Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Day Eight-Fifty-Nine: You need a better hiding spot

“You shouldn’t have come here, Dragomir,” a tiny voice whispered in his mind. “Not like this.”

“Why?” he replied, groggily. He was, after all, asleep.

“Because it’s what he wanted. He knew you’d come. He planned for it. You made it even easier than he expected.”

“You mean Grayson, right?”


“Well, he can go fuck ‘imself. I’m gonna rescue my wife.”

“Not,” the voice said sadly, “if we have anything to do with it. Wake up.”

Dragomir had just enough time to curse dreams in general - he’d been plagued, lately, by visions of werewolves with bulging yellow eyes, ripping into his flesh - when a severe headache brought him back to the light of day. And, it turned out, to a trap.

Gortrap had led Dragomir’s party into a small cave the previous day, one the goblin confessed to finding on a long-range scouting trip many years prior. He’d assured them that no one would find it, as it was secreted beneath a cluster of grassy boulders and filled with cobwebs that hinted at a lack of intelligent life. The ladybug in Cedric’s hair - now in Dragomir’s - saw to it that this would not be the case.

The first quarter-sized dragon crept into the cave on Gortrap’s watch, at roughly three in the morning. The goblin, ever quick on his feet, shouted a warning - and was promptly impaled on the dragon’s sharpened tail. This was nevertheless enough to waken the party, and the fight was on.

“What? What?” Traveller yelled, hopping to his feet. He was, predictably, buck naked, and the hairy vision of his scarred body may have saved him from a fireball to the face as an oncoming dragon averted its eyes. “Oh, those? Uh oh! Punch!”

Traveller punched. The dragon’s head rocked to one side, smacking off the side of the cave. Traveller apologized - but Cedric did not as he smashed the dragon’s head into a stone, breaking its neck. The Baron then promptly animated its corpse using his puppetry powers, forcing it to leap at one of its fellows, also skulking into the cave.

“Secure the entrance!” The Baron bellowed, his voice fearful. “Block them out!”

Antonio, shaking away his fatigue, moved to comply. He shoved his fist into the muzzle of a third dragon, then sidestepped as a fourth’s head rocketed through the cave entrance and snapped at open air. Traveller tried to bat it away, again with an apology, but the dragon slapped him aside with a deft twist of its sinuous neck. The Baron’s puppet dragon leaped at it clumsily.

Dragomir watched his party battle back the dragons from the rear of the cave, knowing he should do something but uncertain how he should react. They seemed to have things well in hand, and the headache in his head - as well as the burning sensation in his palms - suggested he might do well to just remain quiet. But another, more pessimistic part of his brain told him that it didn’t matter what he did.

“I’m already caught, aren’t I?” Dragomir thought.

“Yes,” the voice admitted. “I’ll try to be gentle. Sorry, man.”

Erupting out of his ladybug form atop Dragomir, Barrel exploded to half his normal size, bringing the ceiling down onto his back. His wings expanded with a mighty push, casting aside hundreds of pounds of earth and rock with little effort as he rose onto his rear legs, Dragomir struggling to free himself from a tight bear hug. Barrel’s sweeping tail knocked everyone but The Baron off their feet, and he fell down anyway when a rock smacked him in the head.

“You… don’t have to do… this…” Dragomir yelled, twisting in Barrel’s grasp. He nearly got loose when he changed into his slippery Non form, but Barrel re-formed his arms into a pair of iron-tight bands that even a Non could not escape. “C’mon… urgh…”

Barrel did not reply, but the white of his eyes suggested he had no choice in the matter whatsoever. The rats twitching away on his shoulders more or less said the same.

Barrel flew free of the collapsing cave, and the dragons at the front abandoned their assault as soon as the entrance started to come down. What happened to Dragomir’s party, he did not know, as he soon blacked out from the extreme tightness of Barrel’s grip.

When Dragomir woke up, everything was white. He was not the least bit surprised.

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