“I can do this,” she said aloud to herself. “Don’t be frightened. I’ve got nothing to return to and no one but myself now. Life can’t get any worse, right? So, if I make it out alive, then surely life must only get better.”
With this encouraging speech that really didn’t make her feel any better about walking into the dimly lit grove of trees, Kesari forced herself to move her feet and enter. Hearing the sound of rushing water, the young la’teen headed in that direction. Water was good, hence going that way would be a good start.
The sighting of a yellowed skeleton laying crumpled in a heap drove a short scream out of the almond-eyed girl. She clamped a hand over her mouth and closed her eyes. Maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all, she thought. But curiosity got the better of Kesari and she peeked out through one eye at the skeleton, thoughts of dragons flitting through her mind.
“Nonsense!” she admonished herself softly and marched grimly on. “They’re only old stories…probably weren’t even ever true.”
Kesari continued to walk, arriving at and deciding to follow the briskly flowing stream that tumbled over large rocks and carried sparkling silver fish along. The la’teen had some vague fantasy of staying alone in the mountains living her life with animals and nature. She found the mouth of a rather massive cave located several feet off the ground in the side of one of the mountain bases. She climbed to the ledge and sat facing the multitude of trees and other green plants.
In the quiet of the mountain forest Kesari listened carefully for any sounds coming out of the cave. She heard none and it seemed to be empty. Indeed the whole area so far seemed empty except for the animals that wandered by or flew overhead or could be seen in the trees as she sat quietly—some known to her and some strange but beautiful looking. She felt peaceful and safe in the early morning light.
Kesari was just about to reach for the strap of her satchel and remove it from her chest when the penetration of sharp spikes tore through her shirt and the skin on her back. The pain of something whacking her from behind sent waves of intense pain through the girl’s entire, young body, and she felt as if her skin was ripped from her back. One spike seemed to pierce her neck, severing something that made her lose all feeling in her entire body. As she found herself flying through the air down off the cave ledge, Kesari, horrified at what had happened, realized she could no longer move her limbs.
Hitting the ground hard, the dark-haired girl crumpled into a heap and slid further down the slope toward the rushing stream. With bones broken and her spine injured, Kesari lay in shock on the still cold ground. She was slowly dying. To make things even worse, as if they could get any worse, she could only watch in horror as a multicolored blue dragon, its scales sparkling in some spots and plain in others, came into her view from the cave entrance. The legends were true, she thought through all her pain. They were true.
Edited by Nikki Peppermint, 20 January 2008 - 06:25 PM.