The leaves blurred my vision as I crouched under the bush silent and still, waiting. The problem was, I wasn’t sure what I was waiting for. I could smell it, a sickly sweet scent that simultaneously attracted and repulsed, yet couldn’t identify it. I had heard it land, a heavy thud on the hard dry ground, a thud that had reverberated up my legs, a landing I had felt. I could hear it still, breathing somewhere above me. But I couldn’t see it. Whatever it is. My instincts had directed me to my current location at such speed that I could see the basket I had been carrying rocking on the ground in front of me.
“Very impressive reactions those.” A deep voice boomed from above. My terror deepened. “To change like that and hide under that bush before I had chance to settle my wings…not sure any one’s done that before.”
I remained silent and still, hoping that ‘he’ would go away and enable me to return to my duties.
“You can’t hide under there forever, while I can wait a very long time before I have to move.” The voice commented after the silence stretched. My muscles hurt, yet my heart continued to race. “Are you coming out, or do I have to come and get you?” I closed my eyes, and took several deep breaths. If I thought hard enough, maybe I would wake up and be back in my bed, maybe it will have just been a dream. I concentrated on slowing my breathing until it returned to normal, and my heart beat was steadier. Hopefully I opened my eye, and found myself staring at a large, oval glittering eye. I shrieked, my hair standing on end and catching on the branches of the bush as I tried to back away. Caught, I bared my teeth and lashed out with a clawed paw, but the voice chuckled.
“Highly entertaining, but futile. And you start to try my patience. I have not come here to hurt you, you are in no danger from me.” The eye blinked. “Very well, if you are as terrified as you seem, I will demean myself this once.” The voice sighed, and the eye was lifted out of sight. More nervous by not knowing where he was, I edged forward to the limits of the protection the brush afford too me. The air crackled, and seemed to hum an intense pressure which filled my head and made me want to retreat back into the bush. I nearly did, but I needed to know where he was, what he was doing, what danger I was in. Still I could see nothing. I wanted to creep further forward as the pressure eased, but I daren’t.
“If you’re looking for me, you might want to try in this direction.” The voice came from my left, and I turned to find myself staring at a small dragon. “Are you satisfied that I am not here to hurt you?!” He snarled, his reduced size obviously increased his temper.
“What are you, I mean why are you, what do you…” I stammered, uncertainly.
“I have come to take you to the castle. Apparently you are needed.” He growled. “Though why they would need a coward like you is beyond me. “’
“The castle needs me?!”
“Yes. Now can we each return to normal so that I can carry out my task? I’m supposed to bring you without force, which takes all the fun out of it, and will make this take a lot longer if you continue to delay.”
“But I…What does…me?!”
“I don’t know why, that’s why they want me to bring you with me.” Small drifts of smoke started to curl from the dragon’s nose. “And now I’m getting annoyed. If you don’t return to normal I will take you there any way!” The air began to hum and crackle again and I watched astounded as the dragon proceeded to grow back to full size. As the air pressure returned to normal I found myself staring at the hard, scaly chest of a green dragon that towered above the trees behind. Reclining onto his forelegs, he lowered his long serpentine neck and brought his thin muzzle alongside me. “I will count to ten…I would advise you to change, the ride will be more comfortable. One…..Two.” His eyes glinted menacingly as I remained where I was. “Three.” I gulped, and cautiously edged out of the protection of the bush, keeping my body low to the ground. “That’s good, the way to do it. Four.” My heart was racing, and I had to take deep breaths to calm myself down before I could consider changing back. “Five.”
“That’s not helping!” I snapped with nervous tension, and promptly recoiled a little as I felt the dragons glare.
“Get on with it then! Six”
Shaking I concentrated on my human image, and felt my muscles respond. The usual pain rippled along my bones, twisting the structure and pulling at the attached muscles. My mouth was filled with pain as my fangs retreated behind their replacements, my skin throbbed and stretched to accommodate the changes, tingling as the hairs withdrew. Finally, as the hair on my scalp lengthened skimming over the bare skin of my back, I felt the tabs of her ears shrink and squirmed as my tail retreated. Returning to human form was always the worst. With my head ringing with the migraine aftermath, I crawled over to where my clothes had fallen on my initial transformation. I was vaguely aware that the dragon had stopped counting, but I paid it no attention as I slowly got dressed.
I’m not at all sure about this one. A random piece of writing, not sure over the quality, but experiemental if nothing else.
Started as a short story potential, I feel it may continue to a larger piece, as it is incomplete as a short story. But that may take time to investigate and consider, as I have so much other stuff on the go atm!