Today I have an excerpt from "Dragon Seer" in Women of Foxwick.
If you missed last week's excerpt of "Lady Bard," then please click here.
With a table-sized cloth draped over her arm, Vesta tiptoed toward the wounded moss-colored dragon. The creature whimpered, and tendrils of smoke escaped from his flaring nostrils. He stomped his feet, nearly bumping against the trees. Black blood oozed from the wound where the short spear punctured and remained in his forearm. Vesta glanced toward her cottage, but she could barely see it in the nearby valley. Perhaps she should’ve brought some water to clean the dragon’s wound. Oh, well. She had no time to go back.
Get it out, Vesta. It hurts. The dragon’s words vibrated through her mind.
“Calm down, Attor, and let me help you. It’s your own fault, you know.” She grasped the spear in two hands. “Close your eyes. I’ll pull it out.”
It’s not my fault. He squeezed his eyelids shut. Be quick. Count to three.
“Who raided Donal’s flock?”
“Okay, one . . . two . . .” She dug her heels into the ground and yanked on the spear. “. . . three.” The spear loosened and popped out. The momentum forced her backward, and she fell on her behind.
He opened his eyes and peeked at the wound. It’s bleeding. Fix it.
“Don’t be so bossy, mister.” Dirt coated her dress, and she brushed it away as she stood. A breeze brushed against her uncovered head. She yanked her cloak’s hood over her hair. If anyone saw the violet strands . . . . Then, she fastened the cloth over the wound. “There. All better.”
“Don’t be so dubious. It’s unbecoming.”
His belly rumbled from laughter.
“And why were you in Donal’s fields? I thought we agreed you would track game in the forest.”
But sheep taste better.
“You’re just lazy. Other dragons are happy to hunt for their food instead of snatching a free meal.”
What do you know of other dragons? We all love easy meals. His forked-tongued darted out and licked his lips. He eyed her like a juicy morsel.
She shook her head and laughed. “You wouldn’t dare.”
“Nope.” She patted his paw. “Who would tend your wounds otherwise? Besides, my kind is even rarer than dragons.”
Agreed. He rested his head on his front legs. Do you see many dragons?
“Lonely again?” She sat beside his head and rubbed his scaly skin along his neck. If he were furry, he’d easily pass for an overgrown pussy-cat. He even liked to be scratched behind the ears.
“Why don’t you go visit them?” Her own loneliness gnawed on her insides. She would miss Attor, if he left, but she didn’t want to keep him here with her, if he were unhappy. Perhaps he needed to see the others. Maybe his raiding sheep was a cry for attention.
I don’t see them as well as you. We mind-speak, but the distance is sometimes too great. He sighed. A puff of steam obscured her vision.
“Well, let me see.” She closed her eyes. Breathe and focus, Vesta, see the energies, her mother’s words swirled around her. Attor’s energy pulsed, overwhelming her second-sight. She pushed forward and broke free from his golden power. Her vision spanned outward into a realm unlike her own, one filled with pulsing dragon energies. Their life forces dotted the vast landscape like plots on a map. Several dragons huddled within the Blackden Barrens and on the fringes of Greymist Forest. A few swam in Merrilea Sea. Another group was south, toward Wintermill with its icy mountains. The land grew closer, the clusters less as she floated back into her mind. Attor’s energy warmed her when she settled into herself.
“There is a group a day’s flight north of here. You should . . .”
Attor’s body tensed, muscles bunching under his flesh. His wings stretched as if he would take off in flight at any moment.
Smoke . . . men.
She stood and searched the woods. Although she didn’t spy another human, gray smoke now plumed from the direction of her cottage. She stepped toward it but faltered as if the ground gripped her feet.
The dragon shifted. A tree cracked and fell in the process. His agitation struck her, and she reached out a hand to calm him.
We leave now. Bad men. Destroy home. Kill.