My week just went poof and it's already Friday and whoa. How did that go so fast?
So Thursday night I wrote most of this, and once I got into the feel of it*, I actually quite enjoyed it!
Hope you do also! :D
(*For some reason I was feeling a bit out of touch with Lando's voice and style and I couldn't get out of my Outlaw Legends feel. So I read the first two chapters of Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief and -boom- I was there. xP)
“This— is it— friend,” I panted, wrestling the rabbit-bird into the pet carrier and shoving the door shut hastily. Frowning at the blood across my knuckles where I’d acquired several claw marks, I grimaced down at the creature, now forlornly chewing a blade of grass.
Nasty little ball of fluff and feathers that it was.
I’d managed to get the creature out of the house without mum noticing, which was a good start. I’d have to explain to her eventually, but first I wanted to know a little bit more about what in the world was actually going on. Sitting down on the carrier, I pulled a deep breath into my lungs.
There’d been voices out the front a little while ago, so I’d guessed that the twins had arrived, but for some reason they weren’t here yet. Weird. Maybe mum was quizzing them about something, or else they just didn’t know where I was. Rubbing my bleeding hand absently on my jeans, I sat in thought, trying to sort through the theories in my mind in a reasonable way.
In was a few minutes later when I looked up and it occurred to me that the twins hadn’t come out yet. Standing, I made my way toward the side of the house, to slip around the front and check if there was a car. Jogging down the gap, I pulled up short after a few paces, a strange tingle touching my fingertips. I glanced around. Something wasn’t quite right…
I took another step forward and bumped my toe into something. My gaze flicked down to a toadstool.
Scrap that. Something was very wrong.
A ring of toadstools and a scuffed patch right in the middle. Not to mention a humming feeling in the air. Really not cool.
“Thomas?” I shuffled back, trying to look around the corner without falling on my face into the magic ring. “Titus?” I raised my voice a little more.
Skirting sideways, I called again. Their car was definitely there, parked in the driveway. But no sign of either of the twins. I backed off and hurried across to the back door, glancing inside. My mum was sitting at the table, talking cheerily to the twin’s mum.
Okay then. They were probably just messing with me.
I stepped down again, darting a glance around the back yard. I still couldn’t banish the nervous tingling though. It seemed like more than a coincidence. Magic creatures, coded messages about who-knows-what, toadstool rings, missing twins. It all fit together uncomfortably well, and I didn’t like it. At all.
What in the world did Zana think she was up to this time?
As I had the thought, a shadow swept across the neighbour’s rooftop and I jumped back beneath the shelter of the eves, pressing my back against the wall. Shadows that shape generally are only made by one sort of thing. Dragon. That left two categories.
A) Lost dragon who needs ReLocating to Dragon Island.
B) Pet dragon of a fairy.
And I knew one fairy who was likely to have a pet dragon, and I didn’t fancy meeting them just now.
A dragon swooped low across the ground, its tail practically dragging against the scrags of grass in the backyard. I pressed harder into the wall as I caught a flashing glimpse of an all too familiar figure.
Welcome Zana Bradford back onto the scene.
If the twins disappeared in a fairy ring, I’d bet anything that it was Zana. If anyone knew what had happened, it would be her. Time for impulsive stupid stuff. My favourite.
I’m an expert at impulsive stupid stuff.
I jumped out from my shelter just as the dragon tail whipped past, grabbing onto the end just before it slipped out of reach. There was a moment of relief as my hands curled around it firmly and then my shoulders were almost ripped out of their sockets and I yelped aloud, my voice tugged away by the rush of air in my ears.
Flying is not my strong point.
Apparently I get motion sickness.
Not mentioning sore arms.
For those reasons, by the time we flew to fairyland I was worse off for it. As soon as I felt the dragon start to descend, I gulped in a relieved breath, my fingers slipping slightly. The wind from the dragon’s wings battered against me and it was hardly another breath before I was flung off the tail by an impatient flick.
I fell dizzyingly through the air for a short moment, screaming internally, but didn’t have enough breath to get any sound out before I hit the ground a lot sooner than I expected. My knees buckled and I ended up sprawled across a hot paved surface. I couldn’t summon enough energy to move.
