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The Girl, the Dragon, and the Cat Who Walked Through Everything
Sabrina sat in the cave’s entrance with her tabby cat, Savanna, on her lap. She was stroking the cat and savoring the last fading rays of warmth from the sun when the distant sound of wingbeats reached her. The noise roused Savanna, stimulating the normally lazy feline into leaving Sabrina to investigate what had disturbed her nap. Sabrina stood and walked to the mouth of the cave, peering out over the forest. Within moments, the source of the wingbeats became clear. It was a dragon, vividly colored with a mostly red body, rusty stomach, and gold-tipped wings, paws, muzzle, and tail. The dragon landed in the cave’s entrance, dropping something on the ground as it did so. Blood stained its long, sharp fangs.
“About time you got back, Fireflash,” said Sabrina. “Savanna and I were starting to worry.”
“Why should you worry about me?” demanded Fireflash in a slightly hurt voice. “I can take care of myself. My versatility is well known by everyone.” Savanna showed her opinion of this statement by walking right through Fireflash. He jerked back and glared at the cat. “Why does she always do that?! It feels creepy.”
“Probably because she used to belong to a wizard,” said Sabrina drily.
“Even for a wizard’s cat she’s weird.”
“She’s a uniquely talented cat,” corrected Sabrina. “Anyways, if you hadn’t kidnapped me, Savanna wouldn’t have followed me and you wouldn’t be stuck with us.”
“The other dragons dared me to do it,” replied Fireflash defensively. “And you don’t exactly dislike being here.”
“Fair point.” Sabrina walked over to the objects Fireflash had dropped and began sorting through them. “Food …a sword … and more treasure. Not bad.”
Savanna suddenly pricked up her ears and turned towards the cave entrance. She stared outside for a few moments, then turned back and meowed loudly.
“Did any knights follow you, Fireflash?” Sabrina asked.
“Why would they?”
“Well, subtlety isn’t exactly your strong point when it comes to destroying villages and plundering castles. And there’s the fact that dragons are universally thought to be evil.”
Savanna meowed again.
“I’ll have a look.” Fireflash decided.
“I’m coming too! I want to see if any of the traps I devised will work to scare off whoevers out there,” said Sabrina at once. Fireflash hesitated, then sighed.
“All right, climb on. But the cat stays here.” Savanna immediately jumped onto Fireflash. He glared at her.
Savanna curled up and pretended to fall asleep. Sabrina climbed on behind her.
“Sorry Fireflash, but I think Savanna’s coming whether you like it or not.”
“Fine!” Fireflash snapped. “Stubborn little …” His voice trailed off as he took flight, soaring out into the evening sky. He angled his wings and dived down towards the forest. They landed in a small clearing, and Sabrina dismounted. Savanna jumped down after her. There was just enough light left for Sabrina to see, and she examined the surrounding trees carefully.
“I don’t see anything”
“I hear something.” Fireflash said. “That way.” He nodded to the left. Savanna started off in that direction, and Sabrina and Fireflash followed.
“Aren’t we close to the river?” Sabrina asked after a few minutes.
“Yes.” Fireflash answered.
“Good.” Sabrina said. “If it is a knight, we shouldn’t have a problem then.” A break in the trees heralded the sight of the river ahead of them. Across the river on a large bay horse sat a knight. Fireflash growled and started forward, but Sabrina caught his eye and conveyed with a quick shake of her head that he should stay. The knight started to cross the bridge that spanned the river.
“Now can I attack him?” Fireflash asked.
“No.” Sabrina answered. “I altered the bridge. If he thinks he can cross it, he’s sadly deluded.” Just then, there was a crash of wood breaking, and the bridge snapped. The knight cried out as he fell, and the panic-stricken horse twisted free of its saddle before starting to swim back toward the bank.
“Now can I fight him?” pleaded Fireflash.
“You could.” Sabrina answered. “But it wouldn’t be necessary.”
“This river leads to the troll dens.”
“Oh,” said Fireflash. “I see.” He hesitated, then added “Good plan.”
“Thanks,” said Sabrina. Savanna chose that moment to walk through both of them. Sabrina winced at the sensation and Fireflash growled.
“I think Savanna’s saying we should go back to the cave.” Sabrina remarked.
“Probably.” Fireflash agreed. Sabrina and Savanna climbed back onto him and Fireflash took off towards their home.