He walked on unseeingly until he had passed far beyond the town before he stopped and looked around him. The verdant forest around him hummed with life and he stood in awe as he watched birds of bright colours flash across the skies above him, lighting from branch to branch. He leaned against a large rock, listening to the stream that bubbled nearby. He wanted to plunge into the water, to hide his pain and disappointment in the hands that had held him all this time. He wanted to float on its waves until it led him back home.
"Why do you sigh so loudly, little human?" a voice of endless wells said softly into his ear.
"Who are you?"
The rock beside him moved. "Does it matter who I am before you answer my question?"
Danis scrambled away as a scaled head raised itself and a bright gold eye looked down at him.
"I suppose it does not, O Great Dragon," Danis said, stammering. "I'm sorry, I didn't realise I was leaning on you."
"No. Most of you do not until I reveal myself," the Dragon said. "But you have not answered my question yet."
"I sighed because I could not find a wife. None of them would have me."
"And this wife is important to you, little one?"
"I suppose. Everyone of my age has one."
"And what is this 'wife' that everyone has but you do not?"
"A wife - well, a wife would be my partner and my love. We would raise children together and -"
"Ah, you look for a mate!" The Dragon looked ponderously upon him and Danis wondered if he was quite safe. "Why is there none for you in the town?"
"They say I am too old."
"You? Old? You are but a fraction of my age and I too have yet to find a mate."
"It is different with us. We do not live as long as your kind do."
"Hm, I suppose so."
A silence fell between them as the dragon continued to stare at Danis and Danis nervously backed away a step at a time.
"I apologise for disturbing your rest," Danis said. "I will go now."
Danis turned back to face the dragon's two burning eyes.
"Go north, little human. Go north until the winds blow cold and you walk on water. Go north, and there you will find her." The dragon blinked once, twice, and then it spread its mighty wings and flew away with a might rush of wind, leaving Danis' words floating unheard behind it: Is that a prophecy?
There was no answer to his question and all the forest was quiet now, his voice having frightened away all but the hardiest predators. He pulled his cloak around him, hugged his pack of bread and continued on the road.
So this is a little snippet of a WIP that has been in progress since... 2012. Darn. That's a long time.
Anyway, I thought it would be a nice teaser to the overall theme I have in mind for the A to Z challenge.
Don't forget to reveal your theme with us on March 21! (Details and sign up here)
Also, the first ever A to Z twitter chat (#AZchat) will be coming to you Friday 2/28/14 at 6pm EST. Find out more here.
P/S don't worry if you miss it. We're hoping to make it a weekly thing!