodnight old girl.”