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   Chapter 38 No.38

The Book of Deacon By Joseph R. Lallo Characters: 5671

Updated: 2018-01-19 12:03

Perhaps the cave was so warm because someone had a fire going further inside. For a moment, she considered trying to find whosoever shared the cave, but she decided against it. Partially, she was afraid she might not be welcome, but mostly she was too tired to rouse herself. If the cave had a current resident, her call a moment earlier would summon it. When she heard the sounds of movement echoing from beyond her sight, then silence, she decided she was welcome enough to wait out the storm.

She glanced at the mouth of the cave. The wind sounded fairly weak, and the snow had not even whited out the horizon. It wouldn't be long before she could safely continue on her way. Her eyes were just about to turn back to the darkness of the cave when she saw the area just outside the cave mouth darken. She squinted at the odd sight, confused. A strange sound accompanied it, something akin to the rustling of leather. As it grew louder, it was joined by a scratching and thumping noise from within the cave.

The noises were growing at both ends, so much so that she could feel the ground shake with each thump. Confusion turned to fear as the answer became painfully clear. This cave had a resident--but it was not a who, it was a what, and it had a visitor that concerned it more than a simple human. She rose to her feet and broke into a sprint for the mouth of the cave. The uneven floor of the cave slowed her, and before she had gotten halfway to freedom, the first of the beasts appeared.

It was the first she had ever seen of a dragon, and if she hadn't been so terrified, Myranda would have been fascinated. The creature was enormous--from tail to snout it was easily ten paces. At t

ect shift. It pressed toward her fingers, then dropped back down heavily. The movement concluded with a soft puff of warm air across her face.

Myranda held her breath as her heart raced. Now she remembered where she was. She was in a dragon's cave, and that left very little doubt as to what had laid its head upon her chest. Despite her best efforts, she began to tremble in fear. The creature seemed not to mind, the deep, rhythmic breaths on her face leading her to believe it had drifted back to sleep.

With her one healthy arm, Myranda set about the task of escaping her predicament. She slid her hand underneath the head, finding it mercifully light enough to lift. Slowly and smoothly as she could manage, she tried to lower the beast's head to the cave floor beside her. After an interminable sequence of awkward movements, she succeeded in doing so without waking it. She rolled off of the packs, still affixed to her back, and slammed down hard on the injured shoulder. The pain was intense, but she managed to remain silent. Another few tricky movements brought her to her feet, heart still pounding in her chest.

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