Flying on a dragon was way worse than I’d imagined.
The senior Dragon Islanders were allowed to ride some of the dragons, and I’d always been jealous. Not anymore. They can keep all their dragon riding. My stomach flipped but I’d already heaved up anything I’d eaten in the last day so it didn’t make much difference.
Shoving myself up, I crawled into the corner, hiding myself into a small nook to recover my senses before trying to work out where in the world I even was. This was about the scheduled time to start having second thoughts about the impulsive stupid things.
I started having second thoughts.
By now, you’d think I would have learnt, what with all the crazy stuff that happens whenever I do it. But no. Stupid just comes natural.
I managed to clear my vision enough to see Zana Bradford leaping from the dragon and landing lightly in the middle of the courtyard. She glanced up at the sky once and then turned, a few strides taking her out of sight through two huge iron doors.
Things weren’t looking so bad. Now to avoid the dragon and get somewhere that I could work out where I was. I had suspicions, of course. But I desperately wanted them to be wrong because they weren’t very cheerful suspicions.
I know, I know. It should’ve been obvious. Of course they were depressingly right. But I wanted to hope, so you can’t blame me.
Standing up slowly, I glanced to both sides and then started sidestepping along the wall. I got about five steps along the edge of the wall before the dragon noticed me. And by ‘noticed’ I mean he jumped on me.
One moment I was standing there, and the next the dragon had one huge, clawed paw on my chest, pinning a breathless me to the ground.
Okay, this was it. Death by dragon claw. I braced myself, closing my eyes.
A bellowing roar from above, and I cringed into myself further. Well fine, go and celebrate your hard won victory. Not like I’d made it hard for him or anything. I tried to wriggle out from beneath it’s claw while it was distracted, but before I could move very far, it pressed down harder, one point of its biggest claw impaling the edge of my shirt into the ground.
I couldn’t breathe, the pressure and the terror merging into the pounding of my heart it my ears. I totally wasn’t scared. I was completely terrified.
Lando kebabs anyone?
Just when I was convinced it was going to skewer me completely, a figure appeared from the side, interrupting the dragon’s lunch preparations. Zana’s face transformed into a dazzling smile as her gaze touched down on me.
“Oh, Lando! Here? How nice!” She clapped her hands like a four year old being promised ice-cream and chocolate.
The pressure eased off me slightly, and I managed to suck in a breath. “My bad for dropping in. I’ll just…” I started to slip away from under the dragon but it slammed its other paw down next to my head. “—stay right here and not move,” I squeaked an undignified sound, stopping in place.
Zana tossed her blonde hair back over her shoulder, looking disapprovingly down at me. “Now now, Lan. You can’t possibly leave without letting me give you a little hospitality. You’ve never been in a fairy castle before.”
Okay crazy fairy lady, but no thanks I’d rather just run screaming in terror if that’s quite fine with you.
The dragon growled above me, heat singing across my face and arms. I’d also rather get out of this in one piece without my eyebrows singed off. I didn’t move.
“I missed you so terribly since we last saw each other and you have no idea how excited I am now. So kind of you to come visit!”
How could she sound so stupid and innocent? I knew enough to tell that this wasn’t going to be fun.
I mean, not like I was being slow-cooked by dragon-breath while she was talking.
“You don’t— say—” I managed, wincing from a particularly hot puff of air, a trickle of sweat running down the back of my neck.
“I do.” She smiled again then clicked her fingers, a roll of something appearing in one hand.
I don’t like duct tape.
“Time to get down to business. I have a beautifully dank dungeon just waiting for you.” She looked legitimately excited and I honestly couldn’t work out how I was meant to react to that.
Trust me, Fairy girl, I simply can’t wait either.
- - -
Okay so rough estimate, I think this story is going to be -overall- about 6-7-ish parts long. And it'll break my record of the longest Lando story. (So far it's already 6k long, which is almost 2k longer than my next longest Lando story.)
Also guyyys it's raining here and it's so so nice. All the rain drops pattering on the tin roof. *happy sigh*
How has your week been?
Do you make a habit of doing impulsive stupid stuff?
(hopefully not as bad as Lando's habit xP)