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By , wrightwood, CA
Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 9 Next »

Chapter Four

Tom was ecstatic when May agreed to ride on Flame. Finally, he got to share his experience with someone! And someone who (hopefully) would not try to kill his friend. It was a wonderful occurrence! Now, if only Flame would not freak out and send them flying off through space.
They reached the cave.
May glanced around fearfully. “Where is he?”
Tom motioned inside with a nod of his head. “In there. Like always. Hiding.”
“Now come on!” Tom exclaimed. “Don’t you want to do this?”
“Of...course...” May said, with obvious hesitation.
“It’ll be fine,” Tom promised. “I’ll make sure he won’t kill you.”
May blanched. That probably hadn’t been the best thing to say.
“I’m kidding,” Tom tried to amend, even though they both knew that he wasn’t.
“I’m fine,” May murmured. “It’s just...unbelievable, that’s all. I never thought I would ride a dragon without trying to kill it.”
“I hope you won’t kill him,” Tom said, mildly alarmed.
May laughed. “Of course not. I never realized dragons were so wonderful before. I always thought that they were evil, corrupted beasts. And I thought that Riders were horrid monsters who forced their followers to do their bidding. I had never thought that Riders were so...normal….I guess.” she forced a smile. “And I most certainly never imagined that one would be under cover in my Dragon Slaying class.”
  Tom shrugged. “When I was littler, I never thought that I would be in a Dragon Slaying class, either. I was not happy to learn that I had to go. I didn’t want to learn how to kill my best friend.”
“I wouldn’t want to do that, either,” May admitted. “Killing your friend would be awful.”
Tom nodded. “Let’s do this, shall we? Flame, come on out!”
The dragon slowly, hesitantly stuck his head out of the cave entrance. When he saw May, he let out a hiss of annoyance.
“We want to go flying, Flame,” Tom said, doing his best to ignore the dragon’s attitude. “I know you want to again.”
Flame snorted. To May it probably sounded mean and angry, but Tom knew it was just irritation. The dragon didn’t want to share his back with someone besides Tom. He also remembered that May had a sword like the Dragon Slayers. And he was nervous. He trusted Tom, but he didn’t want to make any hasty decisions about May.
“Come on, Flame,” Tom urged. “We want to fly. So do you.”
The dragon let out a sighing sound, and lowered himself onto the ground. He let Tom climb on, then eyed May warily.
She cringed. “This was a bad idea. What if he hurts me?”
“He won’t,” Tom confidently said. Then, in a voice softer, so May couldn’t hear, “You won’t.”
Flame snorted.
May was still not convinced. She took a step closer, and then stopped as Flame’s tail twitched.
“It’s all right,” Tom promised. “He won’t hurt you.”
May took a deep breath. Then she sighed resignedly and darted onto the dragon’s back, behind Tom. He could hear her hyperventilating. “That,” she panted, “was the scariest moment of my life.”
“Well, we’re about to fly, so that’s about to change,” Tom said.
May’s breathing did not slow. It escalated. “What if I fall off?”
“Just hug with your legs and hold on to me with your hands, and you’ll be fine.”
Her hands clasped around his waist with such speed and strength that it shocked him. “All right.”
“Are you ready?” Tom asked.
“Yes,” she whispered.
Tom caught on to her indecision and paused. “Are you sure?”
“I’ll never be completely ready,” May replied, “so we might as well go now.”
Tom nodded. Flame knew he was ready and took off.
May let out a gasp of some indiscernible mix of emotions and clutched to his waist tighter.
“Hey, it’ll be okay,” Tom said uncomfortably. “We’ve done this a lot. Just hang on.”
May nodded fearfully and didn’t say another word.
Flame went easy – no barrel rolls or going upside down this time. He flew steadily upward, until they were above the clouds. Then he turned and flew straight.
May seemed to be incredibly frightened, yet exhilarated all at once. She let out several gasps, and also managed to tell Tom that she was enjoying herself.
Tom couldn’t help but wonder if she was this excited about a calm ride above the clouds, how she would react to the twists and neck-breaking speeds that he and Flame normally executed. He decided not to test it at the moment, much to the disappointment of Flame.
“We should probably go back now,” May said after minutes had passed and the sky began to take on a lighter tint. “We’ll be seen.”
“The clouds will hide us,” Tom said confidently.
May sighed. “Not with this wind, they won’t, not for much longer. And besides, what about Dragon Slaying class?”
Tom frowned. He always dreaded the time of day when he had to face his class. “Surely we can stay for a little longer,” he coaxed. “Class doesn’t start until the sun is fully up, and it’s not even up yet.”
“Well, I guess,” May said reluctantly. “But only for a little longer.”
Tom grinned and leaned forward to talk to Flame. “A little faster, all right?”
The dragon very willingly obliged.
May let out a gasp.
Tom slowly egged Flame to go faster, and faster, until they were going at a faster speed.
Then ahead of them, a hole appeared in the clouds.
“Stop!” May cried in fright. “We’ll be seen!”
Tom knew that she was right, and tried to get Flame to stop, or at least turn, but he was overwhelmed by the extra weight on his back, and he did neither. They shot over the hole.
Flame drew slowly in to a hover, and Tom turned to look at May, whose expression was pasty. “We’ll go back now,” he said.
She blinked, and her face slowly returned to normal. “We’d better.”

When they got back to the cave, they found a crowd of villagers there, blocking the way down. Apparently they all knew where Tom and his mother lived. Flame stopped with a lurch.
“Dragon!” someone in the crowd shouted.
And then they bustled into action.
People drew their weapons, archers began firing, and spears were thrown.
“Go up, Flame, up!” Tom cried. They lurched above the clouds, but just then, a gust of wind came along and blew the clouds away, letting them be seen.
“No!” May exclaimed, fear portraying itself in everything she did.
“Go, go now!” Tom yelled. “Fly as fast as you can, Flame!”
And they began to fly far away from the village and everything they once knew.

Chapters:   « Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 ... 9 Next »

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