The Princess and the Dragon Part 2 V.1

The sky burned a pleasant violet as the sun delved beneath the horizon. The waves slapped soft and crisp along the small stretch of beach sand. They popped loudly against the weeds and rocks that stretched out of sight beyond the little beach. The air turned cold faster than she would have liked, but it always did this time of year. Elida inhaled deeply and felt the fresh burn from the autumn air.

Her eyes darted to a spot out in the western part of the lake where the last glow of sunlight still painted the sky. A strange reflection briefly marked a spot where the lake water was disrupted. When there was no plop from a fish breaking the surface, she smiled and waited. And waited. And waited.

She leaned back, drawing her knit tighter around her. Her smile slipped as the sky turned from violet to blue-black and still the water surface remained only gently tousled by waves. Finally the distinctive geyser erupted from the center of the lake and her smile broke wide across her face again. She pushed to her feet, drawing herself up and she rearranged her knit to wait for her beautiful Jas to flow over and shake the water from his scales. Usually he timed it so that the setting sun appeared to crystalize the droplets, but tonight it was already too dark, with a new moon and few stars out yet.

Instead of her beautiful Jaslin’s silvery face stopping within an inch of hers, there was nothing. A blackness burst from the water plume which continued to spurt forth water and darkness. The far shore was enveloped and from there the sky and the rest of the earth until there was only her and the pillar of water. The pillar slowly solidified into a single pane of reflective glass, with something flashing and swirling within.

She stepped forward and when her foot fell, the ground burst into bright gold light which quickly fizzled into silver then white then faded into black. Her next footstep produced the same effect. As she stared at her feet, lingering blue-green spots floated each time she blinked. The mirror flashed a bright pink then pulsed a rosy copper. With each step coming faster and faster, the world was splattered with rapid bursts of light.

A loud scream came from the mirror in long, high pitch bursts. Elida ran faster towards the mirror; that was Jas. The mirror drifted further and further away the faster she ran until she fell forward and lay clinging to the gently swaying earth. Her blanket slipped and her face was bombarded with the hot glare of an early morning sun.

She rubbed her dry, gritty eyes and blinked until the Simerlage’s dust coated back came into focus. She rubbed her mouth and cheek with a hand that was tingling with lost and found sensation. She brushed uselessly at the trail of drool down its side. She thanked her star that the Simerlage’s saddle was designed for both alertness and slumber and for the gentle rocking of its pace. She slowly worked her breathing to match its rhythm. Her heart still beat restlessly, and probably would until she freed Jas from whoever had him. And they had better hope that they fled the minute they saw her.

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