Saturday, September 3, 2016

Isle of Mystery - Chapter 7

Farloft awoke still surrounded by Rugarth’s large frame. The dragon continued to sleep, his head close to the young dragon’s. Farloft studied the old ruler. Up close he could see Rugarth’s silver scales and a scar he had not noticed under his left eye where the scales parted and the black skin beneath bulged upward.

The old dragon could feel the youngling studying him. He continued to feign sleep so the little one could finish his inspection. He sensed the young male would feel more comfortable afterward.

Farloft slowly wiggled his way out from between Rugarth’s paws. The dragon was as large as his father, but much heavier. Where Mandrake was lean and long, the ruler of the Moreth was bulky and muscular. Farloft sat on his haunches and studied the pattern of silver scales that ran down the old dragons back and spilled off his spine in tendrils like ivy running down a wall. When Rugarth moved in his sleep the scales caught the light filtering in through the opening of the cave and they reflected sun dots throughout the cave. It was magical and Farloft sighed thinking that of all the places he might have been flung during an ill thought out jump, he was lucky to have ended up among friends.

“Morning,” Rugarth said, as he opened his large opal colored eyes. They were his most unique feature. The color in them ebbed and flowed with his mood and his surroundings – currently they reflected the pale blue of the morning sky behind Farloft. “Did you sleep well?”

“The best.” Farloft stood up and came back to lay down with the old dragon. “Can you teach me how to do that?”

“Do what, youngling?” Rugarth scooted his bulk back further in the nest in order to make room for Farloft.

“You do something when you huff,” he answered, as he wiggled his smaller frame in close to the old dragon. “It is very relaxing.”

“Perhaps you could learn…” Rugarth mused. “The tiny Moreth taught us. You have to be able to visualize, but you do that for your ‘jumps,’ right?”

“Indeed.” Farloft lay with his head on his paws looking into the old dragon’s eyes.

“All right then, let’s give it a try.” Rugarth studied the youngling. “Think of an instance that has brought you great joy or an extremely happy experience. I always think of the first time I caught a slip stream in the air above this ridge and there was no need to do anything other than sail freely along it enjoying the view.”

“My clan are forest dragons,” Farloft explained. “One of my best memories is of the first time I ever saw the ocean.”

“Good…Good,” Rugarth encouraged. “Now picture that. The vast, endless depth of the sea. Think back…what do you hear?”

“The roll of the waves onto the beach. The crash and the soft swish as it flowed back from the shore.”

“Now…Hold the visual and the sound…Now, think of the smell…”

Farloft lifted his head as though in memory. He sniffed at the air. “The smell of fish and seaweed.”

“And the taste?” Rugarth asked.

“Salty when I lick the mist from my muzzle with my tongue.”

“The overall feeling…”

“Cool sand beneath my paws and freedom. The feeling that anything is possible.”

“Now hold that and ‘huff’ the experience over me,” Rugarth instructed.

Farloft leaned forward and huffed over the old dragon’s head. Rugarth closed his eyes and breathed in deeply.

“Yes…Yes indeed, youngling.” He grinned. “You are a quick study.”

“It worked?” Farloft’s golden eyes sparkled.

“It did indeed. I am feeling very refreshed.” Rugarth pulled himself up into a sitting position. He ruffled his wings, but there was no room for him to stretch in the small cave they had placed their guest. “Let’s go for a walk and get some breakfast,” he invited.


“Take a deep breath and let me know if it pains you in any way,” Kennoith said, as he took hold of Farloft’s wing and started to carefully extend it.

It had been over a month since Farloft crashed. When Rugarth and Trisk found out how well Farloft could visualize they set about teaching him to visualize his wing healed during regular periods of mediation. The wing had mended quickly with the added dosage of dragon mental magic. Kennoith declared this morning that he wanted to take it out of the protective splint and see how it was progressing.

The old healer gently flexed the wing out and in. “Any pain?” he asked.

“None,” Farloft replied, at which point he pulled the wing out of Kennoith’s hands and raised it slowly up over his head.

“Gently, youngling,” Rugarth coached. “It will be weak for a time. It has been immobile. You will have to build up the strength in it. No jumping off the ledge until you have done a good deal of strengthening exercises and some base jumps with gliding.”

Farloft frowned. “It is a bit stiff and doesn’t feel like it belongs to me anymore.”

“It will limber up,” Mesanth said. She, with Trisk sitting on her shoulder, were there to cheer their new friend on.

“Mesanth, you and Trisk stay close and keep Farloft from overdoing it. And, keep him in the confines of the colony for the time being. I don’t want him running into a twister demon again.” Rugarth leaned down and bumped his head against Farloft’s. “Take it easy.”

Farloft replied with a toothy grin, tucked his newly freed wing to his side, and followed Mesanth and Trisk from the cave.

“You are growing quite fond of our guest,” Kennoith said, as he came up beside Rugarth and placed a hand on his wing.

“I am. I will be sorry to see him go.”

“Do you think we should even let him try?” the healer asked.

“I don’t think we could stop him.” Rugarth watched as the three younglings half ran, half glided down the path toward the plain below.


“What are you doing?” Trisk asked from her perch above his head on the ledge of rock.

Mesanth was asleep in the shade. They had been out all day putting Farloft through his paces in order to exercise and strengthen his wing.

“You should rest,” she added.

“I am,” he replied. “I am just making sure I remember everything about this place…every detail. I want to be able to come back and visit. If I can picture it, I can come.”

Trisk didn’t doubt Farloft’s ability at all. He had used her for his ‘huffing’ practice and she felt the power he had to visualize.

“There is still time,” Trisk assured him. “You are only just out of your splint. You will have to get stronger in order to make the dive needed to jump back to your home. In fact, I heard Rugarth saying that he thought a way to strengthen your wing might be to accompany the next trading team to the South.”

Farloft’s head snapped around on his long neck. “Really?” His golden eyes whirled in excitement.

“Really…” Trisk assured him with a grin. “There will be both walking and flying involved. The flights will be short since the loads are heavy and there are canyons where flight is actually too restricted to be accomplished with a pack of any size. So, Rugarth thought it might be a good trip to build you up.” She tilted her small wedge shaped head and grinned. “I also think he likes you and wants to spend as much time with you as he can before you go.”

“Rugarth is going?” That made the trip even more inviting.

“Yes, and he asked Mesanth and me if we would like to go too.” Trisk flexed her wings up and down. “I have never been.” She looked anxious. “We don’t have the wing strength to keep up with the large Moreth.”

“I’ll carry you,” Farloft volunteered.

Trisk drifted down and settled on Farloft’s shoulder. “We’re going on an adventure.” She hummed with excitement.

Coorg hills | by Kalidas Pavithran  

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