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| Category: || Fantasy Fiction |
Posted:|| September 28, 2019 Views: 244|
Chapter 5 of the book Aaron's Dragons
Aaron learns more and another egg hatches
"The Pink Egg Hatches"
by Cindy Warren
Aaron has rescued the dragon eggs. The red dragon has been so temperamental and determined not to let her sister hatch that Aaron had to confine her in a jug.
After another night dreaming of the little water dragon, Aaron woke early and returned to the eggs. Nothing had changed since the day before.
The newest hatchling uncurled himself and yawned. Aaron saw a forked yellow tongue with a green tip behind a double row of sharp teeth. Despite his fierce appearance, he happily accepted food from Aaron's hand and made no attempt to bite him.
The red dragon had made herself a nest in the grass overnight, but when she saw Aaron, her fury returned. He fed her too, and she ate with her usual ravenous appetite. He filled a tin pan with water and placed it on the counter next to the sink.
"You want a drink?" He asked the confined red dragon. "You bite me and I'll dunk you again." He tipped the jug on its side holding a piece of kindling over the top, allowing her just enough space to stick her head out. She lapped at the water a couple of times, then attacked the kindling.
"You can't eat that," he said. The dragon hung by her teeth above the jug. She thrashed, sinking her teeth further into the wood. When that did no good, she puffed herself up, flaming, doing her utmost to burn it, and even managing to scorch it some.
Aaron admired the determined little creature. Seeing no way to dislodge her, he broke the stick in half, dropping her back inside. It took her a moment to realize what had happened, and when she did, she unleashed her full fury on the stick. She flung her body around in the grass, let go of the stick, threw it around, and attacked it again, flaming and blowing smoke.
"What am I going to do with you?" Aaron said, more to himself than the dragon. He watched her, ready with the water in case she did manage to set it on fire. Her sibling watched too, seemingly amused.
Aaron was getting worried. He knew he couldn't keep her confined for ever. Her ability to flame was improving, and she was either going to hurt herself or hurt him.
The next three days passed in much the same fashion, with Aaron becoming more and more concerned. She was growing, and he knew he couldn't keep her in the jug much longer. Of course, she did what all animals do, and sometimes the smell was overpowering. The jug often needed a wash, and Aaron always supplied her with fresh grass. It was becoming harder each time to put her back in.
On the third day, watching a red tantrum that might have been amusing had it not been so concerning, Aaron thought he felt another presence in the cabin. He watched the newest dragon climbing the firewood, and whatever else he could find to climb on. Though not fast, his long, lean body was perfect for climbing.
"It's not you causing the chill in here," he said.
"So you know. I see the mountain dragon has hatched."
Aaron recognized the voice and tried to repress a shudder.
"I can't see you," he said. "Yes, another egg has hatched. Maybe a mountain dragon. I don't know."
"You don't need to see me. You do need to listen. You will need another deer, but not for the king. I will show you the root cellar. Tomorrow, you must put whatever food you can find in there."
"I looked for a root cellar. I couldn't find anything."
"Of course not," came the phantom reply.
"Meat will rot in a root cellar."
"Don't talk nonsense. We don't have time for it. Nothing rots in my root cellar. Now listen. You know what the king has done. Soon there will be no food. You will need to feed yourself and the dragons. You'd be well advised not to leave that old horse of yours in the king's stable."
"Talk like that will get you hanged for treason."
Aaron heard a snort. "I know. I sure do know. So don't talk, just know. You can't save him, or his greedy daughter, but the forest and mountains beyond must survive, and so must their guardians.
Aaron was stunned. It had never occurred to him that the woman had died of anything but natural causes. Two hundred years ago, a king Aaron couldn't name had killed her. He wanted to ask more questions, but sensed she would not be responsive.
"Come. I will show you the root cellar. Then I must go. One more thing, you must listen to your dreams.
Has the water dragon told you his name?"
"They have names?"
"Ask them, but not now. There isn't much time. Open the door, and turn to your left."
Aaron obeyed, listening to her voice.
"The pink egg will be hatching in a couple of hours. You may stay or go, she will be all right."
A sudden breeze flattened the grass and blew away some dead vegetation. Aaron saw a stick protruding from the ground.
"All you need to do is give that a good strong pull," she said. "Not now, though. Not until you need to."
With that, she was gone.
"Wait!" Aaron had meant to ask her about the red dragon.
Aaron walked slowly back to the cabin, pondering what he had learned. He had sworn an oath to the king, and would have defended him to the death from any enemy. Saving him from himself would be considered treason, and would, of course, not save him at all.
Aaron sat in the single hard chair with a sigh. The green dragon climbed into his lap like a cat. The red one glared at him with the fiercest eyes he could have imagined.
"So you're a mountain dragon. You seem friendly enough. Are you one of the guardians she was talking about? I really have no idea what to do with any of you. Well, I'd better check on our new arrival."
The patch he'd put on the pink egg had been pushed off from the inside. A beak-like mouth worked at the shell around the hole. The occupant seemed to be trying to chew her way out. Aaron wondered if the moist patch had damaged the shell, making it hard for it to crack open.
"Can you hear me? Do you need help?"
Not getting an answer, and knowing sometimes it was best to leave things alone, Aaron sat and watched as tiny pieces of shell landed in the straw. He thought of the water dragon. That one had been able to tell him what it needed, and he hoped this one could, too.
Finally, after two hours of chewing off flakes of eggshell, a pink dragon crawled out of the hole.
She flapped her wings and stumbled about the sink. After only a minute or two, she hopped out and took a sip of the water Aaron had left on the counter. Balanced on two legs, she marched up and down the counter top, stretching her wings and limbs.
Aaron couldn't decide if she resembled a lizard or a bird. She had a bird-like beak and face, lizard-like forelimbs and tail, and the talons and wings of an eagle. Birdlike, she preened herself. Then she stepped into the water, flapping and splashing. After several minutes of enjoying her bath, she perched on the counter in front of the sink, flapped herself dry, spraying water everywhere, and surveyed the scene in front of her.
She worked her mouth, as if trying to figure out what it was for, and looked intently at her sister confined in the jug. Then she spoke.
"You can let her out now."
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